Wednesday Night Ride: Escaping the Routine

first_imgSometimes, the weekly ride isn’t about the ride at all. It’s about getting out of the house and knocking back a couple of beers and a burrito after a bit of exercise. It’s an escape from the routine. The irony, of course, is that the escape becomes a routine itself. Same trails, same beer, same burrito.It can go on like that for months at a time, without much of a variation in the routine. And then, out of nowhere, one of your riding buddies says he heard of a trail on the edge of the forest that none of us have ever ridden. All of a sudden, it’s a Wednesday night and you’re on an adventure. On a school night!Such is the scenario surrounding my latest weekly ride. We started on the same gravel road that we always start on, but instead of ducking onto familiar singletrack, we kept pedaling gravel, climbing far beyond our typical stomping grounds into the upper reaches of the forest. It was a brutal, 1,000-foot grind of a climb into a ridge of steep slopes. We picked up a faint trail just shy of the gap, and immediately started dropping elevation, first through a rhodo tunnel, then slaloming through big stands of trees. The trail gets ridden so infrequently, it was barely even singletrack. At times we lost it altogether in the leaves and underbrush, only to find it again 10 yards downslope. Before too long, the trail got too steep for us to ride as it traced the fall line straight down the side of the mountain. We hopped off our bikes and slipped every third step as the trail took an impossible line over downed trees that have been turned into huge kickers with landing zones that leave no room for error. Then the optional boulder drops began.Big, freaking boulder drops.The trail is nothing like anything else we ride in the forest, and honestly, we were only good enough to ride a tiny piece of it. But it felt good to be on new dirt, laughing and falling in foreign land. It felt like an adventure. On a Wednesday. After work.Inspired by conquering new territory, we hit up a different post-ride bar. A place that puts French-fries right on their sandwiches. I even ordered a new type of beer.– Graham Averill is a regular contributor to B.R.O. In between cleaning up spilled drinks and putting kids to bed, he enjoys mountain biking, drinking beer, and maintaining his personal blog Daddy Drinks.last_img read more

Mane set to be crowned Africa’s best as troubles rumble on

first_img Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesCan Playing Too Many Video Games Hurt Your Body?8 Most Interesting Sylvester Stallone Movies7 Mind-Boggling Facts About Black HolesWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest PocketThe 9 Best Robots In Movie History6 Ridiculous Health Myths That Are Actually TrueWhat Happens To Your Brain When You Play Too Much Video Games?7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The World AFP Sport looks at some of the issues facing the most popular sport in a continent where good footballers and bad administrators often share the media stage. Awards Consistent Liverpool scorer and Senegal talisman Mane is favoured to become the second star from his country after El Hadji Diouf to be named Player of the Year. His rivals are Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian who won the last two editions, and Algerian Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City. The Player of the Year, and the winners of seven other male and female categories, will be announced at a ceremony in Egyptian Red Sea resort Hurghada. World Cup A couple of weeks after the awards banquet, Egypt will host another eagerly anticipated event, the draw in Cairo for the group stage of World Cup qualifying. The latest FIFA rankings are expected to determine the seedings, meaning Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali and DR Congo will be in pot one. All those nations except Mali have played at the World Cup, and an Ivory Coast team that can call on the dazzling footwork of Wilfried Zaha could be the most dangerous second seeds. Cup of Nations Trouble lies ahead after a change from a January/February to June/July tournament this year to avoid tug of wars between clubs and countries over the services of Europe-based stars. The first revamped Club World Cup, featuring 24 teams, is set for June 17 to July 4 2021 in China, effectively ruling out a mid-year Cup of Nations in Cameroon. Senior CAF officials say off the record that a return to January/February dates is likely, and with it the possibility that an increasing number of players will put clubs first. Nations Championship Tunisia have reportedly decided because of fixture congestion to withdraw from the 2020 edition in Cameroon of the tournament for footballers playing in their country of birth. Traditionally a biennial January/February competition, it is slated for April 4 to 25 this year in three southern Cameroon cities, the capital, Yaounde, Douala and Limbe. The 16-nation championship will test the readiness of Cameroon to stage the Cup of Nations next year after construction delays led to them being replaced by Egypt as 2019 hosts. Loading… Champions League Tunisian club Esperance have been erratic as they seek an unprecedented third straight title, battling to overcome a Chadian club then defying the odds to defeat Raja in Casablanca. They have lost several 2019 title-winning stars, including Algeria winger Youcef Belaili, and the starting line-up for a group match last weekend included only four Tunisians. Record eight-time champions Al Ahly of Egypt, TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa and Casablanca clubs Raja and Wydad are potential threats. Confederation Cup A new name will be engraved on the trophy this year as recent winners Ahly, Etoile Sahel of Tunisia, Mazembe, Raja and Zamalek of Egypt are all competing in the Champions League. Judged by group form up to the halfway mark, Cairo outfit Pyramids could become the third Egyptian winners of a competition modelled on the UEFA Europa League. Emirati Salem al Shamsi has invested millions in a squad dominated by Egyptians but also containing stars from Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Tunisia and Uganda. Super Cup Zamalek are threatening to boycott the February 14 match against Esperance scheduled for Qatar, a country Egypt accuses of destabilising the Middle East region. Controversial club chairman Mortada Mansour says Zamalek will change their stance only if ordered to do so by the government. “I do not understand why CAF want to stage the match in a country which is an enemy of Egypt. We are African clubs so why should we play in Asia?,” Mansour asked during a press conference. CAF The six-month secondment of FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura to crisis-plagued CAF ends on January 31 and there will be huge interest in what progress the Senegalese has made. Her brief was to introduce reforms, notably in governance, competitions and refereeing, to an organisation World Soccer magazine labelled the “biggest basket case in football”. Assisting Samoura is CAF president Ahmad Ahmad, who has not commented on various allegations against him, including corruption, financial misappropriation and sexual harassment. TV There have been no broadcasts in sub-Saharan Africa of CAF national team and club fixtures since November after a 12-year TV deal with a French company was scrapped. Lagardere Sports paid one million dollars (890,000 euros) in 2017 for the TV and marketing rights, but separate judgments ruled the deal illegal because there was no tender process. Desperate football followers have resorted to streaming, but fixture options are limited and the high cost of internet data is an additional obstacle. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Liverpool sharpshooter Sadio Mane is expected to become the first African football headline-maker of 2020 by winning the Player of the Year award in Egypt next week. The January 7 ceremony will set in motion a year sure to be full of drama on and off the field with 2022 World Cup and 2021 Cup of Nations qualifiers in the mix.last_img read more

Egyptian league given green light for September return

first_imgThe Egyptian Premier League will return on 17 September, the country’s Ministry of Sport has announced.The decision ends the ban on domestic football in Egypt that has been in place since a stadium disaster in February when more than 70 fans died.Minister of sports Al Amry Farouk said: “I met with the Minister of Interior and we agreed on resuming the league.“But without fans for the time being and then we’ll see – that’s our agreement with security officials.”Farouk added that Al Masry, whose home match against Al Ahly ended in Egypt’s worst football tragedy, will not take part in the league in the new season.“We reached an understanding with Al Masry who agreed to withdraw and take part next season,” he said.Since the tragedy in Port Said the only matches played in Egypt have been qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup, and some continental club games – all of which have been played behind behind closed doors.The ministry had previously turned down proposals for the league to return on 24 August and 7 September, concerned about the lack of security at games.last_img read more