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4 Million feet of climbing, The higher you get the higher you get!

January 28th, 2013

I had re-started my watch after last year’s previous million vertical feet. I wasn’t too concerned about going for it again.

Later in the season, I was up in Kelowna mountain biking with my brother, when he asked me “Are you going for another million”? As I looked at my watch, I was aloof, but all of a sudden something in me ignited. I got motivated. I did some quick calculations. Well, I wouldn’t say quickly. I actually had to grab a calculator. I was at 750,000 with only two months to go. I would have to average over 5,000 feet per day for the next two months. If I was this close I might as well keep going, right?

In the past on the bigger mountains I had a bad attitude and when I didn’t feel like it, I would bag it. So I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Yes, it was going to be hard and boring, and motivation would be low in the fall with less daylight and usually less snow. But the snow soon arrived with a vengeance and I was ready to rock.

Along the way you can’t help but ask yourself, “Why am I doing this? Where’s my lift pass”? But then you have those moments when you push on whether it’s raining or dark, where you find that flow state and start begging for more. That happens when you push through the pain and pressures in life and live in the moment; a moment you can only achieve through human powered travel. When it’s your tenth lap and the temps cool, the weather clears, and all of a sudden you are skiing knee deep pow when everyone went home, you know you were there for the moment because you were in the cycle.

The streak was still alive! I compared it to Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks game playing streak for some extra motivation. Like they say, it’s not the end result but the journey that counts.

I’ve been given the nickname Andy Gump for my obsession with traveling uphill. But as much as I enjoy the climb, it still really is about the down. It just feels more rewarding when you have to work to get there.

As in life, people will make fun of you for you doing something against the grain; like skinning up a run when they are skiing down. If I was a kid, I probably would have done the same thing. Not every day are the conditions right for backcountry travel due to snow stability.

Sometimes this game even leads me to where there’s no snow and I’m skiing on rocks. That was the case when I was visiting family in the Okanagan, so I had to make the most with what I had. There wasn’t really a dedicated backcountry zone, so I was relegated to doing short laps on Kelowna mountain with a 40 cm base. Now that tested the motivation!

In the end you have to follow your passion and enjoy being outside. I want to be out there every day, so I try to make it happen. This is where I truly feel alive and free.

Hopefully my 4 million feet motivates somebody to get out there and get off the couch, be it by climbing ten feet or riding the bike to the corner store.

Be calm like water, roll with the punches. Sit back, hold on, and enjoy the ride.

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adventure, Osprey Athletes, Outdoor Activities , , ,

Who Needs Video Games?

December 13th, 2012

Osprey sponsored mountain bike racers Jake and Nye Yackle show us their skills and awesome attitude toward getting away from the video games and enjoying the outdoors.

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Active Lifestyle, Osprey Athletes , , , , ,

Outerbike Closes Osprey Event Season

October 11th, 2012

Castle Valley Overlook on Upper Porcupine Singletrack

It has been a very busy but extremely productive event season for the Osprey Packs bike crew. We spent much of the summer traveling thousands of miles in our Sprinter van to attend bike events throughout the country and provide attendees with the opportunity to browse and demo Osprey cycling packs. This past weekend our event season came to a close with one of our favorite events. Outerbike takes place in Moab, Utah, just over 100 miles from Osprey world headquarters in Cortez, Colorado.

Outerbike is one of our favorites for many reasons; the spectacular location in Moab, the awesome team at Western Spirit that organizes the event, the amazing participants from around the world, and the opportunity to get some end of the season rides in before snow starts flying. This year marked the third annual happening of Outerbike and it was the best yet. Temperatures were in the 70s with sunny skies and light breezes each day, which provided absolutely perfect riding conditions. There were plenty of demo bikes to keep participants busy on the trails and out of lines awaiting a ride. Osprey had a very successful event, sending out a record amount of demo packs and raising funds for the Moab Trail Mix. Moab Trail Mix has been responsible for most of the new trails that have sprouted up over the past couple of years and reviving Moab as the mountain bike mecca. Extensive new trail systems such as the Bar-M network, the Klondike Trails network, Magnificent 7 and Pipe Dream are well worth a trip to Moab if you haven’t been recently.

