Outside Magazine, Mar 2011



What is it about cyclists that can turn sane, law-abiding drivers into shrieking maniacs? The author ponders the eternal conflict with help from bike supercommuter Joe Simonetti, who each week survives the hostile, traffic-clogged rat race between the New York exurbs and Midtown Manhattan.

Decades after the Soviet-era meltdown drove 60,000 people from their homes in the Ukraine, a rebirth is taking place inside the exclusion zone. With Geiger counter in hand, the author explores Europe's strangest wildlife refuge, an enchanted post-apocalyptic forest from which entirely new species may soon emerge.

Greg Mortenson did it. So Shannon Galpin, a single mom and former Pilates instructor with no humanitarian experience, figured she could, too. She sold her house, started a nonprofit, and flew to Kabul to set up women’s educational and health programs, from scratch, in the world’s most troubled country. The author joined her on her most audacious fundraiser yet.

Serious toys to get the newest members of your clan addicted to winter fun

The most creative and affordable array of trips we’ve seen in years. Time to pack your bag.

Whitewater kayaker Hendrik Coetzee had decided to call it a career after a decade of first descents on the wildest rivers in Africa. The river’s most feared predator had a different ending in store.

South African Hendrik Coetzee was among the world's most talented whitewater kayakers, obsessed with exploring the remote rivers of Africa. But after a decade of surviving highly risky first descents and exploratory expeditions, he was ready to let it go after one last run in the Congo. That's when his luck ran out. By Grayson Schaffer

Hurled epithets, angry fists, hit-and-run crashes: in the new culture wars between drivers and cyclists, it's my way or the highway. Tom Vanderbilt saddles up for a three-hour commute into Manhattan to observe the bikelash firsthand.

Man-hunting wolf packs, freakishly large catfish, and homemade vodka as an antidote to radiation: it's the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where 25 years without humans has turned the de facto wildlife refuge into a living genetics experiment. By Henry Shukman

Four years ago, cycling enthusiast and Pilates instructor Shannon Galpin decided it was time to be the change she wished to see in the world. So she launched a nonprofit, went to Afghanistan, and devoted herself to women's issues. That was the easy part. Nick Heil joins her for a fundraising ride in the heavily armed Panjshir Valley.

destinations special
23 Reasons to Get Out There: All that dire talk about never-ending recessions and struggling economies has forced the travel industry to adapt. Which means that now—right now—is the time to plan the trip of your life. Plus: To give you some added incentive, we present our Trips of the Year, everything from whitewater rafting in Siberia to mountain biking in Argentina to the greatest multisport vacation in Alaska. Our best travel writers also share their favorite adventures.

Suede boots, sneaker-inspired shoes, and a look at why Amazon River trekker Ed Stafford wears Crocs while hoofing it around the house and the jungle.

Covet: A handcrafted leather briefcase that will stand the test of time.
Adventure Tech: The best new digital tools, from a smashproof cell phone to a sleek iPad rival.
Kids' Gear: Winter was made for youngsters. Here are the coolest toys to get them—and you—through it.
Made in the USA: Asia has the cheap labor, but the good old red-white-and- blue is still producing the planet's best outdoor products.

No More Barriers: Part one in our four-part series addressing the most common obstacles to peak athletic performance focuses on beating your toughest competition: your own mind.

Hiking for fun: it's the new big thing in China. To learn the art of backcountry travel‚ with all the Western fixings, like trail markers, designated campsites, and composting toilets‚ a group of Chinese hikers tackles a section of the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smokies. By Yang Xiao, translated by Ed Jocelyn