Bicycling doesn't have to be about spandex, bright colors and abnormally high levels of testosterone. All you need are two wheels and nice headwear. Local bicycle- and unicycle-rider Shaun Deller makes hats out of recycled wool, cotton or linen. The 3-Panel Cap ($29.99, River City Bicycles, 706 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 233-5973) was the first style he ever made. It fits under most helmets, is logo-free and provides a comfortable bicycle aesthetic.
These Burton saddle thermals ($29, Exit Real World, 206 NW 23rd Ave., 226-3948) are so cute, you might just wanna rock 'em sans anything else. With their sweet Pistol Pete illustrations and Tombstone flair, they could easily pass for leggings when paired with a cute pair of boots. Stretchable Lycra, ribbed cuffs and comfortable ankle length are all an added bonus. (EB)
People who pedal cruiser bikes look happy. Their pedal strokes turn pavement into picnics. The new KHS Manhattan Cruiser ($249, Atomic Sprockets, 627 SE Morrison St., 236-2665) is a commuter bike that smiles and flirts with oncoming traffic. With its voluptuous coaster brakes, it makes other bicycles feel flat.
No longer must we unzip our pockets to change music on our iPod. Or look at the screen to see what's playing. The Kenpo Jacket for iPod ($89-$119, JC Penney, 9500 SW Washington Square Road, Tigard, 620-0750) links "smart fabric" into the sleeves to integrate with your ipod. It's machine-washable and requires no batteries. Kenpo's marketing team says the "poppin' designs keep wearers 'In-Tune' with their 'lifestyle soundtrack.'" Sounds like a perfect gift for fans of Kevin Federline.
River City Bicycles invented a new product for the bicycle, and they call it the Reacharound ($15.99, 706 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 233-5973). It's a bracket that allows fenders to be mounted close to the wheel—around the brakes—to protect you from spray. For full Reacharound mounting instructions—with revealing pictures—see River City's website: rivercitybicycles.com.
During the winter, little dogs are notorious for staying inside and pooping on the carpet. They don't do it out of spite, just out of comfort. Imagine if you were forced to go outside and have your tush-hole rub up against wet sod as you shat. Not a good feeling. Avoid all this with the PoopTent ($59.95, Urban Fauna, 235 NW Park Ave., 223-4602). It's a portable and waterproof poop shelter complete with an open bottom and side openings for cross-ventilation. It's made to protect little bow-wows from inclement weather and to encourage outdoor relief.
Nipple bleed is common among long-distance runners. As is chafing of the upper thighs, foot blisters and Kenyans. The SportShield Roll-On ($8, Fit Right Northwest, 1207 NW 23rd Ave., 525-2122) provides an invisible, deodorant-like coating that minimizes friction. After a run with this stuff, your nipples will remain nipples, instead of pepperoni slices.
Careless hikers carry babies into the woods on the backs of their dogs. Careful hikers carry babies into the woods with an expedition-grade backpack suspension system. The Sherpani Rumba Superlight baby carrier ($138.95, Oregon Mountain Community, 2975 NE Sandy Blvd., 227-1038) is the Benz of the backcountry. And a cute 4 pounds 8 ounces.
More and more cars and trucks are running on biodiesel these days. The tailpipe exhaust smells like French fries. Since French fries use trans fat, which is bad, biodiesel exhaust must be bad. To protect your loved ones from these fumes, as well as toxic pollutants and unfunny non sequiturs, give them a gas mask ($9 and up, Andy and Bax, 324 SE Grand Ave., 234-7538). Colors range from black to army green, and they all smell like war.
During the winter months, an indoor rock gym serves as a singles bar for Smith Rock groupies. To get noticed, one should either have hot skill or buy hot gear. For those who can't boulder a 5.10, there's La Sportiva Mythos Rock Shoe ($120, REI, 1405 NW Johnson St., 221-1938). It climbs face routes, desert splitters and gym jugs with precise power. And it fits like silk. This shoe will get you laid.
Gore-Tex outerwear makes snowboarders look like bright plastic dolls; the fabric lacks texture. California company Holden Outerwear solves this with the Women's Mila Jacket ($349, US Outdoor Store, 219 SW Broadway, 223-5937). Holden uses a combination of herringbone and polyester to produce a natural feel in the color of a tree branch. The peacoat style is hot and breathable. It'll make you a distraction on the slopes.
Burton's never done it so hot. Its new Luna Pullover Jacket ($199, Exit Real World, 206 NW 23rd Ave., 226-3948) is sizzling gold and fully stylized. Flexible enough to wear for a sky spitting rain or snow, the futuristic design with asymmetrical zippers justifiably brags a contoured hood, glove loops, a pocket with a headphone-cable port, pit zips and tricot-lined hand-warming pockets. (EB)
Park rangers can either ticket your vehicle or tell you that black bears (Ursus americanus) eat mushrooms and salmon. The Northwest Forest Pass ($30, Mountain Shop, 628 NE Broadway, 288-6768) is an annual vehicle permit that prevents the former. The fee goes to trail maintenance, park facilities and enhanced visitor services, like juicy information on the belief that a braised bear paw acts as an aphrodisiac and health tonic.
Do some stroking in your sea kayak with a Greenland-style Cricket Paddle ($229, Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, 250 NE Tomahawk Island Drive, 285-0464). It's 210 centimeters of wooden love.
The soothing voice of Terry Gross prevents buildup of lactic acid...maybe. Either way, the iPod Radio Remote gets NPR to your ears ($49, The Apple Store, Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th Ave., 222-3002). Just imagine.
The Electra Amsterdam bicycle ($550, The Bike Gallery, 5329 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-9800) comes into Portland with more hype than Brandon Roy. The Amsterdam is plain chill, with a simple design, laid-back pedaling position and full fenders with a mud flap up front. It's a Dutch wonder cobbled to cruise.