The Outside Blog

Dispatches : Oct 2012

Best of Interbike: 2013 Cycling Apparel We're Excited About

We're still digging through our notes from Interbike. In addition to our Gear of the Show picks, a flurry of cool new bikes, and stacks of interesting-looking accessories, we also saw lots of good looking new apparel in Vegas. Here's a sampler of what we can't wait to wear.

Rapha Long Sleeve Brevet Combo

RAPHA LONG SLEEVE BREVET JERSEY ($300)
Just in time for autumn, Rapha unveils a sharp, new full-length rendition of its pavement-tested Brevet jersey. That's brevet, as in 200-kilometer-plus randonneuring rides, which explains the voluminous storage, including the standard triple back pockets and two zipper compartments, front and rear. The high-vis pink and white stripes are stylish but tame enough for most riders, while the included matching pink vest might be a bit much for some. We love the looks of both, and we'll be riding in them all fall to see if they're as comfy as they are fetching.

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A Leopard Takes Down an Impala in Mid-Air

The video doesn't show the spark, the inciting moment that led the impala herd to bolt across the road directly into the path of a leopard crouching in the tall grass. But it does show the climax, the predator exploding from the brush into an esophagus-targeted leap that lands with such force that it leaves an ungulate reeling hooves over head in mid-air. A leg-jolting suffocation and a pre-dinner drag through the dirt follow.

One of the benefits of so many people having cameras and access to YouTube is the ability to share such rarely witnessed wildlife moments. Here's the description of how MiPixWildife happened upon this clip during a safari:

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Adventure Video of the Week: The Heart and the Sea

Surf filmmaker Nathan Oldfield's quiver of videos features everything from a short about a family of surf shapers to a personal chronicle about grieving for his stillborn daughter. His feature films have a reputation for being different, slow-paced and thoughtful with a focus on simple pleasures. "Surf films, by definition, appeal to only a limited demographic, and the kind of surf films I make are left-of-centre even within surfing circles," he said in a dispatch for Patagonia.

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Fatbike Expedition Comes to a Quiet Halt

Andrew Badenoch raised nearly $10,500 via Kickstarter to fund his zero-fuel Arctic adventure, but he abandoned his trip and left his backers in the dark.

77zero_portraits-026-6402 Andrew Badenoch. Photo: Joe Bell

Back in February, I wrote about Andrew Badenoch, an ambitious Portlander who had just raised nearly $10,500, via Kickstarter, to fund a solo fatbike and packraft trip from Bellingham, Washington, to the southern coast of the Arctic Ocean and back—a staggering, 7,000-mile journey. All this was despite the fact that Badenoch had no appropriate expedition experience. What he did have was a snazzy website, a compelling pitch video on Kickstarter, and a lot of ambition. I called that story "The Curious Case of Andrew Badenoch."

Since then, the story has gotten more and more curious. Due to logistical challenges, he launched his expedition many weeks after his target departure. He made it up to a small town in north central British Columbia, roughly 830 miles from Bellingham. He holed up there for at least a couple of weeks, apparently trying to arrange for food and gear deliveries, but then turned back south sometime in mid-August, it appears. I do not have exact dates or specific details of his trip because Badenoch has never provided them to me, or to his 212 Kickstarter backers.

In fact, his Kickstarter backers have not heard from him since May 3.

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Filming the World From a Bird's Eye View

GannetsWIngedPlanetGannets. Photo: Winged Planet

When filmmaker John Downer was in elementary school, he got down in the dirt of his parents' garden so that he could film the insects, frogs, and toads using a Super 8 camera. “I think that kind of, as I look back now, inspired my way of filming,” says the 59-year-old director. “Which is to try and get in the animal world.”

He studied zoology in college and then went to work in radio for the BBC before landing a job making TV shows for children. One of those shows involved filming life in a garden with miniaturized cameras that he built. “That was the first time I ever married advancements in technology with the capturing of images,” says Downer.

From there he got a job on the nation’s top-rated animal show, “Wildlife on One.” After making a show about snakes, he moved on to birds. He raised a duck from birth so that it imprinted to him as a parent, and a year later filmed it while flying in a parascender—a parachute pulled by a vehicle. He also stripped a Super 8 camera down to a lens, a film cartridge, a motor, and a battery so that he could put it on the back of a buzzard. The bird flew, and he got some grainy footage. “That was an inspiration,” he says.

But he knew inspiration wasn’t going to cut it for the film he ultimately wanted to make. He imagined capturing a bird's eye view of the world from multiple species. To do that, he needed to wait for smaller and more sophisticated technology. Twenty-five years later, he used drones, POV cams, and ultralights to film the new Discovery Channel show “Winged Planet” (October 6, 8 P.M. EST). I called him up to find out more about the making of the two-hour-long special.

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