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Where is Tenerife?

May 27th, 2014

Osprey Athlete Joe Schwartz is a resident of British Columbia, Canada. He has been a professional mountain bike rider for over a decade, and was a featured rider in the New World Disorder series of bike movies, as well as other movie productions and TV shows (Ride Guide, Drop-In). Through his work with film companies he has been fortunate enough to travel all over the globe, riding in some very exotic locales. Joe is an ACMG certified backcountry ski guide, and has worked for numerous catski, heliski, and ski touring lodges all over BC. While mountain biking is his main love, Joe uses his skis as an escape mechanism. His past adventures include completing multi-day ski traverses throughout BC and achieving a number of committing descents in the BC Coast Range, the Canadian Rockies, and in the French Alps.

 

This is a question­­ normally asked in the initial research part of planning a trip somewhere exotic, before you’ve made any decisions, but I had already committed to this destination and legitimately had no idea where the island was. The reasons for this were a long winter of ski guiding, my Ireland-med school-attending girlfriend, our months apart from each other, and that Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, was the furthest south she could get a direct plane ticket to after a rainy winter in her new home of Cork. The plan was already in action, and I would have been happy to meet her on an oil rig in the middle of the Atlantic, so tickets to this Spanish island were booked, and then I started looking in to exactly where I was headed to.

Happy to be leaving winter behind at the Calgary airport

Happy to be leaving winter behind at the Calgary airport

Nice views of the ocean.

Nice views of the ocean.

Read more…

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Bike, International, Osprey Athletes, The Cycling Buzz, Travel , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

19th Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival: We are coming for that Singletrack!

April 25th, 2014

Fruita Fat Tire Festival  | Epic. Singletrack. Tradition.

This weekend in Fruita, CO is the 19th Annual Fruita Fat Tire Festival!  This weekend Osprey will be joining the celebration as the Fruita Fat Tire Festival has made a tradition of riding miles of pristine mountain bike trails, meeting with MTB friends from around the world and support those who support the passion, the lifestyle and the sport we all enjoy.

With agreeable weather and some incredible events happening April 24th through Sunday the 27th, this event is a must-attend for lovers of trail, singletrack and good times! We’re excited to see friends new and old, including friends/festival sponosor (and brewers of some of our favorite flavors), New Belgium Brewing!

From the VIP party Thursday night, to the live bands Friday and Saturday evenings under the summer stars in downtown Fruita, to one of the top cycling expos in the state: there’s plenty of fun to be had! Join the party and celebrate hundreds of miles of World Class MTB Trails!

In addition to high-fives for all, here’s what we’ll have going on at the Osprey Booth: Read more…

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Bike, Bikes Around the World, Brand Team posts, Osprey Adventure Envoys, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Pedaling Change, The Cycling Buzz , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mountain Biking Multiple Meccas in America

December 5th, 2013
On the road again...

On the road again…

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.

Chasing the last rays of sun in Sun Valley

Chasing the last rays of sun in Sun Valley

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.

Ripping down Porcupine Rim, Moab.

Ripping down Porcupine Rim, Moab.

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.

It's not a Moab visit without a Slickrock Trail loop!

It’s not a Moab visit without a Slickrock Trail loop!

Connecting the blue dots in Moab.

Connecting the blue dots in Moab.

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.

Sampling the sweet singletrack of Fruita.

Sampling the sweet singletrack of Fruita.

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.

IMBA gold-level singletrack high above Park City

IMBA gold-level singletrack high above Park City

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.

Fall colours in Park City

Fall colours in Park City.

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.

