Mountain Mama Sits Down with Joe Driver from Sycamore Cycles

first_imgSomewhere around grade school, the realization sunk in that when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, they expected a single answer. One of my greatest struggles remains how to experience all the cool stuff in this world. Now when people ask me what I do, sometimes I just say that I’m a dabbler.It’s easier than explaining my non-linear career path from lawyer to middle-school-librarian to sea kayak guide to ski instructor back to a lawyer, which evolved into a real estate investor and writer. No matter how many careers I try on, there will be some jobs I never get to experience.Take servicing bikes.A few months ago I watched Joe Driver from Sycamore Cycles build my Yeti. A smile spanned my face, as my bike materialized before my eyes. For me, seeing someone connecting pieces into my bike was as far from my personal skill set as a street performer juggling a butcher knife, a metal bat and a butternut squash. That day I got the closest I’d ever come to knowing what it’s like to work in a bike shop and mess around with bikes, so I decided to sit down with Joe and get the scoop on working at Sycamore Cycles.Our conversation went like this:So rumor has it that you sometimes ride in jeans. Is that true or just Brevard bike lore?If it’s below fifty, I wear jeans. Skinny jeans are better than tights. The day I interviewed for Sycamore, we rode out in Pisgah. I was in the parking lot with Art, another employee at Sycamore, and Wes, the owner, and Art looked over at me, “You ready to go, you’re wearing jeans?” I said yep.  Art and Wes just sort of shrugged and exchanged a skeptical look.They hired me anyway.IMG_7760So what was that job interview like?We went for a ride in Pisgah, Cove Creek, Daniel’s Ridge and Cat Gap. On the way there I was nervous about keeping up or riding like crap. We didn’t talk business at all, just talked about riding. It was the weirdest and best interview I’ve ever been on. I was pinned the whole time. After the ride we went to dinner. It was instant click with all the guys, everyone I work with is great and now we’re like a family.Were you worried about what to order?Hell yeah, I didn’t know whether to get a beer or not. Then Wes ordered one so it was easy.How did you find out about Brevard? I kept hearing about the riding here. Last fall I came for a long weekend and we arrived in the dark. The next morning we rode. It was love at first light. Everything was closed by the time we finished riding. After that weekend of riding Pisgah, I wanted to figure out how to live here. I didn’t go to downtown Brevard. I didn’t know about the waterfalls. I hadn’t even heart about Dupont. It’s been one amazing discovery after another.IMG_7762How long have you been biking?Five years ago my best friend, Seth, said we should buy bikes.I was reluctant because whatever I do, I’m all in. Seth convinced me and we each spent a thousand bucks. After three rides I was officially hooked.The next thing I know I have a five thousand dollar bike, I started racing, and I was working at a bike shop.I knew there are better bikes so I needed one. I told myself that I have so much fun on an entry -level bike, how much more fun could I have on a better bike.When did you know you’d like to work on a bike?I’m pretty mechanically inclined so I can work on anything.  I started with simple stuff – adjusting gear, headsets, brakes, and changing flat tires. From there went from selling slash service to primary service. Now I mostly just wrench.I like fixing stuff whether it’s a bike or working with hands, figuring stuff out, making it work.What’s your least favorite part about the job?I don’t like to be greasy. The guys tease me because I wash my hands like twenty times a day.What’s your favorite part?Developing relationships with guys who work there. I like going to work, and end up going there even on my days off. When you walk into the store, someone wants to know where you went, everyone cares about each other and customers.I love working at Sycamore, I guess you could say I’ve got a lot of brand pride.Are there any upcoming races that you’re training for?This weekend some guys from Sycamore are going to 12 hours of Tsali, an endurance mountain bike race with a four-person team. We’ll each take turns riding the loop. It’s a great to be able to race together.Then ORAMM – Off Road Assault of Mount Mitchell – is July 31st. It’s 60 miles, 10,500 feet of climbing That’s been on my bucket list for a while and I’m excited about it. I know it’s going to hurt. What tips do you have for beginners just starting to ride?Just start showing up – check out local mountain bike rides and look for group rides in your area. From there, challenge yourself, try new places and new things.last_img read more


