Cyclist Dies in Shenandoah 100 Crash

A mountain biker was killed during the National Ultra Endurance Mountain Bike Race Series in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest early last week.

The cyclist, a 54-year old man from New York named Ross Hansen, was found approximately 500 feet from the crash site, where his bike, helmet, and broken pair of glasses were recovered.

According to the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, Hansen was ejected from his bike after striking a tree.

Prior to the collision Hansen was thrown down a steep embankment just off the Bald Rock Trail.

“It is with a heavy heart that the NUE Race Series wishes to express our condolences to the family, friends and Long Island Cycling community that was the home of Masters racer, Ross Hansen, who passed away yesterday following a severe crash at the race,” race organizers posted on Facebook. “According to the Long Island Cycling Community, ‘Ross was a good riding spirit for local Long Island riding.'”

Asheville Land Trust Preserves Land in Newfound Mountains

Thanks to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, hundreds of acres in the Newfound Mountains near the corner where Buncombe, Haywood, and Madison counties converge, has been set aside for permanent protection and conservation.

At a total of 267-acres, the newly protected tracts in the Sandy Mush area will help ensure clean water, healthy forest habitat for wildlife, and secure views from as far away as downtown Asheville, writes Karen Chavez of the Asheville Citizen-Times.

“These projects continue our decadeslong commitment to conservation efforts in the Sandy Mush community,” the conservancy’s executive director Carl Silverstein told Chavez.

In the last 20 years, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy has set aside more than 10,000 acres in the Asheville area.

To learn more click here.

Missing Veteran Emerges from Appalachian Trail

After abandoning his job and leaving his cell phone behind, a North Carolina veteran suffering from PTSD took to the Appalachian Trail, providing little to no warning to friends and family.

After more than a month on the trail, 29-year-old Michael Kirkpatrick, who served overseas as an Army infantryman, rejoined society and was reunited with his family.

Kirkpatrick says he regrets the worry and pain that his dissapearance caused friends and loved ones but credits the trail with saving him from a potential suicide.

Learn more here.