Archive for January, 2011
This is the Viper. Our hydration pack that’s perfect for mountain biking. But how do all its fun features work? Just ask Bike Rumor. They put together a “magical video tour” of the Viper 7, and we liked it so much we’re posting it here. The pack even gets used in the snow, proof of Bike Rumor’s commitment to putting gear to the true test.
Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we’ve hit the ground running into 2011, we figured there was no better theme than “taking a leap”. So all month we’ll be highlighting people, organizations that are going for it — leaping, diving and running as fast as they can to live this life. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
We’re still digging ourselves out of Outdoor Retailer withdrawals, but we managed to pull together a list of a few of our favorite things from the show…
You really “Like” us! Thanks to everyone for spreading the Osprey love over the last few weeks to push us over 10,000 Facebook fans. To celebrate, we brought together a few of our favorite things to share with all of you at Outdoor Retailer: Timmy O’Neill, beer and trucker hats. Take a gander at some of the fabulous shots from our party in the gallery below… More here. Have any shots of your own from the party or OR? Share them on our Flickr page!
Giving back to our wildlands. It wouldn’t be OR, if we didn’t do something to give back to the very places that form the bedrock of our industry. We’re proud to have joined dozens of other Conservation Alliance member companies in raising more than $40,000 for the Alliance. All of which will go directly to protecting the wild places we love.
We also joined Winter Wildlands Alliance for a packed showing of the Backountry Film Festival. It’s hard not to be inspired after watching such awesome films that celebrate the human-powered experience to the max. Excited to be a part of the movement. Keep an eye out for screenings near you!
And finally, thank you to REI for naming Osprey Packs your 2010 Vendor of the Year in the Camping Division! Lots of love and gratitude to REI and Outdoor Retailer!
In Conjunction with OutsideTV.com
It’s January 28th. My new skis are tuned and fat. In Colorado today, like most days of the winter, the sun is out. The mountains are choked in snow. It looks like a fine day for rollerblading.
It was my Physical Therapist who started it. My back rehab has been going so well I thought I was ready to advance to skiing bumps. She suggested starting with rollerblading. “Have you ever done it?” she asked.
“Is the Pope Catholic?” I responded.
And within hours, I was bucking my blades instead of my ski boots.
My father gave me my charcoal and purple rollerblades in 1990. Today, the wheels are worn to offset, oblique angles–somehow all eight in the exact same direction. This makes me worry about possible postural issues, but for the past weeks I’ve reassured myself that the reason I am rollerblading in the first place is to fix my postural issues. Besides, from the first push off, it’s been like coming home. I’ve spent a decade plus watching the weather for which days to ski and which to rock climb during a Colorado winter. Now, I simply walk out my door and check to make sure there is not too much ice on the sidewalk.
Boulder, Colorado, is home to the uber athlete. All of them. In the three weeks since my rollerblading renaissance began, I have seen zero other bladers on the trails. At first I thought this was because it is January, and I am rollerblading in somewhat suspect conditions. But then I started noticing the looks I was getting as I whizzed past cyclists and runners, or, more often, they whizzed past me.
I am a fairly cool person: I wear prism belay glasses in the gym and own a recumbent bike. Based on recent conversations with friends (mainly variations on them asking me what I have been up to, my telling them about rollerblading, and them having to put the phone or beer down because they can’t keep it together through the laughter) rollerblading might threaten to put me over the edge. But I am not afraid. I am inspired. I am going to bring rollerblading back.
I’ve started my passive recruitment by stepping up my style whenever I see another person on the trail. I show them the double ski-gate style move, or I go racer and crouch low and grasp my hands behind my back. I even did the first half of an in-line figure-8, but decided to wait to show off the second half until I could be fairly sure I could execute it without falling. So far, the only person who has seemed remotely interested was the woman in pink fleece pants and a mink jacket walking her shih-tzu.
