Rad People Who Ride: Sam and Julie Tickle

30 March, 2017

We were introduced to Sam Tickle in 2010 through an ESPN series called The Unstoppable Tour, wherein an unstoppable human is given a task that would sufficiently stop the ordinary specimen. 30 sports, in 30 days, in 30 states. Lucky for him, the California leg involved meeting up with Mark Weir, Jason Moeschler and Ben Cruz for a shred fest on the legendary private ranch in Novato, California. One thing was immediately certain...Sam would not be faltered. The loose and off-camber laps of the Novato ranch do not allow much room for error and are far from forgiving. Yet it will still no match for Sam's ability to overcome regardless of what lies in his path. 
Years have passed and we now partner with Sam Tickle and his role with the Semper Fi Fund, where he applies this same "get it done" approach, to help us put on the WTB/Team Semper Fi Mountain Bike Skills camp. We get to spend nearly a week with Sam every year, as we invite recovering service members of the US Armed Force to come ride with the WTB family to share good times on incredible terrain. The other 47 weeks of the year, we enviously follow Sam and his wife Julie as they travel around the country with their fifth wheel and wake up to a new trail every day. 
Name: 

Sam and Julie Tickle

Notable passions, feats of accomplishment, interests, goals, phobias and unusual experiences: 

We moved out of the rat-race of SoCal in June and are now living lean in our fully-reno’d fifth-wheel RV, traveling to all of Sam’s Team Semper Fi Outdoor Program events around the country.

Notable Passions:

Sam: Working with injured, ill, and wounded service members and helping them pursue recovery through sport.

Feats of accomplishment:

Julie: I had the privilege of supporting our nation’s top athletes while working for the US Olympic Committee/US Paralympics. Creating opportunities for everyone to push their physical limits and redefine what is possible is a mission I care deeply about.

Sam: I was a Navy Helicopter Pilot for over 11 years and flew in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as humanitarian support in Hatti and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Several years ago I starred in a documentary series and commercial featured on ESPN called The Unstoppable Tour which was sponsored by EAS Nutrition. I competed in 30 different sports on 30 consecutive days in 30 different cities. This included swimming the Hudson Bay, climbing in Zion, playing football with Larry Fitzgerald, surfing, boxing, running a marathon and on day 26 I got to ride with Mark Weir, Ben Cruise and Jason Moeschler at the “Ranch” in Novato. The goal was to promote proper nutrition and importance of living a healthy lifestyle. This experience not only changed my life but it renewed my passion for riding bikes.

Phobias:

Sam: SNAKES! I won’t go near them.

Julie: Fear of missing out….Squirrel!

Unusual Experiences:

Sam: Despite not watching much TV, Sam is obsessed with College Football, specifically The University of South Carolina football (where he did his undergrad). Julie has reluctantly embraced this fanatical embarrassment, and even included a lifelong promise of support in their wedding vows.

 Julie: On our first date (me learning to surf) I unintentionally strangled Sam with my leash while he was pushing me into a wave. So other than looking like a drowned rat myself, I nearly killed my future husband. Romantic.


Favorite WTB product:
Julie: I love the Vigilante and Trail Boss combo

Sam: The American flag inspired Semper Fi Volt saddle. It’s an incredible design on everyone’s favorite saddle, and hey, proceeds go to a great cause!

Favorite Ride:

When we lived in SOCAL it was Big Laguna Trail/Noble Canyon. The ride is unusual for the area as it takes you through evergreen forests and meadows before heading back to the sandy dry desert and rock gardens.

Now that we are nomads we are constantly on the search for that next fast and loamy ride!


Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it?

Sam: I was into BMX as a kid but I bought my first bike from my High School track coach to get around when I went to college. I rode that bike into the ground but after that, I went through long periods of not riding at all while I was deployed overseas. When I finally was stationed back on the west coast I took two weeks of leave, bought a new bike and drove across the country, trying to hit all the top riding spots along my route. I thought I knew what riding was until I had my first experience riding with Weir, Moeschler and Cruz. They completely changed the way I rode and how I looked at mountain biking. It has been my favorite thing to do ever since.

Julie: I moved to Colorado from western NY in 2007 which opened a whole new world of activities and introduced me to adventurous friends to try them with.   My very first ride EVER was Slickrock. I endo’d hard within the first five minutes which miiiiight have scared half of my group enough to make them turn around. I continued, finished the ride, and have been hooked ever since.   For me, mountain biking combines all things that excite me; physical and mental challenges, exploring the great outdoors, scars, dirt and post-ride beers!

Tube or Tubeless, why?

Tubeless!!!! And if I could figure out a way to avoid throwing a tube in my pack, I’d do that too. Just say NO to tubes!

3 most important things to bring with you on a ride?
Julie: The Grom-dog, snacks, and a sense of adventure if you’re riding with Sam. We are normally out WAY longer than expected due to Sam’s desire to “explore” on and off trail and we need the snacks just for survival sometimes;-) Ask Grommet, we accidentally took her the wrong way on her first training ride as a pup, adding miles to the adventure.
 
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
Sam: #1 Witnessing a near-death deer experience for Julie on the Monarch Crest trail in CO. We were bombing a ridgeline when out of nowhere, a buck streaked across the trail within feet of hitting her. That buck never stood a chance!

 #2 Watching Mark Weir duct tape Team Semper Fi member and double amputee Dan Riley’s prosthetic legs to the pedals of his tandem mountain bike and shred the Ranch with Dan locked in, no matter what happened!

Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Earn your turns! Volunteer, build and maintain trails. and CLIMB!…it’s more rewarding for you and others if you’ve gotten your hands dirty and put in the sweat equity.

Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?

The Semper Fi Fund and Team Semper FI

The Semper Fi Fund provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post 9/11 wounded, critically ill and injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and their families, ensuring that they have the resources they need during their recovery and transition back to their communities.

Rated one of the top veteran non-profits in the US. Focused on using donations properly, with only 6% overhead.

www.openspacesmallplace.com

Instagram and Facebook: @openspace.smallplace

Our personal travel blog and social medial pages that keep our friends and families in the loop. Through our lifestyle we hope to inspire others to live life to the fullest in whatever way possible. 

www.jtickledesign.com

Julie’s design and photography website.

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