Last weekend I was riding in the slushy southern snow and this weekend on some sketchy southern ice. Winter conditions can be challenging, both to ride, and to figure out where to ride and where to avoid. Finding “the powder” might mean trying to get out early while its still frozen, sticking to the north faces, or maybe just getting out on the road. This past week there has been a time for all of the above topped off with a ride on Squirrel Gap after a skin coat of freezing rain on frozen ground, just enough to have traction on the dirt but glare ice on the rocks and roots. That was enough to get me focused, and in the moment. I don’t think I thought about much else other than riding on that one, although I was thinking about racing, and getting fired up. I can’t help but think about racing when I ride. To be honest, it’s one of my favorite meditations. When I have a big race on the horizon my rides take on another dimension. Not that these rides wouldn’t be satisfying as is, but with a goal, there comes this obsessive sense of purpose that I fully enjoy. Having the Transylvania Epic on my calendar is an extra special motivation. It may be four months off, but now my winter days are filled with thoughts of summer and speed. I’ve been invited to share bits along the way as I gear up for the race, which I’m thrilled to do. I promise not to stick to the topic.Mountain Biking for me, and my family, is a way of life. I’m a mountain biker first and I could live without racing, I did for a while, but its undeniable that I’ve had the most fun when racing is in the picture. When I’m racing, I’m riding more. I’m quitting work early a few times a week, or blowing it off all together and sneaking out after dropping the kids off at preschool. I’m making the rides happen instead of letting them slip by.I probably did my first real mountain bike ride in Turkey Pen at the age of seven or eight. I rode an orange five-speed tornado that was built strong enough to withstand wheelie drops off the four-foot brick retaining walls onto our driveway. There was a tough climb about two miles in on South Mills River Trail that my dad called “Sam Go For It.” It takes about two pedal strokes to get over now. Being able to grow up in these mountains has been really special. We used to hike all the time growing up, every weekend. Looking Glass Rock, John’s Rock, Shining Rock, Slate Rock, Flat Laurel Creek, The North Face of Looking Glass, these were some of the more popular hikes. Even after years of exploring our sense of possibility underwent a tremendous expansion when we started riding bikes in Pisgah in the early 90s. Somehow we had never heard of trails like Caney Bottom or Laurel Mountain, sitting right here under our noses all along. I’m only now getting a grip on DuPont. Appalachia, like no other place, can hide its treasures.I got into racing as a junior. I had a craving for competition. A generous community gave fuel to the fire, Mike Nix from Liberty Bikes was one of the first to offer my sister Willow and I support. More help followed with team Devo and then Cane Creek. Without the racing there would not have been anywhere near as much riding happening for us.I still get really excited about racing my bike. That may be partly due to the fact that I never really went big time or may be just the fact that bikes are the finest human invention and racing bikes is about as intimate as you can get with a bike. So bring it on! Don’t expect any cutting edge training tips (I’ve just put on a heart rate monitor for the first time) but I will share some stories and some thoughts as I make my way towards the race. Join me for a ride; lets see where it goes.
