Wanderlust is creep-creep-creepin' its way up the left coast, and hit sunny San Francisco hard last week with a couple of off-the-beaten-path dude parties that would make any urban sportsman proud. To wit, web 2.0 entrepreneur Ben Lerer and fixed-gear biking pioneer Colby Elrick each assembled the essential ingredients of buddies, beers and BBQ for a pair of distinctively hands-on field trips.
Motivating a bunch of guys to get together for a good time in the wee hours of a Monday morning might seem like a daunting challenge, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone more qualified to accept that dare than Ben Lerer. He co-founded the highly successful startup Thrillist, an e-mail newsletter with the aim of helping the young, well-heeled urban male stay on top of the hippest things to do-and stuff to buy-with all those hard-earned, gleaming mountains of extra cash. Since it was born in 2004, this field guide for the modern dandy has expanded to cover 16 different cities nationwide (and London, too). So helping his subscribers chase down the ultimate alternative urban adventure is the name of Lerer's game, but where does the master thrillist himself go for thrills? Hint: It's not in the city. Actually, it's not even on land.
Last Monday, after being rudely shaken out of bed around four a.m., the MINI Countryman Wanderlust Movement got its sea legs to the tune of one fierce salmon fishing trip off the California coast. Lerer rounded up five of his homeboys well before the crack of dawn in downtown San Francisco, from which gathering point they journeyed one hour down the coast to Santa Cruz via MINI Countryman. The boat was called-what else?-the Mega-Bite. In high spirits, the friends knocked back a few brews and reeled in a few bruisers. After a mere four hours, the boys had hooked four tasty fishies, the largest of which weighed in at a cool 16 pounds. Nothin' left to do but head home and fire up the grill. Well played.
Colby Elrick: videographer, business owner, and founder of both Macaframa and SKYLMT, Mainly taking place in the Bay Area, his films and commercials are known to be premier in the fixed gear bike world. Colby Elrick's MINI Countryman Wanderlust Adventure was about getting out of the city and tearing up some sick dirt jumps. Last Tuesday, he gathered up some of his friends and went for it- from San Francisco to Gilroy.
With bike racks strapped and packed overhead and behind, the pack of four MINI Countrymen took on the 200-mile trip to the Wheel Talk Compound with a few stops along the way. They stopped by friend Benny Gold's shop in San Francisco, then stopped at iMINUSD in San Jose, and then finally got to the Compound in Gilroy. (The Wheeltalk Compound is a fixed gear free style bike park which is the first of it's kind, and it's an all dirt course located between farms and rural roads. Riders at the compound competed in a little jam session, while jumping their bikes over a MINI, and a live band played.
Vote for Colby Elrick's MINI Countryman Wanderlust idea here.
Like what you see? Wanna join the Movement? Of course you do. Go to the MINI Countryman Wanderlust Interactive Map and register your idea for an event, party, or organized adventure that makes you feel awesome. The weekly favorite gets a travel-friendly prize, and one overall winner will get the keys to a sexy new MINI Countryman. Contest ends May 27th, so don't wait. Tell us what you're lusting for.