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Dominion Riverrock: Let the Festivities Begin!

May 13th, 2013

Osprey is proud to announce that we will be attending the action-packed Dominion Riverrock Festival in Richmond, Virginia during the upcoming weekend of May 17-19. We’re super excited to be a part of the only festival of its kind, one that combines the best of both the outdoor adventure and the music worlds. Throughout the Fest, there will be endless competitions in biking, hiking, running and climbing, as well as performances by top notch artists such as Toots and the Maytals and many more!

Not only will there be on-going comps, music and fun, we’ll be there hosting our own events. One such activity will be the infamous Osprey Packs bola ball toss, which you can play to win a pack! All proceeds will be donated to the Blue Sky Fund, which makes your chance to win a pack that much better. We’ll also be selling packs in alliance with Blue Ridge Mountains Sports at a killer 20 percent off, and our very own Osprey Athlete Ben Clark will be guiding hikes with Virginia Trail Blazers and signing free posters throughout the weekend.

If you’re in the area and looking for a mind-blowing good time with loads of things to do, stop by our booth to check out the packs, get a poster or try your chance at bola ball for a good cause! Connect with the Fest on FacebookInstagram and Twitter and share the #riverrockrva love!

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Bike, contest, Events, Music Festivals, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Retail Promotions, travel , , , , , , , , , ,

Riding the Couch

May 9th, 2013

If you look closely you can see the screw and bone plug/cap holding down my new hamstring graft ACL.

That is what I am doing most of the time these days, riding the couch, so to speak. With a slowly mending new ACL (which is apparently one of the longest recoveries!) I have become really good at sitting on the couch. Slowly but surely though, my former life is trying to usurp me from this comfy throne. Every day a little more strength is gained and with it, a little more confidence to sneak back out into the wide open world and grasp at my favorite things in life.

Having an injury like this is like slamming on the brakes in your life, especially when your livelihood (mountain guide) and all of your recreation depend upon working limbs. Adding to that is the fact that my entire social structure is centered around going outside to play. Skiing, climbing and mountain biking are my passions, and changing to a sedentary life has been akin to a heroin addict stopping cold turkey. No more endorphins flowing through my veins from natural highs of endless cold smoke in the hills or sending a splitter crack. Nope, now it is time to watch everyone else do it on Facebook.

As I have said before, I don’t think there is a silver lining in this injury, but my one major observation is that there is beauty in hitting the reset button HARD. A month ago I couldn’t really walk too well. It took me 40 minutes to take my first stroll outside in the rainforest for 1km walk around a lake. And I was basically in tears. Not from pain, but from joy, the pure elation of realizing that I would someday get my life back.

And the beauty of everything lately is that it seems like every day is another medium to large size victory. So many of my daily ‘mundane’ activities are now seen through the eyes of a beginner. On one of my first bike rides up the highway from Squamish toward Whistler, I noticed a car slam on the brakes in the other direction and then do a big about face and track me down. It was a buddy of mine, and he was going toward town when he saw this big lanky guy with the grandest smile he had ever seen on a road biker. Quickly he realized that it was me and he was so psyched to see me out there back at it again.

However great the hikes and road rides are, climbing has been gnawing at my consciousness. If you are a climber you might understand. I can’t quite quantify it, but for me climbing is as close to meditating as it gets. The focus and determination it requires just can’t be matched by my other pursuits, and consequently the rush of climbing cannot be replaced. The other day I had dinner with some of my best friends and main climbing partners. As chance would have it, all three of us are on the climbing disabled list. Between pregnancy and an injury, the three of us have been finding some other things to focus on life. But, as my pregnant friend Mandoline put it the other day, ‘I’m sick of talking about babies and kid stuff, I want to go climbing and shoot the shit about routes and places to climb already!’ I couldn’t agree more, and finally, whether it was poor judgement or not, I gave in.

No one has really given me a real NO about going climbing at this point in my recovery. I know the facts, that my new ACL graft isn’t fully reconstituted yet, and my leg is weak. But again and again I ask my self, if I am doing easy uphill hikes, how different is going climbing? I try to convince and fool myself again and again that it will be safe to go climbing. My physical therapist, a climber herself, was hinting that a really controlled return was imminent. I know I would not be going for it on the sharp end and taking falls for a while, but to be back out on the rock all day, and hanging with my friends again is what I am really missing. Besides, the only people I knew who had blown ACLs (both new and old) climbing did so bouldering when they fell off and landed. It’s easy to scratch bouldering off the list; as a big dude, people love to boulder with me because I am an all-star spotter, but when the big guy falls, everyone runs! No need to take part in an activity where every time you fall you hit the ground!

