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.
On January 31 at the SIA Snowsports Show in Denver, Colorado, sports design company Giro will introduce its first soft-shell helmet. Using new impact absorbing materials, Giro promises that this helmet will provide riders with durability and protection across a wide range of impact types, and even when the helmet takes multiple hits over the course of an event, a season, or even multiple seasons.
In fall 2013, Patagonia will celebrate its 40th anniversary, proving once and for all that responsible business can also be profitable business. In the words of Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, "only those businesses dancing on the fringe are going to be here 100 years from now."
The Outdoor Retailer show is just around the corner. And new product announcements are rolling in fast. Here's a quick look at some of the most promising bags we'll see in outdoor stores this summer and fall.
BOREAS BOOTLEGGER: This 3-in-1 adventure bag, the "Russian Dolls" of day packs, is designed to be used as a single unit, or in any one of three separate configurations, depending on what kind of excursion you’re on. Boreas calls the outer bag the Scrimshaw Dry Bag. This 11oz, 30-liter bag is made from rough and tough triple ripstop nylon with an extra heavy duty bottom. It’s fully taped to keep your gear from getting wet even when submersed, and its big enough to fit the Hopper Day Pack if you need your day bag to be fully waterproof.
The 28-liter ripstop nylon Hopper also has a burly reinforced bottom, as well as two-way stretch front panel pockets. And, inside it’s an organized commuter day pack.
The third part of the system is Boreas' 13-liter Torpedo Hydration Bag. This minimalist biking or hiking hydration pack has stretch front panel pockets (Boreas’ signature detail). And it fits inside the daypack. Having a hard time picturing it? Here's a visual aid:
What things does a great climber keep in his gear room? Conrad Anker answers that question in the video embedded above, in which he offers Black Diamond a tour of his basement lair. There's plenty of new climbing equipment, Alex Lowememorabilia, expedition journals from places like Meru, a carabiner from Mugs Stump, and, well, just watch the video.