Syracuse (4-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) plays its second of two games in Brooklyn against Penn State (5-1) in the third-place game of the Barclays Center portion of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Syracuse star Elijah Hughes had a career-high 28 points against Oklahoma State, but it wasn’t enough as Joe Girard III and Buddy Boeheim combined for 2-for-14 shooting from 3-point range.Here’s what the beat writers predicted for the outcome of the game.Nick Alvarez (6-0)Pride rockedPenn State 81, Syracuse 70 I see this game going a lot like Syracuse’s matchup against Oklahoma State. The neutral site and 2-3 zone should keep it close in the first half, but Penn State is the better team and it’ll pull away eventually. Syracuse needs to shoot better and not collapse inside. Sitting in the Barclays Center on Wednesday night before SU’s game, one Penn State player in particular stood out: Mike Watkins. The center averages 11 points a contest and shoots an astounding 69%. He had one thundering dunk that was the highlight of the night against Ole Miss. Watkins is probably the reason Syracuse won’t mount a second-half comeback after the Nittany Lions take a lead on Friday. The Orange probably would’ve faired better against the Rebels, but now they’re looking at two nonconference losses in a New York arena akin to what happened last year in Madison Square Garden. Michael McCleary (5-1)The lion’s denPenn State 75, Syracuse 68AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse got unlucky with this one. Penn State was on its way to a blowout against Ole Miss Wednesday. Then…it wasn’t. The Nittany Lions lost after they led by 20 points at one point of the game. Penn State center Mike Watkins dunked everything he saw in the early part of the game, and Lamar Stevens dropped 22 points on the Rebels. Syracuse has a Lamar Stevens: His name is Elijah Hughes, who quietly (but only because of the separation in the score) had a career-high in points against Oklahoma State Wednesday. But Syracuse doesn’t have anyone like Watkins. Penn State gets the edge for its inside presence and wing-scoring combo.Josh Schafer (5-1)Back to the drawing board Penn State 72 Syracuse 65 The Orange haven’t proven themselves against Power 5 opponents yet this year, and it’s hard to believe they will have figured it out with only Thanksgiving Day separating them from a 15-point loss to Oklahoma State. Right now, the Orange aren’t shooting great right now, and until that changes, Syracuse doesn’t have enough other ways to create offense. The Nittany Lions have the 26th ranked adjusted defense per KenPom.com. Ole Miss was the first team that Penn State has allowed more than 70 points to and that came in a total second-half collapse. To keep pace with Penn State’s scoring that will come from a dominant big man in Mike Watkins, who’s playing in a place the Orange struggle to cover, Syracuse will need to outplay what both teams have put on film thus far. At this point in the season, it’s hard to predict that to happen. Comments Published on November 29, 2019 at 12:58 pm Facebook Twitter Google+
The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) is urging that President David Granger accept the Walter RodneyWPA Leader, Dr Rupert RoopnaraineCommission of Inquiry (CoI) report as is it and change his position that the findings are flawed.The party, a member of the seven faction A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), was partly founded by Rodney, a historian and educator, who met his demise some 36 years ago in a bomb blast. The WPA, since Dr Rodney’s death, had been calling for an investigation in to the death of its leader.In its first official statement, since the presentation of final report of the Inquiry, the party said President Granger, who had the benefit of possession of the report, has already registered the “Presidential disaffirmation” of the report; a posture he had taken before even consulting with his coalition partners.“It remains to be seen whether on further consideration he will modify his severely critical position or even it remains immutable, he may help to create an environment accommodating differences so that we can rescue something positive out of it”.Following a leaked circulation of the document, President Granger, when questioned by Guyana Times on the findings, expressed disappointment with the report saying that it was highly flawed. He said the three-member panel, headed by Barbados Queen’s Counsel, Sir Richard Cheltenham, had relied too much on hearsay evidence, particularly from a convict, and had failed to garner the relevant evidence from persons who were really there at the time of the incident. He said Government was going to challenge the findings of the investigation.Throughout the 17-month long CoI, which was also heard by Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad-based Guyanese Senior Counsel Seenath Jairam, the People’s National Congress had been pointed at as the major player behind Rodney’s death.The Report, stated that given all the relevant facts, events and circumstances set out, Commissioners could do nothing else but establish that William Gregory Smith was not acting alone but had the active and full support, participation and encouragement of, and/or was aided and abetted by the Guyana Police Force (GPF); the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) – both agencies of the State – and the political directorate, including Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, in the killing of Dr Rodney.Rodney, a globally respected political and social activist, died on June 13, 1980, after a walkie-talkie he was examining exploded in his lap.It was the theory of those close to the founding WPA leader that the man he had somewhat come to trust, Smith, a then GDF Sergeant and communication expert, had planted an explosive into the device Rodney was expected to test.It was claimed too that the Government of the day, the PNC and its leader, Burnham, had used Smith to carry out the attack.President Granger is yet to make an official declaration of the findings.“The public should be wary of political opportunism that will flow unrestricted in the reaction to this report and the agenda of spin doctors. The Inquiry could not gather all the facts and could not include all the first-hand experiences of those of us who lived through the period under review”, the party said in its statement.Meanwhile, President Granger, asked about the formal release of the report said that he had no problem in doing so, but was awaiting the official statements from, members of the coalition.He said all members were sent copies of the document and were scheduled to submit their comments Friday. He said the coalition members were given copies of the report and were asked to discuss it with their executives and to submit their comments.