Ear To The Ground

Outdoor News and Notes for the California Region

Kyle Thiermann releases GMO video

Sebastien Zietz aka "Seabass" was one of the many top pro surfers to show up and march against GMOs in Haleiwa, Hawaii this winter. Other pros there included Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Kyle Thiermann, Dustin Barca, Danny Fuller and 100s more. Photo: Nelly/SPL

Sebastien Zietz aka “Seabass” was one of the many top pro surfers to show up and march against GMOs in Haleiwa, Hawaii this winter. Other pros there included Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Kyle Thiermann, Dustin Barca, Danny Fuller and 100s more. Photo: Nelly/SPL

Surfing For Change frontman Kyle Thiermann, a Santa Cruz professional surfer and filmmaker, just released a new video challenging the sustainability of GMO research by Monsanto and other corporations.

In the YouTube movie Pro Surfers vs. GMOs, released in mid March, Thiermann travels to the North Shore of Oahu, the global epicenter for both the sport of surfing and GMO research and development. Given that Monsanto refuses to be interviewed by Kyle in the video, it’s clear that the food technology giant would rather be left alone by meddling surfers who might question the wisdom of combining rat DNA with tomato DNA all in the name of global food yields.

“Given the natural beauty of the North Shore, and its importance for the sport of surfing, it just makes sense that we would question what Monsanto is doing there,” Thiermann told ASJ recently.

Kelly Slater, the biggest name in professional surfing, is interviewed during the video while attending a protest calling for the immediate removal of Monsanto from the Hawaiian Islands.

With heavy hitters like Slater lending street cred to Surfing For Change, it’s clear that the surfing industry as a whole is following the lead of companies like Patagonia, Sector 9 and Clif Bar towards a new era of environmental stewardship and even radicalism. Not coincidentally, these are also Kyle’s sponsors who help fund the YouTube Series.

“While the science behind GMO’s is complicated, the issue itself is pretty straightforward. Food should not be genetically modified so it can be sprayed with more pesticides and shipped halfway around the world. The distance from farm to table should be as short as possible,” he added.

To see Pro Surfers vs. GMOs, check out www.surfingforchange.com. Look for a cover feature on Kyle in our next issue.

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Race Across America team raises money to donate bikes to Gamba

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The idea of cycling 3000 miles over the course of 7 days would seem daunting to most people, but the 5 men (4 riders, with one alternate) on Team InGamba/World Bicycle Relief are excited about the challenge.

Race Across America, or more commonly known as RAAM, is an ultra marathon bicycle race across the United States and is one of the best-known and longest endurance events in the world. Riders from around the globe compete in RAAM racing 3,000 miles from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. Some opt to ride it solo, others in teams of two, four or eight.

Team InGamba/World Bicycle Relief is comprised of Frank Gerber (48) from Mill Valley, CA; Ryan Goldman (53) of Mill Valley, CA; Dean Wilcox (61) of Mill Valley, CA; Rob Bernhard (60) of San Diego, CA; and alternate, Tad Jacobs of San Rafael, CA. Their objective is to safely complete the 2014 RAAM in the 4-man 50-59 age group division (combined avg. age). Their journey, over the course of those 3000 miles, includes 170,000 vertical feet of climbing, and to complete the race in less than 7 days requires riding 24/7 an average speed of 18 – 20 mph.

RAAM is also a great platform to raise awareness and raise money for charitable causes. The team chose World Bicycle Relief after team member, Ryan Goldman, spent a month last summer with the organization in Africa. World Bicycle Relief donates bikes to rural communities where they can have a big impact. Providing transportation can literally change people’s lives by allowing children, particularly young girls, to stay in school, provide a more convenient way to reach other villages and conduct commerce and provide better access to health care. Villagers are also taught how to maintain and service the bicycles to ensure continual use. For every $134 Team InGamba/World Bicycle Relief raises, one bicycle is donated.

RAAM begins on June 14, 2014. Stay tuned to www.adventuresportsjournal.com during that time, as we will be posting live updates of the team’s progress.

For further information on Team InGamba/World Bicycle Relief please visit www.franklygreen.com/raam_2014/

For further information on World Bicycle Relief please visit www.worldbicyclerelief.org

— Jocelyn Weingart Ray

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Group photo after Repack, December 1977. Photo: Wende or Larry Cragg

Group photo after Repack, December 1977. Photo: Wende or Larry Cragg

MTB comes home

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, founded 25 years ago in Crested Butte, Colorado, is relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area. This June, the Hall of Fame will become part of the new Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax, California. Fairfax is just down the road from the legendary Repack Downhill, the sport’s seminal race series that burst mountain biking onto the national scene in the 1970s.

Styling through Repack's treacherous Camera Corner, 1979. Photo: Wende Cragg

Styling through Repack’s treacherous Camera Corner, 1979. Photo: Wende Cragg

Mountain bike pioneers and Hall of Fame inductees Joe Breeze, Otis Guy and Marc Vendetti are the moving force behind the relocation of the Hall of Fame to Fairfax. The Hall of Fame will occupy about half of the Marin Museum of Bicycling, a comprehensive museum featuring the Igler Collection of bikes from the 19th century.

