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Archive for October, 2012

In the Spirit of the Season: A Recycled Bike Tube Costume

October 26th, 2012

It’s that time of year again; pumpkins and apple pies and costumes abound. In light of the oncoming Halloween holiday, and for the sake of honoring it in an environmentally-conscious and bike-related way, we thought it’d be nothing short of perfect to show you what one amazing designer can do with a ton of old bike tubes.

The photo at the top of this post caught our attention on Klean Kanteen’s Facebook page, and took us to Ecotuerre, where we quickly learned more about what we were looking at. The costume above is a modern rendition of a Joan of Arc Suit of Armor, fashioned with a papier-maché bodice covered by woven inner bike tubes.

We’re betting this isn’t something just anyone could make as a costume at home, but it got us thinking: What kinds of things could you make with old bike tubes? Let us know in the comments section below!

Found on Klean Kanteen’s Facebook Page

photos, The Cycling Buzz , , ,

The Extra Mile

October 26th, 2012

We all have challenges in life, from balancing work with family to juggling our health and schedules. Each day we tack on ever-increasing years and mileage just by being present. Sometimes falling short is the best we can do, sometimes going bigger than we could imagine is asked of us with no more warning than the arrival of the sunrise. I’ve always on some level viewed success in life as having control of my destiny that day when I first see the sun, but that’s just the goal, a vision, and sometimes just being awake is more of an achievement than we give ourselves credit for.

On September 15th, I was scheduled to enter my first ultra-marathon, a 50-miler that would take place in the La Sal Mountains of Utah and end in the slickrock paradise of Moab — The M.A.S. 50. After hitting some major trail running goals this summer, I elected to take the next step in my mountain-obsessed career and try this. Trying something new and unleashing the process that has allowed me to throw myself at so many bizarre goals is a yearly struggle for me and brings about occasions I fight to rise to. I hate to lose as much as I hate to quit, but sometimes my goals look more like I hate myself, although that is not actually the case (I really just want to know what I’m made of). What looks like punishment from the outside is actually just evidence of emerging flaws within — weakness, doubt and uncertainty that I hope to purge. This process challenges me to constantly conjure a willingness to move forward despite obstacles and in that process, man, I feel good when I execute.

Sure, the above sounds inspiring but this is not a story about the M.A.S. 50, I did not toe the line on that day — September 15th. In fact, I did not complete one mile on that trail that day, and I didn’t even go to Moab. I met a greater representative of who I am inside, and learned to appreciate a different virtue — vulnerability on such a greater scale — just three days before that day I had prepared for with a single-minded focus. On September 12th, my wife and I welcomed a son into the world, eight weeks early.

Annie and Charlie Clark

My wife gives me credit for all the years I spent negotiating life and death situations in the mountains sometimes when I deal with something in a way others may not. However, on this occasion, all of that training saved our son’s life. It was just one simple decision to stop and get gas before speeding an hour and a half down the Telluride Valley to Montrose, Co. that made the difference. Her water broke after dinner, we packed a bag, said goodbye to our dogs at 7:10 and out the door we went, her in an immeasurable amount of pain coupled with the fear and anxiety of a premature birth and far from the world of advanced medicine and OBGYNs.

As any mountain guides know, when things go wrong, making quick decisions can alter the course of action to irreversible. I could tell that this situation was getting intense so we called our doctor in Grand Junction, asked for some advice and as I poured a cup of coffee in the gas station, grabbed my wife a cold water and pumped a few $4 gallons into our car — the five minutes of letting the situation unfold properly passed like an eternity. That five minutes to look at the situation clearly dictated the next two hours. Rather than deliver our son in the car and on the way to the hospital, we safely took an ambulance to the Telluride Medical Center where my wife and an extraordinary team delivered a 4lb 8 oz. boy — one of the few babies since 1964 to be born there. He was welcomed into the world just moments before his first chopper ride to Grand Junction, Co. and a month long stay in the NICU of the hospital.

Drink a cup, save a life.

So, no race that weekend. What I was actually training for was here early and I am proud of him as he showed me that being barely able to do anything on his own, being completely vulnerable, completely helpless, unable to really even live without so much help was OK. We saw a lot of sunrises as he stayed in the NICU in the hospital for almost a month with my wife and dedicated mother-in-law keeping constant vigil over his every breath. Each day was a small step forward as he learned to eat, breathe and keep his eyes open. He taught me it doesn’t take amazing physical feats in the mountains to uncover the human spirit, it is here already everyday — in each of us. He is the best proof I could ever have that life goes on, that moving forward is not always easy, but it is possible, and that life itself is the goal. The situation also taught me that dumb luck trumps the best laid plans; had he been delivered in the car he would have not have made it, drowning in fluid that filled his lungs. To top if off, we had to move our family two and half hours away to Grand Junction, Co. until he can come home in 4 to 6 months.

