Ride Centers: The Region’s Best Biking Meccas

first_imgThere’s a revolution taking place in the world of mountain biking.Moab and British Columbia’s North Shore are no longer the centers of the bike universe. Trail towns are popping up all over the country, in some pretty unlikely places. Destinations you’ve never heard of, like Anniston, Alabama, are increasingly appearing on bikers’ radars. Locally minded pro riders, move-n-shake community leaders, and innovative trailbuilders are transforming long-ignored backwaters into knobby-tire hubs.With so many new places to shred, The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) wants to remake the map. Throughout the winter of 2018 they fine-tuned their grading scale hoping to better assess the world’s best mountain bike towns, also known as ride centers.  IMBA rates, or demotes, a ride center based on seven factors: trail experiences, services, community involvement, tourism, promotion, marketing, evaluation, and measurement.  Using these criteria, IMBA decides if your town is gold, bronze, silver, or nothing at all. Currently there is not a single gold-level town in Appalachia.“IMBA has that currency, the ability to accredit trail systems,” says Southeastern Off-Road Mountain Biking Association (SORBA) Director Tom Sauret.  “A lot of communities like that. It’s a high honor especially to those who might feel a little insecure about what they have to have offer, places like Augusta, Georgia.”Upon receiving a ride center application, an IMBA team descends upon your town. Guys like Anthony Duncan, an IMBA project manager from Tennessee, spend a few days ripping your trails, talking with your leadership, and rating your amenities.  Duncan looks for diverse riding options, sustainability, well-marked trails, an engaged community, a good place to chow, and a comfortable spot to lay his head after a long day of riding. If your town offers this kind experience, then you’re looking at ride center status.The most common problems, he says, are a lack of easy trails for families and poor signage.    “IMBA, like trailbuilders, sees the big picture,” says Pisgah Stage Race founder and Long Cane Trails owner Todd Branham. “Ride centers—when I travel that’s what I use. Those are the hotspots.”Ultimately, says IMBA, the idea is to improve the sport.“The real goal, our mission, is to make places better for mountain biking,” says IMBA project manager Shane Wilson. “The ride center concept leads destinations through a process of looking at themselves. This is something for communities that are really looking to improve. It can put them on the map.”SILVERRoanoke, Virginia“Roanoke has everything we want and more,” says three-time USA Cycling mountain biking national champ Gordon Wadsworth. “Mountain biking, river access, ample jobs, an old part of town, a market.”Even with all its amenities, it’s still the trails that convinced Wadsworth to make downtown Roanoke his home and training ground.“The thing that has kept us here is the accessibility,” says Wadsworth. “From my home I can be on singletrack in ten minutes by bike. 100 miles of singletrack from my door is hard to beat.”Kristine McCormick, the President of Roanoke IMBA, is proud to call this Virginia mountain town home.An IMBA board member since 2012, she says local leaders have made a concerted effort to transform Roanoke into an outdoor recreation hub, specifically a mountain biking hub. Roanoke is currently the only silver-level ride center in the Blue Ridge Mountains.“One of the things that had never been done before was all the land managers sat down together and did this inventory looking at the land as a whole,” McCormick says. “We formed some really good working relationships from that.”IMBA’s Anthony Duncan vouches for the work McCormick put in and the subsequent transformation that took place.“Roanoke was interesting,” says Duncan. “It had a lot of support for outdoor recreation, but it lacked identity. McCormick utilized that outdoor leadership and support. They’re trademarking the brand of being the mountain biking capital of the east coast. The support coming out of Roanoke is unbelievable.”Still, community leaders, stakeholders, and bikers are working at becoming a gold-level ride center.“We are very excited,” McCormick says. “Moving forward, the community wants to continue investing in mountain biking.”Meanwhile Roanoke riders are busy sessioning their smorgasbord of trails, places like Mills Mountain, Carvins Cove, or the 41-mile Blue Ridge Parkway Epic.“It’s a good place to keep your battery charged,” says Wadsworth.BRONZEColdwater MountainAnniston, Ala.Anniston, Alabama is mountain biking’s dark horse. This once-struggling southern hamlet has embraced bicycling as the path forward.“Anniston is a community redefining itself as an outdoor destination,” says Tom Sauret. “I have never been in a community that is so engaged with SORBA and IMBA to transform the thinking around biking.”After building 35 miles of trail on Coldwater Mountain in just four years, the city has now purchased 65 adjoining acres for a parking lot, campground, and pump track. Meanwhile, the Fort McClellan development authority is investing $600,000 toward trail development, and the Northeast Alabama Bicycle Club is renovating a 108-year-old building to serve as the group’s headquarters.