Shorts: Blue Ridge Briefs

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North Carolina Cyclist Wins National MTB Title

Cypress Gory of Brevard, N.C. won this summer’s Under-23 Cross Country Cycling National Championship. Gory, a successful collegiate rider at Brevard College, travelled to Mammoth Mountain, California, to win the big race, adding the victory to his four collegiate individual national championships. Gory won his most recent collegiate cross country championship closer to home last October at Beech Mountain.

Fatal accident prompts Zipline Legislation in North Carolina

As ziplines become more popular around the region, lawmakers in North Carolina recently passed a bill that calls for the study of safety regulations. A few unfortunate accidents that resulted in fatalities prompted House Bill 39, “which increases penalties for the illegal operation of amusement devices and directs the N.C. Department of Labor to study the regulation of zipline operations.” In June a 12-year-old girl died after falling from a zipline at Camp Cheerio in Alleghany County, N.C. The girl was related to Rep. Ted Davis Jr., who first introduced the bill after an accident on an amusement park ride at a state fair. After the tragic loss of his fourth cousin, Bonnie Sanders Burney, he moved to add a provision for the zipline study, which is supposed to be concluded by February 1.

Deer Poachers Busted After Social Media Bragging

There’s plenty of over-sharing online, and back in early July some vanity posting on Snapchat resulted in a quick bust after an illegal deer hunt near Parkersburg, W.Va. A West Virginia Natural Resources Police officer was sent three photos copied from the social media site. The pictures included images of a dead deer lying by a creek, a woman holding a gun, and man walking away from the camera. After the pics were posted to the NRP Facebook page, the suspects were identified quickly. “Within an hour we had the individuals’ names,” NRP officer John Casto told the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Shark-Proof Cages?

Summer 2015 will certainly be remembered for one thing—sharks. While many beachgoers became timid in the ocean after the widely publicized attacks, a couple from Richmond, Va., decided they wouldn’t be denied a swim during a trip to the Outer Banks. Scott and Sandi Bergman had an online moment when video went viral of the couple swimming in homemade cages around each of their bodies. According to a news story, lifeguards weren’t happy and told the couple it wasn’t safe to swim in the cages, but it turned out the whole thing was a spoof. The cages said were made out of PVC that was painted to look like metal, and the couple said they were just trying to bring a little humor to the shark hysteria.

Cowbell Endurance

Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken should be proud. The actors’ famed Saturday Night Live sketch that yielded the ubiquitous “More Cowbell” line has inspired a new world record attempt. The race director of the Cowbell Classic 10K and 5K in Royal Oak, Michigan, ordered 3,000 cowbells for attendees to ring in an attempt to break the Guinness World Records mark for the most people to ring a cowbell at once.

Lance Charity Ride Causes Controversy at Tour

Lance Armstrong was back in the news during this summer’s Tour de France when he participated in a charity ride that raised funds for leukemia research. The disgraced cyclist, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles after admitting to doping, followed the routes of stages 13 and 14 in the ride that was organized by retired soccer star Geoff Thomas. Although Lance is not banned from participating in charity rides, UCI President Brian Cookson voiced his disapproval in a statement: “I know that Geoff Thomas is very genuine in his charitable work. But I continue to believe that Lance Armstrong’s involvement in this ride is inappropriate.”

Armstrong responded: “I don’t know Brian Cookson. I don’t know what his vision is for the sport. But I do know that me and Geoff riding in France for this cause is the least of his problems.”

Flex Time for running

The city of Green Bay is helping employees who are planning to run the Bellin Women’s Half Marathon this month. City workers who attend weekly Wednesday morning training runs can push the start time of their workday to 10 a.m. Green Bay’s Mayor Jim Schmitt is hoping this initiative will encourage better employee health and be an example for other employers to offer similar incentives.

BASE Jumper Dies After Lighting Parachute / Twin Falls, Idaho

A couple of tragic BASE jumping accidents made headlines in May. The outdoor community was rocked by the death of adventure legend Dean Potter in Yosemite National Park, but a stranger event took place in Idaho. On May 7, 73-year-old James E. Hickey and a partner jumped off the Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls. As Hickey started to fall 500 feet towards the Snake River below, video footage shows him becoming engulfed in flames before plunging into the water. Hickey set his parachute on fire as part of a stunt with the intention of dropping it and deploying a second chute. Apparently Hickey had previously completed the stunt while skydiving, but unfortunately this attempt had a different outcome.

Running Doc Saves Second Life During Race / Philadelphia, Pa.

Dr. Paul Shore was at the right place at the right time, again. On May 3, Shore was running the 10-mile Broad Street Run in Philadelphia when the pediatrician noticed a group of runners yelling for help and trying to assist another racer who had collapsed around mile three. A man stopped breathing and started to turn blue, so Shore, with the help of another bystander, administered CPR. Fortunately, the man started breathing again and was then taken into the care of arriving EMTs.

This wasn’t the first time Shore had helped a fallen runner. He also assisted someone who collapsed on the course of the Philadelphia Marathon in 2013.

Shore went on to finish the Broad Street Run in 1:44:42, about 20 minutes slower than the previous year, but his noble effort was obviously worth the extra time on the course.

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