But that is not the end of the story. Life is about doing what you can even when it seems like you can’t. I always remind myself that patience and an eye for opportunity will overcome the present day at some point good or bad. It helps me to freak out a little bit when it’s bad, get over the adjustment and then pick it up and motor to the next of however many phases there are to whatever new challenge surfaces.

So two weeks later than The M.A.S. 50 in Moab, with my wife’s permission, I toed the line of a 50 Mile race for the first time. This race — The Devil Mountain Ultra in Pagosa Springs Co. started at sunrise on 9/29/12. It was just above freezing at 6 a.m. and after two weeks of very little sleep, being on high alert and a gut wrenching uber dehydrating food poisoning episode two days before, I covered 50.87 miles on trails, climbing and descending 8300′. The most memorable part of the race was spent under a tree on a mountainside during a scary electrical storm that drenched me to the core and lasted 45 minutes at mile 42. Accompanied by another shivering and damp racer, Roger Youngs, who shared the same fear of being hit by lightning, I stood back up with a stiff and riddled body to give it what I had and climbed 800′ back up to the saturated plateau that led for another 8 miles to the finish.

Although the circumstances were not ideal, I never questioned why I was here doing this. I was lucky to meet Roger Youngs that day and hang out for way too long under that tree while the storm raged above. He had destroyed his feet in minimal running shoes, I had hobbled, run and overcome a massive blow to the outside of my right foot at mile 8 that made it swell up and bruise like it had literally been run over or beat with a sledge hammer by mile 23. These were newbie mistakes that put us both at the back of the pack with fresh legs and motivation to finish, but mistakes I could accept easier than telling my wife I had been gone for a couple of days and not really done anything but bruise my foot to the point where I couldn’t run for two weeks.

My foot after a 50 Mile trail Ultra Marathon.

When we arrived at the last aid station at mile 44.5, I gave Roger my more cushioned shoes and put on a fresh pair I had waiting in a drop bag there. We plunged downhill into approaching darkness and I finished that day by headlamp at 13 hours and 8 minutes, 3 minutes behind Roger who I made a believer in the Brooks Pure Grit shoe that after 45 miles in his other non-cushioned shoes might as well have been hovering above the trail with soft marshmallows under his riddled feet. Running slowly in the darkness with nothing more than the distantly faint sound of music and people around a feast at the finish that I was too late to enjoy, I had no idea if I could finish or not and that was not an easy feeling. I didn’t know if my foot may just completely collapse under a catostrophic stress fracture and totally take me down as the last three miles stretched onward to mile 50, and then there was an extra .87 miles to go past that. I knew I could try until it did and when I finished, it was pretty anticlimatic except for that my foot had not broken in half. I didn’t feel anything at the finish line and wasn’t overly fatigued, kind of like when I summit a peak and have all the way down to go, there was gas in the tank but this time the vehicle had no tires. Despite what you might think there was no sense of relief or accomplishment, no excitement, no hunger, nothing. Well, take that back, I felt my foot and I felt a sense of urgency to ice it. This was OK for me and something I am used to, if you are of the mindset to complete a 50 mile race, delaying gratification is probably in your DNA as well.

Sometimes we have to balance a lot in life, we have to go an extra .87 miles, we have to work harder than others, we have to overcome ourselves and the mistakes we make, we have to push our limits with pain in every step. In this case, I didn’t so much overcome the mileage or the fear, I overcame my expectations and took control of one day of my life at sunrise in the midst of an otherwise out of control plot I am living. Just because I made it to that finish line that started so far away that day only meant that race was over. I had no emotion because the moment it was over, I thought about someone else and hisr accomplishment and was excited to be a part of it. I thought about my wife and my boy and I realized that in order to feel anything like what I thought I might, I would have to be with them. I liked that, realizing that for the first time something that seems like such an individual accomplishment would at least this time hold nothing more than a lackluster statistic of being some guy who finished in the back of the pack, as usual, a display that the only real talent I have to show for my athletics is heart. Beyond that, the true and quantifiable result of running that first 50 miler wasn’t just to realize I could go the distance, but to realize that the distance from my family would be the one that would hold the most meaning and it was time to jump in the car and get moving forward with my life again. This was not the time to pat myself on the back and get too comfortable. After all, there was another sunrise to catch and each one for the last 38 days has been better than the one before.

