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Yackle Brothers Racing Brings Cheer & Gear to Renown Children’s Hospital

December 13th, 2013

Yackle Bro Racing Visit[2]

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!”

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Advocacy, Bike, Osprey Athletes , , , ,

Osprey Ambassador Alison Gannett – EPA and Green Sports Alliance

November 27th, 2013
Alison at gala with the Statue of Liberty

Alison at gala with the Statue of Liberty

I got a surprise call the other day from the EPA/The White House asking me to speak at the Green Sports Alliance gala in NYC. My dream topic? Women, Sports and the Environment. Seeing as this opportunity was basically just that, I could only think that they must have created this symposium just for me! Osprey stepped up and helped me attend the prestigious event, where I was able to represent Osprey, myself, and also my Save Our Snow Foundation.

Transported from rural Colorado and our Holy Terror Farm, I suddenly felt underdressed mingling with NBA, NHL and NFL stars and team owners. I had thought that my all-black ensemble would fit in for “NY Casual” but apparently New York City casual involves five-inch heels, black sequined dresses, tuxedos and diamonds. At least I had my bright pink KEEN sneakers and Osprey pack, so that I looked a bit intentionally like a pro athlete?

EPA/Green Sports Alliance Gala in NYC

EPA/Green Sports Alliance Gala in NYC

I made some small talk – “and what do you do?” and got some not-so-typical answers – “I run Nike,” “I own the Philadelphia Eagles” or “I play for the Edmunton Oilers” were some typical answers. I quickly realized how high-powered the corporate executives were at this event, and became intensely excited about speaking to 500 of these impressive women the next day.

Finally I ran into a familiar face – Kimmy Fasani – Pro Snowboarder and rider for Protect our Winters (POW), and Klean Kanteen’s marketing director and POW’s executive director turn out to be my dinner seat mates.

Pro Snowboarder Kimmy Fasani with POW

Pro Snowboarder Kimmy Fasani with POW

The next day brought one of the biggest keynotes of my life – such big names, such huge corporate successes, and WOW, so many green success stories that one would think sustainability was cool and mainstream. I was super impressed by the work of the National Hockey League, not so impressed by the National Football League and blown away by Philly Eagles owner Christina Weiss Lurie who received the Environmental Leadership award for their zero-wast, 100 percent renewable-powered football stadium/team. I was honored to kick off the talk for “Women, Sports and The Environment” with my steep skiing crazy videos transitioning into how to green your business while saving money. Special thanks to Osprey for helping me get to this special speaking event! The crowd was equally inspirational and there to learn from other success stories. Maybe next year we go to The White House and present the President with our latest greatest recycled material pack? Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Vote with your dollars and support companies that make products with iron-clad guarantees! The greenest pack is one that you don’t have to buy again!

Alison testing the new Carve Pack by Israel Valenzuela

Alison testing the new Carve Pack by Israel Valenzuela

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Advocacy, causes, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, travel, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , , ,

Watch: Afghan Cycles Trailer

November 19th, 2013

“Nothing is possible without the participation of females today.”

In Afghanistan, females riding bikes is still considered taboo, and is hardly considered a given right. But some brave women are working very hard to change that by way of the Women’s National Cycling Team of Afghanistan. From Vimeo:

“Afghan Cycles introduces the first women to ride bikes in the country, illustrating the gender and social barriers that the team is breaking, one pedal stroke at a time. Highlighting 4 of the 12 teammates, we look at their lives on and off the bike. From training on dangerous trucking highways to following them through a typical day in Kabul, the film shares the intimate story of these brave and passionate young women who feel free when they are on their bikes in an otherwise oppressive culture.”

Check out the trailer for this short documentary film above, and take a minute to peruse the new Afghan Cycles website too.

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Active Lifestyle, Advocacy, Bike, causes, International, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, video , , ,

Free to Roam

November 15th, 2013
Ben Clark running the last steps to the summit of 13,432' Oscar mountain outside Ophir, Co.

Ben Clark running the last steps to the summit of 13,432′ Oscar mountain outside Ophir, Co.