Outdoor Updates: Three cows lost in Hurricane Dorian found on an Island

first_imgJoin the lottery by submitting an application through the lotteries page on Recreation.gov or via the recreation.gov app. Mark your calendars, river rats. The 2020 river permit lottery season begins on December 1. That’s the day you’ll be able to enter the lottery for your chance to raft, kayak or canoe some of the most famous waterways in the United States. Lotteries will be held for permits on the following rivers: Middle Fork of the Salmon River; Salmon River; Snake River—Hells Canyon; Selway River; Rogue River; Desolation Gray—Green River; Salt River, Dinosaur Green and Yampa River; and the San Juan River. It’s believed that the cows swam four or five miles across Core Sound and washed up on the shores of Cape Lookout, pushed by the strong storm surge. Had the cows not had their lucky break and washed ashore on Cape Lookout, they almost certainly would have been swept out into the open sea and drowned.  Are you looking for a primitive outdoor experience but don’t want to brave the elements? Six new camping cabins at Goose Creek State Park offer campers an upgrade from tent camping. The new camping cabins feature air conditioning, heat, and electrical outlets and can sleep up to six people. Outside of the each cabin is a grill, fire ring, picnic table and tent pad. All cabins have a covered front porch with Adirondack chairs. A bathhouse with showers and sinks is also available on site.  2020 river lottery season opens on December 1 Goose Creek State Park in Beaufort County, NC opens new camping cabins When Hurricane Dorian slammed into the North Carolina coast in September it had a devastating effect on the wild cattle that call the area home. On Cedar Island, which was hit with Category 1 force winds and rain, all 20 of the wild cows that lived on the island disappeared after the storm. The cows were assumed dead, but a month later one was seen at Cape Lookout National Seashore. A few weeks later, two more cows were spotted in the same area.  Three cows that went missing during Hurricane Dorian are found on an island miles away from shore  The new campground also has 22 RV campsites. “For the people that like primitive sites they can continue to come and enjoy the primitive sites,” park superintendent Doug Lequire told WITN news. “For the people that want a little higher end camping or a little bit more modern camping they can come and stay at our RV sites.”last_img read more


Freeport Stabbing Leaves Homeless Man Wounded

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A homeless man was stabbed in a wooded area of Freeport where three others died in the past six years, including another homeless man who was murdered, New York State police said.The victim, 44-year-old Narciso Cruz-Vazquez, was found suffering from stab wounds in a homeless encampment in woodlands just north of Sunrise Highway and just west of Meadowbrook State Parkway shortly after 4 p.m. Monday, police said. The victim was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where he is being treated for his injuries.“He was stabbed multiple times in the torso and is in stable condition,” State Trooper Frank Bandiero told the Press. “He has lived along the Meadowbrook Parkway for years.”The encampment is a short walk from a Freeport village day laborer hiring site, where undocumented immigrants gather to wait for temporary employment. Two homeless men were found dead in the same woods six months apart in 2012 and a third homeless man was convicted of killing one of them.Henry Martinez-Ramos was sentenced last year to 25 years to life in prison for stabbing to death 21-year-old Ermis Alonzo, with whom he had an ongoing dispute, in October 2012. Martinez-Ramos, who also lived in the same woods, hid the victim’s body under a pile of railroad ties next to the adjacent train tracks, authorities have said.That case came after 33-year-old Jose Garrido-Lobo was found dead in those woods in March 2012, but investigators did not suspect foul play, police said at the time.And in 2009, another homeless man, 65-year-old Miguel Angel Sanche, died when his shanty caught fire in an encampment less than a mile north of the latest incident in the same stretch of woods.last_img read more


Open applications for the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities

first_imgThe UNESCO Network of Creative Cities (UCCN) was established in 2004 and seeks to strengthen cooperation among cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor in sustainable development in terms of economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects. More information, as well as an application guide and application form, can be found HERE. All cities of UNESCO member states and associate members can apply. There is no limit to the number of residents in the city who apply for membership in the Network. To apply, you need to access the documents listed on the official website and find out what it takes to make the city a creative city of the UNESCO network. The network today numbers 180 cities from 72 countries from all parts of the world. By joining the Network, cities acknowledge their commitment to sharing best practices, developing partnerships that promote creativity and cultural industries, strengthening participation in cultural life, and urban development plans. The UNESCO network of creative cities covers seven creative areas: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. Incomplete applications or those received after that date will not be evaluated. Applications must be submitted in English or French.center_img Source / photo: Ministry of Tourism; UNESCO The application deadline is June 30, 2019, by midnight, and the names of the new Creative Cities for 2019 will be announced by the end of the year. On the website Creative Tourism Network a competition has been announced to join the UNESCO network of creative cities, and they are ready to assist potential applicants in submitting applications.last_img read more


