Bicyclists are riding high in NYC, Davis

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityNew York City’s bronze medal from the Washington-based bike group represents an endorsement for the city’s efforts under Mayor Michael Bloomberg to promote cycling for a cleaner environment and a healthier populace. “The way we think about transportation and how we use our limited street space is changing,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, the city’s transportation commissioner. The city is installing 400 to 500 bike racks a year and plans to have more than 400 miles of bike lanes and paths by 2009. There will then be 1 mile of bike lane for every 10miles of road; the ratio is now 1 to 15. In San Francisco, it’s 1 to 7. In Brooklyn’s hipster-heavy Williamsburg section, the city reduced the space for car parking in favor of bike parking – a first – when it widened the sidewalk to fit nine new bike racks over the summer. “It’s better because people used to chain their bikes to trees and house gates,” said Pedro Pulido, an architect who parked his bike at one of the new racks recently. By Karen Matthews THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK – New York City, with its convoys of cabs, miles of subway track, fleets of fume-belching trucks and hordes of harried commuters, is a long way from Davis, with a University of California campus and not much else. But the concrete jungle and the college town were both honored recently by the League of American Bicyclists for bike friendliness. A seven-block length of Manhattan’s Ninth Avenue is now being remade into the city’s most bicycle-oriented stretch of roadway ever, with a bike lane separated from car traffic by a paved buffer zone and a lane of parked cars. Bloomberg also has proposed legislation to make it easier to bike to work by requiring commercial buildings to provide bicycle parking. “According to surveys the number one reason why people who want to bike don’t is that they can’t park their bikes indoors,” said Noah Budnick, deputy director of the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. If theft is the No. 1 challenge facing New York cyclists, safety is No. 2. According to the city health department and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 2.8 bike deaths per million people annually in New York City, compared with 2.7 deaths nationally – a not particularly bad ranking. But potholes and aggressive drivers can make it feel more dangerous. It was the city’s commitment to study bike crashes and prevent them that persuaded the league of bestow its bronze medal. Davis, which has an old-fashioned bike on its city seal, is the only platinum-level community.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Facing the end of their dynasty, the battered Warriors need to tap into their championship spirit

first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceHOUSTON — The Warriors have talked the talk, telling everyone throughout a season defined by underperformance that when a real moment of trial arrived, they would be able to tap into a championship spirit that was forged in the fires of their dynastic run.After the Houston Rockets seized control of the teams’ second-round series and tied it at 2-2 Monday night, that moment of trial has arrived. The Warriors now have a …last_img read more

Kurtenbach: Jon Gruden sent two clear messages by not suspending Antonio Brown [Updated]

first_imgMike Mayock will continue to play the good soldier, but only because that is what he’s paid to do.But you have to wonder what he’s thinking now that he knows — without equivocation — that he is effectively powerless with the Raiders.Sure, Jon Gruden will let Mayock, the ex-NFL Network draft guru, make some picks in April, and he’ll let him give press conferences where he pushes a narrative of “culture” and “accountability”. But he’s not really the team’s general manager. He’s a glorified …last_img read more

Maths, science teachers a priority

first_img26 March 2007South Africa has reaffirmed its commitment to promote maths, science and technology in high schools, with the government announcing a plan to deploy both local and foreign teachers qualified in those fields to the country’s 6 000 schools.Speaking at the 8th Aggrey Klaaste Maths, Science and Technology Educator of the Year Awards in Midrand last Thursday, Education Minister Naledi Pandor added that her department aims to retain competent teachers and encourage new teachers into public education through a programme of incentives, including bursaries and rewards.“Maths, science and technology are now more important than they have been in our recorded history,” Pandor said, adding that their importance was also highlighted in the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA).Asgi-SA aims to increase economic growth to 6% per annum between 2010 and 2014, while also halving unemployment and poverty by 2014.In order to achieve this, critical skills and sectors have been identified. These include the skills of engineers and the information communication technology (ICT) sector, which both require a strong knowledge base of maths and science.The apartheid government neglected these very skills in its education system for black South Africans.“If we don’t have these teachers in our country, we must get teachers from outside,” Pandor said, adding, “We can’t have any high school without these teachers.”Pandor noted, however, that the present government had come a long way in repairing the damage that apartheid had caused to the education system.In order to fast-track maths and science skills, the department embarked on the Dinaledi schools initiative in 2001, which aims to increase access to maths, science and technology, and to promote and improve results for these subjects in under-privileged communities.There are currently 400 high schools across the country, which offer maths and science at higher-grade level and have qualified teachers.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Midmar Mile’s 89-year-old finisher

