Category Archives: Outside With Others: Columnists and Guests

Contributions from Tamia Nelson’s Outside‘s readers

Voyages of Discovery: A Missouri River Odyssey

One man. A big river. And a very small boat—a 12-foot pack canoe, to be precise. This could be a recipe for disaster. Or a passport to delight. Tyler Higgins choose delight, and if you, too, are itching to light out for the territory, you’ll want to follow along as Tyler paddles down the broad Missouri.

By Tyler Higgins, with an introduction, note, and afterword by Tamia Nelson
March 13, 2018


What follows is the story of Tyler Higgins’ October 2010 journey down a 340-mile stretch of the broad Missouri, told in his own words. It’s not your everyday paddle. For one thing, Tyler covered prodigious distances between dawn and dusk. For another, he made the trip in a diminutive Old Town Pack. At 12 feet and 30-odd pounds, this little pack canoe isn’t often thought of as a “big water” boat. But it did Tyler proud on the mighty Mo. And vice versa. As you’ll soon learn.

Wavy Line Spacer - (c) and TM Tamia Nelson/Verloren Hoop Productions

Tyler’s Journal

I put in about four in the afternoon [Saturday], figuring to get to cousin Johnson’s place[, my … Continue reading »

A Sweet Victory Ride! by Ric Olsen

Ric Olsen has been a frequent contributor to my weekly column, “In the Same Boat,” but his interests range broadly beyond canoeing. Here he writes about something close to the heart of every bicyclist — his first bike. ~ Tamia Nelson

The first bike I owned, my Dad got for me from someone where he worked. It had been blue before someone had painted it with spray cans, and sprayed everything all one color. It was a 26 inch fine piece of road transportation. The kick stand was welded to the frame, the spring holding it up in place was weak, so it made a metal clinking sound every time I hit it peddling.

When I got it, in order to get my leg over the top tube, I had to stand the bike on the street while I stood on the curb next to it. At first, getting on was easy, but getting off was trickier. Until I got my balance, and would be able to swing my right leg over the seat with the left … Continue reading »

Lighting Up Porto Alegre Nights: Itati Água Mineral Shows the Way
by Marcos Netto, TNO Southern Hemisphere Correspondent

Marcos Netto

To make a long story short, Itati Água Mineral planned to sponsor the PedAlegre Cycling Club, but because the club meets for evening cycling, they wear reflective vests. This is good for safety, but not so good for a sponsor wishing to display their support with a logo on the club’s jersey. So I looked for a way to stamp our brand in reflective material on a jersey, and after a year of research and testing, we finally did it!

Our new high-tech jerseys are made of an environmentally friendly fabric derived from recycled PET bottles, and they sport reflective Itati logos and other patches to make cyclists more visible to motorists.

Reflect on the PedAlegre Cycling Club Lighting Up the Night, Photo by Mônica CruzPhoto Copyright © 2015 Mônica Cruz

The first 100 jerseys sold out in three days to members of the PedAlegre Cycling Club. Now Itati lights up the evenings in Porto Alegre, and the jersey is such an eye-catching success that other area cyclists want one, too. So we’ve placed an order for more. This just goes to show that being bright is right, … Continue reading »

Sport and Business Join Forces to Work Toward a Better World by Tamia Nelson

If you’re a regular visitor to TNO, you probably remember Paralympian João Corrêa‘s inspiring ride in the Ultramarathon Challenge, under the auspices of Team Itati-Stem-Rotary. Marcos Netto, our Southern Hemisphere Correspondent, told João’s story, and it was an extraordinary one. But it’s not over. In fact, it’s fair to say we’ve only seen the first chapter. Earlier this summer, Marcos, João, and Stem-Itati’s Guilherme Nunnemkamp were invited to give a presentation to one of Brazil’s biggest corporate management conferences, the Programa Gaúcho da Qualidade e Produtividade (PGQP) 15th International Congress of Management. PGQP is a Porto Alegra-based non-profit organization that works to enhance corporate productivity by improving the quality of management practices.

Are you asking yourself why an assembly of top business managers would be eager to hear the story of a Paralympian handcyclist? If so, Marcos can tell you:

The Congress of Management was interested in João Corrêa’s success in the Ultramarathon Challenge because it was achieved by implementing each of the PGQP’s “Eight Criteria.” It was also the first

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Why Smart Cyclists Go With the Flow by Marcos Netto, TNO Southern Hemisphere Correspondent

A recent piece by Marcos Netto, TNO‘s Southern Hemisphere Correspondent, mentioned an article on cycling safety that he’d written for the Itati corporate blog. (Marcos is a director of Itati, a Brazilian mineral water company.) It’s a good article on an important subject, but unfortunately for North American and British readers, the blog is in Portuguese, and the Google translation leaves much to be desired.

We figured we could do a better job than Google did, and with Marcos’ invaluable assistance, we have. Here’s the result:


I see a lot of cyclists who ride against the flow of traffic — in the States they’re often called “salmon cyclists” — and when I ask them why they do what they do, they often say they feel safer when they can observe cars coming at them. This, they claim, makes it easier for them to avoid collisions. And these are collisions from which the cyclist always comes out second-best.

It’s a common sense argument, I suppose, but like a lot of common sense arguments, it’s wrong. Dead wrong. … Continue reading »

TNO Southern Hemisphere Correspondent Marcos Netto Makes the Case for Bicycles

You don’t often hear the phrase “Renaissance man” these days, but it’s a pretty fair description of Marcos Netto, TNO‘s Southern Hemisphere Correspondent. His is an enviable CV: corporate executive — he’s a director of Itati, a Brazilian mineral water company — linguist, professional photographer, and Rotarian. But Marcos is also an avid cyclist who regularly saddles up to commute to work. In fact, he’s become a sort of evangelist for cycling, never missing a chance to draw attention to the bicycle’s role in reducing urban pollution, easing traffic congestion, and promoting public health.

Here’s an example: Not long ago, Marcos was asked to take part in a television program on cycling. I could try to summarize what he had to say, but it’s Marcos’ story, so why not let him tell it in his own words?

I was invited by TV Unisinos for a live interview on the Conexão Unisinos 12 O’Clock News to discuss the topic “Bicycling for a Less Polluted World.” The other guest was Professor Felipe Brum de Brito Sousa. Both of us are “regular people”

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Can’t Kick(stand)? Ric Ashcraft Finds a Third Way by Tamia Nelson

You wouldn’t think that kickstands and bicycle helmets had much in common, would you? But they do. Each divides the cycling community into two warring tribes. You have helmet-wearers on the one hand (I belong to this tribe) and helmet-spurners on the other. And woe betide anyone who suggests that there might ever be room for amiable disagreement. Members of each tribe are True Believers, convinced that theirs is the sole path of virtue. If law and custom permitted, both tribes would happily revive the auto-da-fé, if only to ensure the purity of the faith and enforce the ways of righteousness.

Likewise with kickstands. Some cyclists love ’em. Others loathe ’em. And never the twain shall meet. I’m with the “love ’em” brigade on this one, though it has to be said that my love is tinged with a certain bittersweet regret. Kickstands are heavy, awkward appendages, and — this is a familiar lover’s complaint — they often let you down. They can also hurt you, or at least hurt your bike, especially when the bike lacks a … Continue reading »