It is the expansion of transport without a corresponding growth of perception that threatens us with qualitative bankruptcy of the recreation process.
Recreational development is a job not of building roads into lovely countries but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind.
Aldo Leopold - The Sand County Almanac
As bicyclists in the Out Our Front Door community, we celebrate our ability to recreate and transport ourselves while working to open our riders' perception and appreciation of the place we are rolling through. “Building receptivity” as one of our heroes, Mr. Leopold, put it so elegantly.
We work to expand the reverence folks have for our native habitats through teaching and immersing in the beauty and stories of our region. It is an honor and delight to do this work. And it gives everything we do a celebratory vibe.
What better way to learn than being in a celebratory, . . . .
gratitude filled relationship with the place and ecosystems you are learning about? We believe it is even sweeter, more profound, when we grow our understanding of our neighboring creatures, plants, and habitats because then we have the opportunity to engage with and deepen our relationship with them on a daily basis.
Chicago is not just city sprawl surrounded by boring corn fields! It’s not! But you’ll only come to see its magic that relaxes right beneath your nose when you get out the front door! Explore. Get to know your home. Connect with it. Celebrate it. Become an ambassador of it. Help preserve and improve it for this generation and those to come. Finally, be like us, get so darn inspired that you simply have no other option but to share your adventurous spirit with others, thus aiding them to go out and explore as well!
Aldo puts it so well when he says, "It is inconceivable to me that an ethical relation to land can exist without love, respect, and admiration for land, and a high regard for its value."
Goodness! This dude. This book! If you haven't read A Sand County Almanac yet, please do. Or at the very least, read the 24 page "Land Ethic" chapter or the 15 page final chapter titled "Conservation Esthetic". Just loaded with endless lines that will quicken your heart beat, maybe get you to shed a tear, or even knock you over if you're not careful.
And at OOFD, we draw so much inspiration from such mystics of the Midwest. And that love of the land, that respect of the land, and that admiration of the land that Mr. Leopold waxes so elegantly about, we believe it is shared and revered and celebrated so brilliantly through bike adventures.
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"To immerse , educate, preserve & advance the history, culture, trails and native habitats of the Lower Lake Michigan Basin Area"