How could we not choose to feature this photo today?
Not only is this ride pretty out of the ordinary, we like that it’s even got a Talon in it. Thanks to Joe for submitting it, and we should add that it was taken during a recent self-supported mountain bike trek around the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. If that doesn’t give you some inspiration to get out on a good ride this weekend, we don’t know what will.
For all of October we’re running our Ride of the Week photo contest. You send us your best shots your “ride” — be that your bike all covered in mud, a shot from your morning commute or your favorite section of singletrack — we’ll feature a weekly photo here on the blog, and at the end of the month we’ll pick a grand prize winner who will score a brand new Osprey hydration pack: the Viper or the Verve depending on your choice! Just upload your photo to our Flickr pool and tag it with “Ride of the Week,” or email us your photo to blog[at]ospreypacks[dot]com.
Thanks to Bike Radar for their awesome review of the Talon 22! They even went as far to say this popular Osprey favorite is an “incredibly comfortable larger capacity pack for epic adventures.”
Here’s the full review:
The Talon’s well designed harness system gives a truly comfortable feel out on the trail. The deep hip belt sits snugly in position and it’s easy to ﬁx the weight to your shoulders with the looped adjusters.
The Ripstop fabric used for most of the body means that you’re not carrying extra weight before you pack up, and once you do ﬁll your pack, the proﬁle is still sleek.
The overall effect is that the pack feels like it’s wrapped round your core, so that it not only seems like you’re carrying less, but the load remains supple and moves with you.
The well thought out pockets include zipped numbers on each side that you can access without removing the pack, and a stretchy helmet/wet weather compartment.
This is the pack we’d choose for epic days, and it’s also available in a 20L size to ﬁt narrower or shorter backs. It has a hydration slot, but no bladder.
Remember that even though the Talon doesn’t come with a bladder, you can purchase one of our HydraForm reservoirs as an add-on!
The Osprey Brand Team, a group of 10 ambassadors reporting from the field at consumer outdoor events across the country as well as reporting on adventures in their own neck of the woods, checks in with bike racer and brand team member, James Whitesides. Here James describes the enormously active (and slightly contentious!) Pacific Northwest cyclocross scene…
Come to Seattle because good fun is being had by everyone in the PNWCX scene! If you don’t know what that is don’t worry; Scotty came up with it last month for our beer cozies. Rivalries have been restarted, racing has been fast (and big), and we are just about to get some real rain. After spending the better part of four days in Las Vegas at Interbike it has been great to be home and enjoying our trails and racing. Lots of people are sure that the Northwest is rainy and nasty in the winter but being from the MItten I find it to be much more enjoyable than everyone lets on. As the days get shorter out come the lights and the knobbies and everyone gets their lube on nice and thick.
Nick and I started sampling the joys of fall and winter riding here in the northwest last week at Tiger Mountain State Forest. Logging constantly disrupts our use of the trails, and we are forced onto about 1/16th of the parks trail system to stop “erosion” caused by mountain bikes. I find it a little hard to swallow some of the vitriol that greets us every time we run into hikers on trails that are designated multi use when they have just walked through a massive clear-cut to get to the trail we are riding in the trees.
Luckily, Nick and I only saw one other soul out there and he was cruising up to the top of the hill to ride the Preston Trail down and up (not the usual exit) thanks to a closure so we knew that there would be little to distract us from some great riding in the rain. I had the Talon packed with my camera and we played around with shooting a few poor quality movies just for the heck of it. Nothing like tight rooty single track in the wet! Only two and a half hours of riding and I was sore that night. I realized that I hadn’t ridden over an hour since the Rapha ride in the middle of September!
Despite a little mountain biking, Cyclocross (CX) has been dominating my riding schedule lately and I am finally having consistent races. As of today I am 4th in the MFG Cat 3 field after three races and I think I might be able to get that top step with a little bit of luck. I raced the Cross Crusade race in Rainier, OR this weekend and I am more than impressed with what they bring to the table. If anyone doubts that Oregon is the heart of CX in the good ol’ US of A then they need to take a look at the result sheets.
Our biggest races in WA bring out 900 people for the day. Their average is around 1200 and they just held the biggest CX race ever with about 1450 racers. That’s a lot of people! Not only do they have a ton of racers but they also make it feel a lot more like Europe than anywhere else I have raced. However, we did steal the Grail de Grunge this weekend with a fine showing on Saturday in Seattle and a little bit of craziness on Sunday. There will be a lot of talk over the next week in the blogosphere about how crazy seven guys from Seattle are for stealing the cup from right under the noses of a guy with a sledgehammer. If you doubt my story go check out the pictures on the Cross Crusade site. I can only say that I acted in the heat of the moment and we are all lucky that no one really got hurt (except Brett but he only bled for ten minutes). People are keen to defend the honor of the their cross scenes! I hope that means we are going to see a more consolidated racing schedule over the next couple of years where SCX, MFG and the Cross Crusade work together for the betterment of each series.
Ed.’s note: Check out this story and video on Wend for a better idea of what James is describing!
Driving home from Seattle all of us were stoked to talk about some long rides this winter and we are all planning on doing some long races this winter. After seeing the new hydration pack online and the Flapjack at Interbike (Thanks Osprey for supporting Bike Hugger) I am really excited to test the new stuff and I am already dreaming up ways to abuse some packs!
For more information about James, see his profile page here.
In the wake of the holidays, that time when sustainability tends to take a back seat to travel commitments and requisite gift-giving, a lot of people look to limit their environmental impact. It wouldn’t be surprising if this New Year saw more resolutions to be carbon conscious, whether it’s opting for a chilly bike ride or turning down the thermostat. One way people can chose to reduce their footprint is by using products that last, thus precluding more materials for their replacement and saving landfill space. Making a backpack that’s built to last a lifetime is one of Osprey’s fundamental contributions to sustainability. Last year, Osprey backed up its workmanship and product performance with an All Mighty Guarantee so there would be no doubts about quality and performance.
It’s a good feeling to know that when I get a pack, I can depend on it for many adventures and excursions in the future. I think that’s why you tend to see a lot of older Osprey packs still being used by their owners, whether it’s out in the backcountry or in the airport terminal. Last weekend a friend and I made a trip to Berthoud Pass for a few backcountry turns, each with our Osprey packs in tow. I had my Talon 33, and he, despite having a shiny new AT setup this winter season, is still rocking his Exposure 36 that’s been abused for years. A couple of new buckles here and there, and it’s still good to go. That’s my idea of sustainability.
So, if you are one of those people resolved to reducing their carbon load this year, it’s good to know your pack brand has the same commitment to tread a little more lightly. Stay tuned this new year for more news and sustainability updates from Osprey.