NTL goes online to train staff in data protection

first_imgNTL goes online to train staff in data protectionOn 12 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Communications company NTL has cut costs dramatically in training staff ondata protection through an innovative online learning programme. NTL wanted to reduce the number of breaches of the Data Protection Act inthe company, which came into force in March 2000. It cost £25,000 to develop and implement, and took staff one-and-a-halfhours to complete. Instructor-led training would have taken half a day and costan estimated £800,000, claimed training consultant David Perring. All 20,000 staff spread over 1,000 sites have been obliged to take the testand had to attain a pass mark of 59 per cent. It has been a success with a 98per cent reduction in unauthorised rel-eases of personal data, according toPerring. Speaking at the e-learning conference in London last week, Perring said,”This is the simplest solution you could ever have used. If you can hold amouse and click you could do it.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

20 lots go at Cheffins

first_imgHome » News » 20 lots go at Cheffins previous nextProducts & Services20 lots go at CheffinsThe Negotiator23rd September 20160577 Views The lots included amenity land, commercial and residential property opportunities, with the star of the sale being the landmark Bulls Dairies (pictured) site on Hills Road, Cambridge, which sold for £608,000, £183,000 over its original guide price. The mixeduse building which includes a prominent commercial unit and a residential maisonette attracted fierce competition between a variety of investors, owner-occupiers and developers.A number of lots sold for well over the asking price, including 6.94 acres of land near Newmarket which sold for £102,000 off of a guide of £65,000. Similarly a derelict barn in the centre of St Ives, just outside of Cambridge sold for £47,000, off of a guide price of £10,000.Simon Gooderham, Director, Cheffins, said, “Despite pre-Brexit fears, we had more people in attendance of last week’s auction than ever before. There was a real buzz in the room and some frantic bidding on many of the lots. There was an incredibly strong demand for amenity land throughout the Greater Cambridge region, in addition to fierce competition for Cambridge city centre investment opportunities.Last year, Cheffins had a record-breaking twelve months with £13m worth of sales throughout the year. Cheffins next sale is the 28th September.auction Bulls Dairies Cambridge Cheffins September 23, 2016The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Postdoctoral researcher: Cardiac Image Processing

first_imgA postdoctoral position is available at the Center for ImagingScience at the Johns Hopkins University. This fellowship isfocusing on developing and applying novel medical image processingtechniques (registration, segmentation, statistical shape modeling)to in vivo and ex vivo MR images in a preclinical study ofcardiovascular disease.The successful candidate must be highly motivated and have anadvanced degree (Ph.D.) with strong mathematical background in anyof the following fields: applied mathematics, applied or medicalphysics, electrical or biomedical engineering, or related fieldswith research focus on biomedical image processing and medicalimage computing. The candidate will be involved indeveloping/utilizing algorithms based on optimal controltheory/variational problem and statistical shape models toinvestigate heart failure using multi-modality cardiac MR images.Ideal candidate should have experience in high performingprogramming languages such as C++ and Python. Experience withdeveloping image-processing tools using ITK/VTK environment is aplus.Excellent oral and written communication skills in English arerequired.Applications for this position are accepted online only viaInterfolio by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button. Your applicationmaterial must include a detailed CV, research interest (pleasedescribe how your qualifications meet the specific area of researchin this project), and name and contact information for threereferences. For further information contact Dr. Siamak Ardekani viaemail at [email protected](subject: cardiac image processing postdoctoral fellow).The Johns Hopkins University is committed to equal opportunity forits faculty, staff, and students. To that end, the university doesnot discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, marital status,pregnancy, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age,disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity orexpression, veteran status or other legally protectedcharacteristic. The university is committed to providing qualifiedindividuals access to all academic and employment programs,benefits and activities on the basis of demonstrated ability,performance and merit without regard to personal factors that areirrelevant to the program involved.The successful candidate(s) for this position will be subject to apre-employment background check.If you are interested in applying for employment with The JohnsHopkins University and require special assistance or accommodationduring any part of the pre-employment process, please contact theHR Business Services Office at [email protected] For TTYusers, call via Maryland Relay or dial 711.The following additional provisions may apply depending on whichcampus you will work. Your recruiter will adviseaccordingly.During the Influenza (“the flu”) season, as a condition ofemployment, The Johns Hopkins Institutions require all employeeswho provide ongoing services to patients or work in patient care orclinical care areas to have an annual influenza vaccination orpossess an approved medical or religious exception. Failure to meetthis requirement may result in termination of employment.The pre-employment physical for positions in clinical areas,laboratories, working with research subjects, or involvingcommunity contact requires documentation of immune status againstRubella (German measles), Rubeola (Measles), Mumps, Varicella(chickenpox), Hepatitis B and documentation of having received theTdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) vaccination. This may includedocumentation of having two (2) MMR vaccines; two (2) Varicellavaccines; or antibody status to these diseases from laboratorytesting. Blood tests for immunities to these diseases areordinarily included in the pre-employment physical exam except forthose employees who provide results of blood tests or immunizationdocumentation from their own health care providers. Anyvaccinations required for these diseases will be given at no costin our Occupational Health office.Equal Opportunity EmployerNote: Job Postings are updated daily and remain online untilfilled.EEO is the LawLearn more:https://www1.eeoc.gov/employers/upload/eeoc_self_print_poster.pdfImportant legal informationhttp://hrnt.jhu.edu/legal.cfmlast_img read more