I don’t think I could be a mountaineer without traveling the world, and vice versa. For me the freedom to roam in the mountains in any way I want feels natural, like a “given.” I don’t mean to say that I can do anything I want physically, I’m referring to the opportunity to explore anywhere within reason or without one at all! I am grateful to be an American and to have the privilege of that freedom. If there is a mountain somewhere I want to climb — I can probably at least try it — almost anywhere in the world. So I travel.

One of the lessons I learned traveling was that in other countries, the U.S. stands out, and not just because of our extensive national park system. There were people out there who were so psyched on the U.S. that they would volunteer to die for it — no questions asked. I will always recognize that in our homeland, one of my best friends is one of those people and we grew up near Ft. Campbell, Ky.

My friend Don is a steady badass, and has been since we were 13. He is a helicopter pilot in the Army National Guard and an engineer in Atlanta, Ga. He’s a classic alpinist basing out of the hinterlands of mountain hope in the South and clawing up ice climbs in Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia during the winter. After growing up together in Tennessee, Don and I were “all in” on the mountains for a few solid years and notched many adventures in our 20s in Colorado and one sleepless Mexican volcano trip. Two college dropouts — from architecture school and aeronautical engineering — we marched steady toward our dreams.

Don (left) and me on top of 14,005' Huron Peak in 2002. We are celebrating our Tennessee heritage in "special hats" before cutting loose and charging down the mountain.

Don (left) and me on top of 14,005′ Huron Peak in 2002. We are celebrating our Tennessee heritage in “special hats” before cutting loose and charging down the mountain.

Climbing peaks sometimes requires a soldier-like mentality; those who cope with fear are generally successful as long as they have tactical skills and luck. Many times when we were younger we talked about the balance between death and “getting the most out of life.” Six months after becoming a Dad, I sent Don an article contemplating some legitimate concerns regarding risks and the types of environments I was negotiating in 2012, Don got it and deadpanned:

“I will always love mountains, even in light of their ability to strike down the sturdiest of souls. I enjoy exercising my body in an environment that is set to the scale of my mind. Living and climbing in Colorado during my early 20s fueled my ability to pursue academic and professional accomplishments that I once thought were unattainable.

Four years ago I took an oath which affirmed that I would put myself in harm’s way for the greater good of our Nation. I would not have been able to take that oath had I not previously put myself in harm’s way for my own self-validation and pure enjoyment. In my own mind, from now on it might as well mean something.”

Don would go to war and die so we could visit the mountains if he had to. I’m not sure how I feel about war or death, but I know how Don feels about our country and I appreciate him even more because of it.

We are here today enjoying what we do because of sacrifices others have made. Ultimately it is up to us all to move ourselves forward remembering that sometimes others gave their lives and that we are the product of the freedom they are protecting. I did the edit on the video below and hope that you will take a moment to learn about Wear Blue: Run to Remember for those who serve our country and protect freedoms as innocent as being able to go outside. Remember those who protect our freedom, they are risking something for us that we should forever be grateful for.

 

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adventure, Advocacy, Osprey Athletes, video , , , , , ,

This is Not Mozambique: The Lost Mountain Postponed Until Spring

November 6th, 2013

This is not Mozambique… (Climbing with Ray Rice at Shell Pond Maine on the day I was supposed to be landing in Malawi.)

It’s November 6th. I should be traveling overland from Malawi to Mozambique. I should be squished in a long base truck with my team alongside duffels of climbing gear, insect specimen nets and enough food for fourteen people for twenty-one days. I should have my face pressed against the window with my eyes open wide saying Oooh! See that? and pointing out beautiful granite dome after beautiful granite dome to my climbing partner Kate while she does the same from the other side of the truck.