So where did my logical reasoning then take me for my first day back on the rock? To some super easy single pitch climbs of course… but without a rope. Now I am sure this won’t make sense to many of you, but in some weird and twisted way it was the perfect way to get back at it in my mind. If I am soloing I won’t try things too hard and I won’t fall. One of the things about my recovery has been that I have been by myself for so much of it. Most of my walks, bike rides and training sessions are in my own solo world, so to me, this was a continuation of my own journey to rehabilitation.

Just like the first hikes and bike rides, I had found a way to bring total joy into routes I had climbed, guided and soloed hundreds of times. The purity, focus and total body awareness were things I hadn’t had in my life in months. I ran into friends who were out climbing. The dogs got to run around the cliffs for a bit. I played in the sun and felt the hard rock crushing my toes in my shoes again. And 6 pitches of 5.6-5.7s have never been so much fun for me in so long. At this point in the journey it is as much about rehabbing the mind and soul as it as about healing the body. I just really hope that I can keep this fresh and renewing perspective on my passions for as long as possible, because if I can do that, then I will have really found the silver lining in this injury, the ability to find pure joy and a fresh bliss in things I have done so many times.

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adventure, Osprey Athletes , , , ,

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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Friday Round Up: Artcrank Compiles Best Bike Stories From 2011

January 13th, 2012

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each week. We call it the Osprey Round-Up… Happy Friday!

We love riding. We really, really love riding. As our tires hit the pavement this new year, we’ve been thinking about all of the incredible rides we have to look forward to and a few in our office have even started making it official, scheduling races and writing down their bucket list of singletrack and road rides they hope to tackle in 2012. But part of what makes our future rides so exciting is the memories of adventures last year: the taste of dirt from screaming down singletrack, the nip of crisp fall air and the feeling of our breath and heart beating as we ride to work each day. That’s why we’re digging this compilation of stories from our friends at Artcrank. Just reading through these got us even more excited to keep pedaling!

via Artcrank:

For four years as a graduate student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin my bike was, in many ways, a necessary evil. It was cheap transportation, it was a set of wheels that didn’t need to be visited every hour to plug a meter, and it took me where I wanted to go on my clock. While 2011 found me stepping away from higher education and a bike-friendly commute, the past year gave me the opportunity to see my bicycle from a different perspective. Instead of being a tool of frugality and pure utility, it became a gateway to the finer things in life.

In 2011, my bike exposed me to overly ambitious single-track, the wonders of a quality chamois, an appreciation of PBR tallboys, all-weather neighborhood rides, a leaner build, and number of friendships that have made my return to the Twin Cities a ton of fun.

So here’s to more of the same in 2012.

These stories are seriously awesome, so make sure to click on over to Artcrank’s blog for the rest of them here and here.

PHOTO via Bjorn Christianson/Artcrank

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Friday Round-Up: And The Winner Is…

March 4th, 2011

Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we just wrapped our “Instead of driving, I…” contest, we’ve decided to pay homage to human-powered transportation for all of March. Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!

Last month, we asked our fans how they they got around — without driving — and we were flooded with awesome responses. So, without further ado, below, we’ve listed out the winners of the “Instead of driving, I…” contest. Congratulations to the winners! Watch out for a cool, new video on the topic coming soon. And to everyone out there who chooses to use their own power to get them from place to place: thank you for leading the way. Let’s keep it up!

Read more…

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Contest: Instead of driving I…

February 16th, 2011

At Osprey headquarters in Cortez, CO we strive to reduce our carbon footprint as best we can. One easy way is to drive less. In rural Southwest Colorado, we really only have two options: carpooling in winter months and riding our bikes in the spring, summer and fall seasons. We do have a couple hardy souls that ride during the dead of winter!

We’re curious about our fans who live in urban areas. You have access to a variety of commuting options instead of driving. Light rail, buses, trains, walking, skateboarding, scooters, rollerblades, swimming… all provide alternatives to get to work, to the gym, to the coffee shop, to band practice, to the library. All without driving.