News story: Revisions to music and dance GCSE, AS and A levels

first_img revise our requirements in GCSE, AS and A level dance and music to allow exam boards to determine how to mark a student’s performance when that performance falls short of the minimum required length add a footnote to the conditions for GCSE and GCE music, to broaden the range of acceptable reference material beyond a traditional written score or lead sheet, where such a score is not available revise our requirements for how many dances students are required to perform in the GCSE dance performance assessment, in order to align with the Department for Education’s subject content Performance rules for GCSEs, AS and A levels in music and dance are being revised, Ofqual confirmed today (Tuesday 29th January).The revisions are being made to address issues we identified with the way our rules for the performance assessment in these qualifications operated in practice, after they were first delivered in summer 2018. We received 370 responses to our consultation on the revisions and, having analysed these, we have decided to: In line with views expressed in the consultation, these changes will come into effect immediately, meaning our new expectations will apply to this summer’s exams.Our consultation ran for 4 weeks between 9 November and 9 December 2018. Our analysis of responses and reasons for our decisions are set out in the consultation outcome.last_img read more

Tropical cyclones are nearing land more, except in Atlantic

first_imgA new study finds that tropical cyclones around the globe are getting closer to land than previously, except for Atlantic hurricanes. Thursday’s study finds that these storms, also called typhoons, are moving about 18 miles closer to land and people every decade since 1982. Scientists aren’t sure why this is happening. Nor do they understand why it’s happening all over except in the Atlantic. And they find it even more puzzling that while storms seem to be getting closer to land, they don’t seem to be hitting land significantly more.last_img

Development center to hold open house

first_imgThe Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDC) on the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s campus will hold a series of open houses in the next month for prospective parents to gain a better understanding of the program. Saint Mary’s first open house is scheduled for Jan. 20 and Notre Dame’s first is Jan. 27. Kari Alford, program director at Saint Mary’s, said these open houses are a great way for families and children to explore the options and education available at ECDC. “Open houses are designed for families interested in enrolling their child at ECDC,” she said. “Open houses are a time for families to meet some of our staff, have a tour and to find out more information about our program and the registration process.” Senior Annie Root, who works part-time at ECDC on the Saint Mary’s campus as a teacher assistant, said she hopes the open houses are a success. “The open houses are a great way for the parents to see what kind of atmosphere we have at ECDC,” she said. “I think we have a lot to offer and I’m excited for the parents to see that.” According to Alford, Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s each have an ECDC on campus that serves different ages. Notre Dame’s ECDC was founded in 1994 and is for children the age of two until they reach kindergarten. Saint Mary’s ECDC, founded in 1971, educates young children ages three to five. Children at both centers can attend preschool schedule for a morning, an afternoon, or an entire day. ECDC also offers summer recreational day camp opportunities for children through age 9, according to Alford. “We are a nonprofit program accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and licensed by the Indiana Bureau of Child Development and staffed with degreed lead teachers,” Alford said. While anyone from the community is encouraged to attend the open houses if they are interested in enrolling their children at either the Saint Mary’s or Notre Dame ECDC, the centers accepts children who are associated with the schools first. “ECDC enrolls families who are affiliated to ND or SMC in the categories of faculty, administration, staff, student, and alum,” Alford said. “If ECDC-SMC has enrollment openings after enrolling affiliated families, non-affiliated families from the community are enrolled.” A complete list of open house times for Saint Mary’s ECDC, located in Havican Hall, and for Notre Dame ECDC, located on Bulla Road, can be found by visiting the website www.nd.edu/~ecdcnd/. Anyone with questions about ECDC or the open houses can contact Alford at [email protected]last_img read more

