New North Carolina Bike Laws

Every year an average of 19 cyclists are killed and approximately 600 are hurt on North Carolina roads. This fall, new state laws went into effect in an effort to improve safety for bikers and encourage greater cooperation with motorists. As of October 1, drivers can now pass cyclists in no-passing zones as long as they have a clear view ahead and give the bikers at least four feet of distance. Penalties, though, have become stiffer for drivers who force cyclists to change lanes or cause biker injuries, including increased fines and possible license suspensions. Also, starting on December 1, cyclists riding after dark are required to have both front and rear lights visible from at least 300 feet. A bright and reflective vest with the same visibility range can be substituted for the rear light.

Library on the A.T.

Appalachian Trail thru-hikers can find new reading material when they pass through Pearisburg, Va. A new library was recently built and given to the A.T. hostel that’s located on the grounds of Holy Family Catholic Church in the small Giles County town. After an effort organized by the local Rotary Club, the tiny white house filled with books was built by students at Narrows High School and donated to the hostel with hikers in mind. According to the Roanoke Times, hikers are encouraged to take books, and when done reading, leave them at trail shelters or pass them on to other hikers.

Man Rescues Bald Eagle in West Virginia

When Seth Kiriluk stopped at the Dirtbean coffee shop in Marlinton earlier this fall, he was planning to get some work done on his laptop. But when a cyclist on the nearby Greenbrier River Trail came into the shop and told Kiriluk, district executive for Buckskin Council of Boy Scouts of America’s Seneca District, he saw an injured bald eagle along the trail, his day took a different turn. Determined to help the bird, Kiriluk received advice from the owner of a wildlife sanctuary, then went to the trail to capture the bald eagle and bring it to safety.

With help from Greenbrier River Trail Superintendent Jody Spencer, who provided a large blanket and carrier box, Kiriluk was able to secure the bird after a bit of a struggle. “It started hissing and doing its thing, but after a short, entertaining tussle/standoff, I eventually managed to wrap it up in the blanket and put it in the box,” Kiriluk told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Kiriluk then took the eagle, a five- or six-year-old female to the Greenbrier Veterinary Hospital in Lewisburg, where she was treated for bite marks on her right wing and punctures on her left foot, all presumed to have come from an animal attack. The eagle was then transferred to Three Rivers Avian Center, where as of press time it was being rehabilitated for hopefully an eventual release back into the wild.

The Juggling Marathoner

Michal Kapral finished the Chicago Marathon with an impressive time of 2:55:25. Even more impressive? He did it while juggling three balls throughout the entire race without dropping any of the balls a single time. Kapral, 43 and from Toronto, is part of a small group of competitive runners called “jogglers,” who, as the name suggests, run and juggle at the same time. Kapral currently holds Guinness World Records for fastest joggling marathon (2:50:12) and half marathon (1:20:40). His latest feat, the fastest joggling marathon without a drop, is an unofficial record, since Guinness rules let jogglers drop balls, as long they pick them up and start juggling again at the exact same spot.

Wife-Carrying Comp

In October, 44 couples took the starting line at the 17th annual North American Wife Carrying Championship in Newry, Maine. Men carry their brides across a 278-yard course filled with mud pits, sand traps, and log hurdles. Winning couple Elliot and Giana Storey finished the race in 59.18 seconds and took home $665 and 11 cases of Goose Island beer. That seemingly random prize was awarded based on Gina’s weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. The couple also earned a spot to compete in the wife-carrying world championship in Finland.

Cowboy Stops Bike Thief

Robert Borba, a 28-year-old cattle rancher from Oregon, recently made national news when he stopped a bike thief with some old-school cowboy heroics. Borba was in a Wal-Mart parking lot when he heard a woman start screaming, “Stop him! He stole my bike!” Borba saw the suspected thief pedaling by, and with only his horse and lasso as a means to help, he did what he does best: “A couple swings and then I threw it at him, just like I would a steer,” he told CBS News. Borba then tied the suspect to a tree and waited for the police to arrive.