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A Snippet of Singletrack: The BC Bike Race

August 8th, 2013

Eagles soar overhead, and I fixate on countless coves I wish to build my dream cabin on as we sail across the scenic Strait of Georgia to the isolated northern Sunshine Coast on the BC Ferries Queen of Burnaby. Powell River is a town that has ridden the tumultuous wave of boom and bust for years, starting when the first pulp mill was built there in 1908. With the last downturn in BC’s forestry industry, the town saw significant job cuts, and another cycle of depression. More recently, Powell River has turned to other forms of industry, such as eco-tourism. The BC Bike Race is the perfect fit, as proven by our reception upon arrival. We depart the ferry on foot, walking up the main street toward the start line, crowds of locals cheering us on. Tiny cheerleading squads toss each other in the air while teenage boys smash out rhythms on drums. Storeowners hand out watermelon to racers, while bagpipers stand at attention on a street corner. We make our way to the start line, which is also our campsite for the evening, located right beside the ocean on the green grass of the town park.

The singletrack of the day’s stage proves to be equally welcoming. We quickly dive into flowy singletrack winding through the temperate rainforest surrounding Powell River. The riding demands full concentration, but whenever I raise my focus from the task at hand I am rewarded with a beautiful view of a pristine lake, river or some other natural wonder. The community spirit overflows onto the trails as well. On the first of two timed Enduro sections of the day, hundreds of people line the freshly-built track called Death Rattle, yelling encouragement and smashing cowbells. There’s even one fellow railing out rock anthems on his guitar and battery-powered amp. The energy is electric as I rail turns down the mountain, carving up berms of dark coastal dirt, cascading my way through some of the most enjoyable trail I have ever ridden. The stage ends right where it began, next to the ocean, and many racers take advantage of that fact, soaking tired muscles in the cool waters of the Pacific.

That evening we convene for dinner at the local sports complex. The hockey rink is devoid of ice, and now features cloth-covered tables and silverware, complete with candles and decorative white lights adorning the sides of the rink. Girls on rollerskates float around serving local craft beer and wine while we dig into barbequed pork roast, shrimp and asparagus pasta, local organic veggies and caramel-glazed cake for dessert. While we loosen our belts and sit groaning from the herculean amounts of food we have just ingested, local talents hit the stage for the evening’s entertainment. The night is capped off when an awkward, chubby teenager shuffles on stage to sing. He starts off with Cee Lo Green’s “Forget You” and has the crowd on its feet cheering incredulously after the first few pitch-perfect notes, like a scene out of an American Idol audition. Later, as the sun sets over the ocean, and I fall asleep to the sound of waves on the shore, I marvel over how this was just one of seven amazing days of this race. Each day is an experience unto itself, and the whole week an incredible adventure.

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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.

Active Lifestyle, Osprey Athletes , , , , ,

Stage 3: Tom Danielson Wins the Epic Gunnison to Aspen Stage

August 22nd, 2012

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the biggest and most challenging bike race ever held on U.S. territory. This year, it’s back with a vengeance. Starting August 20, for seven consecutive days, some of the best cyclists from around the world will take on 683 miles of the Rocky Mountains and ride through some of Colorado’s most beautiful cities. Osprey is proud to be the official pack sponsor of the Challenge and will be bring you photos from each day’s events right here on the Osprey Bike Blog.

Congratulations to Tom Danielson! He blazed through the finish line first to a roaring crowd in Aspen today. The epic Gunnison to Aspen stage features two of the highest climbs in professional racing, the 131-mile Queen Stage—the longest stage of the entire week—and a monster 12,000-foot summit on the famed Independence Pass before a wild descent into Aspen. Needless to say, it was an exciting day of racing!

Active Lifestyle, Events, photos, The Cycling Buzz , , ,

Stage 1: USA Pro Cycling Challenge Kicks Off—Durango to Telluride

August 20th, 2012

Tyler Farrar crosses the Stage 1 finish line in Telluride, Colorado. Photo: Chris Horton

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is the biggest and most challenging bike race ever held on U.S. territory. This year, it’s back with a vengeance. Starting August 20, for seven consecutive days, some of the best cyclists from around the world will take on 683 miles of the Rocky Mountains and ride through some of Colorado’s most beautiful cities. Osprey is proud to be the official pack sponsor of the Challenge and will be bring you photos from each day’s events right here on the Osprey Bike Blog.