adventure, Events, Osprey Athletes, travel , , , , , , , ,

Mountain2Mountain Takes ‘Streets of Afghanistan’ Back to Afghanistan

October 23rd, 2012

Annual Panjshir Tour-Durango group ride at Twin Buttes to celebrate Mountain 2 Mountain's Shannon Galpin becoming the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan in October of 2009. It brought together a group of new friends the same weekend that 'Streets of Afghanistan' Cultural Exhibition leaves for Kabul. Read about that trip here. http://bit.ly/TCAieK

We’re always proud to support the work of Mountain2Mountain and Shannon Galpin, who founded the non-profit in 2006. M2M “believes in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action,” and has touched the lives of many men, women and children since its inception. In its latest project, Streets of Afghanistan, M2M utilizes the power of photography as the voice of change.

Streets of Afghanistan is, as stated on its blog, is “a touring cultural exhibit of life-size photographs that depict life in Afghanistan, as Afghans see it.” For it, a combination of Western and Afghan photographers collaborated to transport viewers to the streets of Kabul, showcase the landscapes of Afghanistan and portray the images of the people who live there.

After having toured the U.S., Streets of Afghanistan‘s collection of 40 life-size images will now make its way full circle by way of several public showings in Kabul itself, and will enable the people of Afghanistan to not only see these captivating photographs, but to comment, discuss and interact with them as well.

Mountain2Mountain founder Shannon Galpin says it best in a recent Streets of Afghanistan post:

“Photography transcends language and challenges stereotypes and bringing showing this exhibition publicly in Afghanistan challenges what we think is capable in a country like this. Art has the power to inspire, to spark conversation, and to bring joy – showcasing these images in public areas where Afghans can enjoy art for art’s sake, and be proud of the beauty and spirit of their country.”

To learn more about the Streets of Afghanistan project and view some of the photos from it, check out the M2M Field Notes blog here. For updates and info, follow Mountain to Mountain on Facebook.

Photos Courtesy Chris Horton and Streets of Afghanistan’s Facebook Page

causes, Osprey Culture, photos, travel , , , , , ,

Tour de Vancouver Island

October 23rd, 2012

I got motivated after watching the Tour de France, especially after Vancouver Island native, Ryder Hesjdal, won the Giro d’Italia, becoming the the first Canadian to do so. I decided to get on my road bike and do my own tour, which is about as close as I’ll ever get to starting a grand tour, riding from Horsehoe Bay to Naniamo with four ferry crossings.

I started at my friend’s place in Robert creek, getting a very early start to avoid all traffic. I put the hammer down on the steep rolling terrain of the sunshine coast and rode toward the ferry. I enjoyed the calm of no cars and the amazing views of the coast mountains and ocean views.

Read more…

adventure, Bike, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, travel ,

Spend a Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout

October 23rd, 2012

Ever wonder what it might be like to do something different with your days? Do you daydream about what it might feel like to live in another person’s shoes? If you’re inclined to wonders like these, you’re not alone. And thankfully, talented folks with fascinating lives like Gary Yost are willing to share an inside view of their days in a compelling and artistic way.

The above video comes from Yost, who is both a landscape and portrait photographer and Bay Area fire lookout. He shot the film to shed light on what a typical (peaceful) day looks like at Gardner Fire Lookout, which sits atop Mt. Tamalpais.

In the words of the man behind it all, via Vimeo:

“I’ve been a Marin County Fire Department volunteer lookout for two years and deeply love the mountain and the peace it brings to us here in the Bay Area. Perhaps this 6-minute video will convey some of the emotions I feel when sitting (and sleeping) on her peak.”

Found on Adventure Journal‘s Facebook Page.

adventure, Outdoor Activities, video , , , , , , , ,

Celebrate Winter With The 8th Annual Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival

October 21st, 2012

Here in Colorado, we’re celebrating the first snow fall of the season and we’re excited to watch our mountains turn white in the coming weeks… yes, yes, it looks like winter is upon us and once again the Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
is answering the call. Wax those skis, tune those boards and gather your friends! There is no better way to celebrate the fun and beauty of winter than with a true celebration of winter played and lived, as told thru the seven unique films in the 8th annual Backcountry Film Festival.

Read more…

adventure, causes, Conservation, film festivals, Osprey Culture, video , , , , , ,

Cardboard Bike Becomes Reality

October 18th, 2012

Imagine a bike that costs $20; is made entirely out of cardboard; is waterproof and fireproof; and that is as strong as any bike you’d want to ride. Now, watch the above video and see it.