I will not be deterred. I’m investing, in fact, in new blades. This may or may not have to do with my near collision with the semi-pro cyclist at the intersection of Goose and Boulder Creek Trails yesterday. It was the first time I have needed my brake—a brake that upon close examination is more of a smear of rubber over a fraying plastic disc. Said semi-pro’s yelling: “Get a clue!” was not the reason I came home and picked up the phone. I am a professional athlete. I take my gear seriously.
The first three stores I called kept the calls short. No, not anymore, and what? The next salesperson suggested I try calling “somewhere out east,” adding: “I think they still do that there now.”
Eventually, I got a hold of Danny, proud representative of two types of blades. One for the recreational rollerblader, and one for the professional. Did I know which one I was? He asked.
“Well” I said, “I’ve been doing it for over twenty years. So I’m pretty good—maybe even an expert.”
“So you would like me to put them both on hold for you then?” Danny asked.
“That might be the right choice,” I said.
Alas, sometime this weekend I’ll drive to a Denver suburb and slip my feet into 2011. But for now, I’m digging my time-tested blades. Just yesterday I was out in east Boulder when Madonna’s Holiday came on my shuffle. I started grooving along, just like that. It felt so natural, it felt so 1990. And then it occurred to me. Maybe the way forward for rollerblading is backwards. Not skating backwards—I don’t know how to do that, but retro-backwards. Lycra and leggings and side-ponytails. Cut off shorts and bikini tops and a yellow walkman. This, I have decided, is plan B. Plan A is wearing fleece lined tights, gloves, a windstopper hat and plenty of jackets until it’s warm enough for Plan B. Plan A might also include general improvement so that by the time anyone could recognize me, I’ll be the one they’re trying to catch.
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
We’re big fans of Artcrank, the “poster party for bike people.” Combining creative juices with a love for two wheels makes for some fantastic productions. Here’s a little selection of our favorites.
Is Artcrank coming to a town near you? Check out the Artcrank website to learn about their upcoming shows.
Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of tourists. Cameras and RVs in tow. Long lines at info center. Traffic jams at the entrance. Sound like a typical summertime National Park visit? Well, not in winter!
Adventure Journal has a great round-up of the Top 10 National Parks in Winter; the spots you can hit up for amazing winter adventures, take incredible pictures, and not see a soul.
- Mount Rainier, Washington
- Acadia, Maine
- Glacier, Montana
- Sequoia/Kings Canyon, California
- Crater Lake, Oregon
- Yellowstone, Montana/Wyoming
- Grand Canyon, Arizona
- Grand Teton, Wyoming
- Rocky Mountain, Colorado
- Yosemite, California
Where’s you favorite winter spot?
We had a blast out at Demo Day at Outdoor Retailer — see how much fun Jeff and Sam are having?? — where we had plenty of people out testing our new Karve series.
Try one out and like it? We’ve got 50 of the Karve 6 for sale tomorrow, at only $30 (they’re usually $79), with all proceeds going to Conservation Alliance. But there are only 50, so you better swing by the booth early to snag one.
Thanks to everyone for spreading the Osprey love over the last few weeks to push us over 10,000 Facebook fans. When it comes to being an Osprey fans, we think Timmy O’Neill says it best…
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I want to be a vegan. I also want to be a bird biologist who goes spelunking in Patagonia while fly fishing in Russia as a hobby, all the while surfing alongside wild salmon. Sound crazy? This was just a small part of my time at the 9th annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, CA this weekend.
This film festival, of which Osprey Packs is a national sponsor, claims to have films that change the way you view the world. For me, that was definitely the case. As a first timer to this film festival I was not sure what to expect. Although I definitely care about the planet and try to do what I can to protect it, I do not consider myself much of an activist or even an environmentalist, so I was skeptic as to how I could relate to these films so passionate about causes and ultimately saving our planet.
In Conjunction With OutsideTV.com
Osito is a poodle, which may explain why he’s never been an animal person. I’ve tried to convince him otherwise over the past ten and a half years. We’ve gone through cows, hippos, squirrels, and a warthog, but these are all temporary fascinations of mine, and of little consequence to the poodle. Somehow, I thought the turtle would be different.
