HIGHLIGHT: Gen Shimizu & His ‘Great Divide Ride’

Before you read one more word, click one more link, or wander off to get a latte refill, do me one favor:

Check out this site! ————–> WWW.GREATDIVIDERIDE.COM


OK. Back yet?

Gen Shimizu is the owner of Yama Mountain Gear, a company that makes some of the best, most lightweight and thoughtfully designed tarps, tents, and camping shelters available today. Yama also was a key sponsor for my PCT hike in 2011.

Talking with Gen after I returned from the trail, he told me he did not really know much about human trafficking before he met and subsequently sponsored me. He also told me that I had helped to inspire him to go out and make a difference as well, and that he would be riding the entire length of the Continental Divide’s bicycle section from Canada to Mexico…ON A UNICYCLE. You guys…I can’t make this stuff up!20120824-214300

Not only did he plan and execute the entire adventure successfully, he raised over $10,000 dollars along the way and informed many people about human trafficking.

I’m bringing this up and directing you to this website for many reasons, but a few are these:

  1. You NEVER know who you are going to touch through your actions. So make sure your actions are good, pure, and noble, and never get discouraged if you think you’re not making a difference in the world. You may be, and just not realize it.
  2. We can always use inspiration, and reading his blog from beginning to end is very inspiring.
  3. It shows what a person can do when they put their mind to something, and follow it up with heart and determination.
  4. You might get stoked and buy something that he makes, which will get you pumped to take it outside and use it, which is a great thing, because there’s not much better than sleeping outside!


I spoke to Gen recently, and as a further testimony to his ride, he is still suffering from the effects of an injury he suffered on the trip. This guy is, in my opinion, a hero.

So again, if you want to read a real-life story of a real-life difference maker, head over to his Great Divide Ride blog. And if you are an outdoorsy person who wants the best in lightweight, amazing shelters for camping and backpacking, head over to his Yama Mountain Gear website.

Gen was a major inspiration for me choosing a two-wheeled vehicle for this upcoming trek across the country. My prayer is he can inspire each of us through his experience on one wheel!



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