The Least Interesting Man in the Room

“What do you listen to on your road trips?“ Good question. While the hard drive in my car has a wide variety of music stored on it, on most long drives I listen to podcasts. You can find a wide array of subject matter on iTunes, and I have gigabytes of audio downloaded on my phone from over two dozen different sites, but there are three shows I follow regularly; two of which I’ve donated to in the past, and of those two, one on an ongoing monthly basis: The Sprocket Podcast

The Sprocket Podcast is a Portland based broadcast dedicated to “simplifying the good life.” The show covers bicycling, trains & transit, adventures, and life hacks, and features interviews with a wide variety of people. While it has a “Portland centric” vibe, it is so much more than that. Last month, after the eclipse and while visiting with my cousins in Portland, I had the opportunity to be a guest on the program, a chance to have the curtain rolled back and see how ‘the sausage is made’, to meet finally meet Maria Schur, and to thank Brock Dittus and Aaron Flores for their efforts and let them know what they do really does help motivate and inspire people.

Over the course of my life I’ve been blessed to meet many fascinating people doing adventurous and creative things. I hit the jackpot the night this episode was recorded. Of the five people in the studio, I was by far the least interesting person in the room, and having the time of my life. The host and founder of the Sprocket Podcast, tall bike rider Brock had, along with his with wife, Adele, hiked the Colorado Trail earlier this summer; guest host Guthrie Straw is an Adventure Specialist who leads bike tours and has an impressive guiding résumé; Maria Schur is a vibracious woman who was getting ready to ride the Swift Summit 200 Bike Race later that week and who, on a previous episode, shared some sage advice which was an inspiration to me as I recovered from a health issue; Anna van den Bergh had just finished a transcontinental bike ride (her second) from Yorktown, Virginia to Astoria, Oregon and created a website 4000 Miles of Portraits to document her trip.

Sprocket Podcast E369
Left to Right: Brock, Annalisa, Wayne, Maria, Guthrie (Photo courtesy of the Sprocket Podcast)

You’ll have to listen to the episode (link to the left and at the end of the post) to hear all our stories (Annalisa’s is very inspiring), suffice to say I was having a great time and extremely grateful to Brock for inviting me on the show. Later in the week I was able to meet up with Aaron, who was bike camping with his girlfriend the night the podcast was recorded, and share with him how much I appreciated his contribution to the program.

Later, as I reflected on the podcast experience, I thought about other people I met or visited with on this trip. Whether preparing for, or participating in adventurous activities, creating beautiful works of art, traveling to far off lands, these were engaging individuals; emphasis on ‘engaging’. It’s easy to be passive, to sit back and wait for life to come to us. Only it doesn’t. Not really. If we want to experience what life has to offer and live more adventurously we must turn off the TV, shutdown the computer, get off the couch, step outside and engage with the world as it is, imperfections and all.  Once you’re out and active, whether it’s a ride around the block, a ten minute walk, a 200 mile race, or riding across the country, you take can feel good that you’re active and engaged.

In closing, I’m again indebted to Maria Schur who said it so well during the interview: “Starting is what’s important”.

Link to Sprocket Podcast Episode 369: – Wayne, Maria, Annalisa:

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the other two podcast I recommend are the Dirtbag Diaries and The Trail Show