Tyler Farrar won Stage 1 of the second annual USA Pro Challenge today. The opening stage was anything but tame, with challenges hitting cyclists right away. Starting with a 5-mile loop that encompasses most of Durango, Colorado, the riders headed up hill and out of town and toward Telluride. After a second Sprint Line in the town of Dolores, racers started the gradual canyon climb that lasted more than 30 miles, eventually taking them up and over Lizard Head Pass at 10,222 feet. After the climbers’ first test of the week, they blazed down a 15-mile descent into the narrow streets of Telluride to finish stage one and the first 125 miles of the race.

Congratulations to Farrar and all of the riders who showed us what they had today, we’re excited for a full week of these kinds of performances!

Active Lifestyle, Events, photos, The Cycling Buzz , , ,

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?

Read more…

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Yackle Brothers Racing: Putting Osprey Packs to the Test

May 21st, 2012

Waiting At The Start Line During Sea Otter

I am 11-year-old Jake Yackle and I live in Cortez, CO. For four years I’ve been XC Mountain Bike racing in the Four Corners States and for the past two seasons I’ve stepped up to race teenagers and adults in competition. My brother, Nye, and I traveled to the Sea Otter Classic last month to race against nationally ranked 13-14 year-old juniors that are closer to our age.

Before our XC race, each of the three consecutive days, we completed pre-rides on the dry, hot 14.5 mile Sea Otter course. The Osprey Verve 4’s ample water capacity and innovative lightweight design proved perfect to help keep us fresh and energetic for our second most important race of the season.

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Yackle Brothers Racing Team Recounts The El Paso Puzzler Race

February 3rd, 2012


Last month, two brother, ages 11 and 9 entered a TMBRA Endurance Series Race, The El Paso Puzzler. In addition to completing the race, the two remained competitive throughout the 35-mile version of one of the toughest course in the country, finishing in 13th and 14th place in the Men’s Open Class Field.

We’re excited to support the efforts of the Yackle Brothers Racing Team, based in our hometown of Cortez, Colorado. Jake and Nye have etched their mark as top national junior XC MTB racers over the last three years, winning National Championship Medals along the way. Challenging themselves seems to be the only logical course for these two top athletes.

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Events, Osprey Athletes , ,

The World of Collegiate Cycling by Nitish Nag

March 3rd, 2011

The University of California Berkeley Cycling Team

With the massive growth of high school cycling through the recent inception of the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), we are seeing a huge boost in the amount of junior cyclists across the country. This is super exciting and promising for the sport to grow in a sustainable manner for the future.

But what happens to all these high school cyclists as they head to college? [Insert superhero music] Collegiate Cycling! Because collegiate cycling gets much less media exposure than high school cycling, many do not even know how it work or exists. The idea was founded initially as the National Collegiate Cycling Association in 1985, and is now under the governance of USA Cycling as USA Cycling Collegiate. Where as NICA currently focuses on just mountain biking, due to the benefit of safety and ease of introduction that mountain biking offers to beginner cyclists, collegiate cycling encompasses road, mountain bike, track and cyclocross — essentially all disciplines of bike racing other than BMX racing. This is really cool because all types of cyclists have a spot in the collegiate program.

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Hot August Night for Osprey Hydraulics Team Member Glenda Martin

September 20th, 2010

All I can say is “WOW” what a fun way to end the race season!

Because of shift work and home renovations, my final big race of the season was going to be another 24-hour solo event. Chico Racing puts on two 24-hour events a year, Summer Solstice and Hot August Night, as well as other Mountain Bike events.

Hot August Night is held in Bolton, Ontario and runs from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, although it may have been a tad hot, but no complaints since the three previous 24-hour events had been spoiled with rain. They set up a course that was fun for all riding abilities. There were some awesome fast single tracks, as well as some technical down hills, and yes — a lot of climbing.

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Bike, Events, Osprey Athletes, Product , , , , ,

Canadian Hydraulics Team Member Harper Forbes Tackles The Wilderness 101

August 25th, 2010

I’ve been wanting to do one of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) MTB100 marathon races for a few years, and although the Wilderness 101 didn’t fit great into my racing season with Untamed New England (a 3-day, non-stop adventure race) a few weeks away, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do this killer course. A course considered by many to be the toughest technically and physically on the NUE circuit.

The Wilderness 101 takes place outside State College (home of Penn State) in Rothrock State Park and surrounding state lands. The 160 km course is mountainous and extremely rocky. There would not be fast flowy single-track here like we are accustomed to in Ontario; instead it would be a maze of gnarly rocky single-track interconnected by old coal mine trails, fire roads and the occasional paved state park road.

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