I have a bad habit. I… like gear. A lot. It’s so fun to try out new things, but as I try more and more legit adventures, I also notice the people around me with their ‘tried and true’ systems and gear, which typically are quite a bit different than my setup. So, I browse online and usually buy things from discount sites: the clymb, steepandcheap, etc. What happens? Often, things don’t fit exactly the way I want them to. I’ve banned myself from buying pants online (it’s hard enough to find ones that fit in real life, why would I ever think buying them online would be easier?!), but still occasionally get wooed by low prices on shoes or packs or something.
What inevitably happens – I don’t return said items (or want to pay for return shipping) so they sit in my room, I think about things I can do with them or friends I can give them to, and they are sad not getting any use or adventure days.
Enter: Old Mountains Gear Exchange.
This place is awesome. Over in Webster Groves, it reminds me of a trip back to Carbondale, Colorado (a short 15 min drive from my home in Basalt, or nice bike ride down the Rio Grande trail in the summer) to Meiser’s Mercantile. It’s a must-stop whenever I go home (mainly because it’s next door to the Smithy, which has the best McHuevos (huevos rancheros on steroids) in the universe).
But I digress. Meisers is a little local consignment/resale shop, with all kinds of trinkets and clothes and gear and shoes and ceramics that I love – there’s always treasure to be found. And, usually, I have a store credit from bringing in some of my old gear or clothes, so it’s basically a free shopping trip!
OMGX is like Meiser’s, but better. Because it’s ALL outdoor gear. From maps to sunglasses to packs (daypacks? check. backpacks? check. camera bags? check) to yoga pants to winter jackets, they carry it. Also, as mentioned on facebook recently, they have TONS of cast iron pans. It’s an adventurers stockroom, with awesome displays that make me think of all the trips I have yet to take, and all the places that are still to be explored.
Greg, the owner, sits behind the counter until you walk in, but then he’ll show you the latest jacket they’ve got, in just your size. Or he’ll help you find the perfect hiking boots, and make any minor repairs to ensure you have everything you need for an upcoming trip.
Obviously, I’m pretty sold on the place. My recent trip there also brought great news to my adventuring plans… as Greg was sorting through my stuff and picking out the things to keep (and setting prices, with my input), I mentioned the adventures I’d been on recently including lots of mountain biking. He asked if I was doing the OT100, and we got to chatting about the race. He said he was sponsoring a rider – Jon – and I casually mentioned that I should find someone to sponsor me… and Greg paused, looked up, and said, ‘well, send me your info, we can probably make that happen’. Yeah, seriously. Now, to be fair, I put in a good bit of energy and time training, both on my bike and in my running shoes. I do work hard. But it was super awesome to have someone consider actually sponsoring me… with basically no knowledge of my race history (although the fact that I’d just won the ss gravel worlds didn’t hurt, I think).
Also, yay for this blog, so I had something to refer him to! After a day or so, I got a message with the full info – OMGX would be happy to sponsor me!!! I flipped my shit for a while, and now it’s really happening – I get to go ride my bike in the woods for a ridiculous amount of time while repping an awesome little shop. I’m so stoked, and so thankful for OMGX giving me a chance and hopping on board. Hopefully this is just the start of an epic partnership, and OMGX gets to brag as my first true sponsor 🙂
As I was thinking about it – OMGX is actually the perfect sponsor for me. I’m all about being environmentally friendly and reducing your impact where possible – what could be more ‘green’ than reusing someone’s extra gear? Also, I usually scrap together my gear instead of going for everything shiny and new – I prefer to find my own solution (i.e. sewing on patches or pockets to existing packs instead of buying an entire new bag). I like to support local businesses where possible, and OMGX is as local grassroots as it gets. I like all kinds of adventures, from adventure racing to climbing (poorly, but whatever) to biking to running, and beyond, and OMGX can outfit you for ALL of those things and more. It sure doesn’t hurt that it reminds me of Meisers.