I started this site in 2007, as a blog about cycling. Being the administrator on one bicycle-related website, and the account manager on another, I was constantly in contact with great people from all over the industry, and my hope was that they would take advantage of this site as the conduit to reach out to cyclists everywhere. A few things have changed since then, but the goal is still the same – bring the innovative and enthusiastic companies and consumers together. In 2011, I changed the focus a bit by taking on some staff and guest contributors, and looking at items of interest not just to cyclists, but anyone that enjoys the outdoors. That means instead of just bike-related reviews, we’ve been covering gear for hiking, camping, running, and more, as well as lifestyle items like clothing and gadgets. And the name of the site still applies, as neither myself nor any of the contributors has a full time position within the cycling or outdoors industry.
Yes, I am a bike geek. Cycling was one of my first interests as a child. I was big into BMX in the 70′s, and rode my bike everywhere, from local tracks and jumps to the long trails winding through the SoCal mountains around our home. No surprise that when I graduated high school in the 80′s, I got a mountain bike as a graduation gift. From there I collected some road bikes and got into that for a few years. Interest in road cycling waned when I moved to Australia, but I always had a few MTBs in the garage. At 35, I took up BMX racing again, which I did for about a year. I’ve owned an eclectic collection of bikes, including a vintage Raleigh Twenty, several 20″ and 24″ BMX bikes, beach cruisers, at least six MTBs, a like amount of steel and aluminum road bikes, a cross bike, a pair of single speed/fixed gears, and a custom titanium tandem MTB. My Wabi Classic set up as a single speed is the one most likely to be ridden these days, while my 24″ BMX race bike takes a close second for riding around the neighborhood with my daughter. And she’s got her eye on it for herself. I’ve also spent time working the retail side of the industry in Australia, as well as importing gear and running an online store.
Fearless companion to Brian, Mrs. Outsider has the patience of a saint. Once the sole female staff member, she no longer cringes when faced with offering opinions on such items as the Go-Girl, Poo-Pourri, and Lady Anti Monkey Butt powder. She’s endured all manner of hot and cold weather testing of a variety of products, and doesn’t get upset at childish antics like chasing the dogs and children around the yard while “testing” the maximum spray distance of a Geigerrig hydration pack.
The bike guy. When he finally outgrew his Dukes of Hazzard Edition Big Wheel, Alex rode department store BMX bikes as a kid while training to be the next Greg LeMond. He got his first “real” bike, a Gary Fisher Marlin, when he started college in 1995. Before he finished, he had gone from the Marlin, to a Fisher Joshua, to a Merlin XLM, to a Klein Mantra Pro, to an Ellsworth Truth, to an Ellsworth Truth SE. Just before graduating, he bought his first road bike, a Cannondale CAAD4. At this time he was still a mountain biker and made fun of “roadies”. Now he is one and proud of it. His road bike evolution somewhat mirrored his mountain bike evolution though he’s only on his fifth road bike. Alex loves being on country roads, especially before the sun’s up in the mornings. He also enjoys finding hard rides to push his limits. His current crowning achievement is the 2011 Ride of the Immortals. Outside of biking, Alex loves his wife and dog, and he’s quite fond of Formula 1, Radiohead, and the PS3. He also doesn’t find it offensive when he’s called a “beer snob.”
The somewhat eccentric but mostly normal emergency preparedness guy. David enjoys the outdoors as much as the rest of the crew, but he looks at gear a little bit differently. While many people will only look at the specific uses of a piece of equipment, he will also look at how it can help if his life depended on it (because it just might). Having a young family keeps him from doing some activities as much as he’d like, but look for him to focus on things that the whole family can enjoy. Voted “Most prepared for the Zombie Apocalypse” by his peers.
Our newest contributor, and also our youngest. But don’t let her age fool you. She’s an accomplished writer, an avid outdoors enthusiast, and a bit of a tech geek, all rolled into one. Heather has always liked being outside and getting dirty. Her favorite pastime as a child was building hot tubs out of mud for her Barbie dolls. Now that she’s older, she loves to hike and camp and prepare for the impending zombie apocalypse (or any disasters that may occur).
Al Painter is National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Performance Enhancement Specialist (PES) and Corrective Exercise Specialist (CES) who specializes in working with baseball players and endurance athletes. He is also the Fitness Editor for VeloReviews.com. CitySports Magazine named Al the “Bay Area’s Best Personal Trainer,” and he has also received a “People’s Choice Award” from the Palo Alto Daily News.
INTEGRATE Performance Fitness has also been named “Northern California’s Best Fitness Facility” by Competitor Magazine, “Best Mountain View Training Facility” by the U.S. Commerce Association, “Excellence in Customer Satisfaction Award” winner by Talk of the Town as well as a “Top 5 Bay Area Fitness Facility” by the SFGate.com.
If you would like to know more about the best ways to train off the bike to have more fun on it, you can an email Al at email@example.com.