Vermont and Québec reach new energy agreement

first_imgVermont’s two largest utilities and HQ Energy Services (US), a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec, signed today a 26-year contract that will provide renewable low-emission energy. The contract, announced at a news conference attended by Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Québec Premier Jean Charest, was hailed by utilities and officials from both governments.‘Our strong relationship with our friends in Québec is vital to the economic well-being of Vermont. This agreement will help ensure a clean competitively priced energy future for Vermonters,’ Douglas said. ‘It will provide stable renewable power at a competitive price for 26 years, starting in 2012, and will help Vermont’s power supply remain arguably the nation’s cleanest. Green Mountain Power (GMP) and Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) have negotiated an agreement that will benefit customers well beyond their service territories, for which I am most grateful.’‘Following the Vermont legislature’s recognition of the renewable nature of hydroelectricity, regardless of the capacity of the power plants that produce it, this agreement marks an important milestone in Québec and Vermont’s on-going leadership in the fight against climate change,’ said Charest. “For years to come, Québec will maintain an important customer relationship for one of its most valuable exports: hydroelectricity. This win-win agreement will create revenues for Québec, contributing to the affluence of its population and to the reduction of public debt. And thanks to our decades-long energy partnership, Vermonters will continue to benefit from a reliable, renewable low-emitting energy source.’Under the agreement, which will now go to the Vermont Public Service Board for review, Vermont will purchase up to 225 megawatts of energy, predominantly hydroelectricity, from HQ Energy Services (U.S.) (HQUS) starting in November 2012 and ending in 2038. HQUS markets electricity from Hydro-Québec’s generating fleet, whose output is 98% hydroelectric. The agreement includes a price-smoothing mechanism that will shield customers from volatile market prices. The price will start at approximately six cents per kilowatt hour. The final price for deliveries starting in 2012 will be set in December 2010. In addition, HQUS and the Vermont utilities will share any future revenues related to environmental attributes.Other Vermont utilities have identified the amounts of power that they intend to buy under this agreement, which was negotiated by CVPS and GMP on their behalf. They will also be participating in the review process before the Vermont Public Service Board.‘The agreement will ensure that the cost of this renewable power from Québec remains linked to sustained market prices over time, while ironing out the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows,’ CVPS President Bob Young and GMP President Mary Powell said in a joint statement. ‘The price will be tied to inflation and electricity market price indexes, ensuring we avoid price spikes, and it will begin at a rate comparable to what we pay Hydro-Québec today. This market-following component of the price will also benefit our customers by adjusting downward in the event that future power market prices decline. Overall, we believe it is an attractive deal for Vermont, and are pleased to include other Vermont utilities as well.’‘We are very pleased to continue providing Vermonters with reliable renewable low-emitting energy,’ said Thierry Vandal, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec. ‘With this agreement, Vermonters are helping ensure that they maintain their commitment to renewable energy and minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Like all successful longstanding relationships, ours continues to be mutually rewarding.’Young, who recently announced plans to retire next May (STORY  VIDEO), said completing the contract was one of his top goals for his final year at CVPS. ‘We have made tremendous environmental gains over the past decade, and this agreement will provide long-lasting environmental benefits, especially compared to other baseload alternatives, which are more expensive and would result in significant air and greenhouse gas effects,’ Young said.