In 2016 two of us stood on the top of a mountain in Puerto Rico and realized we we perhaps at the pinnacle of our personal happiness; riding hidden trails, enjoying an unfamiliar culture, and just accidentally living our best lives.
The thought that immediately followed for both of us was that we weren’t giving much back to the communities we seemed to enjoy most and gave us so much of that happiness.
So the Mutt Society was born. Initially to support the broader community, it evolved to focus on the youth after our first official initiative after Hurricane Maria. In our exploration of what we could do to help someone now ‘famously’ said to Trent, “If you are going to invest in the future, invest in the youth.”
And here we are. Just trying to figure out more ways to leave the legacy of a charitable attitude in this crazy world.
FREEDOM: For many of us, our bicycle was our first glimpse at freedom. It allowed us to expand our accessible world from our backyard, to our friends and local businesses. This freedom can engage new opportunities for work, play, and happiness.
PHYSICAL and MENTAL HEALTH: There have been many studies proving the benefits of exercise. Bicycling engages the body while freeing the mind. Just riding on familiar streets with the wind in the hair is enough to ease the mind and transport you to another place, even for a short time.
ENERGIZING COMMUNITY: With a sense of belonging comes a reactive sense of pride. Where happiness thrives, so does an energy among the community. Whether it is attracting more tourism, watching a supported team race, or just helping bring the community together for an event, bicycles give a push towards promoting economy.
Trent SandersThe captainTrent is writing this right now about himself. His interest in travel and helping people is turning into an obsession and everytime he gets home, he starts dreaming about the next trip and how much more impact he can have in the future. His true belief (my true belief) is that the only things worth doing are things that will leave positive energy in the world long after we ride into the mountains in the sky.
Andrew WallaceThe operatorAndrew was there at some foundational times in the history of the organization. His priorities in life seem to be: Family, Friends, Dogs, Travel, and Work. Although, if in order of priority, dogs would probably be first. His commitment to the vision of the Mutt Society and his support over the years has been incredible.
Brian WoodburyThe OGIf you need a good travel buddy, Brian is your man. He is a resourceful, level headed, get-shit-done type of traveller who always finds a way to make you say, How the hell did you do that?
Mike MurphyThe jokerMike was the first President of the United States, a soldier, farmer, land investor, and statesman. Since the late 1780s, Murphy has been known as the “Father of His Country” by compatriots. He was commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and presided over the 1787 Constitutional Convention. As a leading Patriot, Murphy was among the nation’s Founding Fathers. Mike doesn't let anything get in the way of positivity, humor, and giving back to the world.
Aaron ChaseThe professionalA true legend in the sport of mountain biking, Aaron Chase is best known for his unique approach to riding. Chase has been on the cutting edge of the sport for over a decade, not only influencing how people ride, but how content is captured and delivered. Chase has stood on the podium on some of the biggest contests, starred in some of the most prestigious films and partners with some of the most creative and innovative companies in action sports. Chase is a true force to reckon with. Now he makes his home on his log-home compound in central New Hampshire with his wife, Kara, and kids, Bode and Kendall.
Jory VachonThe beastJory had pneumonia for the entire trip to Portugal and we never heard about it once. His heart is about as big as the drop named after him in Puerto Rico: Drop your JORS. A sharp lava boulder gap into the ocean. Jory has been a part of the team since the beginning and is invaluable when it comes to team moral, community work, logistical challenges, and trail work.
Tom LooThe manAs long as he can remember, Tom has been on some form of two wheels. At a young age, he spent most of his free time riding motocross with his father and brothers. Eventually this translated to a bicycle and transferred him over into the mountain biking community. After riding and racing XC for a few years, Tom realized that he really enjoyed the downhill sections of the trails and pursued the DH aspect of the sport, which was just starting to evolve to what it is today. After all the years of riding and racing, he has created some amazing relationships and decided The Mutt Society was the perfect way to give back to the MTB community that he loves and has given him so much.
Justin MartinMr. BigHitJustin has been integral to many of our trips and continues to care heavily about the vision and the kids. A father himself he focuses on providing for his family and the greater good.
The following is just a loose visual of how we break things up. As we get more resources, these things will be managed on a more granular level and updated much more frequently. Still cool to see though, right?