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January 26, 2013

An Ode to the Fat Bike



By The Cycle Life
Jan 26, 2013

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All Smiles on the Fat Bike

Earlier this week on a side street in Santa Fe, I passed a guy bike commuting the opposite direction from me. He was riding a fat bike.

Like any good cyclist, I'll often crane my neck to see what a passing rider is pedaling or what pretty frame is adorning the roof rack of that Subaru. But this time I nearly crashed looking because, other than the handful of fat bikes that come through the Outside offices for testing, this was the first big wheeler I've ever seen in my town. In addition to the fatty, this guy was wearing royal blue short shorts and technicolor knee socks—as if he needed more than the monster truck tires to draw attention to himself.

What you have to understand is that Santa Fe is no Boulder, Colorado. No Portland, Oregon. A small contingency of dedicated cyclists lives and trains here, but this is no bastion of cycling culture. So the arrival of fat bikes in Santa Fe is akin to the arrival of, say, women in military combat positions—it's a sign that the trend has moved from outlier to mainstream.

Continue reading "An Ode to the Fat Bike" »


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Related Topics: Bikes · Biking

January 25, 2013

A Graphic Mapping of the Damage Caused by Sandy



By Adventure Lab
Jan 25, 2013

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Screen Shot 2013-01-25 at 2.22.28 PMPhoto: Spatial Information Design Lab

The Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University has built an informative and easy-to-use online graphic that shows the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. Currently, users can view maps of the New Jersey and Long Island coasts and click on different areas to see the number of heavily damaged buildings estimated by FEMA, how the damage maps up against various socioeconomic factors, and what the affected locations look like in photos.

Continue reading "A Graphic Mapping of the Damage Caused by Sandy" »


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Related Topics: Nature · Science · Technology

Peter Mel's View of Mavericks



By Adventure Lab
Jan 25, 2013

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This past Sunday, Peter Mel won the Mavericks Invitational. The video embedded above offers a view of the big-wave contest as captured by his GoPro.

Continue reading "Peter Mel's View of Mavericks" »


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Related Topics: Film and Video · Surfing

January 24, 2013

A Video Profile 11-Year-Old Climbing Sensation Brooke Raboutou



By Adventure Lab
Jan 24, 2013

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The profile on Team ABC Boulder of 11-year-old climbing sensation Brooke Raboutou—which was last updated in December 2011—lists more than a few hard-to-grasp facts about the phenom. Raboutou first climbed at the age of one. She began climbing regularly at four or five years of age. Her favorite problem is "Scrawny and Brawny," a V10 in Joe's Valley, Utah. Her goal is to send a V14 and a 5.14c/8c+.

In July 2012 she scaled a little bit closer to her dream, by sending a 5.14b, "Welcome To Tijuana," in Rodellar, Spain. That achievement established her as the youngest person in the world to climb such a difficult grade. (Male climbing prodigy Adam Ondra climbed an 8c at the end of his 11th year, according to climbing blogger Stevie Haston. He has since climbed the world's highest graded route, a 5.15c.)

Continue reading "A Video Profile 11-Year-Old Climbing Sensation Brooke Raboutou" »


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Related Topics: Climbing · Film and Video

A Reminder to Check the Expiration Date on Your Extreme Aerial Stunt Waiver



By Adventure Lab
Jan 24, 2013

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On Monday, January 21, ThoseCrazyTexans uploaded a 19-second clip of aerial stunt pilot Jason Newburg flying a plane at roughly 200 miles per hour just a few feet above the ground and a few feet to the side of a mini four-wheeler. The clip went viral, and has received more than 150,000 plays over the past four days. Unfortunately for Newburg, at least one of those plays came courtesy of the Federal Aviation Administration. The government agency is now investigating whether Newburg's stunt unnecessarily put people in harm's way.

Continue reading "A Reminder to Check the Expiration Date on Your Extreme Aerial Stunt Waiver" »


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Related Topics: Adventure

Can Lake Tahoe Stay Blue—and Get Smart?



By Adventure Ethics
Jan 24, 2013

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Laketahoe_map_flckr_boklmPhoto: Flickr/Boklm

Earlier this month, a federal judge ruled that an expansion plan for Homewood Mountain Resort on the shores of Lake Tahoe would not be allowed to move forward without further considering a scaled-back alternative with less environmental impact. The Sierra Club, which joined with a local environmental group and Earthjustice to bring the suit against the resort, is calling the decision a victory. But so is Tahoe's regional planning agency, because, it says, at least the judge did not say the environmental review was flawed.

