ASPEN BEAR CLAN GOES ON BREAK-IN RAMPAGE. Times are tough in America when a mother and three offspring have to resort to smash and grabs from luxury vehicles for food, but such is the situation in Snowmass, just outside Aspen, where a sow and her three cubs broke into 14 cars this week. With most of Colorado in extreme drought conditions, the chokeberry and serviceberry bushes on which bears depend are not producing fruit. The scofflaw family seemed to prefer unlocked cars — most criminals do — but anything with food in it was fair game. Via Aspen Daily News.
AMERICAN TODD WELLS IS PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME. Wells is XC national champ and headed to the London Games, but being an American champion hasn’t meant much in past Olympic years, where the U.S. has come up consistently short for a few decades now. But in his own backyard (Wells grew up less than 100 miles from Windham Mt., New York, but now lives in Durango) the Specialized racer managed a fourth place at the latest World Cup this past weekend. If fourth sounds so-so, it’s a rare top placement for any American in XC, and if he’d managed to be three seconds faster he’d have had third — or the equivalent of Olympic bronze a few weeks from now. Via Bike World News.
MONTANA MOUNTAIN BIKE STAGE RACE GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM FOREST SERVICE. Despite the protests of a local environmental group in Whitefish that asked the USFS to “fully assess the impacts of the conduct and spread of thrill-seeking speed sports on the Flathead National Forest,” the Tally Lake Ranger District said the Hellroaring Mountain Bike Stage Race can go forward. Compellingly, the USFS said, “We have not received any reports since the advent of backcountry bicycling that any bicyclists or wildlife have been injured during a wildlife-bicyclist encounter on the Tally Lake Ranger District.” This flies in the face of the trend in Montana, where over the last half decade more Forest Service land has been closing to mountain bikes. Via Flathead Beacon.
PUIGBLANQUE REDPOINTS SHARMA’S 5.15a. High temps are not slowing down this climber. In 102°F heat, Spanish climber Ramón Julian Puigblanque (say that five times fast) sent Catxasa in Santa Linya, Spain. The route was bolted by Dani Andrada and saw its first ascent by Chris Sharma in 2011. It took Ramon Julian ten tries over four days to complete the 150-foot climb. This is his sixth 5.15 send, which includes the first ascent of La Rambla, at Siurana, Spain, in 2003. Via Climbing.