“We have a lot of dedicated people in this town,” says club president Tom Nelson.Anniston’s crown jewel remains Coldwater Mountain, which sits just two miles from the downtown.At 900 feet of elevation, purpose-built trails run down both sides of the giant hill. Deciduous trees and loamy soil make up the north side, while the south side consists of fire ecosystem, pines and rock.“People from big mountain states will come here and they’re pleasantly surprised by the length of the descents,” says Patrick “Wig” Wigley, owner of Wig’s Wheels, Anniston’s go-to bike shop. “It makes up for the lack of altitude. You’re paid off ten times on the descents. Most descents have a half-dozen to a dozen berms, and about 50 kickers. It’s machine-cut, with flowy terrain in mind.”Bomb Dog Loop is an especially popular trail, fast with an assortment of lines. Nearby Gaza trail is brutally chunderous.With a growing taste for trail, Anniston is continuing its efforts.Nelson says biking has had a two-million-dollar impact on Anniston’s economy.Local leaders are now focused on inspiring future advocates and trail connectivity. Fort McClellan will serve as a high school mountain bike course, as well as beginner-friendly trails. Anniston currently boasts three high school mountain biking teams.The nearly completed Chief Liadaga rail trail, which passes through 33 miles of rolling Alabama farmland and recreation areas, will begin in Anniston.   “There are so many special things about this place,” says Wigley. “It’s hard to mention them all.”Central Savannah River Area, Georgia +  South Carolina“We put that place on the map,” says trail builder and race promoter Todd Branham. “At the IMBA World Summit in 2010 people were blown away.”The Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) boasts roughly 150 miles of trails zigzagging the South Carolina/Georgia border.“It’s not real technical, it’s just fun,” says Branham.Branham says the key in CSRA’s rise has been their SORBA chapter and the tireless work invested, especially in securing trail-building grants.“That club is one of the strongest in the country,” says Branham. “They all got on board. They were ahead of the times.”Drew Jordan, owner of Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Shop in Augusta, Georgia, agrees that the club’s work has been crucial in the area’s emergence as a mountain bike destination.“We are very fortunate to have the club that we do,” says Jordan. “They put in an incredible amount of man hours, both on the trail and behind the scenes.”Jordan reciprocates their hard work every year when he puts on his FATS Flowmaster.Inspired by the speedy, buttery-smooth trails in the Forks Area Trail System (FATS), Jordan named his annual race after the area’s prized system. One hundred percent of race proceeds go back into CSRA’s SORBA chapter.   Jordan says rookie mountain bikers are routinely hooked after riding FATS.“There’s no barrier to entry,” he says. “Almost anybody can come ride out here.  Once somebody gets on those trails they are hooked.”Brown Wave is a can’t-miss FATS loop and Great Wall, Jordan says, has a little bit of everything: jumps, berms, speed.For a slightly more rugged adventure riders push into Modoc, Turkey Creek, and Wine Creek.Nearby Augusta is replete with happening bars and restaurants like the Riverwatch Brewery.Reading, PennsylvaniaNestled at the bases of Neversink Mountain and Mount Penn, Reading’s rocky trails groomed one of the east coast’s premiere downhill mountain bikers.YT racer Neko Mulally maintains that his childhood home is one of the best places to ride in all of the mid-Atlantic.“There are a lot of trails close to the city,” Mulally says. “There’s good access, definitely a good mix. There’s a lot of lakes that have some good trails around them. Pennsylvania is rocky, so there is some technical stuff.”While Neko has moved away, his brother Logan is still shredding Pennsylvania full-time and purveying the stoke as manager of a local bike shop World Wide Cyclery.“It’s the type of riding I like,” Logan says. “It’s very technical. There’s not a ton of elevation, maybe just 600 feet, but there’s a lot of rocks. It makes the uphills even more fun. There’s a little bit of everything.”What Reading lacks in elevation, it makes up for in accessibility and diversity. Over 70 miles of trails encircle a downtown with good watering holes and restaurants. Downhill runs like A-Line complement technical routes, such as the Never-Sink Loop, and the beginner-friendly Blue Marsh.    Furthermore an active local club is nourishing Reading’s reputation by building more trails, and local riders are known for their good, old-fashioned hospitality.