According to a Reuters article, 50-ear-old Izhar Gafni is the man behind this brand-new bike, which is now in line to begin undergoing mass production in just a few months. Of course, it took Gafni a year and a half of testing, trial and error to create the prototype we see today. From the article:

“‘When we started, a year and a half or two years ago, people laughed at us, but now we are getting at least a dozen e-mails every day asking where they can buy such a bicycle, so this really makes me hopeful that we will succeed,” he said.”

What do you think of the cardboard bike? Would you buy one and, more significantly, ride it? Let us know what you think!

Pedaling Change, The Cycling Buzz, video , , ,

Sean Busby’s Peak Diaries: The Travel Queen Trailer

October 18th, 2012

Sometimes you just need to take a road trip… Snowboarder Sean Busby and his friends converted and gutted a 1977 Dodge Travel Queen motor home into a fully functional alternatively-fueled vehicle that utilizes vegetable fuel and solar power and hit the road. Driving 6,000+ miles from Utah to Alaska, the crew explored new territory—backcountry skiing, snowboarding, climbing and documenting the entire journey. The following trailer is a grip of the stories from their trip. Enjoy!

Peak Diaries: The Travel Queen (trailer) from PowderLines.Com on Vimeo.

Sean Busby is a professional snowboarder, living with type 1 diabetes. Learn more about Sean and his work educating kids about diabetes and winter sports on his website.

adventure, Osprey Athletes, travel, video , , , , , , ,

Outerbike Closes Osprey Event Season

October 11th, 2012

Castle Valley Overlook on Upper Porcupine Singletrack

It has been a very busy but extremely productive event season for the Osprey Packs bike crew. We spent much of the summer traveling thousands of miles in our Sprinter van to attend bike events throughout the country and provide attendees with the opportunity to browse and demo Osprey cycling packs. This past weekend our event season came to a close with one of our favorite events. Outerbike takes place in Moab, Utah, just over 100 miles from Osprey world headquarters in Cortez, Colorado.

Outerbike is one of our favorites for many reasons; the spectacular location in Moab, the awesome team at Western Spirit that organizes the event, the amazing participants from around the world, and the opportunity to get some end of the season rides in before snow starts flying. This year marked the third annual happening of Outerbike and it was the best yet. Temperatures were in the 70s with sunny skies and light breezes each day, which provided absolutely perfect riding conditions. There were plenty of demo bikes to keep participants busy on the trails and out of lines awaiting a ride. Osprey had a very successful event, sending out a record amount of demo packs and raising funds for the Moab Trail Mix. Moab Trail Mix has been responsible for most of the new trails that have sprouted up over the past couple of years and reviving Moab as the mountain bike mecca. Extensive new trail systems such as the Bar-M network, the Klondike Trails network, Magnificent 7 and Pipe Dream are well worth a trip to Moab if you haven’t been recently.

The 2013 line up of packs in the Osprey cycling line were very well received by all. This is great news for us as the participants of Outerbike are dedicated cycling enthusiasts and their feedback means a lot to us. With the largest concentration of customer interactions coming first thing in the day and repeating at the end of the day, we were fortunate enough to get a few spins around the local trails ourselves. Here are a few pictures from a fabulous weekend:

Events, Osprey Life , , , ,

Take 5 Minutes for 5 Gyres’ I Am The Sea Change & Win Prizes!

October 10th, 2012

Our friends over at 5 Gyres are always doing amazing things. Most recently they’ve embarked on The Last Straw Plastic Pollution Solutions Outreach Tour — a trip that will take 5 Gyres staff 1400 miles by bike down the East Coast in an effort to educate more than 50,000 people about what they’ve discovered in their voyages to our world’s oceans and lakes. You can follow the tour and find specific event dates and locations via the 5 Gyres Facebook page and its Blog. What’s more, you can pledge one cent per mile to support the tour and even take part in the 5 Gyres I Am The Sea Change challenge and win prizes for doing so.

Have 5 minutes? Take the challenge!:

To enter, follow the instructions on the flyer pictured above. That is: 1. Print the flyer out. 2. Spend at the very least 5 minutes cleaning up your environment (street, gutter, riverbank, beach). 3. Have someone take a picture of you holding your sign and your garbage up for all to see. 4. Like 5 Gyres on Facebook and share the contest link (encouraging friends and family to do so as well!) 5. Email your photo to betheseachange@5gyres.org with the subject ‘5 for 5 Gyres’.

Do the above and you could not only win some awesome prizes, but help 5 Gyres and the cause to clean up our environment immensely. The contest runs from October 3rd through November 6th.

Advocacy, contest, Events, Non-profits, Pedaling Change, Travel , , , , , , , , ,

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