Ultra Runner Hits The Road

At 19, Rickey Gates dropped out of college and headed on a road trip to South America. It was a trip that would kick-start a life of adventure and travel.

Over a decade later and now a sponsored trail runner – Rickey’s love for the road has not diminished one bit. “On the Road” shares Rickey’s thoughts and philosophy on the life he has chosen as he road trips from Aspen Colorado to San Francisco in search of wild lands and some of the best trails in the US.

New backpack Osprey Manta 20

I listed my TAD Gear FAST Pack Litespeed backpack a few days ago on eBay and it sold nicely as expected. Before I did this I was looking at a bunch of different packs not really knowing what to get but at every online store I visited I clicked every interesting pack into a new tab and after I went through the whole backpack section I looked at the tabs I had opened. Every single time I had a bunch of Osprey packs in the different tabs so with that background I started to go on YouTube and watching different reviews and I really liked what I heard and saw. So, I got myself a Osprey Manta 20! And so far I’m not regretting selling my TAD Gear pack, at all…

Click for larger picture

Click for larger picture
Osprey Manta 20
Arc’Teryx Drac jacket
TAD Gear Force 10 pants
TAD Gear Preatorian Hoodie
Mechanix gloves and Mystery Ranch merino beanie

The most compact of the Manta series, this pack has an added zip front pocket with mesh organizer and works best for day long adventures.

Manta 20 Features

  • Built-in Raincover
  • Dual Side Compression Straps
  • ErgoPull™ Hipbelt
  • Front Pocket
  • Helmet Attachment
  • Hydration System
  • Panel Load
  • Stow-on-the-Go™
  • Top Slash Pocket

The reason I sold the Litespeed was because I wanted a sturdier internal frame, this one wasn’t too good, folding over itself especially if you had something heavy in the bottom of the pack. I had some issues with the waist belt coming of while walking, really annoying! I contacted TAD Gear about this and the had never heard about that one before… It didn’t matter if I had a little or a bunch of extra webbing coming out of the loop rings attaching it
ospreyreservoirtowards the back of the pack. I’d also liked a different and better organizational pocket on the outside and a lot less straps!

The price here in Sweden for a Manta 20 is about 900 SEK and the European and Asian versions comes with out the (awesome) Osprey Hydraulic Reservoir so I’ll need to get that too. It’s about 300 SEK extra but well worth it because it integrates with the pack.

So with this the pack, complete, the price would be about 1200 SEK which is close to what it’s bigger cousin the Kestrel 38 costs.

505611-stowonthegoThe feature list is just as on anything else you buy, cramped with stuff. But the thing worth mentioning are the Stow-on-the-Go system which gives you the possibility to carry trekking poles on the side of the pack. It attaches on the left side of the pack.

One thing that I would like to be different is on the hip belt. There are two great pockets there, one on each side that are big enough to carry a larger point-and-shoot camera, GPS, snacks or basically whatever in that size. But, they could have added some thin foam on the inside for some extra comfort. If you have something with a not so nice pointy edge or like a GPS antenna that could build a pressure point over time if you’re running with this pack. Also a warning about the hip belt. If you’re a very skinny dude you could run in to some problems not being able to set it as tight as you want to. I’m 180, 68kg and if I were a little skinnier I could get som problems with this, especially in the summer time when you don’t wear thick sweaters and jackets (in the first picture I haven’t tighten everything properly).

IMG_1534One of the best features of the pack is the frame, Airspeed. It gives a lot of ventilation and is ergonomically made so it sits really nice on your back.

Here are a picture when I had a coffee break when I was out walking today and also a picture of what I had in my pack at that time.

IMG_0462 IMG_1527With this stuff the pack was quite full but I could put some extra things in there if I wanted to but that would have had the fabric really stretched.

To sum things up – I’m really pleased with the pack so far, lightweight and feels very sturdy. I hope it’ll give me some good years of service!

If you want more info about this backpack or any other of their packs just go on YouTube and you’ll find tons of reviews and unboxing-type videos. Good Luck! 🙂



A thought on gear

When I was out running with all my brand new clothes and stuff that I bought I couldn’t stop thinking about what everything that I was wearing cost… I mean, I might have bought the so called premium stuff but still, is there a sport or hobby that you can do that’s  cheep?!


Running is fairly simple, anyone can do it, just go and put on your shoes and get out and run. Simple, is it? The first times just to get a feel for it maybe but it will be way more fun and much better for your body if you have proper foot ware.  Add tight fitting clothes will reduce wind resistance and you won’t get to warm or cold will make you happier along the way. I listened to a seasoned runner on the radio a few months back and she said that if you’re thinking about to start running (I think she was into trail running) you might go out the first time with whatever you have but as soon as you come back, go to the store and buy proper shoes! Your body will thank you forever!

