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Forcing Nature at the Whistler Bike Park

May 23rd, 2013

I usually try to avoid the opening weekend of the Whistler Bike Park. Some reasons for my refusal to participate in this annual event are paltry, being that there are just a few muddy trails open, huge lines and the fact that other Sea to Sky venues are in mint shape this time of year, including, well, everywhere else.

All of that aside, I went this year. I think the Whistler Corp would like to hear that it was because of their barrage of marketing prior to the lifts firing up. Not really, although I did enjoy the first Force of Nature Video released before opening, featuring their motley bunch of bike athletes. The video shows riders carving perfect corners and lofting sculpted lips in what looks like epic mid-season conditions. Pretty convincing stuff, but the deciding factor for me was some good ‘ol fashioned arm-twisting by a group of buddies. A deal was struck where we worked out a balance of park and pedal, in a few Sea to Sky locations, over this Canadian long weekend.

It was a good decision. The bike park was all-time. The trail crew put in their due diligence, preparing almost every lower mountain trail in time for the gates to drop. The dirt was tacky and the riding was heroic. We had a casual start to the day, nothing like the kids who waited in line from 3 a.m. in order to secure first chair. The casual start was no hindrance though, as we were greeted by mellow lift lines that grew progressively larger over the afternoon. The wait in line was welcome though, as I could rest my cramping hands and catch up with friends. “How was your winter?” and “Epic conditions, eh?” were refrains echoing through the queue.

I had my own “Force of Nature” Friday night after a questionable chicken burrito wreaked havoc on my guts for the next 36 hours. I almost pulled the plug and hightailed back to Vancouver to recuperate, but the weekend was heading into high gear, so I decided hang around to see if things would improve.

The next day dawned wet and rainy, and my guts were still churning something fierce, so we abandoned the “official” opening day of the Park for a pedal in Squamish. A lush rainforest met us there, along with some fun new trails that magically sprung up over the winter, not unlike the mass proliferation of green undergrowth that appears with the spring rain.

The weekend was a blur of riding, eating and sleeping. My food poisoning waned, so with renewed energy I sampled more bike park, usually riding the lifts in the morning until the lift line got too oppressive, and then trading bikes for a pedal in the Whistler Valley or Pemberton. An amazing way to spend this Victoria Day long weekend!

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Osprey Athletes , , , , , , , ,

Life & Bikes in Kabul

May 17th, 2013

Six years ago, Shannon Galpin walked away from her career as an athletic trainer and used her own limited funds to launch Mountain2Mountain and “be the change” she wished to see in the world. Today, Shannon and the M2M team, are just returning from their latest trip to Afghanistan where they launched the Streets of Afghanistan project and rode bicycles through Kabul to raise awareness of cultural barriers and empower women and girls in conflict regions.

As big supporters of Shannon and the M2M work she does, we’re happy to stay in touch with her and get period updates throughout her travels. That said, we’re also excited to share what she has to show and tell from those very journeys, the latest of which center around the Streets of Afghanistan project. Here’s the latest from Shannon both in words and in pictures. Enjoy!

“Yesterday we had the finale show of the Streets of Afghanistan exhibition at the Sound Central music festival — its up for four days throughout the incredible  four-day alternative music festival.  Yesterday was the women’s only day to kick off the festival, where young Afghan school girls attended the festival for slam poetry, a fashion show, Afghan rap duo, Afghan singer songwriter, Ariana Delwari, and White City — fronted by my long time friend, advisor, and founder of Sound Central, Travis Beard.  We brought three members of the cycling team to watch the concert and to help with the M2M Bike School.

All in all a full day. Streets exhibition set up and finale show at Sound Central Festival, M2M bike school and rock concert, finished with filming at Darul Aman Palace. Whitney, the co-director of Afghan cycles is leaving today, and then our crew is just a duo until we leave.  Whitney has been amazing, and creates a sense of community, friendship, and openness wherever we go, she interacts with the Afghans we meet with grace, humor, and authenticity that I have rarely seen.  Her infectious laugh combined with everyone’s exhaustion at the end of the long days makes for a slap-happy crew.

Exhaustion is starting to take hold, but perhaps that will just make the plane ride home go quicker as we sleep our way home.”

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Advocacy, Bikes Around the World, International, Non-profits, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Life, Pedaling Change, photos , , , , , , , , ,

Osprey Starts off Bike Month in the Big Apple

May 10th, 2013

‘Tis the season to celebrate two wheels! May is National Bike Month, and there was no better way to kick it off than with the The Bike New York event this past weekend, supported by sponsor and dear friends of ours, Eastern Mountain Sports and the NYC Department of Transportation.

New York commuters and individuals from around the world came to Pier 36 to check out the latest trends and to prep themselves with gear for their ride in the 35th Annual Five Boro Bike Tour in which the cyclists overrun the streets of New York and visit the cities that make up the surrounding areas of the Big Apple. Over 30,000 riders participated in the Sunday ride!

Take a minute to check out some photos and highlights from the trip above.

**We would like to highlight the third picture on the right, this here is Randy. Randy had never heard of Osprey and as a native of New York. Randy spends all her time commuting on her bike, getting from point A to point B throughout the city. Randy had a pack with little support for her back and the necessary things she carried on her commute. Randy told our sales rep, George (in photo) “if you can fit all the things I carry, including the old pack, in this Momentum 34, I will buy it on the spot.” Well, truth be told, George did so, and Randy was welcomed to the Osprey family with open arms!

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Bike, Osprey Culture, Packing in the Streets, Retail Promotions, Uncategorized , , , , , , , ,

Pack Meets Trail

May 9th, 2013

We are so utterly grateful for the incredible shots our Osprey fans share with us on a daily basis on Facebook because we love seeing where your packs get to go! Here’s one of many, many awesome shots shared with us most recently (above).