‘At GMP, a key part of our energy strategy has been to pursue a broader partnership with HQUS and lock in long-term supplies with low economic and environmental costs,’ Powell said. ‘Today we can proudly say we have achieved that goal. This will serve our customers well.’Vermont has purchased energy from Québec for decades. In the early 1980s, the first longer-term power deals were established. The current Vermont-Hydro-Québec contract, which was signed on December 4, 1987, phases out largely in 2016. The current contract has proven to be a sound agreement for Vermont, helping GMP and CVPS maintain clean portfolios and rates that are among the lowest in New England.The energy contract was negotiated by Central Vermont Public Service (NYSE-CV), Green Mountain Power and H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec. The other Vermont utilities that have confirmed their intent to purchase energy under this agreement are Vermont Public Power Supply Authority, Vermont Electric Cooperative Inc., Vermont Marble Power Division of Omya Industries Inc., the Town of Stowe Electric Department and the Burlington Electric Department.For its part, the Vermont Electric Cooperative, Inc has secured the purchase of up to 17 megawatts of the total 225 megawatts of power contracted for Vermont.‘Our Co-op members have given VEC a clear message that we need to ensure that we can secure stable, long-term contracts that will provide clean, renewable power at a competitive price,’ said Dave Hallquist, CEO. ‘Reaching this agreement with Hydro Quebec will provide power with renewable attributes at prices close to non-renewable power through 2038.’Currently, VEC is purchasing 31 megawatt hours of power from Hydro Quebec, of which 25 megawatt hours expire at the end October, 2012. The new agreement begins in November of 2012, allowing VEC to seamlessly replace two-thirds of the expired portion of its existing contract. This is less power than VEC (and the state) currently receives from the expiring contract, which could mean that utilities will be seeking replacement power from the New England market. The Vermont utilities will continue to seek additional commitments from HQ.In addition to their 17 megawatts, VEC has also negotiated an agreement with its sister cooperative — Washington Electric Co-op — to purchase all or part of their share of the HQ contract during periods of the contract term when WEC is not expecting to need the power, beginning in 2016. ‘We are very pleased with the opportunity to purchase a few additional megawatts from WEC,’ said Hallquist. ‘We anticipate that this additional amount from WEC will be available to VEC for a significant amount of time. The agreement between VEC and WEC is a win ‘ win for both utilities,’ added Hallquist.Vermont Electric Cooperative’s Board of Directors at their June Board meeting gave approval for VEC to enter into this long term agreement with Hydro Quebec. If and when the Public Service Board approves the contract, VEC will then put the contract before its membership for vote, seeking member approval for VEC to proceed with the contracts with Hydro Quebec and Washington Electric Co-op.Brad Ferland, president of the Vermont Energy Partnership, issued the following statement in regards to the new contract:‘This is a very important step for Vermont’s long-term energy policy. Hydro-Québec provides large amounts of renewable electricity, playing an important role in making sure Vermont has a clean, abundant, and reliable electricity supply.‘This long-term power purchase agreement continues a valuable business relationship with Hydro-Québec. The utilities have done a great job with their dedication and hard work putting this deal together.‘Vermont’s low-carbon, low-cost electric power has existed thanks to the ongoing, long-term contracts that state utilities have maintained with Hydro-Québec and Vermont Yankee.‘The natural next step in our energy planning is for a new contract with Vermont Yankee to be finalized, so the largest in-state, base load power source can continue to benefit Vermonters by providing reliable and clean electricity. Furthermore, Vermont Yankee employs hundreds of Vermonters and serves as a key economic engine for the state.’Source: CVPS. VEC. 8.12.2010 -30-last_img read more

