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Dispatches : Gear

A Dog Leash for Biking

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Do you wish you could take your dog for a spin, but aren’t sure how to manage the mechanics? Love to take your Lab for a lap on the local singletrack, but don’t have a way to roll with him safely to the trailhead?

Biking with a dog can be awkward and dangerous for both you and your pooch. While you have one hand on the bars and one on a leash, an energetic dog can throw you off balance dashing to pursue a squirrel or greet the neighbor’s schnauzer, or when he doesn’t stop at an intersection. Without the use of both hands, it's hard to stop safely, and there’s the danger that your dog will get tangled in your spokes, which is guaranteed not to turn out well for either of you.


The Walky Dog Plus dog bike leash solves those problems. A seatpost-mounted horizontal metal bar that houses springs and a leash, the Walky Dog connects your bike to your dog’s harness or collar, forcing a safe distance between dog and the bike’s spinning parts, without giving Rover too much play. Internal springs temper your pup’s pulls, and give you significantly improved control of your bike.

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An Engineered Wood Core Redefines All-Mountain Skiing


All-mountain skis. They've been made before. But all-condition skis? Ones that can bulldoze through crud, that still have the flexibility and sheer girth to carve sweeping, surfing turns in deep powder? It sounds impossible, right? Anyone who has used a set of true powder skis on resort groomers knows they can knock your fillings out and send you straight to the spa for skeletal realignment in the hands of an aggressive massage therapist.

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Holiday Gift Guide: Gear Up Your Gal This Season

Holiday gift guides abound this time of year. But they're mostly filled with gifts that you hope you'll get, not gifts you'll give. Stumped as to what to buy your lady this season? This guide is for you.


She'll wear it as a scarf, and wear it as a shawl. Either way, this 650-fill goose down wrap will keep her warm all winter. Variegated quilt and stripe patterns add subtle style—she will too as she configures this infinity looped wrap the way she likes it. $90;


This jacket is functional and beautiful. The merino shell has a wind-resistant membrane that keeps the heat in and the weather out. A zippered inside pocket stashes a wallet or passport, while the soft, stretchy internal cuffs give extra warmth. Simple, sophisticated, and at home in New York, Aspen, Paris, or Oslo. And to speak to her love of mountains, the lining has a subtle topographical map pattern. $350;

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Testing the New Diamondback Line in Santa Fe

Jon Kennedy at White MesaJon Kennedy shows off his Diamondback at White Mesa. Photo: @portermtb.

Review season is upon us here in Santa Fe, with stacks of bikes arriving on the UPS truck each day, daily rides underway, and Outside's annual Tucson test trip just a month away. Rather than ship us their bikes, the guys from Diamondback decided to drive down and drop off their testers. Given the 1,400-mile drive from Seattle, that might sound excessive. But what mountain biker doesn't want to trade northwest rain for a few days of southwest high pressure? And besides, we love it when companies visit and we can get the skinny on the bikes straight from the source.

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Custom Wood Helmets for Biking, Skiing, and Paddling


In the 1990s, Dan Coyle started making wooden helmets for himself and his buddies for whitewater kayaking, as well as wooden eyeglass frames and paddles. It was a hobby, a use for Coyle’s chainsaw and grinder.

Coyle noticed that, structurally, wood is similar to rigid, closed-cell foam. That means it can, with impact, deform and absorb shock like EPS in a traditional bicycle helmet. In fact, Coyle discovered, almost any wood is capable of absorbing more energy than polycarbonate and the ABS plastics typically used in bike, skate, motorcycle, and ski helmets, while also being more durable. A wooden shell provides protection over a greater spectrum of impact energies, according to Coyle's tests. Add a cork liner and the comfort level compares to other helmets currently on the market.

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