About

Pint glass tester

“El Jefe”

 

I started this site in 2007, as a blog about cycling, and it’s grown quite a bit since then. Instead of just one hack offering his thoughts on two-wheeled pedal power, there are now a handful of regular contributors, and a dozen or so testers. We all have certain common interests – a passion for the outdoors, and enthusiasm  for sharing that passion with others, either in person, or online. None of us have actual jobs in the outdoors industry, hence the name of the site. But we do try to be self-appointed goodwill ambassadors of our favorite pursuits, as well as stewards of the environment.  That’s why we share products that make being outdoors more fun, while placing special emphasis on those brands that are making a difference not just to their customers, but to their employees and Mother Nature – companies that see the bigger picture, and not just dollar signs. We like American companies not just out of national loyalty, but because domestic production drives local economies, can offer greater opportunity for quality control and innovation, and lowers the environmental impact of overseas manufacturing. Of course, we’ll gladly showcase any company from around the world that demonstrates the same values we care about. Because the goal of the site has never changed – bring the innovative and enthusiastic companies and consumers together.

About me:

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 also spent time working the retail side of the industry in Australia, as well as importing gear and running an online store. While I still have an interest in cycling, I’m spending more time with my family exploring the outdoors (I’m now located in Utah) on foot. And I’ve been combining that with another passion, photography. Look for the same great articles we’ve been providing over the years, along with some photo gear and tips sprinkled in here and there.

– Brian

Mrs. Outsider:

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.

Alex (AKA A1, Steak Sauce):

Alex

Alex

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 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.”

Mark:

Mark

Mark

Mark grew up hunting and fishing with his dad and brother, spending countless hours in the woods and on the lakes. They trekked through the woods everywhere they lived, and considering that his family moved every two years or so, Mark saw a lot of places. They camped in tents, under tarps, and in campers.

Later, if you can say he became an adult, Mark found that he really enjoyed creating things with his hands. He learned to do home repairs, raise a garden, and took up woodworking.  Lately, he has been able to combine his handyman skills with his love of the outdoors and make some outdoor gear, like alcohol stoves, fire pistons, and more.

For a few years now, Mark has been staying in shape through road cycling, eating natural non-processed foods whenever possible, and returning to hiking and backpacking. He plans to combine gravel grinding on the bike with backpacking and get into the bikepacking crowd.

Mark now wants to use our outdoor resources responsibly, build a skill set of bushcraft/survival skills, stay healthy, and enjoy all that the backcountry has to offer.  And of course he wants to have a blast while doing it!

Ryan:

Ryan

Ryan

As a Life rank Boy Scout in his youth, Ryan has always had a love for the outdoors. Taking cycling back up in 2012, Ryan has become a passionate cyclist enjoying every aspect of the sport. He recently became competitive in the sport, and has participated in such events as the Land Run 100, the Dirty Kanza Half Pint, Bike MS, and several mountain bike time trial and endurance races. As an IT professional at his day job he also enjoys anything high tech. When not on his bike, jamming out to the latest hard rock band, or geeking out over the latest gizmo to hit the market, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and Jack Russell Terrier.

Heather:

Heather

Heather

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).

Luis, Tamara, Carley, Alex (Dos), and Rob have also been contributors on a fairly regular basis, and each brings their own style. Together with our readers, they’re what makes the site.