“Really friendly people,” says Logan. “There’s always somebody in the parking lot happy to show you trails.”HARRISONBURG, VA./ Photo By Jess DaddioHarrisonburg, Virginia“Harrisonburg has the best backcountry experiences of any ride center in the region,” says Duncan. “It’s progressive, forward-thinking trail building within the National Forest Service vision.”Which is exactly why legendary endurance racer Jeremiah Bishop calls Harrisonburg home.“It’s an incredible place to train because there is such a diversity of riding,” says Bishop. “The backcountry riding is one of the highlights.”Aside from brutal grinders through George Washington National Forest and along the Virginia Mountain Trail, there’s beginner-friendly systems downtown at Hillandale and white-knuckle, gravity-riding at Bryce and Massanutten.“It’s some of the best riding in the world, and I travel the world riding bikes,” says Bishop.Furthermore, races, impassioned club members, and a revitalized downtown with bike shops, breweries, and a university make Harrisonburg a top-notch destination.“It’s a good community,” says Bishop. “It’s got a lot going on: trail work parties, races, six-pack invitationals. It’s got a good vibe to it; a lot of people who give back to the sport. The culture is strong.”Richmond, VirginiaA lack of terrain could not stop Richmond, Virginia, from building the fast-riding, texture trails that IMBA loves. Just 15 minutes outside of downtown in Pocahontas State Park, mountain bike enthusiasts have turned a relatively flat chunk of ground into hair-raising flow trails complete with big berms and even a dual slalom course.“The solution was to source dirt,” says Duncan, “and basically build up the tread. It provided a completely different experience.”Eddie Anderson, a pro cyclist for Hagensberman Axeon, grew up in Richmond. He says local trail advocates RVA MORE are largely responsible for this innovative approach. The group maintains more than 120 miles of trail within a short drive of the city.“RVA MORE does community service days every week,” he says. “The trails are very well maintained.”Anderson’s favorite trails are actually inside the city limits at James River Park where he says he can string together a 50-mile ride almost entirely on singletrack.“You’d never think such an expansive trail network could exist in the heart of the city,” says Anderson. ”There are lots of new sections with big drops.”BREVARD, N.C./ Photo By Derek DiluzioGoing For GoldThe Blue Ridge Mountains are home to a host of towns that could be the East’s first gold-level ride center.Brevard, North Carolina“It’s sweet living here. There are so many good trails,” says professional downhill racer Walker Shaw. “I never feel like I’ve ridden all the trails.  Dupont is smooth and rolling. Pisgah Forest is so massive. Bennett Gap is fast, rough, rooty, and rocky. Shaw, who rode for the national champion Brevard College Tornados, says the town is an idyllic mountain biking community. “I rarely had to drive to ride trail. I’d just hop on at Bracken Mountain, and I’ve met so many good people here.”Chattanooga, TennesseeIn 2004 SORBA Chattanooga began their Singletrack Mind Initiative with just seven miles of trail. Today bikers can access 120 miles of singletrack without straying any further than ten miles from the downtown. Along with exemplary leadership, Chattanooga boasts a one-of-a-kind riding experience. With grueling climbs, wicked-fast descents, rock gardens, beginner-friendly paths, stunning views of the Tennessee River, and a hip downtown, the River City has it all. The trails at Raccoon Mountain are highly regarded by novices and experts alike.Davis, West Virginia“Davis is small town. There’s not many places with a population of 600 people that have such access to the outdoors and such an interesting population,” says long-time pro Sue Haywood. “There is a real sense of freedom here. The trails are so close. The cost of living is low. We are not overrun by tourists.” Haywood’s favorite trail is Splash Dam, which runs along the Blackwater River and is home to eagles, beaver, deer, and turkey. “It has two miles of awesome, technical rock section,” says Haywood.Ellijay, GeorgiaThomas Turner, a professional stage racer for Jamis, stages his training out of northern Georgia in order to access countless miles of rugged riding. “There’s a lot of diversity,” he says. “Bear Creek and the Pinhotis are easy-going, cleared-out trails. Windy Gap is very rocky and very technical.” Turner says the bike community is growing, as Mulberry Gap Mountain Biker’s Hostel is spearheading a growing numbers of events, including races and clinics for high school mountain bikers.    Boone, North CarolinaRocky Knob, a 185-acre bike park just outside the city limits,  Beech Mountain Resort, and gnarly Pisgah-backcountry riding make Boone one of the most epic destinations in the east. Growing interest in clubs and advocacy means increased trail maintenance, more signage, and a better balance of beginner-friendly trails are in the works. A vibrant downtown and large university make Boone one of the most dynamic destinations in Appalachia.last_img read more

