Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Whistler, BC

The weather in the Northwest is no joke. The sideways, driving rain leaves you feeling soaked for days. But even the worst case of seasonal affective disorder can’t compete with Whistler in late summer.

After driving up through Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway, we dropped our bags at the Delta Hotel in Whistler, all along the way sampling plenty of the region’s specialty: pouring rain. The next morning, though, the rain had quit and Whistler showed its true colors. Craig and the team at Epic Ride showed us just about everything that makes this place so incredible. After riding CreamPuff and Pemberton (using Blackcomb helicopters as our personal chauffeurs), we checked out the awesome Alta Lake. Afterward we made a pit stop at the Howe Sound Brewpub in Squamish for a few pints of their Devil’s Elbow IPA. There are few better ways to cap a perfect day.

About with some nasty weather is part of any road trip. Sure, it put a bit of a damper on our Northwest excursion, but the road is all about the unexpected. And while being carted around in a helicopter is pretty great, nothing beats the road.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tour de Thule

Thule's 2nd Annual Tour De Thule took place on Tuesday, October 10th, 2006, and included heroic performances, personal triumph and a near photo finish. Signaling a good-bye to warmer summer lunch rides and hello to harsh winter sessions on the indoor trainer, the Tour de Thule provides a yardstick for Thule's Seymour CT riders to train harder over the winter or relish in others misery. At any rate, the racers left the flagpole at US headquarters before noon, the first rider out being a new member of the Thule Wheelman's Club.

Denise started with 20.00 minutes on the field and fought off the peloton until the very end. Waves of cyclists left the building in intervals based a secret time formula planned to get all riders on the final hill together.

After a 13.3 mile course through rolling hills, past Clark Library, and back home, Thule's number crunchers had it right, as the last hill had over 10 riders climbing for top position.

First place finisher Peter Pell had the following to
say about his victory, "Clearly I have been
sandbagging to get a better start time, and my cleaver
rues has again paid off in a big event".
Pell also credited a pre-ride stretch and
expert mechanical work of product manager Darren Synder.

In total, 17 riders took the challenge of Tour De Thule 2006 - all who participated or cheered from the sidelines had a great time and are already in training for 2007.

Monday, August 28, 2006

World Kayak Tour makes a stop

The World Kayak Tour Blog Site is sponsored by Camp Arrowhead, Jackson Kayak and Entropy Gear. Krazy Kayakers are a group of three paddlers travelling around, having fun, and searhing for the meaning of life. The group includes; Matt Rideout (Tennessee) Jez Blanchard (Australia) D-Mac (North Carolina).

We'll be following the World Kayak Tour and Krazy Kayakers Jez, Matt and D-Mac on our Roadtrip blog - stop over at and drop them a hello - They love feedback and are always wired -

Thursday, August 24, 2006
We spent the night driving from Washington DC to Seymour, CT. This was quite an epic drive to say the least. We pulled out of DC around 11:00 pm and drove our way through Baltimore, and then onto New York City. Somewhere in Delaware we stopped for a midnight snack at McDonald’s. This was the beginning of an interesting conversation. Jez and I were standing at the drive thru, because the bus was too tall to fit through, and a guy sticks his head outside the window of his big black Excursion piloted by his driver wearing tuxedo and begins to speak. He asks,”Are you guys just standing there or what?” I replied by saying,”Yes we are waiting for our food, sorry mate.” A few moments later we walked away with our sacks full of food and Jez turns to me and asks if the guy looked like a member of the band Hanson. I answered,”I think your right.” I walked back up to the excursion and said, “You asked me a stupid question, so now it’s my turn… are you guys Hanson?” To make a long story short, it was most definitely the band Hanson ordering French fries at 1:00 am in the morning in the middle of nowhere Delaware… Random.We passed through the New York City around 4:30 am, and there were already massive amounts of traffic. I was amazed to be driving on an interstate that had 6 lanes of traffic in both directions, that’s right 12 lanes of mass chaos! The lanes are very narrow, and the tractor trailers were passing us as if we were setting still. Jez drove through the heart of the city; I feel that he deserves an award for driving the bus right through the middle of Brooklyn! After we traveled out of New York City I fell fast asleep as Jez drove us on into Connecticut.

