Category Archives: Cycling

29th Annual OICX Race

As time nears for our 29th annual OICX we have been busy prepping to host a fun yet competitive event for all ages and levels. In preparation for this thrilling race we sat down with co-founder/owner Joe Royer to discuss the beginning and creation of the longest running Cyclocross (CX) Bicycle Race in the US.

In order to bring everyone up to speed on the history of this race and CX in general, this style of riding which began in Europe is a mélange of road cycling meets mountain biking and was meant to be a Fall/Winter sport for riders. As Royer said, “The kind of weather we have experienced lately is exactly what Cyclocross riders are accustomed to.”

Royer and Outdoors Inc. cycling manager Joel Glasgow recently attended the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup hosted in Las Vegas this year to ensure that our event along the banks of the Mississippi River Sunday, November 1st at the Green Belt Park in Harbortown has all the current flair that the premier international event has.

The course is 1.5 miles and asks pros to dismount from their cycles to carry them over obstacles, run up the hills of the park and ride all-out for as many loops of the course as possible in a designated amount of time. Dependent on the weather Royer says the top cyclists this race attracts can expect each lap to take between six to seven and a half minutes.

The race is not only for the expert and professional riders as it includes a B race for intermediate riders and even three races for children to ride through the course and short rides for kids just learning to ride a course without obstacles to kids riding on tricycles!

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Ready. Set. GO!

Speaking of obstacles, a unique feature found only in this race is that the obstacles riders carry their bikes over are made from recovered logs from the Mississippi River to further add a touch of local flavor. Royer refers to the Mighty Mississippi as North America’s “Mt. Everest” and is proud of how amazed even the top cyclists are of this exclusive feature.

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Cyclocross often involves being able to get on and off your bike quickly to get over obstacles.

Royer summed up his three most important aspects of hosting a fun, respected and responsible race: “Make sure the fans, riders and other park users stay safe and have fun; follow all the guidelines from the UCI and USA Cycling and start on time; and be responsible in cleaning up the park following the celebration and party after the ride. We want to make sure park users have their beautiful, green park back Monday.”

As with this ride, much of Royer’s enthusiasm for his outdoors activities has stemmed from meeting, talking and working with people who find joy in their adventures. For him cycling, paddling the Mississippi (both still current activities) and climbing mountains in the Cascades of Washington to the Alps in Europe have afforded him the chances to engage with other enthusiasts of these sports.

“Experiencing the evolution of these sports has been fascinating over the years. Change is good,” said Royer.

Join us at the Green Belt Park in Harbortown this Sunday, November 1st to ride, cheer and/or just observe a race unique in the US and characteristic of Memphis. Riders can register beginning at 8am. Races begin at 9am for children, 9:20am for intermediate riders and 10am for expert/pros.

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And they’re off!

Please visit or email Joe Royer <> for more information and be sure to follow us on Strava for all future rides.

Written by: Hallie Burgess and Eric Bleier. Photos by Joe Royer.

Begin April with the Memphis Bike/Ped Car-Free Challenge

Get there with Outdoors, Inc! (Click to access our online store)

Get there with Outdoors, Inc!
(Click to access our online store)

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5 Websites for Finding and Mapping the Ideal Bike Route

Memphis Bike TrailsWith the Greenline putting Memphis cycling in the spotlight, people all over the city are wondering how they can map bike routes to work, school, or anywhere else in the city.  While we are waiting on bike lanes to populate the city, a safe street bike route is the best way to get from place to place in our fair city.  Here are just a few easy ways to find or chart a bike route:

  1.  This is by far the easiest to use interface for bike route mapping.  With this site, you can easily create bike routes and mark water stations, bathroom breaks, and first-aid stations.  If you are organizing a group ride, MapMyRide is a great way to create a route to send in email or print for distribution.  You can create an account to save your routes for future use and share them with other users.  Pretty nifty, huh?
  2. Google Bike Routes:  We have been using Google Maps for years to figure out the perfect route for road trips.  This last year, Google introduced bike route functionality where you can put in your current location and destination, and it will show you the best bike path to take.  Google Bike Routes are in Beta, so be patient with it.  Google’s not finished tweaking it.
  3.  Bikely works similar to MapMyRide, where you can search the system for specific bike routes that have been contributed by other users.  Do you have a cool bike route that should be shared with the rest of the world?  Well, Bikely is the site for you.  You can find short distance routes to extended touring bike trips.
  4. BikeMap.Net:  This is a site that is not yet utilized widely in our city, but it works just as well as all the other options.  You can easily create a route on the map and save it for others to use.  You can also share your route on Facebook (what can you not share on Facebook these days?).  Like Google Bike Routes, this site is in the Beta phase, but it works fine for simple route mapping and sharing.
  5.  This is a wonderful resource for cyclist all across America.  Through this site you can find adventure routes, guided tours offered, complete maps of the U.S. Bicycle Route System, and much more.

Now that you can map your bike paths, where do you plan to ride?

24th Annual Outdoors Inc Cyclocross Championship

With Memphis cycling in the spotlight, how could you miss one of the premier bike events in our city?

When:  Sunday, November 14, 2010 – registrations at 8 am, Races begin at 9am
Where:  Greenbelt Park – Mud Island, Memphis, TN.
Who:  USCF licensed riders (day licenses available at race) and Kid/Juniors
What:  Cyclocross racing is 40 to 50 minutes of heart-pounding, adrenaline-fueled bike racing.  The course is approximately 1.5 miles long in length with barricades requiring dismount from the rider’s bike.

Grand Opening of the Shelby Farms Greenline = Success

This weekend we got the opportunity to be involved with the opening of the Shelby Farms Greenline, the first of it’s kind in Memphis.  People from all over town gathered along the Greenline to celebrate the trail connecting Binghampton to Shelby Farms.  This was a huge step  for Memphis, pushing us in a more bike-pedestrian friendly direction.  Everyone that we talked to glowed with the excitement of the Greenline.

If you stopped by the festivities, what was your favorite part?  The DJ bike sled? The community togetherness?

Shelby Farms Greenline Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Rejoice!

And the bikers, runners, skaters, and walkers rejoiced.

This last Tuesday marked the official opening of the Shelby Farms Greenline starting at Tillman street stretching out to Shelby Farms Park.  Although it is no secret that the Greenline has been, well, crowded weeks before the official opening, it is only expected to get more populated over time.

The Greenline’s Grand Opening event Saturday is expected to pack the trail with skaters, bikers and pedestrians alike.  Be on the lookout for a bike sled, propelled by two bikes, and a bike powered generator.  You can’t miss it, because it will be carrying a DJ booth.  Yes, a DJ booth.

Come on out and enjoy Memphis’ first Greenline.  It’s something to celebrate!  We will be set up with a tent at the High Point Terrace area, so be sure to stop in and say hello!


Welcome to the Outdoors Inc Experience

The Outdoors Inc Experience is paddling. It’s cycling.  It’s climbing.  It’s backpacking and hiking.  We have been outfitting human-powered recreation since 1974.  We want to be your resource for gear knowledge, travel tips and tricks, and community recreation ideas.  Hopefully, this blog will give you some insight on what to buy, how to travel, where to go (in and out of town), and what we are doing as a company and as individuals.  We want to hear for you, too.  Let us know your experiences in and out of our stores.  Ask us questions.  That’s what we are here for.