Begin your statement with: “Instead of driving, I…” We’ll pick the top 10 most creative statements and send you a pack of your choice from the Momentum, Metron, Flap, 24/7 or Resource Series. Your statement may even appear (anonymously) in a cool new video we are producing called, you guessed it: “Instead of Driving I…”

Contest ends Monday February 28, 2011. In the event that a requested product is not in stock, Osprey Packs, Inc. reserves the right to substitute a product of equal or greater value. Winners will be picked and notified on March 1, 2011.

PHOTO via

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Holy Hotness: Life Cycles

February 9th, 2011

Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!

We could tell you why we like the trailer for Life Cycles, but we think you should just watch it for yourself. It’s pretty obvious why you should be exploring this world on two wheels.

Thanks to The Digital Naturalist for tipping us off to this gem!

“This isn’t a bike movie, it’s a movie about a bike…”

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

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Waking Lions: Challenging Stereotypes and Perceptions in Afghanistan

February 2nd, 2011

In 2006 Shannon Galpin, a single mom from Breckenridge, Colorado with no experience in aid work,
sold her home and flew to Kabul, Afghanistan with the goal of empowering the women and children of that region.

“I am tired and I have said ‘Enough’. I am not going to sit on the sidelines and allow atrocities to happen against women.”

Read more…

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New Year’s Resolution – Green to the Extreme?

January 3rd, 2011

This year has marked some of my greatest strides in moving towards a more sustainable life, as Jason and I bought a 75-acre farm in June, and have since grown and raised everything we needed for this year. Well, actually there are a few exceptions – coffee and chocolate for sure!

Read more about our quest in this wonderful Christmas feature article in the Denver Post

The great part about farming is that we don’t have to grow much in the winter – just lettuces, kales, herbs, chickens and pigs, which leaves plenty of time to SKI.

The backcountry skiing at and around the farm is excellent and I’m centered between Aspen, Telluride and Crested Butte for those dangerous avalanche days. I’ll also be traveling the country with my Global Cooling Tour, showing folks how to reduce their energy use/carbon footprint while also saving money. Or join me for one of my Rippin Chix camps, where you can demo one of Osprey’s stylish and organizing Kode snowsports packs or the game-changing Raptor mountain bike hydration packs.

Don’t forget your new year’s resolution – DOT – “do one thing” to help make a difference!




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San Juan Mountains Bike and Hike

September 22nd, 2010

If you have been to Silverton, Colo. you have stared up at Kendall Mountain rising 4,000 feet directly above town. I have been fortunate enough to tackle the peak successfully many times in the winter, but I had never made the climb in the summer. I much prefer to ski down something big after a climb instead of walking down, hence the reason that most of the San Juan’s summits I visit comes when they lie under a mantle of white.

With a warm day predicted for the backyard of Durango, I opted to gain some elevation and escape what would hopefully be the last batch of summer heat in town. I packed up the car and started up Highway 550 for the short drive to Silverton.

I parked at the base of Kendall mountain and boarded my trusty steed (A nearly new mountain bike with 6 inches of travel and 29″ wheels). As I hopped on the saddle I took in the spectacular fall foilage that was in absolute peak color.

The jeep road starts gaining elevation quickly as it wraps around the west side of Kendall Mountain. As the grade steepens the oxygen level heads in the opposite direction. I find myself riding in a style known as “delivering the mail” where I go from edge to edge of the road to reduce the pitch to a level my tiring legs and granny gear can handle. I push my bike up some really steep sections and ride a few of the tamer portions. At treeline the road becomes unridable. I’m sure someone could ride it from here, but that someone is not me. I ditch my bike behind the last tree at about 11,800 feet and trade my bike shoes for some hiking shoes and head up the road.

The grade is about 10 percent, which makes for brutal biking, but perfect hiking. I walk the jeep road through a huge basin, wondering how in the world they built this road by hand over a century ago. The road climbs for another 2 miles and then ends a couple hundred feet below the summit. I billy-goat up through scree and boulders to gain the summit. After 2.5 hours I am looking 4,000 feet down on Silverton.

The town looks like a model complete with multiple steam trains. A slight breeze blows at my back and provides some white noise to what is otherwise an environment completely void of sound.

After a few minutes I reverse the process. I make good time to the road and quickly descend to me bike. What took 90 minutes to ride up, take me 7 to ride down. I enjoy the plush suspension on my new bike and feel like I am on a flying sofa.

I toss the bike on the roof and head south in the fading evening light. In 30 minutes I have a date with some grilled Ahi and a nice cold beer or two.

See you on the trail.

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