Schaeffer Farms Mountain Bike Park

If only every day consisted of naturalistic vibrations by way of riding or running through Mother Nature, spending time with Self, listening to positive Roots Rock Reggae and eating clean, plant-based foods. That’s our natural high whenever we venture into a new town. So when you visit Montgomery County Maryland make sure to bring your wheels to Schaeffer Farms Mountain Bike Park.  [Read more…]

2017 Destination Races: Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

 

It’s the second most wonderful time of the year…. Registration for the 14th annual Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon and GunBunFunRun 5K opens December 1st. The race sold out in a record 17 minutes in 2016, so be sure to pay attention to the registration instructions below as the process has changed from previous years. This year’s race date is Sunday July 16th. [Read more…]

Yokohama Tire is Sending 12 US Youth Soccer Members to England for a ‘Chelsea FC Experience’

London’s calling…and Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) is answering. YTC, in conjunction with US Youth Soccer, is sending 12 Yokohama Skills Challenge participants (along with chaperones) to England for a “Chelsea FC Experience,” including a visit to legendary Stamford Bridge.

The contest, which runs through June 3, is open to US Youth Soccer members, ages 13-18, who compete in select Yokohama Skills Challenge events across the U.S., including the Needham Memorial Day Tournament Driven by Yokohama, May 26-29. There’s also a chance to win by going online at http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/YTCPromotion/. [Read more…]

Third Annual Nomadic Journey: Mountain Biking Cambodia’s Ancient Temples of Angkor

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Greetings from Cambodia for Fit Fathers’ third annual nomadic expedition, a rediscovery of life, newfangled cultures, freedom from attachment and enlightenment. I’ve been traveling for over 20 years now but just recently began traversing the globe to indigenous countries on solo missions. From Phuket to Nepal, the appeal of simple life, thankfulness, ancient spices and herbs and nurturing foods entices my pallet. So I continue digging deeper for truth, perspective and the freedom of life while doing so on a mountain bikes utilizing the best local tour guides in the field. Welcome to my world.

After a 25-hour commute starting on United Airlines from Washington Dulles to San Francisco to Korea and then on to Phnom Penh, Cambodia I landed rather restless. As usual it was confounding circumstances at the airport when I arrived at 11:30 pm so I feverishly picked out my $9 Tuk Tuk driver and headed to the Grand Boutique II in Phnom Penh for two nights. The streets from the airport into town were pretty dusty and awaiting trash truck pickups. The open ride let me get a feel for the city before the next day’s explorations. Food cart vendors were open for business and those that weren’t were preparing for the next day’s busy day. Keep in mind mopeds and Tuk Tuks rule this town like most cities in Southeast Asia. The 3-star, boutique hotel was a small, quaint spot situated in the middle of the hustle off of 5th street. For about $50 a night it surprisingly included complimentary breakfast (exotic fruit platter, fresh mango juice and vegetable stir fry rice), free WiFi and instantaneous customer service. Mental note, trust is an important trait for travelers and jetsetters so your senses must be keen and instincts impeccable to avoid ominous scenarios. You will never see me rocking headphones to drown out the environment while I’m away.

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I popped up bright and early and went for a run to view the bustle of Cambodia’s busy capital streets. By far, running and biking are the most strategic ways to enjoy new lands while simultaneously energizing the body. With 90-degree weather the entire 10-day stay I promised myself to spend the journey outdoors soaking up Vitamin D. First up was a trot to the National Museum which is actually a temple rich with Cambodian history and relics. Later that night I caught a traditional and magical dance performance put on by the Cambodian Living Arts which was the highlight of my day. The revelry is fixated on love, food and peace. For example, in flourishing countries the masses are devoted to earning their next million, obtaining elaborate jewelry, luxury cars, fancy shoes, expensive purses and the grandest houses, while the poor Cambodian farmers dance fervently in solidarity — Beh Krawine Dance — to bless their crops and well-being. It’s the unpretentious things in life that generate happiness.

Next up was a short flight on Bayon Airlines to Siem Reap for day 1 of mountain biking (MTBing) while visiting the ancient temples of Angkor. After extensive research I selected Cambodia Cycling as my tour guides of choice. The 3-day ride totaled about $600 and included 3-star accommodation, an experienced cycling guide, your bike (Trek or Giant) full board meals (breakfasts, lunch and dinner), boat trip on Tonlé Sap Lake to see the floating fishing village, a support van and a 3-day Angkor pass. In fact, Dara, Son and Greg ascertained that every need imaginable was handled under their care including the litany of vegan grub in the area which I have a penchant for. Directly from the airport we hit the ground pedaling to the temples. Combining the love for cycling with nomadic travel is the best and most modest act a spiritual outlier can ask for.

