Adventure Quickies: REI Tightens Its Belt, Rivian Delays Vehicles, and More

Amidst the parade of videos that I have lined up throughout out the day today, I’ve still found some time to collect my usual Friday “Adventure Quickies” post. This round-up of stories from other outlets includes a number of items that I didn’t have time to post about elsewhere this week, but are still worth sharing. So without further ado, here are a few things you may have missed over the past few days.

  • REI Furloughs Employees and Tightens Belt: It isn’t a great time for the outdoor industry—or most other industries for that matter. As we all wait out the coronavirus pandemic, things have come to a standstill in terms of our daily lives and the economy. As a result, no one is buying any new outdoor gear and that’s hitting U.S. outdoor retail giant REI right in the bank account. This week, the company announced that it furloughing much of its staff, while CEO Eric Artz and the senior leadership team take a 20% pay cut and forfeit any bonuses they were set to receive this year. The hope is to reopen stores in some capacity in the next 45 days, but it will still be a long, slow process to get ack to something close to “normal.”
  • Rivian Delays Release of Electric Vehicles: One of the more exciting brands to pop up in the auto industry over the past couple of years has been Rivian. The company has designed electric vehicles in the form of an adventure-focused pick-up truck and an SUV. The truck, dubbed the R1T, was set to begin shipping late this year, with the R1S SUV scheduled for early 2021. With things at a virtual standstill at the moment in terms of manufacturing and the economy, it came as no surprise this week when officials announced that the launch of these groundbreaking vehicles has been pushed back by several months.
  • Drivers Break Quarantine to Set New Cannonball Record: For years, the Cannonball has been an illegal underground challenge for drivers to complete a crossing of the U.S. in a short of a time as possible. That means driving nearly nonstop, at breakneck speeds, for hours at a time, coast-to-coast. The most recent record was set last November, when three drivers took a Mercedes from New York to Los Angles in just under 28 hours. But last week, taking advantage of empty roads and quarantines across the country, a new record was allegedly, set, making the run in just 26 hours, 38 minutes, and change. Road & Track has the full story.
  • Did a Rainforest Once Exist Near the South Pole?: A new study indicates that during the Cretaceous Period a dense rainforest grew less than 600 miles (965 km) from the South Pole. That was an era when the Earth was even warmer than it is now, with high amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Still, scientists were still stunned to find the fossilized remains of plants hidden deep under the ice in the Antarctic. Find out more about this fascinating story here.
  • Killer Piranhas—Myth or Fact?: Are the legends of man-eating, vicious piranhas lurking in the rivers and streams of South America true? That’s the question that Explorers Web took a look at this week, examining exactly where legend and reality meet. Their conclusion? While the little fish can be dangerous and voracious in their appetite, they are far from the killing machines that Hollywood lead us to believe.
  • Men’s Journal Presents the 64 Best Sports Books of All Time: Looking to catch up on some reading while the world is on pause? Then you’ll want to avoid the list of the 64 best sports books of all time from Men’s Journal as you’ll probably only end up with more books to catch up on.
  • 19 Amazing and Funny Warranty Claims: As consumers, we often put to high of expectations on the products that we use. Need proof? Just look at these 19 fantastic warranty claims that customers have made to REI over the years. For a very long time, the company had an extremely liberal return policy, before eventually tightening things up a few years back. After reading this, you’ll understand why. Put together by our friends at the Adventure Journal, you’ll be left laughing and shaking your head at the same time.

That’s all for this week. Stay safe this weekend and see you on Monday.