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The Flip Side: Volume 9

Our weekly roundup of the best outdoor stories that capture and inspire the spirit of adventure during the days of social distancing. 


How a Navajo Nurse Gets Outside During the Pandemic

With gyms closed and jitters high, more people are lacing up, including Navajo nurse and former Olympic qualifier Alvina Begay. As a frontline worker and member of a community hit hard by the pandemic, Begay reflects on how logging miles helps her stay physically and mentally healthy right now. The Navajo Nation is one of the most impacted communities in the U.S.—you can make a donation to a Relief Fund for families here. [Women’s Running]

(Photo Courtesy of Women’s Running; Alvina Begay)


Rick Steves Is Dreaming of Travel

Travel writer Rick Steves details how he’s discovering how to “travel” without actually boarding a plane during quarantine. And don’t let the glasses and collared shirt fool you—Steves recounts where he was the first time he lit up and reads a fabulous journal entry he penned while high. Hear it in this short installment of The New York Times’ “The Daily,” which also reveals Steves’ favorite country. [The Daily]

New Orleans ED Doc Completes “Quarantiron Man”

When his first Iron Man got cancelled due to the pandemic, emergency physician Sam Langberg just kept on training. A few weeks ago, he completed his first-ever Iron Man around New Orleans solo, with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Pontchartrain, 112-mile bike ride along the lake, and a marathon in City Park. He explains how his “Quarantiron Man” helped him cope with life as a frontline healthcare worker. [Backcountry]


Roll the Dice & SEND IT!

There’s a new mountain bike board game brewing and we wish it had launched two months ago to help us pass quarantine. Alas, it will arrive next December and we can’t wait to play. SEND IT! will let you step into the shoes of different rider characters (Dirt Jump Delilah!) and make decisions about training, following trails, and sending features that get spicier and spicier as the game goes on. The winner scores a spot in the MTB Hall of Fame, as well as a Golden Burrito. [Kickstarter]

Thousands #RunWithMaud

On what would have been the 26th birthday of Ahmaud Arbery, thousands of people ran 2.23 miles—the distance Arbery covered before he was killed. Joggers, walkers, and competitive runners alike continue to head out in his honor, with 55,000 posts and counting tagged #RunWithMaud on Instagram. In addition to shedding light on a vast injustice, the incident has revealed the dangers of running for black men in the U.S. [CNN]


Surfboard Maker Dies in Shark Attack

A 26-year old surfer was killed recently in a rare shark attack at Manresa State Beach in California. Ben Kelly was passionate about surfing and owned Ben Kelly Surfboards in Santa Cruz. While Manresa was open in spite of the pandemic, California temporarily closed it following the attack. [CBS San Francisco]

Make Pizza, Win Dinner

Cyclist and chef Lentine Alexis shares a unique recipe for homemade pizza that you can easily whip up with limited ingredients during quarantine, or on your backcountry adventures. The secret ingredient? Potato flakes—a pantry staple many of us have lying around in the backs of our cabinets. Try it as a margherita or with an herby mushroom-burrata topping. [Backcountry]


A Bear Takes a Bath

Need a reprieve from unemployment applications or that Zoom meeting that ran on too long? The Oregon Zoo recently released a video of a black bear named Takoda bathing in a very large black tub surrounded by coniferous trees. [@OregonZoo]

Ingrid Backstrom on Motivating for the Mountains

Many of us have had our adventure goals derailed, and an uncertain future makes it difficult to set future outdoor objectives. Pro skier Ingrid Backstrom explains how “curiosity-based thinking” helps her get back on track and flip on her “gnar switch,” whether demotivation comes from having just had a baby, or living through a pandemic. [Mostly Mountains]


Brazilian Skateboarding Prodigy Stomps a 1080

Who says kids are glued to their screens during quarantine? With schools closed, 11-year-old skateboarder Gui Khury has been training hard and he’s got something to show for it. Last week, he pulled off a record-breaking 1080-degree turn on a vertical ramp he built in his grandma’s backyard. Khury celebrated his accomplishment with a feast of macaroni and cheese with his family. [The Guardian]

Baking Camp With Martha Stewart

Six amateur bakers headed to the hills of New York to compete in Martha Stewart’s new summer camp-inspired show. The competitors battle each other and the elements (bees!) in an outdoor kitchen amid tents and trees. In addition to culinary challenges, the bakers compete in outdoor-oriented challenges. Think an American take on “The Great British Bake Off,” and a must-watch for backcountry cooking enthusiasts. [Food Network]