Daily Dirt: Record AT Conservancy Volunteering, Bike Show in Charlotte, Giant Snowball

first_imgYour daily outdoors update for February 19th, the day Fleetwood Mac released “Rumours” in 1977.APPALACHIAN TRAIL CONSERVANCY REPORTS RECORD VOLUNTEER HOURS FOR 2013Volunteers devoted a record number of hours last year to maintain the Appalachian Trail for hikers to use. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announced that close to 6,000 volunteers donated approximately 245,500 hours by the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30, 2013.Since the ATC began reporting volunteer hours in 1983, volunteers have devoted 4.9 million hours to the A.T., and there has been a 33 percent increase in volunteer hours over the past 10 years. In 2013, volunteers helped maintain the A.T. corridor, monitor and remove invasive species, and support teachers in the Trail to Every Classroom (TTEC) program.“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy exists because of the generosity, talents and support of our volunteers – they are the very soul of the Appalachian Trail,” said Ron Tipton, executive director of the ATC. “The record number of volunteer hours reported for fiscal year 2013 illustrates a continued dedication to the preservation and management of the Trail.”E-BIKES AT NORTH AMERICAN HANDMADE BICYCLE SHOWThe North American Handmade Bicycle Show, held from March 14-16 in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the world’s largest and most influential custom bike show, holding a reputation for creativity and innovation. This year, Gates Carbon Drive, maker of the leading belt drive system for bicycles and eBikes, plans to display the first-ever “Custom eBike Showcase” featuring a dozen original electric bicycles.Partnering with leading electric bike system companies Bosch, SRAM, and BionX, as well as hub maker NuVinci, Gates enlisted some of America’s finest custom builders to create the belt drive eBikes for the show.“Electric bikes can get more people out of cars and onto two wheels, and we want to expose more Americans to this efficient, affordable, and healthy transportation solution,” said Todd Sellden, global director of Gates Carbon Drive.The market for eBikes is growing as well. Sales have doubled annually in Europe and the United States for the past several years.Giant Snowball Gets Out of ControlAfter 12 inches of snow dumped on Reed College in Portland, Oregon, one student attempted to make the world’s biggest snowball. By the end of the day on February 8th, the snowball was three feet in diameter and weighed approximately 800 to 900 pounds.As surrounding students chanted “Roll it!,” two math students sent the snowball barreling down a hill where it proceeded to crash into a dormitory wall.Maintenance workers spent 45 minutes cutting through the snowball to discover that wall was ripped off its studs. Damage repairs are estimated between $2,000 and $3,000. No word as to whether or not the students kept playing in the snow.last_img read more

Anthony Joshua set to vacate world title

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua, Okolie plot world title double Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight Anthony Joshua is prepared to vacate one of his world titles in order to “create entertainment” within the heavyweight division. The WBA, WBO and IBF champion is keen on lining up a unification clash this year against the winner of the WBC clash between defendant Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury . But Joshua understands he may have to give up one of his belts, due to being ordered to face two mandatory challengers. He must fight Kubrat Pulev and Oleksandr Usyk this year to retain his IBF and WBO titles, but accepts that may not be possible if he also wants a blockbuster showdown with Fury or Wilder. “I always said the belts do not represent me. I will stand as a champion, even if I have to give one up,” Joshua told Sky Sports. “It would give me an opportunity to face another world champion – I’ve beaten four world champions on my record now. “If I give up a belt it creates more history and entertainment. If I have to, I’ll give it away – but I’ll get it back again.” Joshua only regained all his titles last month in the unanimous points decision victory over Andy Ruiz Jr – who had won them from the Brit back in June. Promoter Eddie Hearn is hopeful Joshua will be able to keep hold of all his belts but that could be difficult with his fighter’s schedule. A clash with Pulev or Usyk is pencilled in for around April-May time, with Joshua expected to fight again towards the end of the year. Given Fury and Wilder meet in their rematch in February, it is likely Joshua would face the winner of that bout, with Tottenham’s stadium mooted as a potential venue. However that would mean there would be little to no time for Joshua to fulfil his other mandatory challenge, and he has not fought three times in one year since 2016. One solution could be to push back a meeting with Fury or Wilder until 2021, but it seems more likely Joshua will vacate one of his titles.Tags: Anthony JoshuaDeontay WilderKubrat Pulevleksandr UsykTyson Furylast_img read more