But we are not en route from Malawi to Mozambique today. We aren’t because at 7 AM on Sunday, October 27th, we awoke to news of another incidence of violence in central Mozambique. The day before, a civilian convoy of three vehicles was attacked and one person was killed. It was horrible news for families of the person killed and those injured, for the people in the Sofala region and for the country of Mozambique. Tensions had been escalating in Mozambique in the week leading up to our scheduled departure and we’d been monitoring the situation extremely closely. Following the news on Sunday morning, and in light of the rising unrest and expectations of continued escalation heading into the upcoming elections on November 20th, we made the very difficult decision to postpone the project until May/June 2014. Our cinematographer Q was at the airport check-in counter when we made the call. All of the other U.S.-based members of our team were within 4-6 hours of take off.

James Q Martin, Lost Mountain Cinematographer, Ready to go… back home for now.

Coordinating a 14-person international team is never easy. But deciding that the safety of that team comes first is very easy. In the week since our decision, tensions have continued to rise with new incidents daily, including several in the towns that our Conservation Team LUPA would be traveling through en route to join us from Maputo. We — and the majority or Mozambique and the world — hope that the people of Mozambique keep the peace they have worked so hard to maintain. Most expectations point to a resolution in the time following the upcoming elections. We have chosen to postpone until May/June as that will be at the end of the rainy season and during a time when our science team can do its best work — i.e. find the maximum number of bugs and other creepy crawly things. We will continue to monitor the situation in the meantime and are in daily contact with partners and advisors in Mozambique.

It’s now been just over a week since we didn’t start our trip. It’s been just long enough to go from the shock of the decision to the excitement about what we can create with a touch more time to plan: additional scientific specialties, new collaborations and more connections and possibilities discovered every day. It’s also been just enough time to have unpacked my bags, and repacked them. 75% of what was in them is unique to the Lost Mountain. They are ready and waiting in my basement for spring.

Keep up with #LostMountain at http://www.thelostmountainfilm.com/

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adventure, Advocacy, causes, Conservation, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life , , , , , ,

What’s in Your Pack? Timmy O’Neill’s Mutant 38

October 15th, 2013

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, pro climber and executive director of Paradox Sports, Timmy O’Neill, shows off what’s in his Mutant 38.

Check out the first 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.

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Advocacy, causes, Events, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Product, video, What's in Your Pack? , , , , ,

Osprey Takes on Boulder’s Backyard Collective

October 8th, 2013

Gareth–Shannon–MychalLast Thursday evening, a group of Osprey volunteers hopped into our silver Dodge mini van, loaded down with gear and clothing for what was to be a wet, snowy weekend just outside Boulder, CO, and departed for an event called The Backyard Collective.

The BYC is an effort of The Conservation Alliance, which brings together member company employees (in this case, Osprey, La Sportiva, etc.) and local grantees for a day of environmental action. Projects include trail work, invasive species removal and other opportunities for us to get out of the office and get our hands dirty doing good work to preserve and protect the open spaces in our own backyards.

At this event in particular, there were a few new volunteers (myself included), and we were all anxious to arrive, layer up, get our boots muddy and do our part to help the Boulder community that’s very much in need.

During the more than seven-hour drive from our Cortez headquarters, I thought quite a bit about what trail work really means — and what it would mean for me at this event. The first image that came up was of myself swinging a pickaxe on some dry single track with a weathered pair of leather gloves, sun shining on the hillside with an epic view of early high-altitude snowfall, and a deep blue sky filled with puffy clouds that seem close enough to run across. Then, I imagined, I’d break for a morning Clif bar and refill my green tin cup with a few more ounces of hot John Wayne-style coffee. Oh, I imagined, it’d sure be glorious and rewarding. That’s the definition of trail work right?

We awoke Friday to a rain-snow mix and temps in the low 30s. We sorted our way through a light morning commute toward Broomfield, made a quick stop for coffee and finally arrived at the Carolyn Holmberg Preserve at Rock Creek Farm. After an initial meet-and-greet and a disbursement of tools, we received our group assignment and grabbed the wheelbarrows to head down the path.

Working hard

The expected turnout of 20 people was a sure underestimation of our group’s commitment to help The Conservation Alliance. I took a quick count of about 50 people dressed in Gore-Tex rain shells, with hats pulled over their ears and smiles on their faces as they huddled around the free hot chocolate.

