Your 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.
6SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr MCX’s announcement in mid-May that it was shelving the rollout of its CurrentC mobile wallet app was somewhat anticlimactic.The retailer consortium generated plenty of intrigue upon its late 2012 formation, boasting deep pockets and impressive point-of-sale reach, and promising a merchant-driven payments scheme with the unspoken yet clear goal of slashing acceptance cost.But while three years passed with no sign of a product, Apple Pay beat them to market and seized control of the narrative, exposing tensions within the coalition.Last October’s news that MCX had partnered with Chase Pay seemed to foreshadow an exit ramp. Sure enough, MCX CEO Brian Mooney’s recent announcement cited a shift in focus to “other aspects of our business, including working with financial institutions.”Plenty has been written about MCX’s missteps and fundamental flaws. But with Apple Pay adoption running well below initial expectations and Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and CU Wallet lagging even further behind, a troubling sentiment is emerging. continue reading »