We arrived at Thule U.S. Headquarters around lunch today and met with Steve Doviak, their marketing director. Steve checked out our remarkable new bus (which still does not have an official name) and then treated us to lunch. After lunch, we picked up our new gear and began to assemble the massive, massive new rack. The two of us spent the next 3 hours putting the rack together in THULE’s parking lot. The bus now has 4 sets of 89” bars ( largest allowed by law, built for a Hummer!), 2 Ferrari red twenty one cubic feet cargo boxes, 2 sets of Hull-A-Ports, 2 kayak stackers, 12 straps, 2 t-shirts, 2 work shirts, 2 hats, and a bunch of logos to put on the bus. The people at THULE are some of the best people we have met on the road. There is no question that the two of us will always be THULE customers. Check out the bus pictures, this thing is awesome & really tall. We are only 6 inches shorter than the average tractor trailer.Jez is back at the wheel again, and I have resumed my roll as computer nerd and we are headed for Watertown, NY. The next update will be from the Black River Festival.Good night from interstate 84,Rideout

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Summer in Bend, OR

The photo is from an intensity session early this morning. I’m entering my final month of training here in Bend, am looking ahead towards heading back East. This summer has been a good mix of working and training, while enjoying the west. I just returned from conducting a biathlon camp with some young junior biathletes in the Methow Valley in the north Cascades of Washington. By far one the coolest place I have been to in the US!

Haley Johnson -

Friday, July 28, 2006

Green River Narrow

The Green River Narrows that runs between Hendersonville, NC and Saluda, NC is one of the premier class V stretches of whitewater in the world. That is a pretty big statement but when you consider these three criteria, than I think you will agree; 1.) damn controlled year round, so it runs at a good level more than most any other river in the country, 2.) warm water for 8 months of the year and just chilly, for you westerners, the other four months, and lastly but definately not least, 3.) Class V action with these two world famous rapids, shown in these pics Gorilla and Sunshine. If you have never been on the Green and you are a solid boater, than I am sure it is on your list.

Here is the pic of Sunshine.

Chris Roberts - Eastern Technical Representative

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Eastern Envoy journal entry

*Tuesday, May 30 - 7:30am flight from Greenville/Spartanburg airport to Seattle. Pick up, new to me, Thule van and start driving east. Live in Ontario, Oregon for the night. Wingers Diner dinner, solid value!
*Wednesday, May 31 - drive to Salt Lake City, Utah and hook up with my brother for lunch and dinner. Fighting through a pretty rough sinus ailment, so early night.
*Thursday, June 1 - solid night of rest and no humidity seems to be treating the nostrils pretty well. Play golf w/brother at Mountain Dell course right off I-80 on the way to Park City. Two courses, Lake and Canyon. We play the Canyon course. Absoulutely beautiful! I shoot an 84 and my brother, who by watching swing, you would swear you could beat with 3 clubs, shoots a 74!
*Friday, June 2 - Leave SLC at 7am, headin' towards Vail, CO. for the Teva Mountain Games. Arrive at games around 2pm, hook up with Eric (western Thule Envoy). Watch the semifinals of both mens and womens freestyle kayaking event. Pretty cool to see what modern kayaks, with serious athletes, can do in a pretty small river feature.
*Saturday, June 3 - pretty much a Mountain Games spectator for the day. Finals in the freestyle kayaking were pretty cool. All Jackson Kayak final. EJ, Stephen, and Jay all put on an impressive display of athletic prowess with EJ having to come up huge on his last ride. Simply put, he stomps every move, both ways to beat Stephen. Emily Jackson keeps the family tradition by beating all other femme contenders quite handily, by looping bigger and more often as well as coming oh so close to sticking a McNasty!
*Sunday, June 4 - wake up and listen to all of the interesting things that went on at the Mountain Ball last night. had every intention of going, but ended up falling asleep waiting for the 10pm start time. arrests, jail time, lost purses with phones and passports, etc. keep me entertained. 2pm start the big drive east again. make it to Hays, KS for the nights rest.
*Monday, June 5 - oh, something new, more drrrriiiiivvvviiinng! go to St. Louis, MO.
*Tuesday, June 6 - hook up with midwest Thule sales rep, Eric Pirtle and clinic 9 people in the REI located on Brentwood Ave. Great store. Outta there at 1pm and guess what?? Drive. Stop from fatigue in somewhereville, TN and crash in van for a few hours.
*Wednesday, June 7 - finish up the drive to Tryon, NC.
*Thursday, June 8 - wake up to hear Tuxedo hydrostation will be running one unit at 100% capacity from 1pm till 4pm, operational schedules are determined.....well, if you are a southeastern kayaker, you know the rest. Kayak on the world famous, for good reason, Green River Narrows. I have been to a lot of great places but I gotta tell you that coming home to dependable, warm, class V is tough to beat!

