Live A Big Life Ride

living big to create opportunity

T-Minus 7 days: 50 Miles in Wine Country

About 40 miles North of Santa Barbara is a strange little Danish town called Solvang. It’s up in the Santa Ynez Valley, home to a ton of Southern California wineries, and long winding roads perfect for a training ride! So we headed up there bright and early in perfect weather for a 50 mile loop through wine country.


At the first stop, Kalyra Winery, 6 miles in

There were a whole lot of steep hills on this ride, 3200 feet in all:


Madeleine climbing up and up

photo 1

Stopping for some oranges 26 miles out

We each rode with 20 lbs of Coors Light and Bud Light to weigh us down:


When it’s too gross to drink…

It sure was pretty:

photo 4

More of them hills

And at the end of it all we got some Danish pastries back in Solvang:


Moments before this we were approached by missionaries, but we were on a mission for pastries

And popped into a couple stores in town:

photo 5

A store full of singing clocks. Seriously.







T-Minus 9 Days: Sunday Funday

We decided to make a big day of Sunday!

We rode to the gym to mix it up a bit:


Kanye’s workout plan


At the gym

Then we headed to the farmer’s market to get everything we need in life:

photo 1

Bare necessities

That powered us enough for a nearly 50 mile ride that took up most of the day.

photo 5

Mid-ride snac

By the evening we were dead tired, so after 2 episodes of House of Cards we wilted on the couch some more:

photo 1

Mad stretching out

And devoured some cheesy popovers made by Concerned Mother #1.

photo 2

Recovery food


T-Minus 10 Days: 2/22 Down for the Count

Today I feel like a bag of crap that’s been driven over a few times, so we didn’t do any biking.

We did some bike mechanic work:

photo 2

Possibly fixing something

photo 3

Stetson working his medicinal magic

I had a Google Talk session with Steve, my old boss the Executive Director of STOKED:

Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 2.40.54 PM

Brainstorming to make the site better

The origin of “Live A Big Life”


Cameron Howe, the inspiration behind Living Big

The Live A Big Life Fund was created in the fall of 2012 in memory of Cameron Howe, a young man who passed away at the age of 20. Cameron was a snowboarder, and when he passed his family chose STOKED as an avenue to honor their son.

Cameron’s parents, Jim and Patti, have done a tremendous and admirable act in turning this tragic event into a catalyst to inspire others to live a big life, just like Cameron did. In the words of Cameron’s mother, this is about the Live A Big Life idea that has inspired our bike ride + fundraiser.

There was always something about Cameron that seemed BIG – his intelligence, his curiosity, his passions, his creativity – he even grew to 6’ 3’.  He tested every boundary – especially with things physical.

If he had a passion for something, and he had many, he would pursue it with endless energy until he mastered it – and most often he did.  Skateboarding, boogie boarding, wake boarding, skim boarding, snowboarding, surfing – you got it – he liked boards. For Cameron, they provided a challenge and a sense of freedom that he always enjoyed, as well as an important life lesson.  For Cameron these board sports taught him early in life that ‘when you fall, you need to get right back up’. 

Cameron’s commitment to follow his dreams, even amidst hardship is what seemed to so resonate with other people. He lived BIG in his short life, and encouraged others to live big too. 

What does it mean to live a BIG life?  Well that depends on you. For Cameron it was snowboarding down snow shoots in Patagonia or finding the perfect wave.  His memory has challenged many of us to define what it means for us to live big.  What it means to stretch our self to try new things, and follow our dreams. 

So what a fitting memory and legacy to help others to follow their dream too…