The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame was founded in 1988. Don Cook and Kay Petersen-Cook have served as co- directors since 1998. In agreeing to entrust the Hall of Fame to the Marin Museum of Bicycling, they said: “We are dedicated to the sport, and the uptick in Hall of Fame exposure from a place like the cycling-mad San Francisco
region was just something we could not deny.”

More than 130 people from around the world have been inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame for recognition of their contributions to the sport.

The Marin Museum of Bicycling is taking shape at 1966 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Fairfax. The museum will display bicycles and artifacts, and also host events and serve as a gathering place to celebrate cycling. Visit www.mmbhof.org for more information.

— Joe Breeze

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Bell Built Trail Building Grant

The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and Bell Helmets have teamed up for the Bell Built Grant that will distribute $100,000 to three trail projects, in three distinct regions (West Coast, Central, and East Coast). The three grant recipients will be selected from twelve finalists, four from each region. Eligible trail projects include bike parks, pump tracks, all mountain trails, flow trails, and downhill/gravity trails.

The West Coast candidates are the Flow Trail at Demo (Santa Cruz, CA), Stafford Lake Bike Park (Novato, CA) W Prescott Park Flow Trail (Medford, OR), and Ft. Tuthill Bike Park (Flagstaff, AZ). Full profiles for each project will be available on the Bell Built website beginning April 1. The winners will be selected by an online vote conducted through social media, with voting for the West Coast will take place April 7-20.

www.bellhelmets.com/bellbuilt

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Bear Valley residents and homeowners look to keep the lifts running by forming a co-op

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The community of Bear Valley is in the process of setting up a co-op to avoid the closing off a much-loved California ski area. The mountain has been for sale for some time but no sale has been made. If the current owners decide to turn off the power, businesses and residents along Route 4 would suffer.

Steve Troyer, a Bear Valley homeowner, presented the idea of the Bear Valley Mountain Cooperative to the homeowners’ association board after a potential buyer for Bear Valley withdrew last September.

Mad River Glen in Vermont is the only other resort in the country currently owned by a co-op. Mad River has seen many ski areas try to adopt the cooperative format with no success, but they think Bear Valley has what it takes to make this model successful.

The plan is to sell 3,000 – 4,000 shares at $2500 each, plus a $300 annual maintenance fee. In addition to being a “voting owner” of Bear Valley, other proposed benefits include discounted season passes, a special co-op member ski lift line and free skiing for those 70 and older.

Go to www.bvmcoop.org to learn more about this exciting co-operative and ownership opportunity.

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American River Conservancy takes teens to new heights

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Epic Sierra Adventures, a program of the American River Conservancy, connects teens (ages 14-18) with the outdoors through a fun adventure travel program that combines outdoor adventure and service learning.

Raft the South Fork of the American River, paddle on Lake Tahoe and Mono Lake, backpack in Yosemite, camp under the stars and give back to our outdoor communities through stewardship projects.

This 14-day adventure starts and ends in Coloma (transportation to and from the Sacramento Airport is available). Excited for an incredible summer adventure? Excited for an opportunity to learn, travel and explore as a team? Register today! Visit www.epicsierra.org or call (530)621-1224 for more information.

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Truckee’s Cedar House Sport Hotel is an honoree in Outside’s 2014 Travel Award

The Cedar House Sport Hotel has been selected as as the place to stay in Lake Tahoe which won “Best Lake.” in Outside’s 2014 Travel Awards.

The Cedar House offers 40 boutique rooms that embody eco-simplicity with a luxurious twist, an on-site event center and an award-winning restaurant called Stella. Adventure concierge and guiding servies offer the ultimate outdoor getaway.

“We designed The Cedar House Sport Hotel as a year round base camp for outdoor adventure,” shares Patty Baird, owner of the Truckee, CA based hotel located minutes from Lake Tahoe and world-class hiking, biking and skiing. “In fact Tahoe Trips & Trails, our in-house adventure guiding and concierge company, has just launched a new line of summer 2014 treks and backpacking trips.”

The Cedar House has also been recognized as a leading destination by US News & World Report, Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine magazine, Trip Advisor and WoodWorks California.

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Tahoe Expedition Academy offers adventure based school and summer camp

Tahoe Expedition Academy (TEA) is a preK-9th grade adventure-based, experiential learning school in Kings Beach – blocks from Lake Tahoe. TEA is a member school of the Expeditionary Learning network of schools. Teachers utilize Tahoe’s unique natural setting as base camp to create an experiential learning environment during the regular school year. During the summer TEA offers a variety of engaging academic, adventure and sports based summer programs for kids between the ages of 3 and 14.

The aim of each camp session is to enrich the intellect, skill and character of each camper through challenge, adventure and expert instruction. The week long camps have various themes ranging from mountain biking, art and adventure, wilderness camping, climbing and lacrosse. TEA camps are staffed by professional educators, artists, athletes and master outdoorsmen and women, with a 9:1 camper to staff ratio. Backpacking trips typically have a 4:1 camper to guide ratio.

Visit www.tahoeexpeditionacademy.org for camp details and registration.

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