That's a wrap - the jet-set life is over for a little while. I just got back from Germany on Friday, have unpacked my bags, filled up the fridge and settled back in. It feels good to be at home! We've already been out for a boulder, hiked around Arne (more on that soon!) and cooked a Chicken Pad Thai (which turned out pretty nice). This week I have been feeling very inspired by some of the people I am surrounded with and the brands I follow on social media. I've been particularly loving following the social media campaigns of both Specialized and Liv who have both built great inclusive and female friendly brands. Rather than offering a range of bicycles for men and then a few female friendly spin offs, these two companies have actually gone and created a range of bikes that are built from the ground-up especially for women.
The two brands then took it one step further by building a community including brand ambassadors, social media channels and events that invite those new to the sport or looking for a community to come and learn, join rides, host events, etc.
Then there are brands like Patagonia who constantly improve their products to make them better for the world. Whether that's recycling, cutting the amount of water used to create a t-shirt or fixing things that are broken but still wearable. These are the kinds of companies I want to support and their brand ambassadors are the ones I most enjoy following on social media as they spread inspiration and happiness.
A few inspiring reads...
Alex Honnold redefines the limits of climbing
3:56 hours is how long it took Alex Honnold to be the first person ever to Free Solo El Capitan - one of the most iconic rock faces this world has to offer. I get sweaty palms when I just look at the photos that have been released so far. Soon there will be a film about this outrageous achievement as well!
Stop complaining about expensive bikes
When I bought my first road bike I made sure to get a decent one - a Cannondale Synapse Carbon Tiagra. Obviously I took a risk as I was fairly new to the sport. However, my bike has also given me a lot of confidence and - most importantly - comfort. Though it doesn't have the best components available on the market today, it's still a lot better than what was available ten years ago on proportionally more expensive bikes. Whether it's on a long ride or a quick spin around Sandbanks. I am grateful for every penny I have invested and yes, I'd do it again. That'd be the same no matter if I bought a bike, a pack or a camera.
How not to train
And finally, something funny. There's not much to say about this article on how not to get fit for climbing.