A NEW BIKE RACING SERIES LAUNCHES
While the UCI drowns in its own fetid sauce of doping taint among roadies, mountain bike racing has almost a worse problem: Few people care. Downhill is the coolest discipline, but it doesn’t have much to do with how most people ride. But the all-new, seven-event Enduro World Series is a little closer. Enduro is a bit like park riding, but it’s timed, with average races lasting too long for all-out sprints and enough flat riding to make a downhill rig a liability. All of which makes it a compelling format for amateurs as well as pros. Not to mention the venues rock: From Les 2 Alpes, France, to Whistler and Winter Park. Via Cyclingnews.com.
UTAH ANNOUNCES 2026 WINTER OLYMPIC BID
The bid is contingent on the U.S. Olympic Committee deciding it will endorse a city for those games. Utah announced a bid far in advance to scare off any competitors, Reno-Tahoe among them. Nevada officials said Monday they were waiting for a USOC decision before making a possible bid of their own. Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker announced the tentative bid outside the University of Utah stadium, where ceremonies were held for the 2002 Winter Games. The 2002 games were successful but left Salt Lake tarnished by scandal. Utah showered $1 million in cash, gifts, and other favors on IOC delegates in a scandal that rewrote the rule book for Olympic bids. Two Salt Lake bid executives were tried on federal racketeering charges but were acquitted. Salt Lake wouldn’t be the first city awarded a second Winter Olympics. The list includes Lake Placid, New York (1932 and 1980); St. Moritz, Switzerland (1928 and 1948); and Innsbruck, Austria (1964 and 1976). Via Businessweek.com.
SOUTH AFRICA IS USING HIGH-TECH PLANES TO NAIL RHINO POACHERS
South Africa is finally battling poachers on more equal footing — from the skies. South Africa’s largest privately held defense firm, Paramount, has manufactured a small, specialized plane donated to the South Africa National Park Service; the nation is home to nearly all of the remaining rhinos in Africa and is on the front line of a poaching war where criminals with high-powered weapons, helicopters, and night vision goggles have been killing the animals for their horns, which sell at prices higher than gold in Asia as a traditional medicine. The anti-poaching aircraft named Seeker, shown to reporters on Tuesday, is equipped with sophisticated heat sensors to detect animals and humans on the ground, and a quiet engine. As of the start of December, 558 rhinos have been killed this year by poachers, with 364 of the deaths in Kruger National Park. Poaching has increased dramatically from about 2007 as a growing affluent class in China, Vietnam, and Thailand began spending more on rhino horn as a traditional medicine. Via Scientific American.
ACTIVIST TIM DeCHRISTOPHER IS OUT OF JAIL BUT BARRED FROM HELPING OTHERS
Irony alert: When you go to jail for illegally bidding on BLM land you don’t actually want to buy, Uncle Sam punishes you in strange ways. DeChristopher is now out of of the pen after serving 15 months but when he wanted to work for the First Unitarian Church’s social justice efforts — which would include handling cases of race discrimination, sex discrimination, or other injustices that fall contrary to Unitarian beliefs — The Man said nope. Apparently under the warped logic of the government, because DeChristopher committed a “social justice” crime, he cannot help others seek retribution under circumstances remotely similar. Via KSL.com.