On Socotra, an island 250 miles off the coast of Yemen, the roads are so bad that 90 minutes of tailbone-bruising driving equates to five miles of travel. The roads would be one reason to paraglide over the island. Another reason would be the scenery. Sugar-white sand dunes spill into turquoise surf. Pink cliffs rise abruptly from the beach. Dragon's blood trees, plants that look like giant umbrellas and can live for more than 300 years, pop up suddenly from rocky scrub.
At the Tour de France route presentation in Paris yesterday, reigning champ Bradley Wiggins surprised the pundits when he said he would likely forgo his title defense at the Grand Boucle next year and instead aim his Pinarello at a Giro d'Italia title. Meanwhile, another famous British cyclist, trials specialist Martyn Ashton, has found an even less likely use for the 2012 Tour-winning bike.
In his latest trials video, Ashton takes on skate parks, scree fields, six-foot drops, and even an abandoned airplane aboard a Pinarello Dogma 2, the same bike that Wiggins used to capture his first Tour title. In and of themselves, the stunts aren't any more or less impressive than what we've come to expect from trials wunderkind Danny Macaskill. But the fact that Ashton pulls them all on 25mm tires impresses us almost as much as, well ... Wiggins' Tour victory.
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The 2012 book competition includes 18 finalists in four major categories: adventure travel, mountain and wilderness literature, guidebooks, and mountain image. Roughly 50 readers whittled the entries down over the summer to their favorite books. On November 1, the festival will announce the $1,000 winner in each category and the $2,000 grand prize for the best book of the year.
If you have time on your hands and a little money to burn, the festival takes place in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, from October 27 to November 4. You can pick up copies of the books at the festival and maybe track down a few of the authors. Just in case your schedule doesn't allow for such a jaunt, we've included a list of the finalists below, with links to their books on Amazon. And here's a link to The Whisky Exchange too, just in case you want to read like they do in Banff.
Urban bike commuters might want to study this graphic. It’s taken from a recent paper published in the American Journal of Public Health and it shows injury risk based on the type of urban bike route taken by commuters. The further to the left a given route type sits, the higher the risk for injury. The higher up a route type sits, the more bicyclists favor it. It's probably not shocking that the highest risk of injury in the study was associated with bike routes on busy streets with parked cars and no bike lanes, but the Canadian scientists conducting the study were surprised by how much less risk they saw in protected bike lanes, which they call "cycle tracks."