Climber, biker, boarder, van-lifer & founder of Carabiner Coffee - Erik Gordon shares his views on life, love and why coffee?
So there I was. In 2nd gear going twenty miles an hour with my flashers on, praying Ol Blue would make it over the continental divide in late October on our first official date together. The seals on the doors were rattling, cars were racing by on my left at 70 mph and the windshield wiper fluid had apparently already sprung a leak and began to soak my boots as the freezing air rushed around my feet from the hole for the gas pedal. All I could do was laugh. I now officially knew what I had gotten myself into and I was in love.
How did I get here? Ever since I had my first cup of coffee about 2500 miles into a 4000 mile solo bike tour around the country I knew I had to find a way to bring both my passion for coffee and adventure together. Turns out that meant buying a 71 VW off craigslist without ever having driven it before and starting a coffee business. That is how Carabiner Coffee Company began. How did I get HERE though? Oh I just drove.
The past few years in Ol Blue have taught me more about myself, those around me, and what I truly want out of life than I could have ever imagined. I started serving coffee out of my van because I wanted to meet people and spread some love. I wanted to hear the stories that shaped people’s lives and I wanted to shape my own. We forget how simple life really is sometimes. Making coffee for people brings me back to that fact every day. Do something you love and spread that love into the lives of those around you. Oh yeah and don’t forget to get yourself into a little trouble every one in a while too.
Living and working around the country out of a van that is half the size of your freshman dorm in college is indeed just as romantic as is sounds, but like any romance there are going to be some fights. Ol Blue and I usually fight over things like which songs to listen to, if we can make it up the next mountain pass without stopping and when we should get up in the morning. She’s also a little expensive sometimes but like any gal that will travel the country with you… she’s worth it.
What is my advice in life? Not that you asked.. but I’ll tell you anyways. We all only have one life to do everything we’ve wanted to do and it’s going to be risky. You’re going to fail sometimes, maybe even many times in a row but good lord if you don’t try you’ll never how good it could have been. I have yet to meet someone who is out there chasing their dreams that for better or worse wouldn’t tell you to do the same. Again, you’ll never know if you never try. Get out there, risk it for the biscuit and fall in love with live every day.
As a business owner and adventurist on the road I count on having power when and where I need it. Whether it’s charging the laptop after day in the mountains or making coffee for everyone at the trail-head before we all head out for the day, it just has to work. I love being able to travel the country and spread love through my business without having to worry about running out of power and knowing I’m doing it in an environmentally conscious way. Goal Zero products have made it possible for me to do what I love to do in life and to me that is priceless.