Vermont Law School launches nation’s first online master’s degree in environmental law

first_imgVermont Law School,Vermont Law School, the nation’s premier environmental law and policy school, will launch two online degree programs on May 16, including the first online master’s degree program in environmental law in the United States.The online format is designed to deliver a robust educational experience that is flexible and accessible for professionals who need to continue working while completing their degree. Students enrolled in the inaugural online Master of Environmental Law and Policy (MELP) and the online LLM in Environmental Law, for post-JD attorneys, will develop the expertise to address the world’s increasingly complex environmental issues.After several years of research that included online pilot courses, VLS decided to embrace distance learning to serve the fastest-growing population of graduate students in the United States. Professor Marc Mihaly, director of the VLS Environmental Law Center (ELC), said distance learning provides the best avenue for the nation’s top-ranked environmental law school to reach individuals who want expertise and resources in environmental law and policy but who can’t venture to South Royalton to take classes or participate in degree programs.  ‘By providing a platform for students to explore environmental law and policy with our world-class faculty at their own pace and within their own constraints, we will extend Vermont Law School’s unique brand of excellent environmental legal training and commitment to public well-being to a vast array of communities and to the world,’ Mihaly said. Vermont Law School, which has been at the forefront of environmental law and policy since 1978, has been ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report 14 times since their specialty rankings began in 1991.  VLS’s bold venture will lead nonprofit, mission-driven law schools in the development of the appropriate standards for distance education, according to Associate Professor Rebecca Purdom, director of distance learning.  ‘Other institutions are watching us, looking to our example as the way to offer responsible, effective and valued legal education in the 21st century,’ she said. ‘VLS will set the standard for a new kind of distance education.’last_img read more

Japan launches its first auction for a floating offshore wind farm

first_imgJapan launches its first auction for a floating offshore wind farm FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:Japan officially launched its effort to seek participants in the nation’s first auction for a floating offshore wind farm.The nation’s economy and land ministries will select the winner of the auction around June 2021 to construct the floating turbines off the southern prefecture of Nagasaki, according to a joint statement on Wednesday. The deadline for bidding in the auction is Dec. 24. Winning bidders will be chosen after consulting with experts on the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed business plans, according to a spokesman of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.The capacity of the floating farm must be a minimum of 16.8 megawatts. The feed-in tariff for the farm is set at 36 yen ($0.34) per kilowatt hour.The auction will be the first under Japan’s offshore wind promotion law, which took effect April 1, 2019, as the nation aims to achieve the target of boosting renewable energy to 24% of its total power generation by 2030, from about 17% in 2019. Developing affordable floating offshore wind technology is seen as key to meeting those goals, as available land is scarce and Japan doesn’t have the shallow coastal areas that have allowed traditional offshore turbines to prosper in places like Denmark and the U.K.BloombergNEF expects Toda Corp. to win the auction as the company is already planning to develop a 22-megawatt floating project in the same location, and the tender process gives preference to existing developers with good community ties and offshore wind experience, according to analyst Isshu Kikuma.[Aya Takada]More: Japan starts to seek bidders for first floating wind farm auctionlast_img read more