State of Long Island Healthcare Discussed

first_img 12► Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Hundreds of people attended the State of Long Island Healthcare panel discussion hosted by The American Diversity Forum. The event was held at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho on April 27. Photos by Corazone Aguirre. [Show slideshow]last_img

CERP sells the majority shares of the state in the hotels Maestral, Makarska and the Crikvenica Adriatic

first_imgOrder. no.SOCIETYNumber of sharesTotal nominal value of shares in HRK% in share capital 1HOTELI MAESTRAL dd Dubrovnik355.52071.104.00068,94 3.JADRAN dd Crikvenica34.754.768347.547.68070,74 2HOTELI MAKARSKA dd Makarska621.086124.217.20055,48center_img CERP invites interested investors to express their interest in purchasing shares by submitting a letter of intent for these companies, and letters of intent are submitted for each company individually.After CERP collects letters of intent to purchase shares of the above companies and makes a decision on the initial price, conditions and implementation of the procedure of public collection of binding bids, only investors who submitted letters of intent within the deadline will be invited in writing to submit binding bids. shares of the company in question. Deadline for submitting a letter of intent to express interest: November 13, 2017 until 12,00:XNUMX p.m. See more details here The Center for Restructuring and Sale (CERP) has published a Public Invitation for expressions of interest for the purchase of shares in companies owned by the Republic of Croatia and the Center for Restructuring and Sale by conducting a public bidding procedure.It is about the sale of the majority shares of the state in hotels Maestral, Makarska and Crikvenica Adriatic. last_img read more

West Java limits access to tourist destinations during extended PSBB period

first_img“Every tourist destination is required to form its own task force and provide access to protective equipment, such as face masks,” Dedi said.The West Java administration previously extended large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) across the province to June 26 following a spike in COVID-19 cases last week.The extension will be effective across the province, except for the Jakarta satellite cities of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi, where the policy will remain effective until July 2.West Java has recorded the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, with 2,604 cases and 161 fatalities as of Sunday. Several popular destinations in Lembang, such as The Lodge Maribaya and Farm House, had limited the number of visitors to 30 percent of capacity and conducted ID checks to ensure every visitor was a West Java resident, he added.Read also: Bandung to close three markets after sellers tested positive for COVID-19The governor went on to say that the administration would conduct regular inspections to ensure all tourist destination operators complied with health protocols.West Java Tourism and Culture Agency head Dedi Taufik said the reopening of tourism was being done in compliance with safety precautions stipulated in Gubernatorial Regulation No. 46/2020. Topics :center_img Access to popular tourist destinations across West Java remains limited as the provincial administration reopens a number of sectors to revive the local economy. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said his administration was committed to ensuring the health and safety of locals amid the gradual easing of several restrictions.“For the time being, tourism in West Java […] is not yet open to people outside of West Java. Please restrain yourselves, as we are currently focused on reopening the economy and tourism to residents of West Java,” Ridwan said during a field inspection at several tourist destinations in Lembang, West Bandung regency as quoted in a statement on Sunday.last_img read more

Explainer: Why COVID-19 can run rife in meatpacking plants

first_imgThe meat industry is particularly susceptible to coronavirus infections because of the nature of the work: intense physical labor, conducted indoors at close proximity to other workers.”Their work environments – processing lines and other areas in busy plants where they have close contact with coworkers and supervisors – may contribute substantially to their potential exposures,” the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says of meatpacking workers.The CDC maintains a list of recommendations for factories, including steps to keep workers apart such as staggered arrival times and breaks, supplying workers with masks and hand sanitizer and making sure tools are disinfected.It says factories should take workers’ temperatures on arrival and send those with fevers home. Meat-processing plants around the world are proving coronavirus infection hotspots, with an outbreak at a factory in Germany leading to Guetersloh becoming on Tuesday the first area in the country to be ordered back into lockdown.More than 1,500 workers at the Guetersloh plant tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, while outbreaks have also hit meat and poultry plants in Britain in recent days.In many rural parts of the United States, meatpacking plants have been the main source of infection. On April 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep such factories open, warning of a potential threat to the US food supply. Topics :center_img Conditions on the factory floor itself are also not the only issue. Meatpacking workers often share transportation and housing once their shifts are over.In Germany, for example, many are migrants from poorer EU countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, often housed in large dormitories where the virus can spread.”Some of these factories have on-site or nearby accommodation where there are several people in each dormitory, they may be transported on a bus to the site of work, and they will be indoors together all day,” said Michael Head, an expert in global health at England’s University of Southampton.In the United States, by the end of May, the UFCW labor union estimated that at least 44 meatpacking workers had died of COVID-19, and that at least 30 meatpacking plants had to be temporarily shut down, impacting more than 45,000 workers and contributing to a 40% reduction in pork slaughtering capacity.last_img read more