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The route took us to Prasat Kravan Temple, the Buddhist Temple Banteay Kdei (meaning a citadel of chambers) and the infamous Ta Prohm Temple which is adorned by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. It was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII who is discernibly looked upon by historians as the most formidable Khmer monarch. Keep in mind roughly 80% of all Cambodians are Buddhists. We also admired the Bayon Temple and the temple complex of the breathtaking Angkor Wat. On the gentle ride back to the Angkor Boutique Villa I felt like a kite dancing in a hurricane, flowing freely with thoughts as pervasive as the Andaman Sea. For dinner Son reserved a table at Chamkar Vegetarian Restaurant where the open atmosphere was meditative since I was seated next to the garden. Trees grow inside the eco-friendly eatery and bamboo dividers can be rolled up or down depending on the weather. Chamkar serves fine and genuine foods using fresh, local veggies and as organic as possible. Yes, the meals were light, refreshing and pleasing.

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Each day we road out from my art deco suite to a uniquely, mystic pocket of the country ripe with fascination. For the next 48 hours in Siem Reap I embraced adoration of living in the countryside to explore the simple life and the floating village where the locals (mostly Vietnamese fishers) dwell and work. In the country a little girl eats her rice in what seems to be a private abode behind a bush while roosters scream in excitement and rustic bike shops tend to the villagers number one mean of transportation. Both the Cambodians and I were equally curious with each other. Humbled is an understatement, especially since the people here survive off the crops they grow. After MTBing I went back to the hotel to relax, find more veggie grub and attend another dance and arts show later that night. Certainly I will return again to this part of the world, possibly Vietnam.

The nomadic escape on two wheels was another unforgettable experience that I will cherish dearly. No man or woman should ever fear the unknown. Self-discovery is a powerful awareness tool.

Couples in Costa Rica: Pura Vida at The Westin Golf Resort & Spa Playa Conchal

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Experienced by Kimatni and Misa Rawlins

It’s always a perfect occasion to visit Costa Rica. After our first stay five years ago my wife Misa and I knew it was only a matter of time before we returned to the majestic lands of Central America. With so many work obligations and parenting responsibilities to tend to back home in Silver Spring, MD, it is a refreshing delight escaping without our children. This year for our anniversary we chose the Guanacaste region and invited friends who share similar passions in life such as traversing the world. [Read more…]

The Road to Cali Roots 2016: It’s a Movement

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Gary  Joseph & Josué Rivas

The constellation of musical memories and positive vibes from the 2016 California Roots music festival in Monterey is as palpable and energizing now as the very day I first stepped onto the scene to welcome its reggae radiance into my world. The atmospheric euphoria from thousands of showgoers, electrifying performers and ubiquitous “one love” is incomparable to any festival I have witnessed in the past. The experience over the three days during the festive Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza will always be unforgettable. [Read more…]

Sip & Pose: Vita Coco Morning Yoga at Cali Roots Fest

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For reggae showgoers in Monterey this weekend to attend the California Roots Festival please join Ben “Good Vibes” Spellman for morning yoga sessions to put your mind, body and soul in a roots, rock and meditative mood. Yoga is the perfect way to start your morning so bring a Yogamat and relax!

All attendees will receive a complimentary Vita Coco!

Come Saturday June 28th and Sunday June 29th at 10:15 AM for the Cali Roots Yoga Sessions

Location: Front of The Original Stage

2004 Fairground Rd, Monterey, CA 93940

Ben “Good Vibes” Spellman is a central Iowa-based RYT 200. Driven by connecting people, Good Vibes guides you on a journey of energy and peace through yoga. His genuine personality and radiant positive energy has generated a loyal tribe of yogis in the Des Moines community where he is leading a movement of human re-connection!

Please visit the movements section of the California Roots Festival for more details on their energizing activities.

