Bishop, Keller, Teel and Davis dish on their favorite pieces.
Jeremiah Bishop has been on top of the cross country mountain bike world for almost a decade, and this year may be his strongest showing yet. The South’s reigning mountain bike king won the Trans-Epic Stage Race for a second year in a row, came in fifth at the Leadville 100 after flatting in the first five minutes, and fourth at the Olympic Test Race in London. He’s representing the U.S. at the Pan Am Games, and is a front-runner for the two-person Olympic mountain bike team for 2012.
Favorite Piece of Gear: Cannondale Lefty Speed Carbon
“I’ve raced bikes for 20 years, it’s a treat to ride on something so revolutionary. They took the best designs from the motocross world and created the stiffest, lightest, most active suspension on the market. It’s a 2.4-pound front shot that feels like a five-pound front fork.”
Pat Keller is the creek-boating phenom most famous for running big waterfalls and pushing the limits of the sport.
Last summer, he ticked off a first known descent of Linville Falls, a triple-tier drop thought to be un-runnable. This year, Keller is healthy, hoping to take the top spot at the Green River Narrows Race, the most coveted creek boat race in the country.
Favorite Piece of Gear: Astral Buoyancy Green Jacket Limited Edition
“It’s a high flotation device that doesn’t limit my mobility when I’m paddling, but has all of the safety features you need when you’re on the water. It has a rescue harness, a tether, a pocket for a temporary breathing device, a pouch for a small rope—these are the things that will help get you out of a bad situation. Plus, the jackets look really cool. And they take the extra foam from the life jackets and turn it into pimpin’ dog beds.”
Massey Teel is the head guide for West Virginia’s Seneca Rocks Climbing School, one of the most respected rock institutions in the region. He typically spends more than 200 days a year on rock.
Favorite Piece of Gear: Misty Mountain Cadillac Harness
“The Caddy [built for multi-pitch and trad routes, it’s built wide and comfortable, like a Cadillac] is far and away the best harness I have ever owned. It is extremely comfortable and dependable with simple features. I log over 200 days a year on the rocks, and I’m happy to spend every one of them in my Caddy.”
Jennifer Pharr Davis
Jennifer Pharr Davis set the overall Appalachian Trail speed record this summer, hiking the 2180-mile trail in 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, almost a full day faster than the previous record held by Andrew Thompson.
Favorite Piece of Gear: Salomon Women’s XA 10+3
“I have struggled for years to find the perfect day pack. I hate carrying weight on my shoulders, but waist hips don’t always offer enough room for my rain jacket, first aid kit, and snacks. Finally, I found the Salomon Women’s XA 10+3 pack. The suspension system distributes the weight so that my shoulders don’t ache and the pack does not sway and shift, even on a run. It is my go-to bag for an easy day hike or long-distance run.”