It’s that time! We excited to once again be attending the Sea Otter Classic, April 10-13, 2014! In addition to having the worthy mission of “making people’s lives better through participation in sport and recreation and through celebration of an active outdoor lifestyle,” Sea Otter is known for its incredible attendance — some 65,000 fellow bike folk (including professional riders, cycling enthusiasts, and the best bike gear companies) will be out and celebrating all things cycling at this weekend’s season opener in beautiful Monterey, California.
Osprey Athlete Payge McMahon is an adventure athlete, ‘rockin’ yogi’ and journalist who travels the world inspiring others to get outdoors, try new things and start checking off that bucket list.
Here’s a resolution worth keeping in 2014: learn how to float effortlessly through powder, catch air off rocks, and shred trees and steeps. Did we mention you can win an Osprey Kode 32 pack as well? This week, World Champion Freeskier and Osprey Ambassador Alison Gannett will be giving away an Osprey Snowsports Pack to one of the lucky skiers that register for her KEEN Rippin Chix Steeps and Powder Camp. Our Kode 32 is a dedicated, technical backcountry snowplay pack that was designed specifically for the backcountry and after testing it out for their Gear Guide, Backpacker Magazine said the Kode 32 is “perfect” for both backcountry skiing or snowboarding.
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.
Thanks for the love, Singletracks!
Need an excuse to get out for a weekend of riding bikes, trying out cycling gear and entering to win rad prizes? We didn’t think so. Hence, our announcing that the second annual Southeast Bike Expo is right around the corner! For the second year in a row, the SE Bike Expo will head to Conyers, GA for a three days of cycling festivities; the weekend will kick off with a free dealer-only day on Friday, February 22, followed by open public access on the 23rd and 24th.
Here’s some background from last year’s event, as well as what to expect this year, via Cycling News:
In 2012, there were over 600 bikes of all types for demo by attendees. With the addition of other major bike brands, up to 1,000 demo bikes are expected to be available for the weekend.
The expo will again include not only mountain bike and road manufacturers, but also other cycling industry vendors.
“Our goal is to put on a fun event in a great location for very low cost to manufacturers, retailers, and consumers,” said Brian Molloy.
Part of the excitement of the SE Bike Expo is that it allows consumers to see the newest and most exciting gear out there. There will be a ton of new product there, including Osprey Raptor/Raven and Viper/Verve packs available for demos. What’s more, if you join IMBA at the Osprey booth, you’ll be immediately entered in a raffle to win a brand-new pack. And even if you don’t win the raffle, there will be plenty of take-away schwag (think: stickers and tire levers) to take home with you.
There will be tons of vendors and fantastic bike companies to check out at the Expo, including Vee Rubber, Felt Bicycles, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, and Skanunu Lubricants. Add to that companies such as Tifosi Optics, Light & Motion, Camelbak, Shimano, Kenda and Thomson — and you’ve got the world of bike gear and garb nearly at your fingertips. We’ll see you there, rain or shine!
Mountain 2 Mountain’s Shannon Galpin has spent the past several years pedaling in Afghanistan, and in the midst of her journeys, she’s observed the following: “… usually the only bikes I see are simple Pakistani made commuters bikes, ridden around the country on dirt roads and highways by men and boys of all ages.” But last November, Shannon met the Men’s National Cycling Team, which made a huge impression. As Shannon put it, “They have a real love of the sport, racing in Kabul and in Pakistan. Several mentioned their hope to compete one day in the Olympics.” What’s more, even though it is culturally unacceptable for women to ride in Afghanistan, Shannon found out that there happen to be 10-12 women on the Cycling Team with the support of the coach.
While the cycling community in Afghanistan is there (and slowly gaining ground), it remains fact that those riding are doing so with virtually no support, on bikes that don’t always suit their needs and with gear that’s less than ideal. That’s why Mountain 2 Mountain is organizing a month-long bicycle gear drive that will begin on Friday, February 15th. Here’s the full run-down of details:
The most-needed items (i.e. suggested donations) are, for both women and men, both road and mountain bike: “helmets, pedals, shoes, cleats, seats, chammies, long pants, jerseys, gloves, jackets, windbreakers, sunglasses, socks, tools, tubes (no 29′ers please), tires, lube, air pumps. Lightly used old gear and new gear is welcomed!!” Cash donations to help with transport costs will also be accepted. There will be four drop-off locations in Colorado (Denver – Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop, Boulder – Boulder Cycle Sport, Golden - Rise Above Cycles, Frisco – Podium Sports). Additionally, individuals are welcome to send a box of their gear donations directly to Mountain 2 Mountain (PO Box 7399, Breckenridge, CO 80424). All gear will be picked up on March 15th, so gather your goods and get them out the door ASAP!
You can follow what’s happening with the drive and check for updates on Mountain 2 Mountain’s Facebook page.
If you want to make an online donation to support the teams or our upcoming Strength in Numbers program you can do that here!
My spring has been filled with travel around the country to visit shops, stores and climbing gyms. It’s been a great way to get out and see all the different climbing communities across the country, but I am looking forward to six uninterrupted weeks at home.
On a recent trip to Maine, I was able to visit with the good people of Alpenglow Adventure Sports. They own a small outdoor store in northern Maine, which reminded me of the outdoor stores that I grew up with: quirky shops with every bit of space filled to the brim.
I grew up with Alpine West. It was a small outdoor store located in a corner spot of a long, skinny, brown building in downtown Davis, California. Bordering the train tracks, it was filled wall to wall with all sorts of outdoor goodies. From sleeping bags to climbing gear, ski boots to water filters. Not an inch of the store was empty. My dad is an avid outdoor enthusiast, and while his interests have changed over the years from skiing, to climbing, and now to kayaking, I associate the outdoor stores with childhood memories.
Dogs have a way of snuggling, running and playing their way into our lives. Heck, my dog is lying on top of my feet as I write this! After 2 weeks and dozens of wonderful photos from our Facebook fans we’ve chosen three final winners… congratulations to Clint Huffman, PK Kopischke and Annika Swenson! And an honorable mention to Mandy Creighton. We loved your shot of Lucky leaping in Australia, but unfortunately winners are restricted to the US only.
Thanks to all who participated and who give your dogs a warm and kind home this winter. We’ll leave you with the caption from one of our winners, PK Kopischke, that seems to capture this wonderful relationship we have with our canine companions:
You came to me at 2:30 in the afternoon on this day back in 1996. A little wet ball of peanut butter fur. From the moment I laid eyes on you, I was smitten. For the next 13+ years, we travelled thousands of miles over earth, snow and water. You never complained and always had a smile & wet kiss at the end of the day’s journey. We saw more of the Rockies than most ever will. Finally, the day came that your body could no longer keep up with your insatiable Love for the outdoors. You chose the time to join all the others in a place I shall someday see. For all the years of ‘unconditional’ Love that you shared with everyone you met, I speak for all… We Love & Miss You. Happy Birthday! Zuke