It started in Kenya. This past October, Peter and I were on the northern coast, on a sunrise jaunt to 16th Century ruins, when our guide Eddy asked us: “Do you want to see the turtles? Fresh turtles?”
The waves were broiling gray with beauty in their breaks and garbage in their bellies. The shores were filled with plastic bottle rings, wrappers, golf balls, and flip-flop shards. “Where?” I asked.
Thirty feet off shore, over a sand rise, a man perched over a hole and dug into the ground with his hands. Inside, a hundred newborn turtles the size of chestnuts blindly crawled over each other and their discarded shells. “Careful of the dead ones,” the man said, pointing to a mound of lifeless or slow moving flippers on the side. He covered those with a handful of sand, and reached inside for a live one for me to hold.
I grasped the hours-old turtle with her white underbelly between my thumb and forefinger. She put up with it. She tried out the cool air and wind-milled her flippers in opposite and unsynchronized directions. She bobbled her head in an effort to see through still unopened eye slits covered in sand. I was in charge of her until I slid her back into the two-foot-deep hole with her dozens of brothers and sisters. She was covered in sand, and left to grow up—hopefully strong enough to leave the hole and join the ocean.
Right about now, I could talk about ocean health and green turtles and all the amazing things they do. But this is not a story about a turtle; this is a story about a poodle. A poodle that I tried to convince to be like a turtle, via a frog.
People wonder how I have a dog. Sometimes they ask, sometimes they realize it’s rude to ask. I usually answer regardless. “I have friends,” I say, “good friends. And a poodle that’s easy to love.”
For me, it’s that simple. And it works, because there’s Pete, who gets the double cheeseburger deal and gives one to Osito. Who, when asked, via text from NH, how long it takes a poodle to eat a cheeseburger, told me five seconds flat. And that’s with mouth cancer. There’s Leigh, Deanne, Gannet, Katy, Elizabeth, Alec, Amy… and that’s just the last three months.
For over a decade a village has raised the poodle—a village that moves and reforms wherever we go. In the past eighteen months, the care has changed. There’s the cancer, and two torn knees. There’s the stairs they he intermittently can’t get up or down. But there is also the will of a poodle—something I’ve started to infuse with the hope of a turtle.
When I returned from Kenya I set about teaching Osito how to make the sign of the turtle. Since he was diagnosed with cancer I’ve been telling him he’s a baby poodle. Seeing as he was not supposed to make it more than two weeks, 1.5 years ago, it’s clearly working.
Poodles are smart. They learn quickly. However, I was building a house when I got the poodle and unfortunately instead of learning tricks, Osito learned how to chew on drywall and how to not wander in the line of fire of the stucco gun. Thankfully, the sign of the turtle is fairly simple and involves lying on your back and extending your paw/flipper/hand in salute.
Osito wont have it. Day after day I rub his tummy and gently maneuver his paw. But always, at the last minute, Osito rebels. A few weeks ago, I realized he might not want to be a baby turtle. So I bought him a frog.
It’s hard to find a good stuffed turtle in Boulder. That’s why we have Frog Named Turtle. He’s green, and has to do with water. He’s the new house mascot. Osito is indifferent to him. I have a subversive Frog Named Turtle campaign, tucking him under Osito’s paw while he sleeps, sitting him up against his belly when he’s awake. With two bum-knees, the poodle’s a bit slower on the go, and so mostly he puts up with it. Occasionally, though, I have found the frog named turtle stranded in the corner of a room, legs akimbo, alone. And then I wonder.
Poodles—giant, magnificent ones with brilliant hair cut all the same length—are not supposed to live forever. I understand this as I deny it. Life balances death, and death balances life. I felt all of this on the beach in Kenya, when all I wanted to do after holding the baby turtle was see my poodle. It’s three months later and I’m not ready for Osito to shift his balance. And so I work with the hope of a turtle that’s really a frog on a poodle.