The 2013 line up of packs in the Osprey cycling line were very well received by all. This is great news for us as the participants of Outerbike are dedicated cycling enthusiasts and their feedback means a lot to us. With the largest concentration of customer interactions coming first thing in the day and repeating at the end of the day, we were fortunate enough to get a few spins around the local trails ourselves. Here are a few pictures from a fabulous weekend:

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Shredding MTB Moppets, Mad Skills, Rad Racing!

September 7th, 2012

Check out this cool video of Osprey supported Yackle Brothers Racing.  These kids can tear it up!

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Osprey Athletes, Uncategorized , ,

Endless Summer: Never Enough Mountain Biking

August 30th, 2012

As a professional skier I should be the kind of person who wants endless winter, yet I’m the person who can never get enough summer. Last night the temperatures dipped and we felt the first breaths of winter. Our gardens were safe, but I felt for sure that it might have frozen in Crested Butte, 3,000 feet above our farm in Paonia, Colorado. Between putting up food for the winter and work, I can only hope for several good months of riding here in the lowlands, dropping me fit as a fiddle into an epic powder skiing season.

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Bike, Osprey Athletes, Osprey Culture, Outdoor Activities, Southwest Colorado , , , , ,

The State of Enduro Racing: Is It The Next Big Thing?

August 14th, 2012

The beauty of Enduro racing can be found on the transition stages with friends: riding along and enjoying the day.

I should preface this piece by stating that I am not an experienced Enduro racer, but rather one that has participated in several races, and likes the idea of a race that is like a ride with friends, but against the clock in the fun sections. The burgeoning excitement over this new style of racing is contagious, but I am unsure of whether to completely jump on the bandwagon of those claiming it’s the next big thing. Is it the next big thing? Can it dethrone the juggernauts that are DH racing and XC?

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Photo: Osprey Packs Stoner Mesa Mountain Bike Ride

July 25th, 2012

A group of Osprey team members, friends and family hit the trail for a Sunday ride at Stoner Mesa in San Juan National Forest, Colorado. After 26.5 miles—more than half of that climbing—the crew stopped for a quick photo and some much-needed refreshments.

Cheers to finding some singletrack in your neck of the woods this week!

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Active Lifestyle, Osprey Life , , ,

USA Cycling National Championships: The Youth Movement In Mountain Biking

July 16th, 2012

2012 USA Cycling National Championships

For the second year in a row the USA Cycling Association Cross Country National Championships took place against the beautiful backdrop of Sun Valley, Idaho. Blue skies, warm temperatures, and calm winds greeted racers from around the country who showed up to challenge the best of the best and battle for the coveted national championship jerseys.

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Events, Uncategorized , , ,

Kamloops Reminiscing: Getting Back To The Roots of Freeride

June 22nd, 2012

Stephen Matthews catching the last rays of the day.

I was invited along for a weekend of riding in the Kamloops by a small crew led by Seb Kemp, who was writing a story on the Loops for Dirt Magazine, and Reuben Krabbe, who was capturing the images for the article. I had not been to Kamloops in a long while, focusing my travels on other parts of BC, and more exotic locales in the previous few years. I feel strong ties to that arid part of the province though, having spent many weeks there in the early days of my freeride career, shooting for the New World Disorder movies and getting into the youthful trouble that seemed to follow our film shoots around in those days.

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Osprey Athletes, photos, The Cycling Buzz , , , , , , , ,

Singletrack Report: McKenzie River Trail

May 30th, 2012

Much of the trail runs next to the rushing river, creating a unique juxtapostion between the water and dirt.

The McKenzie River Trail (the MRT) is situated in Central Oregon, on the west side of the Cascades. This mountain range, predominantly made up of dormant and not-so-dormant volcanoes, does an efficient job of stopping the moisture from the Pacific Coast. On the west side you have temperate rainforests and old growth timber, and a stones throw to the east you are exploring an arid desert-like landscape. The MRT, being on the west side of the volcanoes, features towering Douglas fir, mossy forest floors, a raging river (complete with big waterfalls) and a cool climate. Apparently it rains frequently, but it was nice and dry for our visit down this renowned trail.

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