Courtesy of National Park Service, via National Parks Traveler
When planning a National Parks vacation, you probably go to the nps.gov Web site to find a campground, map prospective hikes, and check for warnings. Former National Park Service director Roger Kennedy, who died this past Friday at his home in Maryland at the age of 85, made sure the parks had an online presence that catered to all. The head of the NPS from 1993 to 1997, he added eight parks and expanded two. After his time as chief, in a 2002 interview, he stood up against proposed NPS budget cuts that might reduce attention given to minority accomplishments.
For those of you adverse to getting into a sleeping bag with with mud caked on your legs, dirty and tired from a day in the woods, here's a piece of gear will prevent that pre-sleep complaining. New Hampshire based Nemo plans to release its new Helio Pressure Shower this spring. This backcountry bath comes in a neatly nested kit that provides five-to-seven minutes of water pressure. Fill the 11-liter fabric tank, let the water warm in the sun, set the tank on the ground, then give the pump a gentle press with your foot every 30 seconds to a minute while holding the seven foot nozzled neoprene shower hose overhead.
There were more than just feathery carbon road bikes and high-tech 29ers on display at Interbike. We saw tons of intriguing designs across the board, from belt drive commuters and cross bikes to a radical new mountain bike design with 26-inch wheels. In our final installment from the show, we present a few off-beat bikes we're looking forward to testing this fall. --Aaron Gulley aarongulley.com
BMC MassChallenge MC01 Turns out that Tour de France winners like fast bikes even when they aren’t racing. Designed by and for 2011 TDF champ Cadel Evans, this Gates CenterTrack belt-drive commuter pairs an aluminum rendition of BMC’s distinctive frame design with a host of Easton’s top-shelf carbon components (bar, stem, and seatpost). In case XT disc brakes and EC90XC 29er wheels seem a bit rich for your city bike—all the bling adds up to a price tag over $4K—BMC is offering more down-to-earth models in the Alpenchallenge and the Urbanchallenge.
Gear4Rocks Links Cams' appearance doesn't inspire trust. With their bare-wire stems and roughly-finished lobes, the cams looks like what they are: cheap climbing gear made by a near-anonymous company in eastern Europe. Sketchy, but at $36 a pop, they're the most affordable cams on the market. And honestly, they're not half as bad as they look.
Touted as the largest one-day amateur cyclocross race in the world, Oregon Bicycle Racing Association reported 1,497 racers at Cross Crusade series opener last sunday. Held at Alpenrose Dairy in bike-frenzied Portland, Oregon, racers ranged from ages 11 to 68 (excluding a few dozen rippers in the Kiddie Cross). The quintessential course had competitors zipping over grass, asphalt, single track and gravel; blasting up a full flight of stairs; and finishing in the historic velodrome, build in 1962. The classic PNW weather, was cloudy with just enough drizzle to make the course interesting, as in muddy.
Mountain View Cycles Race Team, Hood River, OR, photo by David Mackintosh