Celebrating The (Bike)Centennial: 200 Years of Bikes

first_imgFrom tool to toy, the bike has served many roles over the course of history. Follow along on this two-wheeled tribute to learn how the bike came to be and what it’s doing for our communities and economies 200 years later.History of the BikeAn early penny farthing bicycle. Photo Courtesy Library of Congress.The first two-wheeled contraption was invented by German Karl Freiherr von Drais in 1817. After the historic 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, crops failed throughout Germany, making it nearly impossible to keep the country’s main transportation, horses, alive. The “hobby horse” was Drais’ solution. This early version of the bike looked not unlike something out of the Flintstones—made entirely of wood, the unwieldy “swift walker” had no pedals and was powered much like a present-day Strider kid’s bike.Near the turn of the century, bicycles began to resemble those of today—two same-sized wheels with pedals attached to a rear crank. That bike, known as the “safety bike” (or Rover Safety), initially had tires made from hard rubber, but by 1894, pneumatic tires, that is tires with inflatable tubes, were being used. The modern bicycle was born.That same year saw the bicycle becoming not only a utility tool but also a means of exploration. Annie Kopchovsky (aka Annie Londonderry) was a Jewish mother from Boston who became the first woman to travel around the world by bike. Her journey was inspiring, unconventional, and probably exaggerated. Nonetheless, Londonderry’s achievement became a symbol for women’s rights. Her subsequent fame helped bring about changes in women’s antiquated and restrictive fashion.By the end of the 19th century, bicycles were a common sight in American cities. After an 1894 railway strike in California, young men were employed to deliver telegraphs and mail by bike, thereby introducing the first two-wheeled employment, that of a bicycle courier. To this day, bike messengers are still used in urban areas for delivering mail, food, and everything in between.An early bicycle shop. Photo Courtesy Library of CongressWhen Maurice Garin won the first ever Tour de France in 1903, his steel frame La Francaise weighed in around 39 pounds. It had wooden wheel rims and wonky drop bars.Garin’s bike was a fixed-gear single speed, which meant there was no coasting on the downhills. Freewheels (which allowed coasting without pedaling) and multi-speed rear derailleurs didn’t come along for another couple of years, and early versions of the multiple-geared derailleurs required riders to dismount and manually shift the chain.During the 1920s and ‘30s, some of the bike industry’s biggest names like Shimano, Campagnolo, and Schwinn entered the scene, bringing with them a host of innovations like the first quick-release hub and cable shift derailleurs. Bicycles, it seemed, were here to stay.But as World War II came to a close, so too did America’s infatuation with bikes. Cars soon replaced bicycles as the symbol of freedom and fortitude. For decades, bikes were delegated as children’s toys, shelved as soon as the kids could drive.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]The Biking BoomBetween 1960 and 1970, the bicycle eked its way back into the market, thanks to wanderlust-deprived adults yearning for a more intimate way to see the world. In 1960, 3.7 million bicycles were sold in the United States. Just 10 years later, that number had nearly doubled to 6.9 million.In 1962, the first bikeway was created in Florida. Paul Dudley White, President Eisenhower’s doctor, dedicated the new bike friendly path, boldly stating, “The American public is a slave to the automobile.” Cycling, he believed, could change that.Indeed, cyclists were changing that by pushing the limits on how far and how fast they could ride a bike. Velodromes, or indoor tracks, like the Dick Lane Velodrome in Atlanta (built in 1974), had long been at the core of the cycling scene, but road riders were hungry for more.Stage races and long-distance road tours became their answer. In 1975, the Assault on Mount Mitchell was born. In its early years, the Assault saw so much interest that National Park Service and Mount Mitchell State Park officials forced ride organizers to cap the number of cyclists at 800.An early bike race near Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy Library of CongressElite cyclists began noticing the Southeast’s rolling terrain and mild climate. Time trial and criterium events in places like Rock Hill, S.C., date back to the late ‘70s. The Spring Races, which started in 1981, established the Upstate as a cycling destination.Almost 20 years before Tour de France domestique George Hincapie moved home and forever sealed Greenville, South Carolina’s place among the world’s top cycling destinations, professional cyclists like Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong had already experienced the city’s potential thanks to the Tour DuPont. Formerly the Tour De Trump, the Tour DuPont was a high-stakes cycling stage race that was created as the North American rival to the Tour de France. President Donald Trump himself was an early sponsor of the East Coast race for its first two years (1989 and 1990), but later, the DuPont chemical company assumed sponsorship until 1996.By then, bicycles were a mainstay of American culture. Once the mountain bike made its debut, the possibilities for two-wheeled travel were limitless.Dawn Of The Mountain BikeFor Mike Palmeri, original owner of Cartecay Bike Shop in Ellijay, Ga., bikes were everything. During his time as part of the Schwinn BMX Team, Palmeri and his teammates rode track bikes on the velodrome to train for upcoming events. When the first mass-produced mountain bike, the Specialized Stumpjumper, entered the market in 1981, the team started training on mountain bikes instead. That changed everything.In 1983, Palmeri showed up at what many consider the region’s first mountain bike race: the course was a 13.5-mile trail called River Loop, which still exists today.Mike Palmeri in early BMX gear.