The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2012

The Original Hero Kit: Bike Repair in Your Jersey Pocket

Kit contents 639 pixels

You’re late getting home from work, and your buddy will be over in 10 to pick you up for the epic mountain bike ride you’ve been scheming all summer. You still need to get dressed, but you also need to find your wrenches, chain tool, patch kit, and all of the other stuff you know you should bring along.

Get the Original Hero Kit, and you’ll never scramble to pull together the right bike repair kit for your trail ride again.

A mountain bike repair kit small enough to fit in your jersey pocket, the Original Hero Kit has everything you need to get you or your riding partner out of the most common trail conundrums. assembled essential tools in a durable waterproof Aloksac (a durable zip closure bag big enough to keep your cell phone dry in an unexpected storm) that’s packed flat so it sits comfortably against your back when it’s stuffed in your pocket. The included tools are high quality and practical, from a sturdy multitool with an easy to use chain breaker, to zip ties, cleat bolts, master link, patch kit and other bits and parts that at some point every cyclist wishes he had along for the ride. But the kit isn’t just tools. The Original Hero Kit includes survival supplies, like water purification tablets, toilet paper, and duct tape. And, lest you get stuck out in the wilds with no idea how your chain tool might fix your breakdown, the Original includes basic instructions.

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Ray Ives Goes Diving for Treasure

Even at 75, Ray Ives still has the pluck to don a dive suit made in 1900 to plumb the depths around England for treasure. The Brit, who began work as a commercial diver in 1965, is retired now, but still a dab hand at fishing up old weapons, ship parts, and, he hopes, gold. By the looks of his shed, he's found enough to show for several lifetimes of work. His walls are littered with everything from clay pipes, to bottles, to Royal Navy buttons, to a sword inscribed in Latin. "The sea's the biggest rubbish dump in the world, I think," says Ives in the 15-minute short, Ray: A Life Underwater. It's clear he's still mining it for all it's worth.

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A Design Inspired by Death: A Self-Inflating Vest for Freedivers

Screen Shot 2012-10-26 at 11.37.29 AMJacob Beck-Jaffurs. Photo: Professional Pathways

On Friday, March 11, 2011, 24-year-old freediver Jacob Beck-Jaffurs was found unconscious on the ocean floor by a dive partner off the coast of Kawera Island, New Zealand. He had been spearfishing when he suffered a shallow water blackout and drowned. His friend brought him to the surface and administered CPR, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead on shore near Pilot Bay, about nine miles away. "The world has just lost a wonderful young man who would have made a great doctor," his father told the New Zealand Herald.

Screen Shot 2012-10-26 at 11.36.08 AMRevival Vest. Photo: James Dyson Award

Beck-Jaffurs died on the final day of a six-week internship at Tauranga Hospital while in the last year of medical school at Auckland University. He was an experienced surfer and freediver and in excellent shape, according to his mother. Aside from spending time in the ocean and in medical school, he had co-founded a non-profit called Professional Pathways that sought to give poor students with fewer opportunities mentoring so they could chase careers in medicine, engineering, and law. In short, he was an active and inspiring young man who did what he could to help others.

After his death, a friend set about designing an auto-inflating vest for freedivers to honor him. The James Dyson Award has nominated 22-year-old James McNab's invention as one of 15 finalists in its 2012 design competition. The winner will be announced on November 8.

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This Week's Missing Links, October 27

A list of the best articles, videos, and photos that I didn't post this week—until now. For the best longreads of the week, check out "Weekend Reading: Invasion!"


What's the story behind the explosion in popularity of obstacle course races? Outside

A round-up of the fall season on Everest and Lhotse, The Adventure Blog

Lolo Jones makes the U.S. bobsled team, ESPN

How dead Arctic explorers are helping climate science, Outside

How to ask a girl out on the trail, Adventure Journal

How a minor league baseball player became an adventure photographer, Outside

A 39-year-old surfer dies of a heart attack, Transworld Surf

"The apology Lance Armstrong should—but will never—give," Ottawa Citizen

Will Lance Armstrong ever decide to apologize? Bicycling

Kristin Armstrong tallks about not talking about her ex-husband, Runner's World

Tyler Hamilton tells Pat McQuaid he should step down, BBC

The last story ever written on Lance Armstrong, The Onion

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Olukai Kia'i II: A Technical Flip-Flop Designed by Lifeguards


Most flip-flops aren’t very high-tech. That's just the nature of this kind of footwear. Unless they’re being made by Olukai. That company's Kia'i II flip was researched and developed with the Hawaiian Lifeguard Association. A hand-picked group of elite guards—from Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island—collaborated with Olukai engineers to review designs, test prototypes and influence the development process over a period of several years.

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