* stay tuned for more updates from earlier this year. travels to Utah for kick ass powder shots, Tuckermans Ravine on Mt Washington in May and ongoing trip reports from the working Thule Road Trip.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Eastern Envoy vacation

*January 26 - 31, 2006
making the transition to live in the southeast, after growing up skiing and kayaking in the upstate of NY has it's plusses and minuses. the only real downside is there is not much skiing happening here in Tryon, NC. not to fear, that is what vacations are for! my brother still lives in Salt Lake City, UT. he and I moved out there together in 1992, he never left. take 3 good friends fly out and hit the snow as good as could be for 4 days (Brighton, Snowbird, Snowbasin and Alta) in late January. makes me a little envious of the folks that live in this epic place. if there was any decent kayaking in SLC, I would have never left. after all, where else can you ski "the greatest snow on earth" and have all the awesome amentities of a pretty cool city within an hour of each other. if the weather cooperates you could even get a round of golf in the same day! If you like sushi, hit up the Happy Sumo in the Gateway Open Air Mall in downtown. Port O Call for refreshing beverages is alway a quality choice as well.

I have got to give some advise here; If you have never been to Alta (sorry knuckledraggers), on a powder day, you need to MAKE it happen. The energy and aura exuding from everyone waiting for that first chair will make you forget anything other than that moment. beware, it is contagious! this first pic is sticking the landing from the top of Eddy's High Nowhere. I thought I was really cool right before this pic was taken, right up until a fellow freeheeler climbed up, clicked in and threw a 60 foot telecopter just left of where I dropped in. no thinking, no hesitation, step in and huck it, land and outta sight in 4 turns, awesome to see. wish I got it on film.
More to come.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day Eleven 4-4-05

Today was a catch up with work day. We found a coffee shop in downtown Monterey that had free wireless access so Darren, Eric, and myself were finally able to get a decent internet connection. This has proven to be an issue during our travels and in our lovely hotel here in Monterey which at its price you would think would have free internet access, but no, $10.99 for 24 hours. Even the $49.99 a night motel down the road has free internet, thanks Hyatt!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Day Ten 4-3-2006

Rain! I thought this was beautiful sunny California? Today we put our buddy Johnny on a flight back to the east coast and said our final farewell to our RV. I think we were all ready to sleep in a real bed after spending 9 nights sleeping in an RV. No ride today because of the rain and it looks like no ride tomorrow since the forecast is 100% chance of rain.
We met up with Eric Wallace today, the true end user of the trailer that started this whole excursion. Eric is Thule's Western Tech Rep or the official title of "Thule Envoy". He has already outfitted his new truck with racks, decals, and plenty of schwag, this rig definitely is a great match to the trailer he will be towing. If it ever stops raining we'll try to get some pictures of this match made in metal.
Dinner was at El Torito on Cannery Row in Monterey, a superb mexican restaurant located right on Monterey Bay. We recommend the Cadillac Margaritas!