North Korea rejects South’s offer of envoys, vows to redeploy troops to border

first_imgTopics : Moon “greatly favors sending special envoys for ‘tiding over crises’ and raises preposterous proposals frequently, but he has to clearly understand that such a trick will no longer work on us,” KCNA said.”The solution to the present crisis between the North and the South caused by the incompetence and irresponsibility of the South Korean authorities is impossible and it can be terminated only when proper price is paid.”There was no immediate comment from Moon’s office.Any moves to invalidate cross-border peace deals pose a major setback to Moon’s bid for more lasting reconciliation with the North, while complicating efforts to persuade Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programs. North Korea said on Wednesday it had rejected South Korea’s offer to send special envoys to ease escalating bilateral tensions, and vowed to redeploy troops to demilitarized border units in the latest step towards nullifying inter-Korean peace accords.The announcements made by state media agency KCNA came one day after North Korea blew up a joint liaison office set up in a border town as part of a 2018 agreement by the two countries’ leaders, as tensions flare over propaganda leaflets sent by defectors into the reclusive state.South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in on Monday offered to send his national security adviser Chung Eui-yong and spy chief Suh Hoon as special envoys. But Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a senior ruling party official, “flatly rejected the tactless and sinister proposal,” KCNA said.center_img Kim Yo Jong also harshly criticized Moon in another KCNA statement, saying he had failed to implement any of the 2018 pacts and had made inter-Korean ties a “U.S. puppet.”In Monday’s speech, which marked the 20th anniversary of the first inter-Korean summit, Moon expressed regret that North Korea-U.S. and inter-Korean relations have not made progress as hoped but asked Pyongyang to maintain peace deals and return to dialogue.In a separate KCNA dispatch on Wednesday, a spokesman for the General Staff of the (North) Korean People’s Army (KPA) said it would dispatch troops to Mount Kumgang and Kaesong near the border, where the two Koreas had carried out joint economic projects in the past.Police posts that had been withdrawn from the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) will be reinstalled, while artillery units near the western sea border where defectors frequently send leaflets will be reinforced with the readiness alert heightened to the level of “top class combat duty,” the spokesman said.The North will also restart sending anti-Seoul leaflets across the border, he added.”Areas favorable for scattering leaflets against the South will open on the whole front line and our people’s drive for scattering leaflets will be guaranteed militarily and thorough-going security measures will be taken,” he said.The KPA said on Tuesday it had been studying an “action plan” to re-enter zones that had been demilitarized under a 2018 inter-Korean military pact and “turn the front line into a fortress.”Seoul’s defense ministry has urged North Korea to abide by the agreement, under which both sides vowed to cease “all hostile acts” and dismantled a number of structures along the DMZ. last_img read more


Contributions must rise for Dutch builders’ scheme, says chairman

first_imgThe Netherlands’ industry-wide pension fund for construction workers, BpfBouw, is eating into its funding surplus because its contribution rates were set too low, according to its chair. Contributions for the construction scheme will have to increase as they do not cover the running costs, the board said in its 2018 annual report. Unions and employers in the construction industry would have to agree on a new funding arrangement, it said.“We cannot continue like this,” said Mieke van Veldhuizen, chair of the board of the €52.8bn scheme, who represents employees.According to the annual report, BpfBouw’s coverage ratio fell by approximately one percentage point last year, although it subsequently rebounded to 115.7% at the end of March 2019. A declining coverage ratio reduces the chance of pensions being indexed. The scheme has not been able to raise pensions in line with inflation for years. As a result, pensioners have lost around 9% of the purchasing power on their pensions.“It is up to social partners to determine the contribution level,” Van Veldhuizen said. “It is up to us to determine whether we can manage pensions in a balanced way. We have stated that we cannot go on like this for years. Because of the low contributions, we are eating into the coverage ratio and thereby disadvantaging pensioners.”BpfBouw has added its voice to those of metal and engineering sector funds PME and PMT, which have already warned that the current contribution levels are too low and should probably rise next year. The only alternative to a contribution increase would be a reduction in accrued pensions.The effects of a planned new pension system – which is still being hotly debated in the Netherlands – are difficult to estimate. Until an agreement is reached, the current rules need to be applied.BpfBouw is the fourth-largest pension fund in the Netherlands and the only one of the Dutch ‘big five’ that is not at immediate risk of having to lower its pension payouts, due to its healthy funding position. After years of stagnation, the scheme has been able to partly index pensions in the past couple of years to keep up with price inflation.last_img read more


