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A sabbatical from life: taking time off

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Perhaps I think too much, over analyze and try (too much) to find meaning in what I do. Maybe I continue to seek for meaning when there isn’t any meaning. Maybe Joseph Campbell was right when he said, “Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking …

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Winter Training for cyclists: riding the trainer

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Winter training for cyclists can be fun but my ability to put up with bitter-cold temperatures lessens with each blowing, freezing-cold, ugly Kansas winter. The reason is simple. I don’t like the feeling of being cold. It hurts. I look at the adventures and exploits of my internet friends as they brave winter temperatures with icicles covering their beards and eyelashes and I …

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Dirty Kanza 200 Registration: stay motivated

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

This Saturday is a big day for Emporia. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. for the 10th Annual Dirty Kanza 200! If you are in or near the Emporia area, there will be a registration party at the new DK2oo Headquarters in downtown Emporia!  DK Promotions will be hosting a registration party at our HQ (11 W. 8th Ave, Emporia) on Jan. …

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Feed Your Monkey in 2015!

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Happy New Year to all you Adventure Monkeys out there! I hope your Adventure Monkey was satisfied in 2014 and you are planning to Feed Your Monkey in 2015! If you don’t plan it, it probably won’t happen. Last year went by in a blur. It is said time moves faster as we age, but last year went by so fast it was …

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A Tribute to Joel Dyke

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

I am sad to say that Joel Dyke passed away last weekend. He fell from a ladder. It doesn’t make any sense, none at all, but that is life. It doesn’t always make sense. We try to create order or make sense of our time – checking off boxes, finishing lists or whatever, but then something like this happens and …

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I’m in: Training for the Dirty Kanza 200

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

I’m doing it. I am intentionally hurting myself. Why you ask? Some days it makes more sense than others, but I want to see how good I can be on the bike. Yeah I know. I’ve said that before. I think I’ve even typed those words on this blog before, more than once. But this time I am serious. “Riiiiight,” Jeff says sarcastically. “How …

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Bikepacking gear and setup with a small frame fatbike

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

As I got my bikepacking setup dialed in for this trip, I had a few things to figure out. I ride a small frame fatbike with a tiny inner triangle that doesn’t fit much gear. The frame bag is the size of a woman’s clutch. I can barely fit 100 oz water bladder in the frame bag. I needed two days worth of water to …

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The Desert Ramble: Bikepacking Moab’s Kane Creek Trail

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

The Desert Ramble proved to be just that – a ramble through the desert. We started out with a plan, but the wet, muddy conditions, photo ops and numerous hike-a-bikes slowed us down, way down, so the group made new plans. We ended up having more time in Moab and less time on the Kokopelli Trail but in the end …

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The Desert Ramble: Fatbiking Moab’s Porcupine Rim

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Love Muffin. If you are in Moab, it is definitely the place for coffee and breakfast. The muffins, some gluten free, were heavenly and the coffee was fantastic, not to mention the real food too. Our group descended on the restaurant in the morning. The place was so cozy  it was hard to leave. Moab was another world. There were …

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The Desert Ramble: Bikepacking the Kokopelli Day 3

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Day three started out early and cold. We needed to get moving early to make up time from the first two days. I made sure to wake and get my stuff together as quickly as possible since I was usually the slow one packing up. My tent was covered in ice and I rolled it up worried about setting it …

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The Desert Ramble: Bikepacking the Kokopelli Day 2

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

If it was up to me, I would sleep until the sun warmed my tent and removed all the condensation before I got going, but we had mileage goals in mind and a group of early risers. Plus I woke up to dark, dreary skies. I woke to the sounds of talking and laughter. Jason and Glenn were up making gourmet …

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The Desert Ramble Day 1: Bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

After everyone arrived and Erik reassembled his bike, we rode to Fruita’s Hot Tomato eatery for some delicious pizza and beer. Bikes, cameras, beer and pizza would be a common theme throughout the week. We ate and geeked out over cameras and bikes throughout dinner. I’m not sure if I salivated more for the food or the camera gear my friends were …

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The Desert Ramble Crew

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

After 12 hours in Jim’s truck, we finally pull in to Fruita’s campground where a few others of our bikepacking gang were already hanging out. It was a rag-tag group of ten guys with adventure, bikes and photography in common. Some of us have websites and are pro photographers but the one thing we all have in common is fatbikes. I didn’t know a few of …

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Bikepacking the Kokopelli Trail

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

I had no idea what I was in for. We had a trip ringleader with a plan so I concentrated on having food for three days, water for two days and equipment I needed to survive the ride on the Kokopelli. We would be bikepacking and camping for seven days. The Kokopelli Trail is a 142 mile multi-use trail that …

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Bikepacking Test Run – Reading Lake

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Last night was a test run with my bikepacking setup. I needed to do an overnight trip to make sure I felt confident with my gear and setting up camp. Plus I borrowed a camera that has pretty good night vision. I am not going to be able to fit a tripod on my bike but I think I’ll be …

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Bikepacking Gear and Preparations

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

It started out as a group email to a gang of cycling photographers about a name for a website and grew into a discussion about life, cycling and the need for a retreat. This group of creative cyclists has been friends for nearly half a decade. Many of us met through old school blogs with help of the Salsa Fargo. The group has continued …

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Cycling 650 feet below the ground; Strataca Salt Mines

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

A salt mine cycling race 650 feet below ground level? It seems as if plans are in the works and the Dirty Kanza crew and I were going to check it out. The Dirty Kanza crew was invited to ride below ground by Michael Armour of Strataca to see what they thought of it as a race venue. I got to go because …

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Singletrack Revelations

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

Last week I took the fatbike out for some singletrack fun. It had been some time since I had ridden trails. The trails were calling. I decided to go out and ride hard. I wasn’t disappointed.  I passed some farmers hard at work harvesting beans on my way to Camp Alexander. It was dusty riding past the moving combines. I rode by …

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A cycling guide for beginners

In Blog by Eric Benjamin Comments

There has been much writing going on here at Adventure Monkey and soon I will release a cycling guide for beginners geared towards people that want to get into cycling but are too intimidated, scared or just don’t know where to start. But I need your help! Keep reading to see how and to get a reward in return! In Emporia, the …