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adventure, Bike, Osprey Athletes, The Cycling Buzz, Travel , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“The Perfect Mountain Biking Pack”

October 30th, 2013

ospreyescapist20

Yes, winter is near. But while the leaves are still on (some) of the trees, and the air has yet to turn as frigid as it most assuredly will, let’s talk mountain biking. If you’ve got a final fall ride in store, or if you’re determined to weather the winter, you’ll want to know what the best gear to take is. According to Active Junky, there are 5 Pieces of Gear for Fall Bike Rides that are must-haves. Naturally, we’re excited to see that the Osprey Escapist 20 is one of them. Here’s what AJ has to say about it:

The perfect mountain biking pack almost defies description: you want something that’s svelte and low-profile so you don’t feel off-balance while swinging through singletrack. But you need something that can carry your tools, food, layers, and oddball sundries. No pack has achieved that Platonic ideal quite yet, but Osprey’s Escapist 20 comes damn close.  The panel-loading backpack boasts a breathable ventilated harness, with a mesh hip belt, a hydration sleeve, twin water bottle mesh pockets, and a discrete, stowable rain cover. Inside the front panel, you find a cache of storage options that cater to bike tools, while the main compartment offers cavernous storage for the bigger items like a jacket or vest. As with most cycle-specific Osprey packs, the Escapist has also been outfitted with a LiftLock helmet attachment (which slips through the helmet’s vents to be easily carried) and a strap for clipping on a flashing light—features that make this pack ideal for commuting as well as mountain biking. A zipped top pouch keeps must-haves like your phone or sunglasses within easy reach, and the variety of compressible straps lets you synch things down to dial in a light, nimble feel while in the saddle. And—of course—the bag works well while enjoying outdoor activities other than mountain biking…

 

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Osprey Verve Hydration Pack Takes Singletracks Editors’ Choice Award

October 17th, 2013

Osprey

Singletracks spent some quality time checking out quality gear this year, and at Interbike in particular. Its editors came away with some great knowledge of the best cycling gear the year of 2013 has had to offer. Here’s how they put it:

The 2013 model year is quickly winding down, and all the companies at Interbike 2013 were displaying the latest and greatest products about to hit showroom floors for 2014. A couple of weeks ago we announced the Top MTB Gear of 2013, as rated by you, our members, in the mountain bike gear database.

Now it’s our turn: we’ve called on our blog team members to choose the best mountain bike gear of the year.

We’d definitely recommend reading the entire post, as it’s chock full of great gear. But we’ll hone in on one specific pick that’s naturally near and dear to us here at Osprey HQ. The Best Women’s Gear was none other than the Osprey Verve. And here’s what Singletracks says about it:

In one week in Park City we took on two different rides of 4+ hours, and having a pack that would hold 3 liters of water, several snacks, a rain jacket, and more, was crucial. The Osprey Verve was up to the task. The padded mesh shoulder straps kept the pack comfortable during even the longest ride, and being able to adjust those straps meant that during rocky downhills the pack stayed firmly in place.

-mtbikerchick

Thanks for the love, Singletracks!

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Active Lifestyle, Bike, Osprey Culture, Osprey Life, Product, Retail Promotions, Southwest Colorado, The Cycling Buzz , , , , , , , , , ,

The Cycling State of Our Country

August 22nd, 2013

Ever wonder who’s riding where within the bounds of our United States? The good news is, more and more Americans are forgoing their gas-powered vehicles and pedaling for transportation. What’s more, according to this graphic, some cities are slated to garner some serious protected bike lanes, which is something we all have to look forward to. Take a look at the photo above to learn a bit more about the statistics of our state’s bicycle riders, via Bicycling Magazine.

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Active Lifestyle, Ditch Your Car, Lane Love, Pedaling Change, The Cycling Buzz , ,

