Rants on Cycling and on Life:
Photos of people and bicycles that pass in front of my camera
From the VP of MORE...
24 January, 2014By crashmore0 Comments
Introducing The Four Pillars Of MORE
Written By: Jason R. Ashmore MORE Vice President
Like many in our community, I have found myself thinking about Scud a lot lately. His death left a hole in many hearts, but his life was full of inspiration. As someone serving in a leadership role on the MORE board I find myself reflecting a great deal on the work Scud did for our community over the years. His influence is resulting in many of us seeking ways to turn this inspiration into positive action and to ultimately embrace the lifestyle Scud exemplified.
The MORE board, in partnership with IMBA, recently traveled to Sedona for a developmental retreat. The idea was to come together as a team with our peers and partners to become better leaders and stewards for MORE. I approached this trip with a great deal of hope and determination, but most importantly, with the goal of following Scud’s example by serving our local riding community. While it sounds like a cliché I do often ask myself “what would Scud do?.”, and by my estimate one could do far worse for a role model than Scud.
As I prepared for the retreat, one of the things I focused on early was to point out to all in attendance that this would be a weekend of hard work, not a vacation. While there certainly would be time for mountain biking and fellowship, work would come first and foremost. I drove that point home to my traveling companions Martin and Ernie when I refused to let them disperse to aisle and window seats of their choosing. Instead I pulled them to the back of that crowded Southwest flight placing a reluctant Martin and his MacBook right in that middle seat, and we got to work.
Initially we set out to work on some basic artwork for an upcoming Scud related project we had been discussing. Ideas and Scud adventure stories flowed between us, and pixels slowly transformed into a shared vision. As we got deeper into exploring what Scud meant to each of us and in particular, to MORE; this project took on a life of it’s own. These ideas continued to flow together becoming icons of the ideals that embodied our friend, and by extension created a vision of the inspiration we’ve been feeling. Below is the end result of several hours of some of the best collaborative work I’ve ever been a part of.
Some of the original inspiration came from the IMBA icons design you often see. Speak, Build, Respect and Ride. While the IMBA icons fit Scud pretty well; they just didn’t hit the mark. After some time we came up with these words and icons to represent his life of service and spirit. Ride, Build, Serveand Mentor. These words and symbols represent what we are now referring to among the board as the four pillars of MORE. Each of these covers a core ideal of the club. These ideals remain as true and relevant today as they did when the club was founded back in 1992.As we chose these words and symbols we also paid a great deal of attention to how they were arranged in the design. Notice how Ride flows into Build to Serve and finally to Mentor. We think this represents the natural journey many of us take within the community. When you think about how people find MORE, it almost always starts with a love of riding our bikes. It’s always first and foremost among our motivations and it always comes back to the ride at the end of the journey.
As we begin to ride, most of us soon come to love the trails and the community and we naturally transition into building.. It’s important to keep in mind that building here doesn’t’t only mean trails. Building also means building communities and relationships and as everyone knows, Scud excelled at building both!
From Build we move on to Serve, which many people have found to be among the most powerful messages here. What does Serve mean and who are we to Serve? These are very personal questions, with answers unique to each individual. In a generic sense we begin serving the local riding community, by leading rides, volunteering at events, advocating for more trails and even serving MORE in a leadership role.
Finally, out of service is born the desire to Mentor. The concept of becoming a Mentor is the idea that resonated most with me as I worked on this message. One of the areas I foremost wanted to capture was the iconic symbolism of Scud in his Superman costume sharing his passion for riding with kids. I still get teary eyed every time I see those photos and at no other time do I feel a greater sense of loss than when I realize my kids won’t get to ride with Superman. Scud was a mentor to not only our local kids, but he also mentored so many of us in the mountain bike community. If you begin speaking to the prominent volunteers in our club you will find nearly all of them were recruited and or touched by Scud in some profound way.
I believe mentoring our kids, getting them on bikes, helping inspire and grow new volunteers, sharing this passion for trails and bikes; all while building up those around us sums up so much of what made Scud special to us.
As I sat staring at these newly created pillars, I began to get a sense something was missing. These were all great examples of how Scud did things and conducted his life but what ties it all together? As I thought on it more the answer came into focus. Above all things; our friend Scud LIVED. Scud had an unmatched passion and exuberance of spirit, which ties back to these pillars and makes us love our sport of mountain biking.
I’d like to challenge you to take some time and reflect on these ideals as shown in this artwork. Think about what each means and how they flow together and can be used to define us as a club and as individuals. The 2014 board has adopted this work as the symbol for all we hope to achieve in the coming years. With spring around the corner, let’s all Ride MORE, Build MORE, Serve MORE, Mentor MORE and most of all LIVE MOREin our own unique ways.
In closing I challenge you to ask yourself; do you Ride, Build, Serve and Mentor to LIVE or do you LIVEbecause you do these things?