To the Sun: Charles Adler

Words: | Illustration: Matt Hall | Date:

Charles Adler could be simply known as ‘the guy who founded Kickstarter’. Sure, that would do, but he is so much more than that. Having recently moved from New York City to Chicago, Illinois, he has been struggling with the polar vortex and all that good ol’ Midwestern weather has to offer. We spoke with him on what he does to keep a positive outlook during those deepest, darkest winter months, and other things besides.

You have just made a big change in your life, moving from New York to Chicago. What are you doing to keep yourself inspired these days?
The first few weeks, being that my move took place just before Thanksgiving here in the States, was spent reconnecting with the city. Rediscovering the hidden gems that exist outside the reach of where most people explore. This is a rust-belt city, so with that comes a mass of industrial terrain. Then there’s the simple act of hanging with old friends at old haunts around the city. Family. Lake Michigan. Just because we’re being buried in snow and attacked by the polar vortex doesn’t mean we can’t go outside.

Do you have a favorite route or trail that has been getting you through the winter there?
Nothing concrete right now. I’m still settling in and sorting through what routes to take. The vortex has kept the rides to a terrifying minimum. I’m honestly getting cabin fever. I might chew someone’s leg off.

Speaking of that, has there been a piece of Rapha gear that has kept you going?
The Classic Wind Jacket. Essential. The most valuable piece of gear I own. Hands down. Bar none.

Your work seems to be more based in the digital realm, getting people psyched to get their friends psyched about their projects. What do YOU do to get (or keep) excited about what you’re working on?
Easy. Getting away from the computer and my phone. Music, art, nature, film, and probably most of all, my daughters five year old imagination. These are all forms of escape, and I’m fascinated by how one can be transported mentally by the simple act of doing something introspective and personal. When you’re in that moment in which you’ve crossed the border from concerned about time to giving a shit about it. That’s a beautiful moment when the world disappears.

Is there an app out there to keep us inspired to ride our bikes? Or one to keep us inspired in general? Or just something that you think we should check out?
You shouldn’t check any apps out. Just go ride your bike.

What is the first thing that you look forward to when thinking about the spring and summer? 
Oh man. Easy. Wearing fewer clothes, and being in the saddle much more. Smelling the freshness of the morning air. Feeling a warm breeze, and reconnecting with other riders as we all claw our way out of this hibernation.

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