Each year every one that is any one in the bike industry packs up and makes the pilgrimage to Sin City, Nevada (otherwise known as Las Vegas). Our bike team here at Osprey Packs is no exception as we plan for months to join the week long flurry of activity that can make or break next year’s sales numbers. Even though the show is an absolute blast and a bike lover’s paradise, it can be very stressful with all of the business appointments, late night dinners and endless hours standing on a concrete floor. Our team of trade show warriors is experienced enough to know that the best way to survive the chaos of Interbike is to step onto that floor still reveling in the endorphins from an outstanding ride.
One of the great things about working at an outdoor gear company like Osprey Packs is the necessity to become an expert regarding the product you sell. One of the ways that Osprey encourages team members to keep their product knowledge sharp while at the same time gaining some important rejuvenation time in the outdoors is through the Osprey Outings Program. Team members receive paid hours to get out in the field and use packs and/or travel gear for real world product testing. With the explosion in popularity of Osprey’s line of cycling specific packs and new cycling packs on the table for Spring 2012, we decided to put together a bikepacking trip on the Colorado Trail to really spend some quality time with a few of the larger cycling packs.
Michael Henderson loves to ride his bicycle… really, really far. Michael left earlier this week for France to compete in his first Paris-Brest-Paris Randonneur. First run in 1891, the 1200-kilometer Paris-Brest-Paris, or “PBP” as it is commonly called, is a grueling test of human endurance and cycling ability. Organized every four years by the host Audax Club Parisien, the Paris-Brest-Paris is the oldest bicycling event still run on a regular basis on the open road.
Bike DealerCamp 2011 began with a bang, literally, as thunderstorms rolled through the Deer Valley area Tuesday night. Exhibitors received an e-mail around 1:00 a.m. notifying them that they should probably show up early Wednesday morning to clean up the carnage from the night before. Wind gusts and rain wreaked havoc on exhibitor tents and displays. There were even a few tents floating in the nearby lake (including an Osprey competitor). Fortunately, we have displayed at enough events during inclement weather that we took no chances and had everything covered and heavily anchored. Other than a few damp boxes, the Osprey booth was unscathed.
After 15 straight days and almost 4000 miles of road tripping, the Osprey bike crew has circled back to base to replenish the giveaway supplies, service the van and unclog the overfull inboxes before departing to Deer Valley for DealerCamp. Even with the 14 hour days of driving, greasy road food, and missed family commitments, it was hard to bring this road trip to an end. The Downieville Classic was a top notch event that brought in some of the best riding talent in the country, yet retained a grass roots feeling. The entire town seemed to embrace the event as it took over their narrow streets. It was awesome rubbing elbows in Sun Valley with so many world class athletes and upcoming superstars. Both events left us just enough time to get out and explore the local riding scene for ourselves. As a matter of fact, I had to take a couple of days off the bike because my legs could take no more by the end of the trip. The riding was so spectacular in both Downieville and Sun Valley that I will be heading back on my own time to explore further for sure.
As promised, here is a list of Osprey sponsored athletes that made it on to the podium at the National Championships:
Nye Yackle – 2nd place, 10 & under boys Cross Country
Jake Yackle – 3rd place, 11 & 12 boys Cross Country
Stephen Ettinger – 1st place, Under 23 men Cross Country
Jack Hinkens – 2nd place, Under 23 men Cross Country
Kerry Werner – 5th place, Under 23 men Cross Country
Erica Zaveta – 5th place, Under 23 women Cross Country
Krista Park – 5th place, Pro Women Super D
The journey will continue with DealerCamp in Deer Valley, UT 7/26 – 7/28. DealerCamp is an industry event where bike and accessory companies show off and demo their current and upcoming products to top bike retailers. Osprey will have a full demo fleet available at DealerCamp as well as daily giveaways including the biggest raffle prize Osprey bike has ever given out (valued at approximately $2500)! Let the road trip and mountain biking continue!!
Today brought absolutely amazing conditions to Downieville, CA for the Downieville Classic All Mountain Championships. In the weeks leading up to the race scores of volunteers put in endless hours digging out the upper reaches of the race course from the epic winter snows. All of the hard work payed off and the race went off with just a minor reroute. Both of the 2010 Pro winners defended their titles with Carl Decker taking the men’s field and Kelli Emmett leading the way in the women’s division.
Downtown Downieville was taken over by the street fair and vendor expo offering spectators plenty to do while awaiting the racers arrival. Many of the industries top bike, accessory and apparel companies are here showing off their wares, giving away promotional items and answering questions on their products or services. Osprey offered up free pack demo rides, loads of giveaways and sneak peeks at some upcoming product line additions. The expo continues tomorrow while the downhill of the All Mountain Challenge is taking place. Riders must ride the exact same bike they used in today’s XC race with no changes, additions, or subtractions. Total time between the XC and downhill events will be combined and the winners will be crowned as the “All Mountain Champions”. All of this will definitely make for an awesome day in Downieville. Come see the excitement and stop by to say Hi to us in the Osprey tent.
As you may have heard, here at Osprey we love bikes. We love to ride them, we love to talk about them, and we love to build packs that facilitate a two-wheeled lifestyle. Which is why we thought it only fitting to launch our very own bike blog.
We’re here to make sure you’re inspired to live the two-wheeled lifestyle, be that on your commute, bombing down a mountain, touring the backroads of the West or simply just out for an afternoon jaunt.
We’ll have guest blogger posts, regular contests, cool bike stats, profiles on non-profits and daily bits of cycling inspiration.