Day Nine 4-2-06

After a very long week of traversing the country we finally arrived in sunny Monterey, CA late last night thanks to Captain Snyder's Red Bull binge. Upon waking we decided to at least see if the hotel would allow us to drop the trailer for the day instead of continuing to haul it around. To our surprise they allowed us to check in at 10am. To celebrate this miraculous accomplishment and for cooking breakfast for our selves the previous 7 mornings we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast at Denny's, a fine establishment. After breakfast we headed back to the hotel for what we considered our first real showers of the trip, not that we didn't shower but we didn't have to hike across a campsite to some sort of make shift shower stall. After a shower and shave we headed to Santa Cruz for some touristy type stuff. Let's just say that Santa Cruz is an interesting town, possesing a very eclectic group of individuals. We then headed off to San Jose to meet up with my sisters for dinner and to unload our extra food on them. No pictures today, sorry.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day Eight 4-1-06 Red Rocks

Climbing at Red Rocks in Vegas, specifically Black Corridor. If you're a climber you will understand that we jammed on some 5.10a & bs. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Day Seven 3-31-06

We made it to Vegas and did a little ride, nothing exciting in Vegas really but when I get better connection I will write more. Tomorrow we are going to climb at Red Rocks so there should be some good pics from that.

So, one interesting thing on the ride was all the burnt cactus and other desert vegetation that was on one side of the trail and not on the others. Very strange? There were other places around Vegas that also had this strange phenomenon. Apparently the lightning strikes and causes fires, but it still didn't explain that it was burnt on one side of the trail and not the other.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Day Six 3-30-06 The Epic

Today, Captain Darren decided he wanted his subordinates to partake in an "EPIC" 35 mile "mountain" bike ride. I put "mountain" in quotations because 16.2 miles of this "EPIC" ride was on the road. Darren would like to say in his defense that 7 miles of the road portion was on dirt, albeit all up hill!!! Needless to say Johnny and I were/are not very happy with Darren. They call them "mountain" bikes for a reason!! So, basically the ride started with an 11 mile climb up to the trailhead. If you didn't catch that it was an 11 MILE uphill road ride on mountain bikes, did I mention it was all uphill. Normally I wouldn't complain about this but it is March and we are from New England where riding outside during the winter months that precede March is not all that feasible. In other words we're too out of shape to start a ride with an 11 mile uphill climb to start our ride at a parking lot where everyone else parked to start our ride. So, basically we were bonking by the beginning of our trail section of the ride which made it very hard to enjoy the surrounding landscape. The descent was unbelievable but would have been more fun if we had some energy to descend with. The picture below is actually about the time Johnny and I were planning our mutiny, which didn't happen but should have. Exhausted and sunburnt we packed up and headed towards Vegas, hopefully we'll be able to ride. Did I mention I slept from 6pm to 7am after this ride, not exactly the fun filled night I would have liked to have had, thanks Darren!!!

Day Six 3-30-06

Your morning photos.

Last night we had dinner at Miguel's Baja Grill, excellent authentic Mexican food right on Main Street in Moab. The food was excellent, the Margaritas were superb and the atmosphere can't be beat. If you're ever in Moab definitely visit Miguel's for dinner, you won't be dissappointed.

Today the plan is an epic ride here in Moab with lots of photos and lots of riding.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Day Five 3-29-06

WIND! WIND! WIND! Stay tuned.