Matt Kemp lifts Dodgers to 3-2 win over Atlanta in 10th

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Matt Kemp has suddenly found his power, and it’s helping keep the Dodgers atop the NL West.Kemp singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning after homering in consecutive games for the first time in over a year and the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 Wednesday night for their season-best fifth straight victory.“Boy, is he locked in right now,” Atlanta starter Alex Wood said.The Dodgers lead San Francisco by three games. Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 13 and departed with the lead, but didn’t factor in the decision. He is 14-3 at Dodger Stadium with a 2.27 ERA in 23 home starts with the team.“All the pitches were working,” he said. “A lot of stuff came together.”Kemp scored the Dodgers’ first two runs of the game, including his 11th homer leading off the second.“He’s been swinging the bat pretty well now,” Greinke said of Kemp. “The biggest difference is the power that comes with it. The past week the ball’s been driven. It’s pretty exciting to see.”Kemp notched his ninth career walk-off hit, and first since July 18, 2012, against Philadelphia. He hadn’t homered in consecutive games since last July.center_img “It’s a great feeling knowing you helped the team win a game,” he said. “We’re pretty confident every day. It feels good to be in position to score a run or take that extra base. I’m not as fast as I want to be, but it’s coming.”Pinch-hitter Justin Turner singled to open the 10th and took second on a wild pitch by David Hale (3-3). Kemp followed with the winning single to left.J.P. Howell (3-3) got the win in relief, walking two and striking out one in one inning.The Braves tied the game 2-2 on Justin Upton’s home run off closer Kenley Jansen leading off the ninth. Upton’s three hits tied a season high.“As soon as it left my hand I just prayed for Justin not to hit it,” Jansen said.Upton’s brother, B.J., struck out four times.Juan Uribe gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the eighth on a hard-hit single with two outs to shortstop Andrelton Simmons, whose throw home sailed wide as Kemp crossed the plate.Greinke allowed one run and five hits in eight innings while walking one. He was making his first start at home since June 28.Kemp, who homered twice on Tuesday night, tied the game 1-1 on his 11th homer of the season.Simmons had an RBI single that gave Atlanta a 1-0 lead in the second.Wood gave up one run and six hits in seven innings. He struck out eight and walked two.“Greinke’s pretty impressive,” Wood said. “I was happy I was able to go toe-to-toe with him for seven innings.”last_img read more

Talented girls selected for U16 international

first_img Six talented girl golfers have been selected for the mixed U16 international against Ireland at Limerick Golf Club this weekend, 13-14 October.They are Jess Baker of Northumberland, Rafiah Banday of Surrey, Rosie Belsham of Northumberland, France-based Ellie Gower, Daisy Kennedy of Buckinghamshire and Caitlin Whitehead of Cumbria.The players:Jess Baker, 16, (Gosforth Park Ladies’) was joint runner-up in the English U16 girls’ championship, reached the match play stages of the British girls’ championship and was 13th in the Scottish women’s amateur open.Rafiah Banday, 15, (Royal Mid-Surrey) was also joint runner-up in the English U16s and was fourth at the North of England U16s. She won the Midland U16 title at the beginning of the season.Rosie Belsham, 16, (Whitley Bay) has had a string of top tens, including second place in the Scottish girls’ championship, third in the North of England U16s and 6th in the English U16s.Ellie Gower, 16, (Chateaux des Vigier) won the North of England U16s and was joint runner-up in the English U16s. She was seventh in the inaugural British U16 girls’ championship.Daisy Kennedy, 16, (Stoke Park) has also had top tens in the English and North of England U16s. She was 16th in the English women’s amateur and reached the knockout stages of the English women’s match play.Caitlin Whitehead, 16, (Carus Green) won the girls’ title at the European Young Masters and followed up with victory for Europe in the Asia Pacific Junior Championship in Hong Kong. She was in England’s winning team at the Girls’ Home Internationals.Baker, Banday, Belsham and Gower were all in the England team which beat Switzerland 4-2 in this summer’s U16 girls’ international.The girls will complete the team alongside the six boys already announced: Conor Gough, 16, (Stoke Park, BB&O), Josh Hill, 14, (Jumeirah, Dubai), Max Hopkins, 15, (Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire), George Leigh, 16, (Trevose, Cornwall), Ben Pierleoni, 16, (Berkhamsted, Hertfordrshire), Ben Schmidt, 16, (Rotherham, Yorkshire). Click here for more informationCaption: Rosie Belsham (Image copyright Leaderboard Photography) Tags: England teams, girls’ golf, performance, Squads, U16 international 8 Oct 2018 Talented girls selected for U16 international last_img read more