All the stuff in my latest post cost just shy of 5 000 SEK, that’s about 800 USD. Other than that I have my running shoes and my Suunto Ambit HR and that’s another 4 000 SEK (about 600 USD) making the total cost 9 000 SEK or 1 400 USD which might be alot for just running…

I was thinking of other sports along my run and I couldn’t come up with even one that’s cheap. If the equipment is fairly cheap it’s often combined with a costly fee of some sort or that you have to sell something to bring money to the club on a yearly basis.

Then I know a few guys at work that once said to me when I was about to buy some new hiking gear, I think it was my Fjällräven tent, and they said:

– Why don’t you just go to the nearest sports store and buy a standard “camping tent” and be happy? It’ll cost you less then a third of what you’re paying for that other tent!

Well… I could have done that… And they’d probably or most certainly would have and combined that with a cheep ass backpack and a pair of sneakers. Then a few hours out on the trail (if they’re not the Hulk) they would come down crying and complaining about how uncomfortable everything is and that they just want to go home – and they would have missed everything that was special about that moment in the outdoors… Because in the end, what ever you do, it’s all about that moment when you’re out doing your thing and with proper equipment everything will be easier, more comfortable and you’ll enjoy it more and just want to go back out there and do it again…

New workout clothes

Visited the local sports and outdoor store yesterday to buy some new workout clothes. Needed something that was wind- and somewhat water resistant that I can use during the colder months and on the chillier summer days. So I went there totally open minded not having browsed the web before and just relied on their expertise.

So this is what I bought and what they recommended. I’ll primarily use this for running and workouts at the outdoor gym.

As an outer layer they recommended a two piece set from Adidas Supernova (SN) Gore Jacket and pants. These are super lightweight and stretches alot so it’ll be very comfy while moving.

  • Climaproof® wind provides sngorejacketlightweight, breathable protection from wind
  • FORMOTION® follows the natural movement of sport for a better fit and greater comfort in motion
  • GORE WINDSTOPPER® fabric for breathable wind protection
  • Front zip pockets; Vertical zip pocket on left chest
  • Full zip with stand-up collar; Reflective details; Slim fit
  • 100% polyester plain weav

I also got something that I thought I’d never buy… A pair of X2U (Two Times You) Compression x2ucompressionpantsTights! In short the purpose of these are that you get graduated compression that maximizes blood flow toward the heart to keep your performance up. It also helps with sore muscles so you should put them on a while before you go out and keep them on after you’ve cooled down. So in combination with the Adidas pants above I have a nice combo going.

Bought a set of Helly Hansen Freeze 1/2 Zip and their equivalent pants. This is a merino wool garment with the LIFA fibre technology so that it’ll transport moisture quicker of your body to keep you nice and dry. I think these will be a great first layer both for running but also for when I’m out hiking. I mostly bought the pants for those cold nights in the sleeping bag as I very seldom get my legs cold.

I also got a new pair of indoor shoes, Adidas Essence in dark blue and to top everything of I got a pair of Adidas Climawarm Gloves as my hands always tends to be cold 🙂 aaand a new Primus EtaPower 1.7L pot with a built-in heat exchanger.

The best thing with the visit to the store was when I got out of the changing room the my “personal shopper” told me that I looked fast (!?) and then I thought…
– This must be the shit, I’ll get everything that I’ve got here! Haha!

Todays run

I took off on a run today on my lunch break, a round that I’ve never done before, rocking my Suunto Ambit HR watch. That’s actually a great piece of gear for any outdoor/indoor sport or activity. I’d recommend anyone that’s looking for a great watch to buy one or if you’re in the market for a watch with a heart rate monitor and GPS.

When you’re done running, or whatever you like, you just connect your Suunto watch to your computer via the USB-cable that comes in the package.  The watch will then connect to Suuntos online training calendar and uploads your training data. Once the upload is completed it fires your web browser and shows you your latest workout at Moves Count dot com.

Here are two screen shots from my latest session, sorry it’s in Swedish.

In the first picture you can see what kind of training you did and the time and pace and some other info. Then you can click to show more info like the temperature etc. Underneath that you have a map of your route. The good thing with the map is that you can hover your mouse over the track and it’ll give you info about the distance, time and pulse you had at that specific place. And if you look at the second picture you’ll see a graph that you can add data to. Per default it only shows your pulse but you can add a lot of things, pace, breathing etc. and all this that you add to the graph also displays on the map! That’s a great feature!

In the last part of this workout screen you’ll see info about your laps. You can either add your laps manually by pressing a button on the watch and it’ll automatically create a lap if you pause your training. It’ll also create a lap every kilometer so you don’t have to do that yourself.

One thing that I don’t know if your able to do (I might not be smart enough) is to compare two tracks to each other. You can select multiple training sessions but you can’t really compare average pulse, time, map overlay etc. All this would be great so that you actually know if you’re improving and which part of e.g. your run that you were slower this time than the last. This would be a great improvement to the site!


I had a rough day – pulse was all off 🙂

movescount1movescount2Oh, one more thing… My colleague at work got his moped stolen last week and while I was out on my run I actually found it. Smashed up. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my phone (duh!) so I couldn’t call him or the cops. When I got back to work I called him and he went there but then it was gone. I hope he’ll get it back…