July 15, 2011

Traffic     Photo: Whitneyyy/Flickr

In Carmageddon, Bikers Challenge Airline

Cyclists to race plane as L.A. closes highway

The planned two-day closure of the 405, Los Angles's main highway, has inspired a face-off between cyclists and the airline JetBlue. In a city already notorious for its traffic, highway officials are closing a ten-mile stretch of the 405 on Saturday and Sunday to demolish a bridge. News of the closure, which is now being called Carmageddon, has prompted a near-hysterical level of anxiety in L.A. JetBlue is selling plane tickets between Burbank and Long Beach for $4, prompting transportation writer and Outside contributor Tom Vanderbilt to suggest via Twitter that cyclists might travel the route faster. Now, L.A. cycling group Wolfpack Hustle has announced that it will put one of it's members on the flight and send a group of five riders across the route at the same time, calling it the Bike vs. Flight challenge. Some traffic experts estimate that the closure may spark traffic jams of up to 60 miles.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times


Plaque at the Explorers Club     Photo: Adam Roy

$25K Environmental Grants Up For Grabs

Eddie Bauer and Explorers Club sponsoring research

Clothing maker Eddie Bauer and the Explorers Club are sponsoring a new grant program to fund environmental science research. The program will offer two $25,000 awards, one for student research and a second to support field study. In a statement signed by president Lorie Karnath, the Explorers Club said that the grants, which will be presented at the club's annual dinner next March, will be aimed at projects that contribute to science's understanding of "climate change AND the preservation and sustainable use of Earth's resources." Interested students and scientists have until September 20 to submit applications.

Read More at The Adventure Blog


Thor Hushvod

Thor Hushvod     Photo: Tim Moreillon/Flickr

Hushovd Sprints to Stage 13 Win

RadioShack down to five riders

A late charge has given Norwegian Thor Hushovd a surprise victory on Friday's Tour de France 13th stage from Pau to Lourdes. Hushovd, the reigning world champion and a sprint specialist, had pursued leader Jérémy Roy for 30 kilometers and was still 12 seconds down with four kilometers to go. But Hushovd ralied late, closing the gap and winning the 152.5-kilometer stage by ten seconds. It is his ninth career tour stage win. Roy would finish 30 seconds back in third but retains the polka dot jersey. Stage 13 was less kind to Team RadioShack, which lost Andreas Kloden to injury an hour into the race. Kloden, who hurt his back on stage nine, becomes the fourth RadioShack rider to quit the 2011 tour, bringing the team down to a skeleton crew of five men. Thomas Voeckler remains the overall leader, with notables Frank Schleck in second, Cadel Evans third, Andy Schleck fourth, and Alberto Contandor four minutes back in seventh.

Read more at LeTour.fr


    Photo: Courtesy of Dave Cornthwaite

Man Stand-Up Paddling Mississippi

2,400 miles, from source to delta

British adventurer Dave Cornthwaite is stand-up paddling the length of the Mississippi River, 2,400 miles from the river's source in Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its delta in Louisiana. Cornthwaite just passed mile 500 after setting out on June 20. His paddle is the fourth of 25 planned trips in a project he calls Expedition 1000, in which he travels long distances using non-motorized transportation. He's hoping to raise $1.59 million for two British charities. Cornthwaite needs to complete his Mississippi SUP within 90-days—the duration of his tourist visa. On his previous three Expedition 1000 journeys, Cornthwaite longboarded 3,621 miles across Australia in 2007 (breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest distance traveled on a skateboard), kayaked 1,540 miles on Australia's Murray River in 2009, and rode 1,400 miles on a tandem bicycle from Vancouver, Canada to Las Vegas, Nevada, with a friend.

Read more at Coon Rapids Herald


Panthera tigris

Panthera tigris     Photo: Thierry/Flickr

Camera Leads Rangers To Tiger Poachers

After documenting kill, hunters lose camera

Two tiger poachers were arrested after Thai conservation authorities discovered a camera phone documenting one of their illegal kills. The phone was dropped in a firefight with Thai park rangers and showed photos of the men posing with the carcass of a recently killed tiger. Authorities identified the tiger,  tracked down the poachers, and arrested two of the three believed responsible. With the camera, the poachers also left behind supplies, including an insecticide that is sometimes used to poison tigers. Enforcement agents in Thailand have recently ramped up pressure on tiger poachers, but not without conflict: The Wildlife Conservation Society believes a near-fatal shooting of a park ranger last week was in retaliation to recent arrests. The two men in custody are believed to have participated in the deaths of at least ten tigers. Tigers, the biggest cats in the world, are used in traditional medicine, and though widely protected their numbers are dwindling. Fewer than 2,500 adult tigers exist in the wild.

Read more at MSNBC