Archive for December, 2013
When we read about an artist who’s creating life-size sculptures of man’s best friend out of repurposed bicycle parts, we decided pretty immediately that it was something we had to share with the world. Here’s how the magic happens:
The artist is a talented woman named Nirit Levav Packer, who collects bike parts from bike shops around Tel Aviv. Then, she solders bike parts that she collects from garages and bike shops all over Tel Aviv. According to The Telegraph article:
“The series, called HOW!WoW!, began by chance when Nirit examined some bicycle parts being thrown away at her son’s bike store, and instead of seeing them as rubbish she saw a potential to do something creative with them. Within a few months, she had left a successful career in wedding dress design for metal sculpture.”
We are incredibly proud to have two Osprey Athletes who are among the youngest National Caliber mountain bike racers in the world: the Yackle Brothers. But what makes them outstanding is not just their abilities on the bike, but also their incredible work ethic and mentality toward the world. As young individuals who work hard on their sport, they also take a considerable amount of time to contribute to community service, and that’s something that we can all learn from (especially during the holiday season) and resolve to do more of. Yackle Brothers Team Director Kevin E. Yackle tells us a little bit more about what the boys have been working on lately:
“Over the Team’s race seasons we’ve accumulated a whole lot of swag that we wanted to find a good home for, so we had an idea to visit a kids hospital to brighten the lives of the kids and give these items away. In September, we contacted Angie McEvers, Child Life Director at Children’s Hospital of Renown Hospitals, Reno Nevada. We arranged a visit for November 13 to give a talk and visit child patients. Next, we contacted our Sponsors to inform them of our plans. Though we already had sufficient swag and promotional items from a few sponsors (FSA, Jamis, Yakima, Osprey) some donated additional items. We had two great visits! On November 13th, we raffled just a portion of the promotional items that were Sponsor provided, due to a unusually low patient population.
Mrs. McEvers was delighted to have our Team come provide support to the Kids and it went so well she invited us back for the Children’s Hospital Christmas Party on December 9th.
Well, yesterday we attended that event. It was another great experience for our Team and the Hospital. We were blessed to have the opportunity to be involved! We were joined by a few Athletes from the University of Nevada, Reno. A few hundred Hospital patrons, families and children enjoyed the 2 hour program Mrs. McEvers organized.
On Novermber 13th, we gave a talk about our Team’s history, showed a video about our Team and spoke about the road to achieve our accomplishments. We set an example, gave inspiration and motivation to kids to get involved in athletics/bicycling. We encouraged the kids to “shoot for the stars” and achieve their dreams. We toured the facility. We meet with Kids who were too sick to leave their rooms. We passed out swag gifts to give encouragement and held a raffle for a Osprey Pack, Light & Motion Bike Light, Ergon Grips and a Jamis Bike jersey.
On December 9th, we prepared a sign board with Team information, sponsor logo and event happenings. Displayed our Race Bikes and components in Feedback Sports stands. Set up a Sign Board. Played a Team video. Showed our Team portfolio. Laid out our 5 groups Raffle Prizes. The boys mingled the room talking to patient kids and families. They passed out small items of sponsor swag. Mrs. McEvers was a very gracious host. She introduced our Team to the audience and invited them to come see and talk with us at our table. She brought Jake and Nye on stage and introduced them and recognized their awesome accomplishment in sport. She invited them up 5 separate times to for them to describe the items in the raffle prize and them present it to the winner. Jake and Nye did a great job as they mention each item with its Brand name. Each of sponsors generous donation was well highlighted.
As expected, I was extremely proud of how the Boys professionally handled this opportunity to be at this Event helping out the Community, Hospital, Children, Team and their Sponsors.
We enjoyed our involvement with the Hospital and will be endeavoring to make this a reoccurring activity.Thanks to our Sponsors for your involvement and assistance with Yackle Brothers Racing efforts to make a difference in our Community!”
So, you’ve got the perfect pack for your next adventure in hand. But this very fact has you wondering what the crucial items you need to carry might be. Fret no more! Our Osprey athlete What’s in Your Pack? video series will give you the expert advice you need to be sure you’re dialed for that next adventure. In this month’s video, professional World Champion Extreme FreeSkier Alison Gannett unpacks her Kode 32 and shows us everything that’s inside it.
Check out the second installment of this exciting series – and never be afraid to ask What’s in Your Pack?! We’ll have a new video each month to help you see what our Osprey athletes are packing.