The trails here at the farm have been closed for some time, and after our work, nearly 125,000 people will regain access to them. We worked seamlessly with great instruction — and nearly four hours later, noticed that we had created one thousand feet of new path for the locals to enjoy. Six hundred more feet was our initial task. We crushed it. My hands were sore, my back a little tight, but I didn’t quite feel exhausted or fulfilled like I had originally anticipated the week before. Hmm…

Mychal thinking hard

For myself, I think there were a few greater questions and lessons that I took away from the morning. I certainly contemplated my self-interests in the volunteer day. Why did I really sign up to help? To feel good? To get out of work for a day? It’s cliché to say ‘to help those in need’, but maybe it was just as simple as that?

The reality of the work and location was nothing like the perfect Colorado day I had imagined when I signed up and stepped away from my desk. It frankly reminded me of the days growing up in Michigan and having to help a relative with chores around their acreage. It was flat, grey and damp. Turns out, it didn’t matter.

Fueling for work

As the weekend continued in the hustle of downtown Denver, I looked around watching other’s interactions in the city, and it seemed as though our efforts began to sink in on another level. We all love nature for different reasons. Whether we’re taking a personal break from our jobs, on a vacation we’ve filled the money jar with for a few months or simply heading out of town with a group of friends to have great stories to share on Monday morning: it’s all the same.

I realized it doesn’t matter where the trail leads or what the view is. It’s a trail, which means it’s an opportunity to be outside: and it’s that simple. It’s a way to improve someone’s day whether it is used on a lunch break walk or the start of a multi-week adventure of not regularly washing your hair. Whatever the function, we took time out of our lives, our weekends, our days, to help something and someone else. Each of us is capable of, if we so choose, taking advantage of these small opportunities to positively impact the places that we love. And more importantly, help places that other people love.

Tim Calkins / Senior Graphic Designer Osprey Packs

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Advocacy, Conservation, Events, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Outdoor Activities , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bicycles Are Vehicles, Granted Rights, Subject to Duties

September 23rd, 2013

We found this photo via TwoWheelsBetter’s Facebook page and had to share it for all to see. First, we’re curious: Have you ever seen a sign similar to this one in your city or state? If so, what are your thoughts? Should those on bikes adhere to the same road rules as those in automotive vehicles?

For the sake of safety (for everyone involved), we argue that bikes should absolutely and 100 percent of the time stop at stop signs, stop lights and the like. Road rules should absolutely apply to those on the road, whomever they are. But some of the questions raised as comments to this photo posting are this: Should cyclists have to pay bike-specific taxes? Should bike commuters be required to have bike insurance in the same way that drivers are required to have auto insurance?

Let us know your thoughts! Share your answers to these queries and questions of your own in the comments section below.

PHOTO Via: Facebook

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Active Lifestyle, Advocacy, Pedaling Change, photos , , , , ,

Be Safe, Ride On

September 18th, 2013

If you travel by bike frequently, you’re likely used to the ease of it all; you buckle on your helmet, touch your foot to the pedal and head out! Of course we get it. Bicycling offers a mode of transportation that’s simple as can be, which is part of its appeal. However, we’re with Project Bike Trip when they say: “for your safety and to keep your bike in top condition, it’s important to get into the habit of performing some simple maintenance checks whenever you ride.” That’s why they created this easy-to-following info-graphic, as well as why we’re sharing it, above. Check it out. And more importantly, complete your pre-ride bike checklist every time!

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Active Lifestyle, Advocacy, Ditch Your Car , , , ,

Instead of Driving, I…

September 13th, 2013

An oldie, but a goodie, this video is a reminder that transportation by bike (and other more earth-friendly methods, too!) is the way to go. Enjoy!

We challenged our Facebook fans to convey what they do for their daily commute “Instead of Driving…” This video portrays some of the best. Set in beautiful Portland, Oregon this will inspire you to leave your car at home and find a more aesthetic mode of travel.

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Active Lifestyle, Advocacy, Ditch Your Car, Lane Love, Osprey Life, Pedaling Change, video , , ,

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