So we woke up this morning to 40 mph wind gusts and very ominous clouds, definitely did not look good for riding. After a big breakfast we headed into the town of Moab to meet up with Darren's buddy Clark at one of the local bike shop. Once we were in town the wind was much better and it looked good for a ride. The rest can only be described in pictures. For those Thule people we will get as many pictures as possible on the F: Drive soon. I also have to give a huge thanks to CANNONDALE, these bikes kick big a**!!! Cannondale - We are all on Prophets

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Day Four 3-28-06

The picture is the scene we woke up to this morning. It was dark when we arrived at the rest stop so we had no idea what was around us. I'll post more as the day unfolds. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANE!!

We headed into Salt Lake City to meet up with one of Darren's buddies who works at Black Diamond. We had breakfast at "Eggs in the City" and were then treated to a tour of the Black Diamond facility and the life cycle of a carabiner. We then loaded up again and headed off to Moab. The drive from SLC to Moab was spectacular, mountain passes, grazing cattle, endless plains, truly amazing. We arrived in Moab about 4:30 MST and found the KOA campground to hook up the RV and finally cook a real dinner. No ride yet, we arrived a little too late and unfortunately the weather forcast is calling for rain tomorrow. We'll have to see in the morning how the weather looks. Like true pioneers we hunkered down for the night with a few beers and some delicious burritos courtesy of Chef John.

Day Three 3-27-06

This was definitely the longest leg of the journey. I give you my word I will never return to Nebraska, 450 miles of nothing but wind bites the big one. We started out about a 100 miles from the Nebraska and ended up 50 miles from Salt Lake City (Thank you Red Bull!). Gas mileage sucked today because of the wind, not fun hauling 48' of camper and trailer across the plains with sheer winds and semis flying past. We are very excited to finally be at a destination. Maybe we'll get to ride today, that's the plan at least. We'll finally have more time to blog and update everyone on what's happening since we'll have internet connection that's not through a cell phone card. Even though the wind sucked it was beautiful driving, a little rainy all day but it cleared up as we approached Wyoming. What a beautiful country we live in, it was a little dark as we approached the mountains but you could see them rising up all around you, very awe inspiring. Till tomorrow!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

Day Two 3-26-06

Day two started at the rest stop in central PA where we spent the previous night. Captain Snyder felt quite ambitious this morning and made a scrumptous plate food of scrambled eggs for all. The rest of the day was quite uneventful, although Darren and I have mastered the moving driver exchange (don't try this at home), eventhough it's not necessary since we can only get about 300 miles to the tank. We've made it through PA, OH, IL, IN, and finally stopped for the night in Iowa about 100 miles from the Nebraska border. We drove about 17 hours and over 1000 miles today. Tomorrow is going to be another long day, things should get more exciting once we reach SLC and Moab and actually start riding.


Day One 3-25-06

The day started at my house where we congregated and headed off to Middletown, NJ to pick up the RV. So, far everything went off without a hitch, returned to Thule and picked up the trailer and headed to the grocery store. After cleaning out Stop n' Shop in Seymour, CT we headed on our way with Captain (self appointed) Darren Snyder at the wheel. After a few hours Darren and I made a switch at the wheel and we continued on running into snow in the Poconos. Finally found a rest area and parked for the night, ending our day with a few beverages. Till tomorrow!


Prep Day 3-24-06

Friday Darren and myself spent most of the day preparing the trailer for its journey; boxes, decals, & cago... it came out sweet!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

This is a similar trailer to the one we will be hauling to CA. It has a 42" Plasma screen, DVD player, and full sound system with receiver. I think we can find some uses for it!

The beginning of the trip

Yesterday Darren and I went on a short trip to Cannondale in Bethel, CT to pick up a couple of demo bikes that they have graciously loaned to us for the duration of our trip. They've also hooked us up with a bunch of riding gear for our little excursion. If you don't know what we are planning read on...

Well the short version is myself, my friend/co-worker Darren, and our friend John are taking an RV cross-country hauling a very custom trailer to our final destination of Monterey, CA and the Sea Otter Classic. We plan on doing a little riding and climbing while we make our way across. So check back to see what we are up to.