Osprey Athlete Kim Havell is back from another successful trip ski-guiding and exploring in Antarctica, and she’s got some incredible photos from her adventures! Check them out in the gallery below:
Ben White is a New England native who moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah. He loves skiing in the backcountry, climbing, mountain biking and generally messing about in the mountains.
Playing in the mountains is an incredible thing. Be it skiing, climbing, biking, hiking, paddling or any other fantastic activity, it’s all fun. However, when the trees change color from green to fire or from grey to green, the fun stops, or at the very least, changes. From when I was twelve until about fourteen or fifteen, the loss of snow in the mountains brought about foul moods and boredom. Once I started mountain biking, it was still a bummer to lose ski season, but riding a bike became just so darn fun. With the addition of climbing on the list of fun things to do, there’s a whole new dimension to be added in both the warm and cold seasons. While some people might get jittery at their favorite crag melting out or trails being dry enough to ride, I have always been captivated by the first snow of the year
It’s December now, so there has been snow on the ground and all the resorts are open, and while the feeling of returning to the familiar is slipping away, there is still more to be had. In November, feeling the snap of bindings and hearing the sound of skis sliding on snow went from being pleasurably nostalgic about the last season to the way things should be. Watching the mountains fill in and returning to areas that need more snow is just happening now.
As much fun as Utah is, New Hampshire still feels like home after skiing the 48, and watching Tuckerman Ravine fill in via webcam is almost as fulfilling as watching Snowbird fill in. Checking the snowpack for places like the La Sals, Idaho and the Pacific Northwest by word of mouth and looking at trip reports has me excited for what is to come.
Seeing clean tracks in an area for the first time that season is like a notice saying “hey everybody, it’s good in here again!” It’s like seeing people at a roadside crag or with smiles on their faces and mud on their backs from riding for the first time in the spring.
We all love playing outside, and often times it’s hard to choose a favorite activity. The feeling of the familiar returning after a few months of missing it is something exciting, comforting and all-together pleasurable. For me, the snap of carabiners and the whir of a hub are always enjoyable, but just don’t do it for me the same way that the zip-zop of skins followed by muffled sliding on snow does.
Cathy controlled herself. She didn’t bring climbing gear to Spain. Still recovering from a whopper climbing injury in June, she knew bringing gear to Spain would be too tempting, and a backward step in PT. Although Spain is stacked with five-star sport crags, it is also a great place to be a tourist.
Being tourists was a new activity for us, rather than climbing or skiing. Cathy read 10 books. I worked on my next book. We drank gallons of coffee and wine. We hiked and ran. And we visited some old buildings.
After traveling from Chamonix, France to Barcelona, we drove to Grenada for a week of exploring the area. We stayed in a cave house dug into a mountain in the village of Monachil above Grenada. Above is Cathy walking through historic Albayzin toward the Alhambra Palace.
A short drive above our cave house were the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the highest mountains on mainland Spain. We hiked up Veleta (3,396m), which is the fourth highest in Spain. The highest mountain in all of Spain is Teide in the Canary Islands at 3,718 meters.
Joe bouldering on Monsul Beach in Cabo de Gata, where a portion of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was filmed. We spent a second week in Cabo de Gata National Park. This was the only non-crowded location we found along the Spanish Mediterranean Sea. There must be other quiet areas, but they’re hard to find.
We hiked to a remote beach at Cabo de Gata where many Spanish with lengthy dreads lived in the trees and swam in the turquoise water.
Cathy and I at the artist Salvador Dali’s house in Cadaques, north of Barcelona, near the French border. We spent a third week in this classically beautiful Spanish coastal villa. We were about 20 years younger than most of the retired French vacationers who walked the Cadaques beach hand-in-hand. Straight out of a Viagra advert.
Americans get behind things. I mean, when there is something Americans believe in, they wholeheartedly invest their time and energy into making it a reality. Us laid-back Canadians might poo-poo this idea, but in many ways it is true. How do you think the good ol’ US of A grew into a superpower in the span of a few short centuries? Or, look at the near-rabid following of the Tea Party, or hardcore evangelism. When people wanna believe, they stick to their guns (forgive the pun).
It’s no different with mountain biking, and the way mountain towns have latched onto the sport as a way of bringing tourist dollars into their communities. This fall I traveled to America with some friends from Vancouver, on a road trip to some of the new, and old, mountain bike meccas of the Lower 49.
