I woke up at the usual time, 5:30 AM, on the morning of my last radiation treatment for prostate cancer.
It had been a long haul; from diagnosis of the most aggressive form of what is more typically a slow-growing cancer in October 2011, to surgery in November. Then started the 38 radiation treatments: five days a week for two months during the summer of 2012. I had asked my radiation oncologist, Dr. Stanley Liauw at the University Of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center, if I would able to ride my bike to every treatment. It was a 44-mile round-trip from my home in Evanston, a northern suburb along Lake Michigan, to the Cancer Center in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago’s South side.
“Well,” Stan said, “we’ll see how you feel about halfway through.” Read more…
“This event is a celebration of the many outdoor recreation opportunities our region and Five Rivers MetroParks offer,” Said Rebecca Benna, Executive Director of Five Rivers MetroParks. “It is a way for everyone to personally connect with nature and experience the outdoors. It’s a chance not only for expert adventurers to further their skills, but for families to try something new.”
We are thrilled to attending this year’s Midwest Outdoor Experience in Dayton, Ohio, the “Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest.” With more than 15,500 acres of land, 270 miles of river corridor and 160 miles of managed trails for hiking, cycling, mountain biking and horseback riding, the Five Rivers Metro Parks is the place for outdoor adventure! On October 3rd and 4th, the Five Rivers MetroPacks will host Outdoor events and the best part is the event is free! Here are some key events you will want to check out while at the Midwest Outdoor Experience:
IMBA Bike Village-Osprey partner and non-profit IMBA, whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great mountain biking experiences, will be sponsoring the Bike Village. Add to your mountain bike skills by visiting the Bike Village. Don’t forget to bring your wheels for the group rides and skills clinics!
Compete in the Great Outdoors-You can also enter several competitions, including a 12-hour endurance race or the disc golf tournament on a special course created just for this event! There is something for everyone — so check out the full list of competitions.
Live Music-Take a break and enjoy live music programmed by 91.3 FM WYSO and the Dayton Music Fest, featuring local acts at the Osprey stage! As you can tell from our #MusicMondays, we dig those live beats so we are sponsoring some amazing live music. Look for an array of our packs that will be decorating the stage!
Waste Free in 3- Festival vendors and volunteers have committed to keeping this event plastic-free and will not sell plastic water bottles or use Styrofoam. Instead, they will provide compostable or locally recyclable utensils. Show your support for this initiative and take part by bringing your own water bottle, pint mug, utensils — or purchase a reusable stainless steel bottle for the water stations and Great Lakes Beer Garden.
For more details over the many events taking place this weekend, check out the complete schedule.
Don’t forget to stop by the Osprey booth — we will be having quite a few activities (such as demos and chances to win a pack)! Here’s the scoop:
Get Fitted by our Fit-Gurus: The Osprey team will be on-site to answer all of your questions, chat packs with you and provide you the exact fit you need for your next Osprey purchase.
20% off Osprey Packs- We have teamed up with Great Miami Outfitters to bring you a unique discount of 20% off all select Osprey packs in celebration of the Midwest Outdoor Experience! You will find this 20% off in both the Great Miami booth as well as the Osprey Packs booth. Great Miami Outfitters will have all larger models for multi-day trips and the Osprey booth will have an assortment of hydration, trail, and day packs.
Osprey Demos- Experience the custom fit and functionality that Osprey is known for by taking one of our packs on your outdoor adventure or competition. We will have a limited supply of day packs and reservoirs for you to demo so don’t delay and be sure to stop by the booth to check them out!
Win a Pack- Take our 3 minute event survey for a chance to win an Osprey Pack! We will announce a winner daily and will be giving away the Limited Edition Trip 20 daypack.
#OutdoorX Scavenger Hunt- Are you on Instagram or Twitter? If so, you are in luck! Osprey has partnered with several Midwest Outdoor Experience sponsors to bring you a fun way to win a Grand Prize package! Visit all of the participating sponsors’ booths and find the scavenger item, then snap a photo, and post it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #OutdoorX. Be sure to tag the sponsor as well for a chance to win an Osprey Trip 20, Zuke’s Gift Basket, REI Mini-Bar Cooler, 3-disc set from Vibram and a $25 Gift Card and Gift Bag from Field & Stream! Visit any of the participating sponsors’ booths for more details!
Talon Guest Appearance on the Osprey Stage- BIRD IS THE WORD! Meet our mascot, Talon, before he takes off for the winter. He will be making a special experience in between sets at the Osprey sponsored Music stage. He also brought some treats to throw out to the crowd, so don’t miss out! He will be on stage at 6 PM on Friday and 1:30 PM Saturday.
Ultimate Swag Giveaway- Looking for chapstick? How about a coozie for your tastey beverage? We have got you covered with some of the “Best Swag You Eva Had” at the Osprey booth. We will have stickers, hats, chapsticks, eco-coolie coozies, and much more to give away to anyone visiting our booth.
Born in Cortez, CO, Jason Boblitt has been part of the Osprey Packs team for over 8 years. In 2006 Jason got his start in the Osprey warehouse and focused primarily on Quality Inspection projects. In 2008, Jason switched to shipping and Quality Assurance before joining the Quality and Returns team in 2010, where he still works. When Jason isn’t delivering on Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, he loves to spend his time backpacking, traveling, drawing and sewing. This is the story of Jason’s trusty Osprey Eclipse pack.
For years now, I have sat in that dusty garage waiting for the day when my owner would throw me on his back and take me out for excitement and adventure. I went out for a day hike once and was thoroughly excited for the years to come. Then something happened that was not expected. I found myself watching pack after pack being taken out of the garage and being returned with fabric still warm from sun or wet with rain. Not me though. Am I not big enough? Am I not what they wanted? The anxiety consumed me to the point of utter darkness in my soul. I was not fulfilling my potential. All that was left was to wait for the inevitable day when I would be discarded with the trash…
Then one day several years later, my owner grabbed me and placed me on the table under a bright light. They started taking my picture at different angles. After a brief moment of confusion and a quick glance at the computer, I realized I was being put on eBay. WTF?! Why would you do this to me? Get my hopes up for adventures and then eventually sell me at a low bid to some chump that will treat me the same. Disgusted and distraught I slipped deeper into oblivion. The journey in the box was as expected, very similar to the years spent in the garage; dark and noisy. To my surprise upon arrival, a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Was I being reborn? Cardboard flaps pulled back and I am dashed by a bright fluorescent light. Held high in the air by a young man, with prominent sideburns and a headset wrapped around his neck. Wearing sandals, shorts and a t-shirt with Jimi Hendrix’s face…but words below describing Bob Marley. I have been purchased by a customer service hippy with a possibly morbid and dry sense of humor. Oh the humanity! Read more…
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 Guaranteeso 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.
Bricks o’ cream cheese and tubs o’ Cool Whip… That about sums up the snowpack in Silverton, Colo. . Shameless product plug? Took the Talon 11 on a skate ski from town to Howardsville… It’s one of the best kept secrets of Silverton, and it’s FREE!