Tom Vanderbilt

Tom Vanderbilt

Tom Vanderbilt writes on design, technology, science, and culture, among other subjects, for many publications, including Wired, the London Review of Books, and Popular Science. He is a contributing editor for Artforum and the design magazines Print and i-D., a contributing writer of the popular blog Design Observer, and a columnist for Slate.


How I Learned to Surf in Middle Age

In an excerpt from his new book 'Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning,' Outside contributing editor Tom Vanderbilt takes up surfing as part of an experiment to learn new skills as an adult and discover the benefits of being a grown-up novice

Tom Vanderbilt
Jan 5, 2021

Meet the Italian Bike Hero Chasing Drug Dealers on Two Wheels

Coronavirus hasn't stopped Italian heartthrob and two-wheeled avenger Vittorio Brumotti from righting society's wrongs. The cyclist has delighted audiences with his TV news segment "100% Brumotti," shaming people for parking in handicapped spaces and taking on no less than the Mafia. We ride along with Italy's favorite bike hero.

Tom Vanderbilt
Sep 15, 2020

Is a $3,500 Indoor Bike Worth It?

The Wahoo Kickr is one of many expensive indoor bicycle trainers. Here's a serious review of a machine that will never see a ride under the open sky.

Tom Vanderbilt
Mar 14, 2020

My Badass Family Vacation Swimming in the Open Sea

Like the rest of us, Tom Vanderbilt was dreaming of a new kind of vacation. He wanted adventure and a physical challenge, but also a trip that would appeal to his wife and young daughter. The answer: swimming in the open ocean, day after wet, wild day.

Tom Vanderbilt
Jul 2, 2019

Jesse Itzler's Everest-Sized Hike Will Change Your Life

The former white-boy rapper and mega-successful serial entrepreneur has become a bestselling wellness author and Tony Robbins-style life coach. His latest venture, a highly social weekend of walking up mountains until you drop, called 29029, is pitched as a new breed of restorative endurance event. But is this just a brutal group hike with good marketing?

Tom Vanderbilt
Dec 3, 2018

Why You Should Get Rid of Most of Your Gear

As the minimalism trend enters a curious new phase that has clothing makers like Mac Bishop of Wool and Prince showing us how to get through a year with only a few pairs of underwear, one brave adventurer attempts to defend his gear closet

Tom Vanderbilt
Sep 25, 2018

The Angel Who Keeps Citi Bike Working for New York

New York's Citi Bike, one of the largest bike-share programs in the world, relies on a volunteer army to help redistribute some 12,000 bicycles among 750 stations each day, ensuring that users can grab a ride when they need one. Most of these volunteers do a few out-of-the-way deliveries a month. Then there's Joe Miller, whose superhuman efforts seem to defy any plausible explanation.

Tom Vanderbilt
Aug 7, 2018

A Dream Office for Bike Commuters

Creating a workplace that truly makes us happy and healthy takes a lot more than standing desks and on-site yoga. Thankfully, new research has sparked a growing design revolution.

Tom Vanderbilt
Mar 26, 2018

Did Airbnb Kill the Mountain Town?

Living the dream has never been easy in the West's most beloved adventure hamlets, where homes are a fortune and good jobs are few. But the rise of online short-term rentals may be the tipping point that causes idyllic outposts like Crested Butte, Colorado, to lose their middle class altogether—and with it, their soul.

Tom Vanderbilt
Jul 11, 2017

Biking Across America on a Diet of Fast Food

Fueled by Pop-Tarts and Little Debbies, 52-year-old software engineer Kurt Searvogel is out to break the record for the greatest distance pedaled in a year. What motivates a man to ride more than 200 miles a day—every day, rain or shine, hot or cold, sunrise to sunset?

Tom Vanderbilt
Dec 8, 2015

The Most Italian Bike Race on Earth Is Held in California

Each year, in the rolling hills and strade bianche of Tuscany, thousands of riders set out to conquer challenging climbs and tricky descents on pre-1987 equipment (drop-tube shifters, non-aero brake hoods, toe cages). Two years ago, I rode that L'Eroica course. This year, the event came, for the first time, to California. Here they drop the ‘L’ and call it, simply: Eroica. I wasn’t going to miss it.

Tom Vanderbilt
May 12, 2015

Inside the Mad, Mad World of TripAdvisor

Research almost any travel destination and you'll probably wind up on travel-industry Goliath, where passionate people praise and denounce everything from romantic getaways to cockroach-infested hotel rooms. But who can you trust?

Tom Vanderbilt
Mar 13, 2015