Breck Bike Week 2013

July 25th, 2013

Breck Bike Week – Aug. 15-18, 2013 – may only be four days, but the lineup packs a week’s worth of activities into long weekend in Breckenridge, Colorado. The grassroots cycling event sits sandwiched between the Breck Epic (Aug. 11-16) and stages two and three of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (Aug. 20-21); tack on a few bike-in movie nights and math wizards will arrive at something like 12 days of cycling in Breckenridge.
Addition aside, Breck Bike Week brings a bigger-than-ever expo, which serves as event headquarters (be sure to stop by the Osprey tent!) and meeting grounds for many Bike Week events. Here are a few things you’ll want to catch while you’re there:
• Bike-in movie nights at the Warming Hut: Kick off the festivities with an outdoor screening of
Breaking Away. Strap the camp chair to the cargo bike and head to the Warming Hut for free
popcorn, plus appetizer and drink specials. Thursday, Aug. 15, plus other nights throughout
August
• Trails 101: Raise the shovel and trail awareness with the Friends of Breckenridge Trails crew.
Riders will learn what it takes to make a sustainable trail and put in a little elbow grease. There’s
nothing more rewarding than lapping a section of trail you’ve helped to build. Friday, Aug. 16
• Super D Race and IMBA Fundraiser Party: Think of it as a community block party. With a super
d race ripping through the backyard. As riders chow down and kick back (for live music and an
outdoor movie), they’ll get the good feeling that comes along with supporting Summit Fat Tire
Society, a local chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association. Saturday, Aug. 17
• Guided Rides: Not familiar with Breckenridge trails? No worries. Non-profits Summit Velo and
Summit Fat Tire Society will lead Sunday’s guided groups rides, both road and mountain. The
local experts are in charge, and they’ll be showing off some of the best cycling routes in the
area. Sunday, Aug. 18
Other events throughout the week include women’s mountain bike skills clinics, a happy hour ride with Breckenridge Mayor John Warner, Poker Ride (Go Fish ride available for the kiddos), a youth race series and more. Visit BreckBikeWeek.com for a full schedule!

A dedicated fan of fun, Rachel Zerowin loves exploring and writing about the outdoors, especially when it relates to cycling. As the public relations manager for GoBreck, she gets to do a bit of both during work hours in Breckenridge, Colorado. Check out more of Rachel’s work on BreckConnection.com or say hello on Twitter @ColoradoSummit.

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Shannon Galpin Nominated for Nat Geo Adventure’s Adventurer of the Year

November 2nd, 2012

It’s that time of year again: National Geographic Adventure has nominated ten individuals to stand in the running for 2013 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. This year in particular, we’re incredibly proud to announce that the outstanding Shannon Galpin of Mountain2Mountain is one of the Adventurer of the Year nominees — and you can vote for her now!

M2M, which Shannon founded in 2006, “believes in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action,” and has touched the lives of many since its inception. In its latest project, Streets of Afghanistan, M2M utilizes the power of photography as the voice of change.

In 2009, Shannon became the first woman to bike in Afghanistan, challenging societal norms and gender perceptions in that part of the world. In general, Shannon’s work has seriously highlighted the significance of perpetuating equality for women and girls in conflict regions, and will continue to impact generations to come.

For good reason, Shannon is nominated as Humanitarian of the year. Via Nat Geo Adventure:

The 38-year-old has braved some of the most violent periods in Afghanistan—a country considered by many humanitarian agencies to be the worst place in the world to be a woman—to work on women’s education and health. She fostered midwife training to combat infant and maternal mortality in the Panjshir Province. In Kabul and Kandahar, she helped develop reading programs for the daughters of women in prisons, some of whom were jailed for adultery after they were raped or for escaping arranged marriages.

She has used her bicycle as an icebreaker with village elders in remote mountain villages, and in a particularly bold fundraising act, she’s mountain biked 140 miles across the Panjshir Valley. In Afghanistan, women cannot ride bikes because of laws and social customs, a fact that Galpin believes has hindered women’s education by preventing them from being able to independently travel to school. As a foreign woman, Galpin was able to cross this boundary and turn it into a conversation starter.

Women’s rights are personal for Galpin. At 19, she survived being raped and knifed while coming home from work in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“I couldn’t think of anything worse beyond what had happened than being labeled a victim,” says Galpin. “I was petrified that I would be viewed that way and would have to wear that label for the rest of my life.”

Want to vote for Shannon Galpin? Go here to do so through mid-January.

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Advocacy, Bikes Around the World, Events, International, Non-profits, Osprey Life, Pedaling Change, photos, The Cycling Buzz , , , , , ,

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

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photos, The Cycling Buzz , , ,

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!

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