“It was like a big party. It wasn’t really about the mountain bike racing,” says Palmeri of that ’83 race. “Nobody cared who won. You rode with hiking boots, that was the shoe of choice, blue jeans, and maybe an old road jersey or something. There were no primadonnas. It was just a big hippie party.”“Everyone at first thought it was just a fad, but the popularity grew pretty quickly,” says Barry Jeffries, owner of Dirty Harry’s Bikes in Verona, Penn.Seemingly overnight, the mountain biking culture mushroomed. Former dirt bike riders brought the spirit of adventure. BMXers came with next-level bike handling, and roadies burnt out on chasing pavement showed up in spandex kits, freakishly strong and psyched. These biking outliers had finally found their calling.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Taking to the TrailsLaird Knight moved to Davis, W.Va., in the fall of 1982 and opened up Blackwater Bikes the next spring. That first year, Knight struggled to even order mountain bikes for the shop, let alone find people to buy them.In order to survive, Knight knew he was going to have to concoct a reason for mountain bikers to come to him. He created the Canaan Mountain 40K. “That race had 12 people in it, and it turned out to be a lot more than 40K. Either bikes broke down or people broke down. Nobody finished, including me.”That unfinished sufferfest put Davis and Canaan Valley on the map. Attendance soared for Knight’s increasingly grueling races, as did the Valley’s reputation as a mountain bike destination. In 1988, Knight hosted the first Mid-Atlantic National Off Road Bicycle Association (NORBA) Nationals with tremendous success. Over 400 people showed, doubling Davis’ population in a mere weekend.Inaugural Canaan Mountain Series in Davis, W.V. Photo by John HargadonTwo hours south, Gil Willis and his wife Mary opened up the Elk River Touring Center in Slatyfork, W.Va., at the base of Snowshoe. The summer of 1985, they bought a fleet of mountain bikes for visitors to rent, one of the first businesses to do so east of the Mississippi. Surrounded by thousands of acres of national forest, and in close proximity to the Greenbrier River Trail, it wasn’t long before Elk River Touring Center became another Mid-Atlantic biking hub.Their signature event, the West Virginia Fat Tire Festival, was a mainstay of the West Virginia mountain biking culture for over a decade. Before Tour de France winner Floyd Landis hit the big time, even he was seen racing the trails around Elk River in jean shorts.In 1992, Knight rocked the mountain biking community with the introduction of a relay-style, through-the-night, 24-hour race. It started at noon on Saturday and went until noon Sunday, which made Canaan Valley’s already brutal terrain that much tougher. By 1995, more than 1,000 racers were competing at 24 Hours of Canaan.BRO-TV: Then & Now—Mountain Biking in Canaan Valley from Blue Ridge Outdoors on Vimeo.The Pivotal Age of AccessFrom 1981 to 1995, the mountain bike saw incredible upgrades and improvements. Riders could now have bikes with full suspension, disc brakes, and integrated brake and gear levers. The sport was looking less counterculture and more mainstream. It helped that in 1996, mountain biking was introduced to the Olympic Games, which were set for Atlanta, Ga., that year.“The Olympics took and legitimized mountain biking to the world,” says Shenandoah Mountain Touring and Stokesville Lodge owner Chris Scott.Trail builder, race promoter, access advocate—Scott is the rightful “Godfather of Mountain Biking” in Virginia. In 1999 he started the Shenandoah Mountain 100, tapping into the same camaraderie of endurance races that was key to Knight’s 24-hour success.Trail access soon became an issue. Around 1987, the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park forbade mountain biking, and that led to a domino effect all throughout northern Georgia and the Southeast.“Before that time, any trail had been open to mountain bikers,” says Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) Executive Director Tom Sauret. “Land managers didn’t know what a mountain bike was.”Roger Bird seated in center. 