This is the latest in a decades-long battle over how to best protect the awe-inspiring resources in the Lake Tahoe basin through thoughtful planning and management practices—something that had been absent until a 1987 plan aimed to reverse unchecked development.

On December 12, after years of roadblocks and revisions, a new regional plan framework—focused on bringing more mixed-use development into town centers around the lake and improving the area's transportation system—was approved. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), a collaborative California-Nevada agency charged with managing and improving the environmental health of the Lake Tahoe basin, is now set to begin implementation of the plan on February 11. But the Tahoe Area Sierra Club is considering erecting one more roadblock: a lawsuit to stop the plan, which it says is focused on tourism dollars rather than the lake's health.

The controversy raises a question pertinent not just to the Tahoe region but to mountain communities everywhere: What does "smart growth" look like in an alpine environment?

Continue reading "Can Lake Tahoe Stay Blue—and Get Smart?" »


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Related Topics: Politics · Science · Water Activities

Specialized Overhauls Apparel Line



By The Cycle Life
Jan 24, 2013

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Velodramatic_clothinglaunchride-6990The Big Easy. Photo: Robertson/VeloDramatic

In Morgan Hill, California, last Saturday morning, a small peloton riding a phalanx of Roubaix SL4s, Tarmacs, and Venges rolled out on a loop that Specialized CEO Mike Sinyard calls The Big Easy. The 60-mile circuit, one of Sinyard’s favorite weekend jaunts, takes in two famous area climbs, including the perennial Tour of California hump up Tunitas Creek, as well as plunging descents, pastoral hills, and a coastal stretch with views over the infamous Mavericks surf break.

This wasn’t, however, Sinyard’s standard weekly tour. It was the culmination of two years of work by his company to reinvent its apparel program, and everyone in the 30-strong group, half journalists (myself included) and the remainder Specialized employees and racers, were decked from helmet to cleat in red and white S-branded gear.

Continue reading "Specialized Overhauls Apparel Line" »


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Related Topics: Bikes · Biking · Gear

January 23, 2013

Adventure Video of the Week: Revelation, a Visual Poem



By Adventure Lab
Jan 23, 2013

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Seb Montaz, the filmmaker behind Kilian's Quest and I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies), released an adventure short last week meant to inspire one simple question: Are you following your line?

Continue reading "Adventure Video of the Week: Revelation, a Visual Poem" »


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Related Topics: Adventure · Film and Video

World's Largest Natural Sound Archive, by the Numbers



By Adventure Lab
Jan 23, 2013

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Shutterstock_107677163What an ostrich sounds like. What an ostrich chick in an egg sounds like. Photo: Shutterstock

You might know what an ostrich sounds like because you watched that episode of Dirty Jobs, but do you know the sound an ostrich chick makes as it's trying to crack out of its egg? There's now a place online where you can find out.

On January 15, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology announced that it had converted its Macauley Library sound archive into a digital catalog that anyone can click. "Our audio collection is the largest and the oldest in the world," said Macaulay Library director Mike Webster. "Now, it’s also the most accessible."

The institution said the new digital archive will help expert and amateur birders and other naturalists train, offer video and audio editors a place to find specific sounds, and allow the library to assemble a larger collection. "Now that we’ve digitized the previously archived analog recordings, the archival team is focusing on new material from amateur and professional recordists from around the world to really, truly build the collection," said audio curator Greg Budneyaid.

Here's a bit more about the sounds that have been collected and digitized, with a selection of some of the best recordings and a look at the numbers.

Continue reading "World's Largest Natural Sound Archive, by the Numbers" »


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Related Topics: Nature · Science

Scouting Report: No-Hassle Family Skiing at Canyons



By Raising Rippers
Jan 23, 2013

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John_Davis_CongareeNP_Susan_BaycotCanyons Resort. Photo: Scott Markewitz

Last week I was at Canyons Resort in Utah on official Outside business, and for the first time in months, I had to leave my children behind. Solo traveling has its pros and cons. On one hand, without little bodies pattering into my bedroom at 3 a.m. or hollering “Rise and Shine!” while it’s still black as night outside, the assignment was surprisingly relaxing. I actually came home more rested than when I’d left. On the other, it’s a kind of strange to find yourself at the epicenter of family adventure without, well, your own family.

Then again, because I wasn’t spending every free second bundling little ones into snowsuits and wrangling their gear, I had time to dial in the details on a sweet family ski trip.

Continue reading "Scouting Report: No-Hassle Family Skiing at Canyons" »


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Related Topics: Adventure · Family · Skiing and Snowboarding · Snow Sports · Travel


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