Palace belies Thai king told Duterte to ‘behave’ during ASEAN summit

first_imgA viral photo showing a digital copy ofthe Bangkok Post frontpage with a headline “King orders PH Duterte, behaveduring the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit” is “fakenews,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a press briefing. MANILA – Palace officials belied reportsthat King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand told President Rodrigo Duterte to“behave” during his visit in Bangkok for a regional summit. “We asked him (a reporter from BangkokPost) if there was any truth to the front page and he said outright that it wasfake news,” Andanar said, while holding a physical copy of the Bangkok Postissue. “I would also like to remind everyone tobe respectful to the good relations between the Philippines and Thailand, andnot to create any fake news that would be detrimental to these relations,” hesaid. The actual newspaper had the same photosand layout, but instead of the alleged story about Duterte, one of itsheadlines read: “Suvit calls for Thailand to embrace 5G fast, or lag behindrivals.” “The Office of the President expressesits indignation over this cheap political stunt aimed at embarrassing PRRD(President Rodrigo Roa Duterte), thereby humiliating our country which herepresents before the global audience,” he said in a statement. “I would remind everybody to berespectful to His Majesty, the King of Thailand. They have been very generous,very courteous and have been good hosts to us Filipinos and the rest of ASEAN,”Andanar said. Presidential Spokesperson SalvadorPanelo condemned the fake report and labeled it as “black propaganda” and a “cheappolitical stunt” against the President. The false report surfaced online hoursbefore Duterte arrived at the Royal Thai Air Force Base and a day before theopening of the 35th ASEAN Summit in the Thai capital./PN Secretary Martin Andanar presents a real copy of the Bangkok Post newspaper, to show that the story claiming that President Rodrigo Duterte was told to “behave” by King Maha Vajiralongkorn was fake, during a press conference in Nonthaburi, Thailand on Friday night. PCOO GLOBAL MEDIA AFFAIRS Panelo warned that Thailand “has one ofthe strictest” laws against people who offend the dignity of a reigningsovereign. The National Bureau of Investigation hasbeen tasked to trace the source of the fake report, the Communication chiefsaid. “The political enemies of the Presidentappear to have thrown decency to the garbage bin even as they parade themselvesas a rambunctious minority in our country,” he said. The digital image, thus, appears to havebeen edited. Disrespecting the King of Thailand is acriminal offense punishable by imprisonment up to 15 years, Andanar said.last_img read more


Kalibo imposes ‘stricter’ curfew to fight COVID-19

first_imgAs of March 18,Kalibo listed 329 persons under monitoring. They are under self-quarantine intheir respective homes.(With a reportfrom Akean Forum/PN) Personnel of the Kalibo municipal police station conduct checkpoint on the National Highway in Barangay Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan on March 19. They also reminded the motorists to observe social distancing as one of the measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak. KALIBO PNP Personnel ofthe Kalibo municipal police station have started their 12-hour shifts to ensureits residents and establishments comply with Executive Order No. 31, which wasissued by Mayor Emerson Lachica. Kalibo policechief MajorBelshazzar Villanoche said the violators have been pressed with charges. KALIBO, Aklan –The stricter stance of Kalibo police in a bid to curb the outbreak of thecoronavirus disease 2019 resulted to the arrest of curfew violators in thiscapital town. He added thatthe police are convincing people to stay at home during the curfew hour as partof the community mitigation measures. The curfew hours will continue indefinitelyuntil further notice.center_img The 9 p.m. to 5a.m. curfew, which started on March 18, already caught nine people violating ithours after it was imposed. So far, norestrictions were imposed on essential chores during daytime such as healthappointments, restaurant and fast food pick-ups and grocery shopping. Businessproceeds as usual for banks, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, gas stations,shops, hardware stores and public markets since they have been permitted. “They shouldstay at home for their safety and only go out if necessary for emergencies orhealth-related reasons. The violators would be pursued aggressively in thecoming days,” he stressed. The curfewimposed forced local businesses; mainly the fast food chain, restaurants,malls, stores, and bars to close before 9 p.m. for the best interests of healthand general welfare of the residents. Some commercial businesses even adopted afour-day workweek for their employees while others temporarily suspended theiroperations.last_img read more


