The Outside Blog

Skiing and Snowboarding : Jun 2012

Giro Donne Day 6: San Marco dei Cavoti to Pesco Sannita

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We start the day with a car accident. The bikes are unloaded and we are on them. It's another scorcher, so we're ready to ride by 7:30 a.m. We're filling the last waterbottle when an 84-year-old Italian man backs out of his garage and into the side of the van.

It's nearly two hours of broken Italian, animated gesticulating, police and rental car accident claim forms, and visits from all residents of the town who want to know why the foreigners and the police are there. Then we're finally on our bikes, and we're climbing, and it's hot.

Today's route has more of the surprisingly challenging rolling ups and downs. Eryn gets a double flat when she hits a grate in the road at the bottom of a fast downhill. Her rims are fine and we fix the flats in record time.

We're back on the road and we finish the first climb into San Marco de Cavoti by 10:30 dripping wet with sweat. We're supposed to pass through this delightful cobbled town, do a big loop and then end the day back here.

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The Ultimate Mountain Biking Base Camp for the Whole Family

By Emily Brendler Shoff

It’s easy to find an outdoor adventure in the Rockies. What’s not as simple is finding an adventure base camp for the whole family. For mountain biking, there may be no better place than Boggy Draw.

This camping and biking Mecca, located in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan National Forest, outside of Dolores, Colorado, is the perfect spot for a multi-age group to play. With singletrack rides for all abilities, lakes for wading in and catching fish, and fields for little ones to ride and run around in, Boggy Draw is a great three-season road-trip destination.

Boggy Draw Fishing
"Fishing" at Boggy Draw. Photo: Emily Brendler Shoff

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Environmentalists Are Literally Dying to Protect Land and Resources

Deforestation_flickr_maraPhoto: Mara/Flickr

One of our top 10 environmental news stories of 2011 was the troubling violence that environmental activists face in many parts of the world, particularly in Brazil, where three high-profile activists were slain last May. While researching that story, I'd found reports of nine murdered environmentalists last year around the world. I had only just scratched the surface.

A story last week in German newspaper Der Spiegel about the ongoing violence says that there were 29 deaths in Brazil alone. Much worse, a report from the NGO Global Witness shows a very troubling trend, with 106 activists killed worldwide in 2011—a death toll that is nearly double the number killed in 2009.

Brazil has begun offering some protection for small farmers and others who have spoken against the logging and cattle industries as they continue to push into the Amazon. But bounty hunters, reportedly hired by a logging industry mafia, continue to threaten them. Der Spiegel interviewed 45-year-old Nilcilene Miguel de Lima, who is part of a government-backed effort to increase sustainable farming and has a $10,080 bounty on her head because she filed a complaint over illegal logging activities.

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The Top 5 Moments From This Past Weekend's Olympic Trials

Dead-heat-photo-sDead heat finish between Allyson Felix and Jenebah Tarmoh. Photo: USATF

As impressive as it was, Michael Phelps's mustache shaving didn't make the cut. Neither did a lot of worthy moments: Galen Rupp winning the 10,000m, Lashaun Merritt winning the men's 400m, Sanya Richards-Ross winning the women's 400m, University of Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin winning the long jump, or Bryshon Nellum recovering from a 2008 bullet wound to qualify in the 400m. Here are the top five moments from this past weekend's Olympic track and field trails. And yes, all of the moments below are from track and field.

5. SHE HAD HER SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST ON SPEED DIAL
Before the trials, some sites mentioned that Lolo Jones ranked ninth in the 100m hurdles. Those familiar with her story know nine is not a good number for her. In Beijing, she clipped the ninth hurdle while leading the race and lost her chance at a medal. She wasn't so sure she could qualify when she woke up the morning of the race. She said in a press conference that before the race she had her sports psychologist on speed dial 1, her pastor on speed dial 2, and her mom on speed dial 3. She didn't need to dial any of them after the event, at least with bad news. She took third place, good enough to qualify for the Olympics. We're not sure sure how much of her finish resulted from a starting line tactic she revealed on Twitter.
Watch the Women's 100m Hurdles

4. THE WORLD'S SECOND FASTEST MAN THIS YEAR
You know who has the first fastest time with a 9.76. While some sites have mentioned a Jamaican sweep in the 100 meters, the sprinters in this race are probably sick of hearing about it. Leading them is 30-year-old Justin Gatlin, who clocked a 9.80 in the finals on Sunday night.
Watch the Men's 100m

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'Welcome to the Jungle,' and the Stories Behind 'Solitaire'

This past spring, we screened Solitaire, a movie about skiing and snowboarding the remote slopes of South America. For those that haven't heard of the movie, it is a different sort of beast. Filmmakers Nick Waggoner and Zac Ramras spent the better part of two years trekking, riding horses, and skinning to shoot 31 people backcountry skiing and snowboarding from Peru’s Cordillera Blanca to Chile’s Patagonia. They used no mechanized transport of any sort during filming. The only narration in the film comes via passages of Heart of Darkness—read in Spanish.

The full-length movie wasn't the end of the project.

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