1994Enter the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), the nationwide representative voice of mountain bikers. The launch of IMBA’s Trail Care Crew in 1997 marked the beginnings of mountain bikers’ reputation as dedicated trail stewards.By the late 1990s, the change in land managers’ attitudes toward mountain bikers was palpable. After years of advocacy and relationship building, Roanoke’s riders finally opened up Carvins Cove in 1999. Hikers, equestrians, and bikers helped defeat the threat of development in DuPont State Forest, opening up a flood gate of enthusiasm for cycling in the mountains of western North Carolina. The early 2000s were graced with miles upon miles of singletrack and greenways being incorporated into urban centers like Roanoke, Greenville, Knoxville, and Charlottesville.[nextpage title=”Read on!”]Two-Wheeled ChangeRecent studies show that cycling alone contributes $133 billion annually to the economy. Additionally, the Outdoor Industry Association’s latest report found that Americans spend $97 billion on cycling and skateboarding gear every year. With numbers like that, cyclists’ impact on economies locally and nationally is impossible to ignore.“Cyclists now are seen as constructive problem solvers who just don’t complain about things but actively change them, ” says Kyle Lawrence, President of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition. For 35 years, the coalition has been actively promoting bicycle friendly initiatives in the greater Harrisonburg area, including the construction of greenways and availability of bikes for youth in the public school system, as well as trail maintenance in nearby national forests.Sue George, a retired national and collegiate level cyclist, founded Charlottesville Area Mountain Bike Club (CAMBC) in 2003. She says it was important for such a fast-growing sport to be taken seriously, especially by local and national political leaders. CAMBC members swarmed the nation’s capital in 2005 for the first-ever IMBA 24 Hours of D.C., a 24-hour lobbying campaign that demonstrated, if nothing else, the sheer scope of the mountain biking population.“Before CAMBC, we had a lot of smaller groups riding together in a fun way but not necessarily in a way that promoted the advocacy of the sport,” says George. “Now we have this greater sense of responsibility in giving back to the community and that’s come with the maturity of the sport.”George is hopeful that the explosion of National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) leagues will continue to nurture responsible, sustainable growth well into the future of cycling. Founded in 2009 in California, NICA leagues are now available for high school students in 19 states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Virginia.Today, overuse, trail ethics, and access issues dominate the conversations on bike forums and club meetings alike. Developments like the e-bike are of particular controversy, threatening to pit cyclists against cyclists: some consider these bikes as a formidable step forward in urban commuting and exercise for the elderly, others are worried these motorized bikes will dismantle decades of trail advocacy.Another peril on the horizon? Money. Recreational Trails Program and Clean Water Trust funds have traditionally been the financial means for many regional trail projects. Under the current administration those funds may very well dry up in the months to come, which means clubs like the SVBC and SORBA will need to get creative. Fortunately, there are more stakeholders in the sport than ever before.“We have shifted the argument from health and environmental protection to where now, we see recreation as the new conservation,” says SORBA Executive Director Tom Sauret. “Economic impact numbers do perk up the ears of some of our political leaders.”According to the League of American Bicyclists, North Carolina’s Outer Banks invested a one-time sum of $6.7 million in bicycle infrastructure. The result has been an annual nine-to-one return, with a conservative estimate of $60 million generated each year through bicycle related tourism. An average of 680,000 cyclists visit each year, which supports over 1,400 relevant jobs in the area.When Greenville, S.C., cut the ribbon on the Greenville Health System Swamp Rabbit Trail in 2011, the greenway was an instant success. The Greenville Health System’s Three Year Findings survey on the Swamp Rabbit Trail indicated that businesses were seeing upwards of 85 percent in sales and revenue increases. The trail, which connected downtown Greenville with nearby Travelers Rest, was a boon for development. Now businesses looking to relocate near the trail have a hard time affording trailside property, let alone finding a site that’s still available.The Swamp Rabbit Trail was one of several recent examples of private-public partnerships. Many ski resorts are opening their slopes to mountain biking in the summer months. And in Louisville, Ky., area residents there are anticipating the opening of the Parklands, a 4,000-acre piece of property that will have 50 miles of linear trail experiences. The $130 million in funding for the park came not through any grants but private donations.As big bike brands like Trek continue to buy up formerly independent bicycle retailers, bike shops are going to have to do more than service bikes. They will continue to be hubs of advocacy, fundraising, youth cycling development, lobbying for bicycle friendly initiatives, and gateways for progress. The golden years of bicycles aren’t over—they’re just getting started.“The bike is king now,” adds Chris Scott. “We just need people to step up.”last_img read more