Last Thursday, the IAAF, track and field's international governing body, announced a plan to drug test every single athlete at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea later this month. It will be the first comprehensive testing ever performed at a world or Olympic final in track and field, and, although the IAAF will likely catch few athletes using drugs, it represents perhaps the greatest anti-doping success for the sport in years. Testing every athlete, and collecting baseline blood samples from every athlete, means that track and field is getting the biological passport.
The passport program, rather than trying to trap athletes with drugs in their system, instead looks for biological markers that indicate drug use—instead of screening for EPO, which passes through the body in days, it looks for variances in blood chemistry associated with blood-boosting agents or blood doping. A too-high percentage of reticulocytes in the blood, for example, strongly suggests EPO use, and a too-low percentage suggests blood doping. Abnormal results in either direction can get an athlete banned. The program came to cycling in 2008 and was nominally unveiled in track and field last December. But the plan to test everyone at the world championships—and establish individual baseline parameters for nearly all of the sport’s top athletes—suggests that the passport is finally going into wide effect.
Danny MacAskill's mountain biking videos have racked up millions of views on YouTube—his Inspired Bicycles clip is closing in on 27 million hits—and for good reason. Aside from the fact that his two-wheeled porn is beautifully shot and features great music, MacAskill exhibits within each clip a level of skill and precision that's jaw-dropping. He practices some individual stunts for eight hours before attempting them on film. In his latest video, MacAskill rolls and hops around an old ironworks factory and abandoned railway yard, jumping from rail to rail and riding across a cable on his bike. Stu Thomson of Cut Media directed the Industrial Revolutions clip for Concrete Circus, a documentary that aired on Britain's Channel 4 this week.
If you have questions about how Macaskill does these tricks, check out the videos below. It helps to see his answers supported with visuals. If you'd rather just watch in awe, click on the video above.
The above picture above came to us from Constantin Bisanz, who said in an email he has just completed the fastest kitesurfing expedition from Alaska to the International Date Line. The record itself is a bit obscure, if not extreme. Bisanz and his 11-member team said they spent two years prepping to make the 43-mile trip, and had two failed attempts at the record before a successful third trip.
Why would a German entrepreneur spend so much time chasing such a strange record?
Slipping into the frigid drink when you're trying to land a steelhead is akin to sliding off an icy precipice when you're reaching for the summit. It can leave you somewhere between wet and uncomfortable and hypothermic and hurt.
That's what inspired one of the leading equipment innovators of this century, Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard, to develop crampons for walking in rivers. In lieu of studs or teeth, like you'd find on traditional mountaineering crampons, Yvon's River Crampons are made from soft aluminum bars that are malleable by design, so they can cut through slick weeds and moss on river bottoms and better grip slippery rocks. They will fit most wading boots, and give anglers an in-water advantage that won't take a toll on the interior of a boat like traditional cleats.