Limits

Blue Collar Biking

Map: America’s Best Gravel Races

Not counting inflatable helmets and leather wine carriers, gravel grinders are the coolest new thing in cycling. These are 10 of the best in America.

Rides for the latest off-road discipline

Five Bikes Built for Gravel Racing

In the last few years, bike makers have introduced gravel-specific models that have the toughness of a mountain bike, the geometry of a road bike and the clearance for big tires.

Be handy, man

The Basics of Bike Maintenance

In this how-to we review the basics of bike maintenance: how to fix a flat, how to adjust shifting and how to clean your bike chain.

Take the back road to paradise

Building the Perfect Gravel Grinder

Gravel racing has a spirit of adventure and the chip-on-the-shoulder toughness of a Leadville ultra. Here's the specialized bike gear you'll need to ride a gravel grinder.

Gravel Racing Pioneer

30 Minutes With: Rebecca Rusch

Rebecca Rusch quit her day job to pursue her love of competition. It worked out, and today she's a professional cyclist with sponsors like Red Bull and Specialized.

An Unlikely Expat

A Visit to Thule’s U.S. Headquarters in Seymour, CT

If you’re into the outdoors and own a car, chances are you own or have owned a Thule product for hauling your skis, bikes, kayaks and other outdoor gear. Nearly 80 percent of the company's products for the U.S. market are made in the states, many of them at their Seymour, CT facility. We dropped in for a visit.

The Party Circuit for Cyclists

100 Miles in Style: Best Gran Fondos

The best gran fondos recall 100 years of Italian cycling tradition with routes that trace the most famous mountain passes and historic races in cycling history. And then there's the hallmark of each event: the post-ride celebration, with plentiful food and wine. These five from around the world are the most worthy of your bucket list.

Watching Pedalers and Panoramas from a support car

GP Short: 2014 Tour of California

We took our espresso stateside this year, catching the Giro d'Italia on television and showing up in person for the 2014 Tour of California, where we shot this video while riding along in a support car.

Topo's New Multisport Shoe

Tested: Topo Oterro

If you're looking for a shoe to replace your current lightweight hikers or to conquer your next obstacle race, the Topo Oterro is a good bet. Plus, it isn't shaped like a cloven hoof.

Work Hard AND Smart

Rewind: (Fitness) Knowledge is Power

In sports and fitness, training plans and pounding the pavement can take you a long way. But sometimes it takes more than a blue collar work ethic: it helps to have bits of wisdom from seasoned vets, deep scientific insight and cleverly-designed products. Since kicking off Limits, we've scraped together knowledge about everything from the effect of caffeine on endurance to importance of VO2 max testing. We still fall down at stoplights occasionally, no amount of wisdom can prevent that. Here's what we've learned.

A Beautiful Grind on Ancient Rocks

Photo Essay: Running the Grand Canyon

Going “Rim to Rim to Rim” is a double-crossing of the Grand Canyon, covering 42.4 miles and 22,000 feet of vertical, and it’s a rite of passage for ultra runners. GP contributor Ben Clark reports on his epic there-and-back-again run.

A Big, Bad Watch Gets Bigger and Badder

Tested: Suunto Ambit2

We get our hands on the Ambit2 from Suunto, the best watch in the business for serious outdoor adventurers looking to track all of their data over an entire weekend trip.

Hands-free hydration

Fluid Dynamics: Hydration Packs for Running

Running without water is like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. These five hydration packs are among the best on the market, each with unique features that sets it apart from the field.

The Bear Essentials

An Everyman’s Guide to Survival Gear

You never know when things might take a turn for the worse. Match up to your skill level and ensure you've got the right basic survival gear with our survey.

You Can Give a man a fish...

Life Lessons in Borneo

GP contributor Will McGough goes fishing in Borneo and reels in a dose of humility.

Deadly Salmon, Banana Rafts, and other

GP Tales of Near Death in Nature

We love outdoor adventures, but sometimes they don't love us back. Five GP staffers discuss their scariest run-ins with the elements.

Catch Some Backcountry Zzzs

10 Best Tents of 2014

For the outdoorsman, home is wherever the ground is flat and somewhat free of rocks. These tents make those spots more comfortable than ever.

