May 8, 2013

Cyclists always seem to be smiling.     Photo: Tejvan Pettinger/Flickr

Washington Best State for Cyclists

North Dakota is the worst

Washington is the best state for bikers, while North Dakota is the least cycle-friendly, according to the League of American Bicyclists' annual ranking. The League ranked all 50 states in five categories: legislation and enforcement; policies and programs; infrastructure and funding; education and encouragement; and evaluation and planning.

Colorado also put in a notable showing this year, jumping from fourth to second place. "An important part of making Colorado the healthiest state is encouraging people to be more active in their everyday routines,” Governor John Hickenlooper said. “We’re proud that our bicycle-friendly policies have skyrocketed Colorado’s rank up 20 places in just five years, and we are committed to being number one in the near future.”

On the other end of the scale, North Dakota dropped to last place this year after ranking 49th in 2012. The Roughrider State was the only one in the League's ranking to score from 0-20% in every category.

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    Photo: sauerstudios Via Flickr

Tucson Climber Found Dead on Mt. Hopkins

Man and dog found covered in bee stings

A male climber, missing since Friday, was found dead Monday in the Santa Rita Mountains hanging from his climbing ropes and covered in bee stings. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Sheriff’s deputies went to search the site after Steven Johnson, 55, failed to show up for work. Johnson’s dog was also found dead and covered with bee stings at the top of the cliff from which Johnson had rapelled.

The cause of death is still uncertain, but an autopsy will be conducted by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office. Santa Cruz County’s Lt. Raoul Rodriguez believes that Johnson may have disturbed a bees’ nest while hammering his ropes into the cliff.

Johnson was an experienced climber from Tucson and well known in the Southwestern Arizona region.

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    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Missing Yosemite Hiker Found Dead

Body recovered from Vernal Fall

The body of Kenneth Stensby, a 73-year-old hiker missing since Sunday, has been found at the base of a popular waterfall in Yosemite National Park. Stensby’s body was spotted by searchers at the base of Vernal Fall late Monday and was recovered midday on Tuesday.

Searchers began scouring Yosemite’s Mist Trail after Stensby failed to return from his hike on Sunday as scheduled. He had been staying in the park for several days and had left a note with the Ahwahnee Hotel telling them when he expected to return from his journey.

Park officials said in a statement that the Minnesota man was fatally injured after falling from a cliff near top of the 300-plus-foot waterfall. His death is the first accidental fatality recorded in Yosemite this year.

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    Photo: Nils Z/Shutterstock

Operation Puerto Petition Draws 20,000 Signatures

Hope to save blood bags

An online petition pressuring Spanish courts to preserve blood bags linked to the Operation Puerto doping scandal has reached 20,000 signatures. Petition-backers plan to hit the 25,000 mark before forwarding it to Spanish officials.

The petition began in the days following the April 30 ruling by a Spanish court to destroy more than 200 bags of blood and plasma that have been stored since the Puerto raids in 2006. Since then, former world cycling champion Oscar Freire plus track and field athletes Rosa Morató, Pablo Villalobos, and Alvaro Rodríguez have publicly signed on to the effort.

According to a report in El Pais, the identity of the dopers behind 20 of the blood bags remain unknown. Most of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes clients were identified by confessions, judicial pressure, or confirmation from Fuentes.

Regardless of the petition, Spain's anti-doping agency plans to appeal the judge's ruling and WADA has stated they may also join the appeal. The judge's ruling has come under fire within the cycling community and Spanish sporting world as officials fear the decision may hamper the country's efforts to secure the 2020 Summer Olympics.

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    Photo: riaua via Shutterstock

Study: Women Like Men With Guitars

Women more likely to give musicians their number

Maybe you really do want to be that guy who breaks out his guitar to impress the ladies. That is, if you believe a new study from France’s Universite de Bretagne-Sud, which found that women are more attracted to a man if he’s holding a guitar.

Researchers tested this with a 20-year-old actor who was “previously evaluated as having a high level of physical attractiveness.” They set him loose in a French shopping district on a Saturday afternoon to ask 300 young women for their numbers. For a third of those instances, he held a guitar case; for another third, a sports bag; and for another third, he approached the women empty-handed.

More than twice the number of women gave him their number when he was holding the guitar case than when he was carrying nothing, and only nine gave him their number when he was carrying a sports bag. Researchers concluded that “musical practice is associated with sexual selection.” Now the question is, what is the actor going to do with the 54 numbers he got?

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