As LA Dodgers approach offseason, many decisions loom

first_imgDecisions loomingThe holes to be filled on the field are a little more predictable.Impending free agent Jimmy Rollins almost certainly won’t be back after posting career lows in stolen bases, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. At 36 years old, Rollins’ defense at shortstop is still steady, but he lacks the multi-position versatility National League teams crave. The Dodgers will have better options for finding a backup to Corey Seager, and a clubhouse leader who can perform equally well on the field.Second baseman Howie Kendrick, 32, can also become a free agent five days after the World Series ends. Kendrick can reasonably expect to receive a qualifying offer, valued at $15.8 million this year, though he would certainly receive more money and a longer term if he tested the open market.Should Kendrick leave, second base immediately becomes a position of intrigue. Jose Peraza, 21, has the desirable attributes of speed, a cheap contract and three more years of team control — enough to call him the Dodgers’ second baseman of the future. But can he be the second baseman in 2016? He’ll probably need a full spring training to prove it. Joc Pederson was in the same position a year ago, and the Dodgers traded for Chris Heisey as insurance.So who could provide insurance for Peraza? That role wouldn’t entice Kendrick, though super-utility player Kiké Hernandez (.836 OPS in 76 games) fits the bill nicely. It’s conceivable that the Dodgers could re-sign 36-year-old Chase Utley and move him between second, third and first base as needed. However, it’s believed that Utley would rather test the open market for a better offer, even after a down season at age 36.Yasmani Grandal’s second half was one of the disappointments of 2015. Catalyzed by an injured left shoulder, the switch-hitting catcher only registered five hits after the Dodgers returned from a Pennsylvania road trip in August. A.J. Ellis was an equally pleasant surprise; from June 1 on, he posted a .397 on-base percentage and a surprising .492 slugging percentage.Since neither Grandal or Ellis is eligible for free agency, there’s little reason for the Dodgers not to bring both catchers back.The outfield offers fewer reasons for upheaval than any recent offseason. As a unit, they were relatively productive on the field and relatively harmonious off it. It’s possible Carl Crawford, Pederson, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig all come back. If one or more are traded, it will be less out of necessity than by choice.Puig’s injury-plagued season was a blessing for Ethier but crippled his own trade value. Ethier and Crawford each have two years left on their lucrative contracts, and the Dodgers would likely have to pay down part of those deals in any trade. The jury is still out on Pederson, 23, whose swing was a work in progress after an early-season hot streak. Hernandez is the most viable in-house alternative in center field.Pitching problemsThe cause of many heart palpitations in 2015, the Dodgers’ bullpen finished the season fairly stable. Closer Kenley Jansen could command $10 million or more in his final year of arbitration. Eighth-inning man Chris Hatcher could prove to be a bargain in his first year of arbitration.Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia, Carlos Frias and Adam Liberatore are all under team control. J.P. Howell can return simply by exercising the $6.25 million player option in his contract. Luis Avilan and Juan Nicasio are eligible for arbitration and might be non-tendered after their up-and-down seasons. If nothing else, Andrew Friedman has better bullpen building blocks now than he did this time a year ago.The most potential for turmoil concerns the starters — ironic, considering the Dodgers boasted the second-lowest ERA of any major-league rotation this year. Even if Zack Greinke intends to opt out of his contract, the Dodgers have some time to negotiate a new deal before Greinke hits the open market. The 32-year-old right-hander has three years and $77 million left on his current deal. The front office might have to blow those numbers away in any offer to avoid an open bidding war for Greinke.The other free agent is left-hander Brett Anderson, who set a career high in innings pitched (180 1/3) in 2015. He and Greinke are both candidates to receive the standard one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer.Beyond left-handers Clayton Kershaw, Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu — who’s expected to be ready for spring training after missing the entire season — that leaves two big variables as the Dodgers address their rotation this offseason.What’s next?With so many questions hanging in the air, asking who will manage the Dodgers seems trite. Paired with Friedman, Mattingly was a volunteer lightning rod first, a personnel manager second, and a lineup- and bullpen-order collaborator third. He was good enough at tasks one and two that a contract extension (his current deal expires at the end of 2016) isn’t an unreasonable request. Exploring the alternatives isn’t a trivial thought exercise either, and that might be holding up the decision-making process.Remember, too, that Friedman, Farhan Zaidi and Josh Byrnes showed a knack for creativity in their first winter together. Who would have guessed that Hector Olivera, Brandon McCarthy and Anderson would be their top three free-agent signings? Or that Olivera would be traded before he played an inning in the major leagues?That’s why it’s probably unwise to focus on how good David Price, Johnny Cueto, Daniel Murphy or any hot-ticket free agent (or manager) might look in Dodger blue. The ultimate solution for whatever ails the Dodgers might not be so obvious. The Dodgers’ season ended a week ago. Its carcass has decomposed, its foul stench is no longer biting. It’s an ideal time for the front office to reflect and make decisions.Only three major decisions have been made in the offseason’s first week. Head athletic trainer Stan Conte left to focus on his injury prevention research. Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal decided to have surgery on their knee and shoulder, respectively. Other than some smaller hires to fill out the club’s international staff — which underwent a dramatic overhaul in recent months — the Dodgers’ front office has done more evaluating than moving or shaking.The club’s silence on the fate of its coaching staff, including manager Don Mattingly, is telling. Mostly, the silence affirms that such decisions are not as straightforward as our polarized sports-opinion culture would lead a fan to believe.Third base coach Ron Roenicke has said he wants to manage again. The man he replaced, Lorenzo Bundy, would eventually like to manage too; he ended last season with the less prestigious title of “outfield coordinator.” Maybe nobody who graced the Dodgers’ dugout in 2015 will be managing in 2016; they probably won’t all return to the crowded coaches’ locker room in Dodger Stadium either.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more