July 6, 2012

View from a kayak     Photo: Adam Levine/Flickr

Chicago Police Rescue 62 Kayakers

Tour companies cited for negligence

Chicago police and firefighter crews rescued over 60 kayakers from the North Branch of the Chicago River over the weekend when a sudden afternoon storm produced winds as high as 100 miles per hour. Two tour groups of mostly novice kayakers were pulled from the water after about thirty boats flipped in the high winds. "The children were screaming for help," Near North District Officer David Ramos said. "Many people could have gotten hurt. Thank God they didn't." Tour companies Wateriders Kayak Tours and Kayak Chicago were handed municipal citations for ignoring weather advisories.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

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    Photo: Roxanne King/Flickr

Farrar Crashes in Stage 5 Sprint Finish

Third crash in three days; blames Veelers

American cyclist Tyler Farrar crashed for the third day in a row in a sprint finish, crossing the line last in Stage 5 of the Tour de France on Thursday. He dropped his bike and charged to the Argos-Shimano team bus to confront sprinter Tom Veelers, whom he blamed for the crash. Farrar's Garmin-Sharp staff had to pull him back. Veelers blamed Farrar for the wreck, noting that he had already taken the position Farrar was going for in the sprint. "He didn't respect my train, but that's his problem. I get why he's upset, because a crash is never very pleasant," Veelers said in an emailed statement. Farrar, who will race in London, has not won a race this year. He crashed out of the Giro d'Italia in May.

Read more at USA Today

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East Burke singletrack     Photo: Bicycle Geography/Flickr

Rule May Open National Parks to Cyclists

Big step in making parks bike-friendly

National Park Service superintendents will have greater leeway to open their dirt roads to cyclists under new regulations published Friday by the Department of the Interior. Previously, superintendents had to seek a special dispensation to open roads to cyclists. Set to come into effect August 6, the new policy will allow parks to open roads after receiving input from the public and conducting environmental planning. Roads previously closed to mountain bikers—such as fire roads and roads used by park maintenance—may be opened on a case-by-case basis. “This new rule gives park superintendents greater flexibility to determine where bikes can be allowed in a park and additional authority to shut areas where cycling is jeopardizing visitors or park resources,” NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis said. 

Read more at Adventure Journal.

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    Photo: D. Gordon, E. Robertson

Nat Geo Baboon Show Called 'Unethical'

Animals lured into house, fed

South African conservation authorities condemned a new National Geographic show that features baboons ransacking a food-stocked house near Cape Town, saying that it habituates animals to stealing from humans. "We are disappointed that a reputable international wildlife conservation organization such as National Geographic would even consider associating themselves with such a seemingly unethical documentary and distorted conservation message," said Kas Hamman, acting CEO of government-run environmental group CapeNature. To film Big Baboon House, crews hid food around a residence in Pringle Bay and left the doors and windows open, filming with hidden cameras as a troop of Chacma baboons tore apart the house. Aggressive baboons are notorious problem animals around Cape Town, where they break into cars and menace tourists.

Read more at Cape Times

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