Long Distance Hiker Extraordinaire

30 Minutes With: Andrew Skurka

The summer before his senior year at Duke University, Andrew Skurka thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, his first ever backpacking trip, alone and in only 95 days (that's 23 miles a day). He had caught the bug. He's since hiked 7,775 miles from Quebec to Washington and the Great Western Loop (6,875 miles) and has been named the 2005 "Person of the Year" by Backpacker Magazine and the 2007 "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure. We caught up with him to talk about success and failure on the trail.

Bring An Enemy

10 Most Dangerous Hikes

Stick anyone next to a cliff and they'll inch forward and peek over; put anyone in a supercar and they'll double the speed limit. We all want to stay safe and comfortable, sure, but in those moments when we lose our footing and time slows to a crawl, we are undeniably living in the moment. Call it suicidal or call it truly living. Here are ten trails that return hikers to their baser need: staying alive.

Fashionable and Functional

Button Up, Hike Down: Best Hiking Shirts

Apparel with the technical specs to keep you snug and dry on the trail doesn't have to look out of place the minute you leave the wild. Exhibit A: these 10 adventure shirts.

Glacial peaks, wild rivers and one totaled car

Photo Essay: Wild Oregon

Over the course of 2,500 miles of driving and exploration, photographer Chris Burkard encountered glacial peaks, wild rivers, rain forests, volcanic lakes, historic rock climbs and even the home of The Goonies. His stage: the great state of Oregon in the devastatingly grand Pacific Northwest.

A Life Worth Saving

Repair Your Gear

Gear worth owning is pricey, and repairs used to be the path of least resistance. Today, it’s actually kind of a pain. Yet reviving well-worn gear has major payoffs.

Embrace your baggage

10 Best Daypacks for Every Adventure

While the lifetime warrantee on your North Face pack from grammar school is meant to be honored, there’s something to be said for retiring before things unravel. Today’s daypacks will haul your climbing gear or your laptop over mountains and through airports. These are our favorites.

Proving Big-Brand Isn't Bad

Tested: Under Armour Speedform Apollo

Under Armour takes its first shot at a race-weight running shoe with the Speedform Apollo. We took a pair for a spin to see how they stack up.

Breckenridge's New Expansion Wows

Photo Essay: Capturing Peak Six on Film

More than 50 years in the making, the 540-acre Peak 6 opened on Christmas Day, 2013, bringing a fantastic mix of terrain that fills a surprising gap in Breckenridge's arsenal. The new terrain offers some of the only above-treeline skiing for intermediates in the country and even more of Breck's famous expert terrain. There was no doubt that we had to give it a test -- strictly for investigative reasons, of course.

Light shoes, fast hikes

The Best Hiking Shoes of 2014

If you’re traveling light and fast in the mountains or just need something to walk the local trail system, you can skip a full-fledged hiking boot in favor of a hiking shoe. These are our five favorites.

Chasing Sun in the Southwest

Photo Essay: Running the Zion Traverse

Mountaineer and ultra runner Ben Clark shares photos from his single-day run across Zion National Park, also known as the Zion Traverse.

Tackling the Great Outdoors without getting bushed

Armchair Adventures

Sure, you enjoy hard-charging adventure as much as the next guy -- assuming the next guy is not Conrad Anker -- but you don't mind admitting that your next vacation doesn’t require a global rescue insurance plan. You eat with a knife and fork. You're interested in a jacuzzi setting. You want a telephoto lens between you and the gorillas. In Armchair Adventures we bring you up close and personal with nature without eschewing the comforts of vacation, offering a few tips on maintaining Weekend Warrior shape in the process.

Workers of the world, unite!

The Cubicle Workout

Even the cubicle-bound among us want, and can achieve, a basic level of fitness without waking up for 5:30 a.m. brick workouts or going for a long post-work run. We suggest a combination of simple high-intensity interval workouts, stretches and easy lifestyle changes that can make you a relatively fit person.

Adrenaline in an Armchair Setting

Attainable Adventures to Start Planning Today

The strenuous five-day hike on the Appalachian Trail that swallowed half of your vacation days didn’t feel like a vacation. Neither did the team building company rafting trip where you almost drowned. We like to carpe the diem as much as the next guy, but it's okay to actually relax once in a while. This doesn't have to mean standing in the buffet line on a Disney Cruise Line ship, but it does meaning choosing an adventure that combines immersion in the natural world with a little bit of everyman recreation. These three destinations are a good place to start.

