NEW ROUTE FOR CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL COULD BAN BIKES
Opposition is mounting to a proposed plan to ban bikes from a rerouting of the Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail — or the CDNST — in southern Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest. There’s merit to the Forest Service plan, which would avoid a convoluted, 31.2-mile section of trail that presently puts hikers into the teeth of gravel roads used by cars, motorcycles, horseback riders, hikers, and cyclists. The bummer (if you ride), is that mountain bikes would be verboten on the new section. Most galling to cyclists is the language of the two-year study, citing the “social effects” of mountain bike use and this clause: “In general terms, bicycle use on the CDNST is not consistent with the overall objectives” of the trail. Uh, yeah, maybe in the late 1960s, when the trail was conceived and mountain bikes didn’t exist. But the USFS’s own report cited an average monthly tally of 236 hikers and 77 mountain bikers on this stretch of the CDNST. And groups like the Colorado Trail Foundation and the International Mountain Bike Association are petitioning the USFS to reconsider the bike ban and are encouraging comments to the USFS about it. Via Canon City Daily Record.
THE RETURN OF THE ONE-PIECE SKI SUIT IS FOR REAL
When brothers Pete and John Gaston attended Colorado University in Boulder, they “commuted” several days a week to Aspen just to ski Highlands. “It is where we learned to ski and it’s a little unique, with the bowl, and you hike and earn your turns.” In that process, they also learned about a piece of clothing that was DOA in the ski world by the end of the 1980s: the one-piece suit. They began to reconsider the onesie and wondered whether it could be reinvented to be more breathable, still keep the pow from getting in your crack, and return it to the functionality of its mountaineering roots. The brothers were so into the idea they founded their own company, Strafe Outerwear. Strafe also sells jackets and bibs, but the iconic piece so far is the Sickbird Suit. Via Boulder Weekly.
MYSTERIOUS CORAL DISEASE KILLING HAWAIIAN REEFS
Since June, a mysterious milky growth has been spreading rapidly across the coral reefs in Hanalei and the surrounding bays of the north shore of Kauai. The spread has been alarmingly rapid: It now affects five percent of all the coral in Hanalei Bay and up to 40 percent of the coral in nearby Anini Bay. The growth is a kind of bacteria that grows through photosynthesis and it’s killing all the coral it strikes and spreading at the rate of 1 to 3 inches a week on every coral it infects. The speed is scary: killing some of 50- to 100-year-old corals in less than eight weeks. There’s more at work than the loss of coral, too: The death of these reefs could do huge damage to Hawaii’s diving and snorkeling business. One potential cause: Despite the economic consequences of habitat loss, many towns on Kauai don’t have sewage treatment plants and a great deal of sewage-related bacteria in the Hanalei River has also been found in the ocean where these reefs are located. Via L.A. Times.
NIKE EXITS SURF BIZ — GIVES HURLEY ITS ATHLETES
Years ago Nike dabbled in cycling. And in hockey. And recently, surf. But the Swoosh is splitting the latter and rolling all its surf resources under the Hurley umbrella, including Nike’s marquee young surf team riders like Julian Wilson, Carissa Moore, and Kolohe Andino. Nike’s sticking with skate and snowboarding though…but the mega brand never got traction in surf despite selling to it for two decades. Still, considering that in 2010 Nike’s action sports lines were worth $390 million, there’s clearly too much dough for it to walk away. And Hurley is stoked because parent Nike can pump R&D dollars into product that the surf brand alone couldn’t. Via Shop-Eat-Surf.