Southwest Airlines To Offer International Service Between Los Angeles (LAX) And Liberia, Costa Rica

Finaco_Bellavista_Costa_Rica..02Southwest Airlines Co. announced plans to complement its growing portfolio of international routes by offering nonstop service between Los Angeles International Airport and Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia/Guanacaste, Costa Rica beginning in April 2016.  Southwest expects to operate the service daily from LAX Terminal 2, adjacent the carrier’s domestic operation in LAX Terminal 1.  Flights will be available for purchase early next year at Southwest.com and are subject to foreign government approval. [Read more…]

7th Annual Cali Roots Festival

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The 7th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival will take place at the historic Monterey County Fair and Event Center from May 27-29, 2016. The top tier national festival is the premier gathering for the progressive U.S. Reggae and roots music movement, bringing the scene together over Memorial Day weekend in beautiful Monterey, CA.

2016’s California Roots Music and Arts Festival announces another round of progressive roots artists join previously announced acts Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, Protoje, Katchafire, The Green, and more. Cali reggae rockers Slightly Stoopid return after a triumphant closing night set at last year’s festival, and introspective hip-hop duo Atmosphere also join. Grammy award winning roots reggae artist Stephen “Ragga” Marley, internationally-known Jamaican reggae star Tarrus Riley and Australia’s Sticky Fingers all make their debut at the Monterey, CA festival this year. In addition, the last round of artists announced include the return of Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Pepper, Barrington Levy, J Boog, Mike Love, The Wheeland Brothers, and Katastro. Making their debut at the festival are Jamaican rising stars Raging Fyah, U.K.’s Will and The People, Maui’s soulful Jordan T., Bay Area’s South Bay Dub All Stars and Santa Barbara up-and-comers The Ole’s.

The remainder of the line-up announcement, including returning fan favorite Stick Figure, is listed below.

General Admission and VIP tickets http://californiaroots16.eventbrite.com/?aff=buynow.

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Round One Artist Line-Up Announcement:

Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, The Expendables,The Green, Katchafire, Protoje, Gondwana, Fortunate Youth, The Skints, Nattali Rize, Hirie, Thrive and Eli Mac

Round Two Artist Line-Up Announcement:

Slightly Stoopid, Atmosphere, Stephen “Ragga” Marley, Stick Figure, Tarrus Riley, Ooklah The Moc, Sticky Fingers, The Expanders, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Josh Heinrichs, Peni Dean, Seedless and  Tunnel Vision

Round Three Artist Line-Up Announcement:

Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Pepper, Barrington Levy, J Boog, Mike Love, Raging Fyah, The Wheeland Brothers, Will and The People, Katastro, Jordan T, South Bay Dub All Stars and The Oles

DJ’s:

Amp Live, Expanders Sound System, Dub Architect and Westafa

“We are extremely proud of the California Roots brand, and core returning artists like Slightly Stoopid that helped us grow our festival. We also know that our fans appreciate our innovative and diversified approach to our artist selections, as we received a great response from the hip-hop artists on the bill last year, like Cypress Hill and Dilated Peoples. Atmosphere is a phenomenal festival act that we are confident our attendees will love,” says Festival CoProducer Dan Sheehan. “We are honored to have Stephen “Ragga” Marley this year, who is a vital part of the great reggae tradition paved by his father. In addition, we are announcing 10 more artists on the line-up, ranging from legendary status to up and comers to fan favorites, with one more round of announcements still to come.”

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FESTIVAL DETAILS

The 7th Annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival

Dates: Friday, May 27, 2016 – Sunday May 29, 2016

Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 pm PDT

Venue: Monterey County Fair and Event Center

Address: 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, CA 93940

Admission: Varies (Purchase Link: https://californiaroots16.eventbrite.com)

Age restrictions: All Ages

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Nepal: A Physical & Sensory Mountain Biking Adventure

Alex Glasgow, Mandil Pradhan and Euan Wilson mountain biking around Kathmandu and the lower Mustang Valley in Nepal.

If you haven’t yet travelled to Nepal then you’re in for one of the most sensory-stimulating adventures of your life! Whilst you can train for the physical demands of the Himalayan adventure, it’s almost impossible to prepare yourself for the huge impact that the vibrant culture and welcoming people will have on your soul. You can only make sure that your heart is open and ready to accept every warm smile and ‘Namaste!’ you receive from locals as you bike through the breathtaking landscapes of Nepal.

Nepal has the power to touch different people in different ways, but here are some special moments from previous adventures, to give you some inspiration.

Mountain biking holiday in the Himalayas of Nepal