In most of the country, today just happens to be the last day of February. But in Durango, CO, it’s not just the end of another month, it’s the Third Annual Winter Bike to Work Day. The event itself is put in place to honor the bike commuters who battle the winter elements in Durango, and the festivities surrounding it are open to cyclists of all kinds. The City of Durango’s Multi Modal Department is the key sponsor, and will be offering up hot drinks, food and giveaways today from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in front of Durango Coffee (at 730 Main Avenue). There’ll be a bounty of cyclists and commuters there to celebrate. What’s more, there will be schwag to give away, including T-shirts, scarves and even an Osprey Pack for the day’s raffle winner! For more information on bicycle commuting and Bike to Work Day in Durango, head here.
Mountain 2 Mountain’s Shannon Galpin has spent the past several years pedaling in Afghanistan, and in the midst of her journeys, she’s observed the following: “… usually the only bikes I see are simple Pakistani made commuters bikes, ridden around the country on dirt roads and highways by men and boys of all ages.” But last November, Shannon met the Men’s National Cycling Team, which made a huge impression. As Shannon put it, “They have a real love of the sport, racing in Kabul and in Pakistan. Several mentioned their hope to compete one day in the Olympics.” What’s more, even though it is culturally unacceptable for women to ride in Afghanistan, Shannon found out that there happen to be 10-12 women on the Cycling Team with the support of the coach.
While the cycling community in Afghanistan is there (and slowly gaining ground), it remains fact that those riding are doing so with virtually no support, on bikes that don’t always suit their needs and with gear that’s less than ideal. That’s why Mountain 2 Mountain is organizing a month-long bicycle gear drive that will begin on Friday, February 15th. Here’s the full run-down of details:
The most-needed items (i.e. suggested donations) are, for both women and men, both road and mountain bike: “helmets, pedals, shoes, cleats, seats, chammies, long pants, jerseys, gloves, jackets, windbreakers, sunglasses, socks, tools, tubes (no 29′ers please), tires, lube, air pumps. Lightly used old gear and new gear is welcomed!!” Cash donations to help with transport costs will also be accepted. There will be four drop-off locations in Colorado (Denver – Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop, Boulder – Boulder Cycle Sport, Golden - Rise Above Cycles, Frisco – Podium Sports). Additionally, individuals are welcome to send a box of their gear donations directly to Mountain 2 Mountain (PO Box 7399, Breckenridge, CO 80424). All gear will be picked up on March 15th, so gather your goods and get them out the door ASAP!
You can follow what’s happening with the drive and check for updates on Mountain 2 Mountain’s Facebook page.
If you want to make an online donation to support the teams or our upcoming Strength in Numbers program you can do that here!
Our friends over at Pinkbike.com are serious about not letting adverse weather get in the way of a good time. As writer Colin Meagher puts it in this post, “My true love is epic XC and AM rides, and my riding starts in late fall for the simple reason that, during the World Cup race season, I don’t have much time to go mountain biking. My riding season really starts in November and I live in Seattle, which means cold, dark, and wet.”
Conditions like these may not be terrible by nature, but they can make for a challenge if you’re not prepared for the elements you’re sure to face. Naturally, then, Meagher is pretty attuned to picking out what will perform best — quite simply so he can do the same. Part of his round-up of 10 Suggestions to Beat the Chill includes our very own Osprey Syncro 20 pack. And here’s what he had to say about it:
Osprey would seem to be the new kid on the block for bike packs, having started making hydration packs only in 2009. Owner/lead designer Mike Pfotenauer designed his first pack at age 16 and founded Osprey Packs in 1974 in Santa Cruz, CA. Now their headquarters are in Cortez, Colorado, where they have ready access to a plethora of trails for testing. The Syncro Pack from Osprey is lightweight, streamlined, and has a ventilated harness – just the thing for all-day trail epics. The pack comes in three variations based upon storage volume: 10 liter, 15 liter, and 20 liter. All three feature a 100-denier triple-Ripstop ‘High Tenacity’ nylon body, a Lidlock helmet clip, a three-liter hydration bladder, a variety of pockets for storage, and mesh side pockets for quick-stash items. Notable details are Osprey’s magnetic sternum buckle for holding the bite-valve, and an integrated rain cover that was a key selling point for me. I opted to test the Syncro 20, reckoning that while it has a LOT of cargo space, it also comes with compression straps, allowing me to streamline the fit of the pack in the event I wasn’t maxing its capacity. It has a main gear compartment, a smaller pouch for important gear like phones and wallets, as well as medium and a small-ish zippered stash pockets for tools, etc. The rain fly unfurls from its own zippered pouch on the underside of the pack.
If you’ve ever lived in a less-than-deal apartment for the sake of saving a buck or for reasons related to an expedient break-up/move-out situation, you understand how hard it can be to find a fantastic place to store your most prized possession: your bike. Sure, some old-school buildings offer neat nooks and crannies that you can get creative with when it comes to your two-wheeled baby. Yet in the case of a balcony-free, cramped living space, what happens to your ride?