first_imgOctogenarian Lorna Cochran plans to break the Midmar Mile record for the oldest finisher. The race has been certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s biggest open water race, but there are hopes that even this record will be broken in 2013, the 40th anniversary year. Craig Dietz from the US is taking part in his first Midmar Mile this year. Despite having no arms or legs, Dietz is a competitive open water swimmer and is also a motivational speaker.(Images: Midmar Mile) MEDIA CONTACTS • Wayne Riddin  Event organiser, Midmar Mile  +27 82 570 1951 RELATED ARTICLES • Swimmer’s memoir up for award • World first for SA extreme swimmers • Paralympic dream team • Chilling triumph for SA swimmers Lucille DavieLorna Cochran, 89, will be swimming her 14th aQuellé Midmar Mile this year and if she makes it to the other side, she will be the oldest finisher in the race’s 40-year history. In 1999 Colin Cable finished as an 89-year-old, but he was four months younger than Cochran. She turns 90 in July.The race, recognised by Guinness World Records as the world’s biggest open water swimming event, takes place on 9 and 10 February. It takes its name from the location- the Midmar Dam outside Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal – and the distance of about a mile.People come from all over the world to contest the Midmar Mile, including disabled entrants, company or family teams, and Olympic swimmers. However, they don’t all leap into the water at once – they depart in groups at three-minute intervals, with the fastest going first, in eight separate races over the two days. Swimmers are allocated to certain groups depending on their time in a qualifying event.The race has expanded to distances of 3km, 10km and 25km. This year there’ll be tough competition between some of the world’s top swimmers for first place, with prize money of R10 000 (US1 120).One of the more inspirational entrants for the 2013 event is Craig Dietz from the US. He has no arms or legs but is a regular open water swimmer as well as a qualified attorney and a sought-after motivational speaker. This is his first Midmar mile.Other entrants this year include British swimming star Keri-Ann Payne, Katinka Hosszu from Hungary, French swimmer Sébastien Rouault, and South African Olympian Troy Prinsloo.The defending champion is South Africa’s Chad Ho. Taking her timeCochran takes her time during the swim – she stops and floats for a while, does a bit of breaststroke, then freestyle, and finishes the Midmar Mile in an hour and some change.“I don’t have the stamina and breath anymore,” says a youthful-sounding 89-year-old Cochran, “my age is against me, I’m afraid.”In her earlier years, she says, she used to swim the 1.6km race without stopping, but is now “very slow”. Cochran first took part in the Midmar Mile at the youthful age of 75!She is five years older than the oldest male participant this year, and 12 years older than the next oldest woman. She might have had a serious challenge to the record if 90-year-old Petrus Meyer from Pietermaritzburg had not suffered “a late setback” which meant he had to withdraw this year. Meyer is planning a comeback for next year. Breaking the recordsCochran will be getting into the water with more than 14 000 swimmers over the weekend. The organisers hope that this year the final tally of entrants will be close to 15 000 swimmers, improving on the race’s 2009 Guinness World Record of 13 755 finishers.“We’ve already unofficially broken our own Guinness record for the world’s largest open water swimming event,” says event organiser Wayne Riddin, “but with this being the 40th anniversary of the race, we’re expecting a larger entry than normal to come through because there will be a special medal and cap.”According to Riddin, conditions on the dam can be tough, with mist, waves and high winds. He says that the race attracts a wide range of ages – from six to 89 years, meaning that parents can swim with their young children. “We get a lot of under-10s swimming.”This also makes the Midmar Mile one of the world’s most unusual sporting events, where all ages complete the same distance.Riddin is excited about the participation of the race’s founder, Mike “Buthy” Arbuthnot, who will be swimming his 40th race. He is 80 years old.“Buthy’s participation is always going to be the special moment,” Riddin says. “We’ve been building up to this for a number of years. The question was how good would his health be as Buthy gets older.” Always mad about sportsWhen she first took part Cochran used to finish in 54 to 55 minutes, but now “I can’t get under an hour these days”.She has seven children, 24 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren, and most years swims with some of her children or grandchildren.She confesses that she was really nervous the first time she swam the race, aged 75. That nervousness never leaves one. “I am a bit nervous this time, it’s a big task,” she says, with a laugh.Cochran says she has always been a sportsperson, representing her school in tennis, hockey and swimming. She was at boarding school at St Dominic’s in Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, and learnt to swim by watching and copying others.She trains on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. “On Wednesdays and Thursdays I don’t train – you gotta live, go shopping . . .” she laughs. Taking up swimming in her 70sCochran was playing club tennis at 74 when she was dropped from the second to the third team, a fact that upset her as she says she beat the player chosen to replace her, the Sunday Tribune reports.Her son Neil comforted her by suggesting she join them doing the Midmar Mile for the first time, “for a bit of fun”.So she started training, doing an hour in the pool, stopping and resting after 50 metres, because she was “very slow”, she says. Her son worked out a training programme for her because he “realised she was serious about the challenge”. She competed in her first Midmar Mile in 1998, and has not looked back.Cochran says she will not swim next year’s race, but then hesitates. “But who knows, I will never give up swimming, it is good exercise.” She says it is sometimes quite difficult, but her attitude is to “take it as it comes”.“I seem to have the genes,” she concludes.And when she’s not in the swimming pool, Cochran does line dancing once a week at the old age home where she lives in Benoni on Gauteng’s East Rand.last_img read more