Two paths diverged in a deli

Up Your Lunch Game with this Healthy Plan

Most of the time we don’t take a full hour out of our workday for a methodical lunch, instead finding ourselves at the corner store, collecting what we can to fill our stomachs. This is where two paths diverge: some go for a fried cutlet sandwich followed by dessert; others cobble together a reasonably healthy meal followed by an average life expectancy. Read on to find out how to get a healthy lunch next time you're eating on the go.

Davy Jones's (Dive) Locker

Kit: Wreck Diving

For centuries, man has found countless ways to send ships to the bottom of the sea. Since the advent of scuba technology, we’ve found ways to explore them. Whether it’s to search for booty, take eerie photos, or just to pay respects, wreck diving is a not a sport for the timid. Often found in deep, cold water with strong currents and dangerous reefs, wrecks demand expertise, experience, humility and marine-grade bronze balls -- not to mention a lot of specialized gear. This isn’t tropical holiday diving, so be prepared to shell out for equipment that can stand up to the conditions the Gunilda, the Thistlegorm or the Doria present.

26.2 Miles Starts With One Step

The Marathon Journal

Marathons are a rite of passage for runners. Some plan their year around it. Some travel to distant lands to compete. Some run them once and then switch to lawn bowling. Whether you want to join the club, learn what makes marathoners tick or just buy some energy gels to snack on, our Marathon Journal takes you inside the cult-like world of long-distance running.

A Conversation with the Jerusalem Police

Is The Jerusalem Marathon Safe?

Jeremy Berger speaks to Brigadier General Avishai Peled, Deputy Commander of the Jerusalem Police District, about the safety of this year's Jerusalem Marathon.

Walk a Mile in Our Shoes

Opinion: Raising Money Through Marathons

In New York, over the past six years, the number of charity runners has doubled, meaning that twice as many people are on Facebook, flexing in running gear and asking for money. Is it a distraction or beneficial? Gear Patrol debates.

15 essentials for 26.2

Kit: Marathoning

While running is by nature a sport with minimal gear requirements, having a combination of the right soft goods plus some accoutrements for comfort can make the whole experience more enjoyable. Pick from this Kit and you’ll be furnished with everything you need to succeed -- minus grit and determination. That’s on you.

Salomon's Running TV on the Western States 100

The Original

Salomon's Running TV reaches back to the history of the 20th Annual Western States 100 in "The Original". The year was 1974, and the Western States (also known as The Tevis Cup) was a 100-mile endurance horse ride in Placer County, CA. Colfax-native Gordy Ainsleigh had been competing for several years. "When my horse went lame in '73, [race organizer] Drucilla invited me to do it the next year on foot", he says. "I said, 'well maybe', and I was thinking: I'll have a better horse by then. I didn't get around to it, so in '74, as the spring rolled on, I ran."

Bottles that chill, filter and fold

Water Bottles for Every Activity

Choosing a water bottle is like buying bar soap: you can penny-pinch and get a three-pack of Dial for two bones, or you can upgrade to Dr. Bronner's and enjoy the marginal benefit of bathing in citrus oils every morning like a refined gentleman. Your old Nalgene Silo? Dial. Fortunately, the options for an upgrade are abundant, ranging from straightforward bottles for the gym to handheld bottles for marathon runners to double-walled glass vessels that could double as flower vases.

May God have mercy on your quads

Photo Essay: The Jerusalem Marathon

Every religion has its pilgrimages, many of them to Jerusalem. Christians visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Muslims, the Dome of the Rock. Jews pray at the Western Wall. Running, while not an official religion, is nevertheless a sport of the pious, and its acolytes meet once a year at the Jerusalem Marathon. We were on hand at this year’s race to take in the struggle and the glory of the scenic 26.2-mile course.

To and From, safely and in style

Kit: Bicycle Commuter

If you're thinking about joining the bike commuter set, you'll need the essentials: bike, helmet, lights, lock and a handsome leather wine bottle carrier. We've got it all in this Kit, plus much more.

Wheels for the working man

5 Best Commuter Bikes

Long gone are the days when the commuter bike was an old-school mountain bike with a potpourri of parts and a rear wheel that was only roughly true. A rise in people looking to build fitness, lower their carbon footprint or simply have fun while getting around has created a big market for commuter bikes. Here are some of our favorites for 2014.