Fortunately, that question may become obsolete as Americans begin pedaling more, prompting builders to recognize the importance of providing residents in apartments with bike storage. An article posted on The Daily Journal points out the straight facts, stating:
Bike commuting is on the rise in many cities, studies show, and as the number has grown, so has the need for bike-friendly housing.
Many apartment complexes are offering secure storage spaces for bikes. Some developers are even putting bike repair shops in apartment buildings.
The article also mentions über bike-friendly cities such as Portland and Seattle, both of which have apartment complexes that are specifically catered to bike commuters. These spots may be trendy in their new-ness, but we’re pretty certain that as more two-wheel commuters invade the streets, more bike-friendly housing options will pop up as well. Of course, we’d love to know: What are your thoughts?
Back in October, we wrote about an incredible new bicycle that’s made entirely out of cardboard. Now we’re back to show you the newest in cardboard creations: a helmet that’s designed with a corrugated cardboard interior that mimics the corrugated cartilage standing between a woodpecker’s impact-heavy beak and its precious skull.
The new “Kranium” helmet is crafted with cardboard in such a way that, according to NPR, a whopping “90 percent” of its liner is actually air. Specifically, the helmet is uniquely designed by “incorporating a network of honeycomb-shaped corrugated cells” that would safely dissipate the energy of a blow to the head.
We’re excited to see new innovations hitting the bicycle and bicycle helmet market, which are changing the way we see transportation and the safety that’s necessarily involved in it. What’s more, we’re hoping that inventions such as these spark people’s interest in riding bikes, regardless of what they’re made out of.
It’s that time of year again: National Geographic Adventure has nominated ten individuals to stand in the running for 2013 People’s Choice Adventurer of the Year. This year in particular, we’re incredibly proud to announce that the outstanding Shannon Galpin of Mountain2Mountain is one of the Adventurer of the Year nominees — and you can vote for her now!
M2M, which Shannon founded in 2006, “believes in the power of voice as a catalyst for social action,” and has touched the lives of many since its inception. In its latest project, Streets of Afghanistan, M2M utilizes the power of photography as the voice of change.
In 2009, Shannon became the first woman to bike in Afghanistan, challenging societal norms and gender perceptions in that part of the world. In general, Shannon’s work has seriously highlighted the significance of perpetuating equality for women and girls in conflict regions, and will continue to impact generations to come.
For good reason, Shannon is nominated as Humanitarian of the year. Via Nat Geo Adventure:
The 38-year-old has braved some of the most violent periods in Afghanistan—a country considered by many humanitarian agencies to be the worst place in the world to be a woman—to work on women’s education and health. She fostered midwife training to combat infant and maternal mortality in the Panjshir Province. In Kabul and Kandahar, she helped develop reading programs for the daughters of women in prisons, some of whom were jailed for adultery after they were raped or for escaping arranged marriages.
She has used her bicycle as an icebreaker with village elders in remote mountain villages, and in a particularly bold fundraising act, she’s mountain biked 140 miles across the Panjshir Valley. In Afghanistan, women cannot ride bikes because of laws and social customs, a fact that Galpin believes has hindered women’s education by preventing them from being able to independently travel to school. As a foreign woman, Galpin was able to cross this boundary and turn it into a conversation starter.
Women’s rights are personal for Galpin. At 19, she survived being raped and knifed while coming home from work in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“I couldn’t think of anything worse beyond what had happened than being labeled a victim,” says Galpin. “I was petrified that I would be viewed that way and would have to wear that label for the rest of my life.”
Want to vote for Shannon Galpin? Go here to do so through mid-January.
Interbike is one of the world’s largest bike industry gatherings; a two-day affair that consists of not only panel discussions, seminars and clinics, but also a humongous showcasing of the best bike gear, apparel and accessories out there. It’s only natural, then, that Osprey attends every year to present our awesome bike packs to the bike industry world.
This year, we showed off our Spring 2013 collection, including the second generation of the Raptor 10 pack with the new Osprey reservoir. Watch the above video for a demo from Jeff Fox on the newest Osprey bike packs we have to offer!
The incredible organization known as 5 Gyres is about to embark on its latest outreach project: Last Straw Plastic Solutions Bicycle Outreach Tour. The Tour will take the team of 5 Gyres staff on a cross-country bicycle route where they’ll share stories of their 5 Gyres expeditions along the way; “doing trainings on how to enact common sense plastic mitigation policy, sharing film, networking, and… running a cleanup contest throughout the tour for a chance to win prizes from all our awesome sponsors!,” according to the 5 Gyres blog.
Check out the poster above for dates and details of the tour. And feel free to email 5 Gyres with any questions along the way!