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Skiing and Snowboarding : Biking

NICA Makes Mountain Biking the Newest High School Sport

Photo2Photo: Phil Beckman/PB Creative

Last week the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) brought its biannual World Summit to Santa Fe. In addition to test-riding some sweet 29er bikes from Specialized, Yeti, and Santa Cruz, I got to sit in on a bunch of brainstorming sessions with fat-tire advocates from around the country about how to grow the sport, expand trail networks, and get more people on bikes, period.

One huge market, of course, is kids, and a standing-room only discussion devoted to youth cycling initiatives revealed a slew of cool new projects geared at getting children hooked from a young age. Most notable is the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), a non-profit devoted to making mountain biking a high school sport, just like soccer and football.

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Lance Armstrong Steps Down as Livestrong Chairman, Nike Severs Ties With Athlete

3839695921_2015188638_bLance Armstrong. Photo: Andersbjorkhaug/Flickr

On Tuesday, the Livestrong Foundation announced Lance Armstrong’s decision to step down as chairman. "I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities,” said Armstrong in a press release. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship."

The Associated Press soon reported that, "Within minutes, Nike said that it would end its relationship with him 'due to the seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in doping and misled Nike for more than a decade.'" The decision came a day after a group of cyclists protested the athletic company's involvement with Armstrong. Nike will continue to work with Livestrong, according to the AP.

The decisions came roughly a week after the USADA released a report that said Armstrong was the ringleader in "a massive team doping scheme, more extensive than any previously revealed in professional sports history."

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A New Documentary Tells the Story of Team Rwanda

Rwandan cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti lost 60 of his relatives to genocide in the '90s. This year, he competed in the mountain biking event at the 2012 Olympics in London. Rising From Ashes is a movie that tells his story by focusing on the evolution of Rwanda's first national cycling team.

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This 4-Year-Old Mountain Biker Rips—and Yours Can, Too

There’s a common misperception that kids younger than five are too little to learn to ride a bike. The other day at our local playground, a couple of parents stopped to ask how old my daughter is. She was tearing around the outer loop, standing up to pump her pedals, and then slamming on the brakes with such conviction she proudly left skid marks on the sidewalk. They were convinced she was six. She’s four. They looked at me with a mix of awe and mistrust, like I have a prodigy on my hands or else I’m just being pushy and reckless. My daughter is athletic, but she’s not unusual. Almost any child can learn to ride a two wheeler by the time they’re three.

And some can even learn to bomb a downhill course, complete with ramps and bridges and rocky ledges, by the time they’re four—like the rad preschooler named Malcolm in this video that went viral last week. If you haven’t already seen it, be prepared to be seriously impressed. The kid is clearing stuff at Highland Mountain Bike Park in New Hampshire that would terrify a lot of adults, and he’s four. More proof that, as parents, we tend to underestimate what our kids are capable of, and when.

Not every kid will be a natural-born mountain biker like Malcolm, but it's easy to raise competent three-year-old rippers—on one condition: No training wheels. Just. Don't. Go. There.

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Why There May Be No Official Winner of the Tour de France From 1999 to 2005

4281180447_11a57c0e3c_bLance Armstrong. Photo: PoweriPics/Flickr

"Twenty of the 21 podium finishers in the Tour de France from 1999 through 2005 have been directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations or exceeding the UCI hematocrit threshold. Of the 45 podium finishes during the time period between 1996 and 2010, 36 were by riders similarly tainted by doping." USADA Reasoned Decision Against Lance Armstrong

When news outlets, including Outside, published articles on the recent United States Anti-Doping Agency's report on Lance Armstrong, one of the most referenced lines was a stat: 20 out of the 21 podium finishers had been directly tied to "likely doping." The obvious question was, Who was the one person not tied to "likely doping"?

I emailed and called the USADA to get an answer, but haven't heard back. They are understandably busy. So, I did the next most obvious and slightly more time-consuming thing. I went back through news reports and the Tour de France standings to see who the 21st man might be.

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