Ayre: Early signings a major boost

first_img More are set to follow, with Liverpool well down the line in negotiations for Sporting Lisbon defender Tiago Ilori, while they are trying to hammer out a complicated deal for £20million-rated Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrik Mkhitaryan. But the fact a bulk of the business has already been done – not taking into account striker Luis Suarez who is publicly courting a move to Real Madrid – will be advantageous to Rodgers, according to Ayre. “It’s always important. It’s not always possible but it’s always important,” said the managing director. “Particularly from the playing perspective, the manager and the coaches and all of the staff want to know that they’ve got the squad together, particularly ahead of pre-season. “We’ve worked tirelessly, a lot of people behind the scenes worked ahead of the transfer window to identify those players that interest us. Then the hard work starts, negotiating and bringing these deals together.” Liverpool were able to confirm the Aspas deal on Sunday after personal issues with his agents were sorted over the weekend. The 25-year-old scored 12 goals in 34 league matches as Celta Vigo avoided relegation on the last day of the season. By then a deal had already been lined up for a fee in the region of £7.7million. “It wasn’t a tough decision at all. I’m really happy to have come to a big club like this one,” said the Spaniard. “Having weighed up all my options for this window, a massive club like Liverpool was always my first choice.” Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes the early identification and capture of transfer targets gives the club a boost ahead of the squad’s return to pre-season training. Press Associationcenter_img Press Association Sport understands Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will attend the Reds’ Melwood training ground on Tuesday for a medical before finalising personal terms on an £11million-plus transfer agreed on Friday. The Belgium international will be manager Brendan Rodgers’ fourth signing before the end of June after previous deals for Manchester City defender Kolo Toure, Sevilla midfielder Luis Alberto and Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas. last_img read more


Hughes prepared for QPR backlash

first_img “I felt we could have turned it around, there were still plenty of games left and good players at the club.” Hughes added: “The impression I get is it (reception) will not be a great one, which is understandable, because since that time a lot has been said, I have not said a great deal about it, I don’t think I need to. “It was a difficult time for everybody. We were all trying to make the club successful, none of us wanted to damage the club, but it did not work for me in that opening part of the season. “QPR fans will remember that time as it was not great for anyone connected with the club, and if they feel they need to vent their frustrations at me, and I will take it on my shoulders. “Fair play, Harry got them back up last year and I wish them well.” Stoke won at Manchester City before the international break, only to then be beaten at home by Leicester. Hughes is expecting a response from both sides. “I watched them last week (at Manchester United) and they will have been disappointed with their performance,” he said. “They will want to bounce back and at home with the support they get from the ground it will be a difficult fixture, but we have enough ability to go there and get a positive result.” Midfielder Marko Arnautovic (foot) and winger Jon Walters (calf) are doubts, but Stephen Ireland should be in contention following a rib muscle injury. After a humiliating 5-0 home defeat by Swansea on the opening day of the 2012/2013 season and a run of 12 league matches without a victory, Hughes was sacked in November 2012 and replaced by Harry Redknapp, who could not keep the club in the top flight, but did secure a swift return after a last-minute victory in the 2014 Sky Bet Championship play-off final at Wembley. Hughes is in little doubt there will be some QPR supporters only too happy to vent their frustrations at him as Redknapp’s side look to put last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Manchester United out of their system. “It was a difficult period, without a doubt ( the toughest time of my managerial career),” said Hughes, who took over at the Britannia Stadium from Tony Pulis in the summer of 2013 and guided the Potters to ninth place last season. “We made changes that we thought were for the right reasons, would enhance the club and allow the club to be stronger for the future, but sometimes it does not come off and you have to hold your hands up,” “On paper the new players were very good, but the combination and dynamic of the changing room just didn’t work, sometimes you cannot envisage that happening until you bring the group together. “The feeling is maybe too many came in at the same time, but there was always going to be a big turnover. I just wanted to try to increase the quality. “Unfortunately when you don’t win games, and any issues within the group or that they had with me or the staff, then that will manifest itself in poorer performances, which is what happened. “But at the end of the day, we are judged on results and at the beginning of that second season, they were not good enough, so I lost my job, I accept that. Press Association Hughes managed to keep Rangers in the Barclays Premier League after taking over from Neil Warnock in January 2012, albeit by the narrowest of margins on the final day of the campaign as they lost to champions Manchester City in an afternoon of high drama at the Etihad Stadium and Bolton failed to beat Stoke. The Welshman, though, could not build from there, despite a large number of high-profile summer signings. Stoke boss Mark Hughes is ready to meet the QPR boo-boys head on when he goes back to Loftus Road on Saturday for the first time since his sacking 18 months ago. last_img read more