Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin

New Mexico

Ryan's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Biking
Yoga
Skiing
Climbing

Ryan's Bio

Heaven will be a place where every sunset dies beneath a mellow fire of crackling juniper as I soak in a bubbling jacuzzi nestled at the feet of all fourteen 8,000-meter peaks huddled together under a Van Gogh-like sky.

Reality has been pretty rad too: I spent much of my college life buzzing around the Américas practicing my Spanish in loud coffee shops and tiny restaurants that were converted out of people’s garages. When state-side, I was either slaloming not-so-steep hills on my university’s Alpine Ski Team (yeah, there’s skiing in Ohio...) or lacing up my mornings with muddy-calved trail runs on the only loop in town. After diplomeating myself, I thru-hiked the A.T. (Freedom!), married the woman I had fallen face-first in love with (Family!), and transplanted us into SW New Mexico (Mountains!). I currently hike and climb in the half-dozen nearby mountain ranges, practice yoga with a goofily huge smile on my face, and cook lentils and kale about as much as I can get away with.

More @ www.followingblazes.blogspot.com

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin wrote a review of on October 11, 2014

Trippity Fashionista Sk8r Doggie Collar
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

A big thank you to Backcountry.com and Wolfgang Man & Beast for hand-selecting ME to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

First things first, the pattern is oh-so fly because not only does the collar show a have-a-nice-trip striped-out section (pictured), but you also have colored squares that go so well together you will swear Wolfgang took the color scheme from a hipster summer wedding palette. And, on the inside, you'll find a hidden treat (bottom of cereal box style!) with skateboard legend, Natas Kaupas, shreddin' it like the pavement grating Lithuanian he is. --The Kaupas pic may come in handy if you and your dog are trying to earn street cred at the local skatepark... OR if you need to infiltrate a Lithuanian skateboard gang to rescue your girlfriend--just saying, I'm just saying.

With a burly collar ring your dog's name tag, rabies tag, beer opener, night light, etc. will fit without a prob. The buckle is easy to grasp and maneuver, so don't plan on fighting fumbling fingers when it's time to take off the collar for bow-wow's bath. The collar's width and the cleverly placed Wolfgang patch make the collar pop like an Osiris shoe tongue, huzzah!

Solid nylon construction, burly hardware, and gang-infiltrating style all comfortably worn around your best friend's neck. OH! so good.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin wrote a review of on October 3, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

Thank you to Backcountry.com and Wolfgang Man & Best for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community.

My dog's neck is snugly 12" around, comfortably 14", so I tried the MEDIUM originally, and it was much too big. The SMALL is right on for my dog, and we're really happy with the appearance and quality.

The buckle is firmly secured with two clean rivets, and all of the hardware is anodized black to cleanly flow with the black leather. The buckle itself firmly latches, so I don't need to double-check it once it's in place: unidentifiable-dog-proofness. There is a integrated accessory ring for you to add your dog's ID badges or night-light and the folks at Wolfgang Man & Beast included their own medallion to help extinguish any traces of stylishness your dog may have faced prior to owning their new collar.

As with any leather product, I expect this collar to age like good friends or a fine wine. The logo stamped into the leather adds that feather-in-your-hat little something something for flavor.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin wrote a review of on September 29, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

I found this light while searching for a "good headlamp for cycling," and I was impressed with the integration of the helmet-mounted headlamp and the rear red light. Although the price is a bit intimidating, you're getting two devices in one: a headlamp AND a rear safety light.

Installation: It took me 10min to get the light mounted on my Giro helmet since I was unfamiliar with the setup. Note: Light & Motion's website has additional installation pictures for clarification if you find yourself scratchin' the ol' noggin.

Impressions so far: I love that the light has a tilt adjustment, so you can dial it to point pretty much exactly where you want it to shine, and because it's on your helmet--rather than your handlebars--your light shines where you look, which means 360 degree visibility since handlebars are limited to pointing just in front of you.

I find the beam strength of the 360 PLUS is great for dark country roads, and even in neighborhoods here in NM where streetlights are not as common. The less bright of the two options (first option on the regular 360 model) is sufficient for most of my neighborhood rides when it's not pitch black out. I haven't used the strobe setting yet, but I'm glad that toggling between the lights doesn't include an option that turns the light off as is standard with most headlamps (you have to hold the button down to power it off). Also, I really like that the red light on the back can be turned off while leaving the front light on--helpful for not distracting riders behind me while off-roading.

What it's missing: One ding is that you can't really wear this light without a helmet, which is a bummer because I would love to take this thing hiking/running since it's so bright. Another improvement would be to add a toggle option so that the red light could be set to strobe for added protection, but the constant red light is still a BIG win for safety.

Overall, I'm really happy with the twin value of this light: It lights my way and watches my back. Ride on!

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin wrote a review of on September 16, 2014

This Leash Will Last You For Years
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times

Thank you to Backcountry.com and Wolfgang Man & Beast for hand-selecting me to review this piece of gear for the benefit of the backcountry.com community!

This review is for the 4ft Black Latigo Leather Leash, and after using it about a dozen times now, I look forward to every walk so we can break it in just a little bit more each time. Just like your favorite pair of leather boots, this leash will bloom with age.

Starting at the base, the bolt snap is anodized black to match the black leather. The slider is flexy and the closure snaps shut like a mouse trap (read: no slip). The leash is secured to the bolt snap with a 1.5inch rectangle of stitching, and the base is stamped with -Made in America- so you can feel patriotic each time your clip into your dog's collar for a morning jaunt.

I went with the 4ft so that there is enough room for sniffing with minimal stray. The hand loop is secured with the same stitching as the base and is spacious enough for gloved hands come winter without feeling loose. The fleece lining keeps the leash firm in your hand when the temps are up, so there is no slipping in your paw while you are walking hers.

If you want a classic, black leather leash that's lined for comfort, WMB's Latigo Leash will crack the whip on quality.

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Ryan Conklin

Ryan Conklin wrote a question about on August 30, 2014

I'm wondering about sizing here... I typically wear XL or XXL in winter gloves, but according to this sizing (my middle finger to base of palm is 9") I"m barely a LRG. Is this correct? (This IS my first pair of biking gloves, so maybe I'm just a noob.) Thanks!

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