Keep ‘em coming, Osprey friends!

Thanks to Brian Buckle for sharing!

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Osprey Life, photos , , , , , , , ,

May is National Bike Month!

May 2nd, 2013

It’s time to celebrate; May is National Bike Month! That means wherever you live, no matter what city or state, you can take part in something as simple and beautiful as riding your bike.

The League of American Bicyclists has a fantastic website with all of the key dates for this month’s happenings, so if you want to stay in the loop, check here. If you want to partake in an event in your neck of the woods but don’t have the inside scoop, search here by city, state or zip code.

Looking for more National Bike Month info to digest? Check out the League of American Bicyclists blog for inspiring, motivating and informing posts centered around cycling. And while you’re at it, check out the video at the top of this post, a PSA of sorts created by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition that asks the question: “Why ride a bike?”

Happy cycling!

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Active Lifestyle, Advocacy, Ditch Your Car, Events, Lane Love, video , , ,

Sea Otter Classic 2013; One for the Books!

May 1st, 2013

The Sea Otter Classic proved to be bigger than ever this year as the 22-year-old event brought together racers, fans and bike companies from around the globe to start the spring season with four days of festivities, races and all things bike. The attendance was staggering this year; it’s grown exponentially since 1991, when only about half a thousand gathered around the course, to nearly 65,000 people attending, all in the name of love for our two-wheeled friend, the bicycle.

This year, there were a variety of races from road races to downhill mountain biking. Sea Otter serves as the first race to kick off the season as top pros in North America and from around the world flock to Sea Otter. However, all of the events are also open to amateurs so if you want to race your bike, you have the chance!

One of the greatest things about Sea Otter is that it is open to the general public, which allows everyone to check out and demo different bike product for the upcoming season from a wide range of vendors. Osprey teamed up with Cambria Bike shop for a four-day sale of Osprey Hydration packs and demos.
Osprey mascot Talon also made an appearance at the event as he cheered on our Osprey athlete Macky Franklin and even had a photo shoot with the Sea Otter himself!

Start planning your trip here for next year as everyone is welcome!

Photo via Alex Strickland

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Bike, Brand Team posts, Events, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities, Product, Uncategorized , , , , , , , , ,

Cycling on Top of the World

April 25th, 2013

We love it when Osprey owners share shots of their outdoor adventures with us, especially when they’re as amazing as this!

The above shot — which makes her mountain biking buddy look like he’s cycling on top of the world – was posted by Andrea Codda.

Happy adventuring and happy cycling!

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Bike Europe, photos , , ,

Adventure Cycling Association’s Best Portrait of a Traveling Cyclist Video: Mama Like

April 18th, 2013

Just a little over one year ago, Adventure Cycling Association teamed up with Blanche van der Meer and her WorldCycle Videos group on Vimeo and launched their first-ever Bicycle Travel Video Contest. The premise of the competition was simple: “to celebrate the booming trend in bike touring and travel documentaries.” The result, thanks to some fantastic volunteer judges, is several fantastic videos that capture the essence of cycling.

This beautiful video won for Best Portrait of a Traveling Cyclist. Adventure Cycling Association explained its win in these words:

“It’s an upbeat, humorous video focusing on Erin Inglish’s preparation for her Earth*Bike*Banjo tour down the California coast. (One judge’s take: “Fun, and funny!”)”

The film synopsis itself goes something like this: “One new album. One Bicycle. One banjo. One Month. One thousand miles. “Mama Like” is truly a one-of-a-kind comedic homage to Mother Earth through music and Charlie-Chaplin-esque cinematography.”

Watch and enjoy the lighthearted nature of this delightful short film.

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Lane Love, video , , , ,

See You at the Sea Otter Classic!

April 15th, 2013

With the onset of spring comes the Sea Otter Classic — known as North America’s cycling season opener — and we couldn’t be more excited. Here’s a bit more about the event, from the Sea Otter site itself:

Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling”, Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. Hundreds of pro cyclists, including national, world, and Olympic champions attend Sea Otter to race and meet with fans.

You can download the entire Sea Otter Classic event guide here, but the event will take place in Monterey, California from April 18th through the 21st, and is sure to be four action-packed days of bike demos, stunt shows and more. What’s more, we’ll be in Booth #100 (sharing the love with Cambria Bike Outfitters) with the complete new 2013 hydration and commute cycling lines available and on display. We’ll also be demoing packs for you try out, along with free pack fitting and sizing. Pro mountain biker Macky Franklin will also be at the booth, signing free posters between 3 and 5 p.m. on Saturday — and we’ll have ongoing fix-a-flat competitions with prizes for fastest times, as well as other fun games TBD!

We’ll see you in Monterey!

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Bike, Events, Osprey Culture , , , ,

Adventure Cycling Association’s Best Overnight Bike Video: Use Your Weekend

April 11th, 2013

Just a little over one year ago, Adventure Cycling Association teamed up with Blanche van der Meer and her WorldCycle Videos group on Vimeo and launched their first-ever Bicycle Travel Video Contest. The premise of the competition was simple: “to celebrate the booming trend in bike touring and travel documentaries.” The result, thanks to some fantastic volunteer judges, is several fantastic videos that capture the essence of cycling.

The above video won for the category of Best Overnight Bike Video. Here’s why, according to Adventure Cycling Association:

“Inspired by the work of one of our judges, Alastair Humphries, Sam ventures by bike into the Catskill Mountains for the first time, and on a cold winter weekend to boot. This video nicely illustrates that even the shortest of bike tours can be long on adventure.”

Stay tuned for the third of these winning films, which we’ll publish next week!

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Active Lifestyle, adventure, Pedaling Change, video , , , , ,

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