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The Flip Side – Volume 7

Why You *Probably* Won’t Catch COVID Riding Your Bike

Researchers say that a recent study suggesting 65 feet of distance between you and the nearest vigorous runner or biker is based on faulty logic. A Columbia University virologist argues the study failed to take into account outdoor variables like wind and temperature and that the risk of catching enough COVID-19 particles outside to actually become infected is pretty low. While that doesn’t mean you should join a packed peloton, you probably don’t need to be as cautious as that early study warned. [Vox]

Could Spring Skiing Be Back On?

A couple of Colorado ski resorts with historically long seasons are wondering whether they might be able to reopen as shelter-in-place guidelines ease. California’s Mt. Baldy recently became the first in the U.S. to reopen, arguing that if golf courses are good to go, why not ski resorts? [Denver Post]


Vail to Give Skiers Credit for Passes

Following a class-action lawsuit filed against Vail, Epic season pass-holders will gain credit toward next year’s pass purchase. The amount of credit will depend upon which pass the skier or rider held, and how many days they hit the mountain before the lifts stopped spinning. Alterra has also had lawsuits brought against it for the devaluation of its passes. [Colorado Sun]

The First Climbing Gyms in the Country Reopen

With gyms included in many of the first-wave businesses allowed to operate again as quarantine restrictions ease, a couple of the first climbing gyms in the country have reopened. The first to the gates? Treadstone in Georgia, which is enforcing a number of new hygiene protocols including hand-washing, blotting the soles of climbing shoes with bleach, and a ban on hugging. [Climbing Business Journal]  


Englishman Ascends Everest’s Height at Home

Chalk it up to boredom or ambition, John Griffin has climbed 29,035 feet worth of stairs in four days—the height of Mt. Everest, which has been closed to climbers due to the pandemic. This amounted to 1,363 trips up 30 steps. Considering most Everest expeditions take a couple of months, we applaud Griffin for his efficient summit and for raising over $2,000 for a nearby food bank in the process. [CNN]

DIY: Home Climbing Wall

For the vast majority of us with climbing gyms still closed and recommendations to avoid the crag, the interim solution may be a hangboard or—to take it to the next level—a home bouldering wall. A couple of blokes from the UK’s Impact Route Setting show us how to get your own private climbing wall up and running at home. [Outside]


John Fogerty Plays Tiny Desk From Home

NPR has temporarily moved its Tiny Desk Concerts to the home studios of musicians and the latest to take the stage is John Fogerty and three of his kids strumming and singing from their basement. The former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman plays three classics and mainstays of our summer road trip soundtracks. [NPR]

30 Years of Hubble


Need a little perspective right now? To celebrate the Hubble Space Telescope’s 30th anniversary in orbit, NASA has released a new image of a patch of the universe where stars are born. Dubbed the “Cosmic Reef” for its vibrant hues, the photo shows two nebulas filled with giant new stars in a galaxy 163,000 light-years from here. [NASA]


2 Outdoor Brands Go Climate Neutral

On Earth Day, a couple of outdoor companies announced they’d achieved a certified level of climate neutrality. Through a combo of emissions reductions, renewable power, and carbon credits, Kleen Kanteen and Rumpl have both locked in carbon neutral status. These two brands also happen to be sustainable at the core—Kleen Kanteen makes the reusable bottles we pack on adventures, while Rumpl converts plastic waste into synthetic insulation for blankets.