In the span of ten action-packed days we drove to and rode in Sun Valley, Moab, Fruita and Park City. All mountain bike hotspots in their own right, and deserving of a “mecca” status for different reasons.
Sun Valley, our first stop after leaving Vancouver, was a spot I had visited years ago on a Bike Magazine assignment, driving through the American MidWest in Honda Elements and riding the most obscure spots we could find. Sun Valley is far from unknown, especially in the ski circles, and the riding surrounding Ketchum and Hailey, the two towns that make up Sun Valley, is world class.
Our host this time was Greg Randolph, the director of public relations and social media for the Sun Valley Marketing Alliance. Greg has a rich background in cycling, and straight up loves where he lives, which shows in all of his marketing efforts and events hosted. Lucky for us mountain bikers, he does play favourites, organizing an annual mountain bike festival, developing a detailed trail map and generally stoking out the mountain bike community whenever possible.
We rode two days of perfect singletrack, from sinuous desert rips to flowing loops in the forest. We hit the road after riding the Prairie/Miner Loop, a mini-epic that took us up into the fresh snowline of the alpine, and where Greg had to get in a dip in one of the close-to-freezing-over lakes. “I never miss a swim up here!” he exclaimed, surveying all the new snow in the high country. With ambassadors like this, Sun Valley is going to continue to attract keen riders for years to come.
A late night drive, along with a stop at a suspect Taco Bell in Salt Lake City, took us to Moab, our southernmost destination and a spot I had never ridden. Yes, I had never ridden. That’s blasphemy according to many riders who consider Moab the true Mecca, and make pilgrimages whenever possible. I thought I had to check it out for myself.
Moab is a place that seemingly needs to do no work to attract mountain bike tourism. Gracing covers of magazines worldwide, the surreal landscape of the Utah slickrock has implanted itself in mountain biker psyche as the place to go, as the ultimate mountain bike experience. This is evident in the number of bike shops, guiding outfits and shuttle services that dot the town. While the Slickrock trail has sustained this mountain bike boom for years, Moab is not one to rest on its laurels. The Whole Enchilada, a 42 km, 7,000-foot downhill epic draws thousands of riders each year, as does Captain Ahab, a newly-handbuilt maze carved out of the unforgiving sandstone that offers perfect flow its entire length. The mountain bike community in Moab has seen the sport evolve, and has evolved the trail offerings to match.
We were welcomed to Fruita by a three-story banner of a mountain biker in action plastered to the side of a grain elevator towering over the small town. A sure sign that the community is on board! As we only had the day to check out the riding, we tried to maximize our efficiency and headed to the 18 Road trail system. We were not alone here, and for a mid-week day the parking lot was surprisingly busy. The trails were flowy and fun, and we looped back and forth underneath the Bookcliffs, sampling as much singletrack as we could possibly muster. We ended the day with amazing pizza at the Hot Tomato Café in town, a business born of the mountain bike boom, owned by mountain bikers, and a rad spot that definitely catered to the two-wheeled brethren.
Another late night drive (and more shady Taco Bell) took us to Park City, our last stop on this roadtrip. We had planned this stop based on some rumours, and a friend who promised great singletrack. I had not ever heard of the riding here, but was willing to give it a try. When we arrived it was obvious that Park City is ready to show the world what they have to offer. With over 400 miles (yes, 400) of trails, three lift-served bike parks (and some free public bus shuttle zones) this place is a mecca in the making. IMBA apparently knows how good it is here, and this year gave Park City the first (and so far, only) Gold Level Ride Center designation.
It was certainly golden in Park City, with vibrant fall colours from the aspens lining the long singletrack climbs and epic descents. We rode trails straight out of our condo, and did shuttles to 10,000 feet. The mix of trail styles was amazing. The main street indicated the level of commitment Park City had to mountain biking as well. Every lamp post was adorned in bike-focused slogans; “IMBA Gold Level,” “Epic Singletrack” and more. Money abounds in this wealthy area, but smart minds prevail also, and are not letting the mountain bike tourism opportunity pass them by.
Real life was calling the desk jockeys on our road trip, and we sadly pulled up stakes and made the painfully long drive back to Canada. During the drive we had plenty of time to reflect on the impact that mountain biking is making in these small communities, and marveled at how Americans really do get behind whatever they believe is a good thing. Lucky for us, in these cases, it’s singletrack.