Guide to the West Virginia Road Trip:BRING: Mountain bike, climbing gear, water shoesHIGHLIGHT: Long downhill on North Fork MountainSOUVENIR: Facebook status photo from the top of Seneca RocksDay OneThe trip begins near the peak of North Fork Mountain, off Forest Road 79, where an 11.5-mile backcountry mountain bike adventure awaits. Pedal north on the North Fork Mountain Trail over lichen-covered boulders near the dramatic edge of North Fork Mountain, where juggy cliffs hang 2,000 feet over the river valley below. The tread is technical, but completely rideable, and after you make it through several miles of rolling terrain, you’ll finish with a constant three-mile downhill that drops 2,000 feet in a series of scree-covered switchbacks. Make sure you take time off the saddle to check out the views from the western rim of the mountain, including a short scramble to the top of Chimney Rock, a pillar of sandstone with a bomber 360-degree view just before the final descent. Bring two cars or arrange a shuttle with Eagle’s Nest Outfitters (304-257-2393).Grab a site at the bottom of the North Fork Mountain in Smoke Hole Canyon Recreation Area ($20), which sits in the middle of a 20-mile-long gorge cut by the South Branch of the Potomac and offers excellent tubing and fishing from your campground.Day TwoBreak down camp and head to the south end of the mountain, where Seneca Rocks rises 1,000 feet from the valley floor in a near-vertical sheet of sandstone. Seneca is one of those iconic climbing destinations that even non-climbers owe it to themselves to scrape their way up and over. You can hike to the north peak of Seneca, but the south peak can only be summited via technical rock climbing. There are easy 5.2 routes to the top, but if you’re not familiar with Seneca, your best bet is to hire a guide from Seneca Rocks Climbing School. A full day will cost you $225, but they’ll get you to the top via a route that suits your ability and make sure all your knots are tied right, which is priceless, really.Camp at Seneca Shadows, the federally owned campground with tent sites that have views of the Rocks and clean showers for $20. There’s a trail that leads from the campground into town and the Front Porch, where the pizza is cheap (304-567-2555).Day ThreeTake WV 32 toward Canaan Valley, then FS 19 to the 17,371-acre Dolly Sods, a federally designated Wilderness area stacked with high elevation bog and heath ecosystems, the kind of terrain you usually only find in Canada. You’re going to knock out an 8.5-mile loop that combines Red Creek Trail, Rocky Point Trail, and Big Stonecoal Trail, which serves as a mini-highlight reel of the Sods. Start at the Red Creek Trailhead off FS 19 and be prepared for pristine swimming holes, fields of reindeer moss and spruce groves. You’ll also enjoy long-range views from Lions Head, a series of flat outcroppings on Rocky Point, before you call it a day.After the hike, head into tiny downtown Davis for a Shovelhead burrito (homemade pulled pork and horseradish slaw, $8) at Hellbender Burritos, then travel a bit farther into the even tinier town of Thomas for one (or three) pints of Almost Heaven Ale, an amber ale with a subtle and seductive caramel finish, at the uber-hip Mountain State Brewing Company.Call it a night at Canaan Valley State Park, where $20 gets you a primo car-camping site with hiking and mountain biking trails spreading out from the campground.Want more adventure? Check out our full list of road trip guides!
Source: Talk Sports The rematch fight between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua is reportedly now fully agreed to take place on December 7 in Saudi Arabia.Earlier this month, the Brit’s team announced that the second fight would be in Diriyah after activating their rematch clause in the wake of AJ’s shock defeat.However, the champion quickly came out and poured cold water over this, suggesting that he still wanted the contest to take place in the US.Now though, according to The Athletic, Ruiz Jr has been guaranteed ‘millions more’ than the $8million (£6.5million) originally set out in the rematch clause, and so he has consented to Saudi Arabia.Due to the fact, the Mexican-American agreed to the rematch clause in the initial contact for the June 1 fight, Joshua’s team get to dictate when and where the fight takes place.Despite this, it’s claimed Ruiz’s team used the threat of refusing to compete in order to renegotiate.Due to the fact neither side truly wanted to take their battle to a courtroom, a new agreement was reached in principle.It’s understood that on Thursday Ruiz received a fresh bout agreement with altered terms that will see him earn a total of around $10m (£8.2m).He’s expected to confirm he is now fully on board with the Saudi Arabia rematch in the coming days.
Chelsea are closing in on the Europa League semi-finals after Fernando Torres’ 20th goal of the season put them in complete control in Moscow.Frank Lampard delivered a fine through-ball and Torres did the rest, lobbing home from 30 yards past keeper Sergei Ryzhikov.With the freezing weather conditions in Rubin Kazan’s home region of Tartarstan having resulted in a change of venue, the quarter-final second leg is being played at a sparsely populated Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital.Interim manager Rafael Benitez, who deployed Paulo Ferreira at left-back and youngster Nathan Ake in the Blues midfield, warned his players not to let the eerie setting affect the tempo of their play.And they responded by scoring after only five minutes – extending their aggregate lead and matching the away goal Rubin managed in the first leg.Chelsea dominated most of the half but Rubin threatened when Alan Kasaev ran beyond Ake and past John Terry before finding Roman Eremenko, whose low shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Petr Cech.The Chelsea keeper then made an excellent stop to deny Gokdeniz Karadeniz.Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cech; Azpilicueta, Terry, Luiz, Ferreira; Ake, Lampard, Ramires, Moses, Benayoun, Torres.Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Hazard, Marin.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
August 30, 2004The South African Post Office (Sapo) is out of the red – for the first time in 200 years. It has reported a bumper R27-billion profit for the 2003/4 financial year, described by the parastatal as the most significant in history.Sapo is one of the largest business concerns in the country, with more than 2 700 outlets and 5 500 service points. It delivers around eight million items to almost 6.5-million addresses daily – amounting to some 37 tons of mail.Sapo chief executive Maanda Manyatshe said its achievement is all the more remarkable because postal services internationally are in decline, and the profit posted was an about-face from the losses of previous years amounting to hundreds of millions of rands.Sapo says its motto: ‘We will deliver, whatever it takes’, has impacted considerably on its performance, and that its emphasis has been on meeting customer needs, providing excellent service and improving efficiencies.At the same time, it focused on several turnaround projects aimed at improving profitability and long-term results within the framework of its universal service obligations. Since privatisation four years ago, the Post Office has also reduced its staff from 30 000 to 18 000.Turnover reported for the year was up 9.4% to R4.020-billion, while cash generated from operations was up 86% to R283-million. Operating profit before post-retirement medical benefits was up a staggering 632% to R266-million.Although trading operations turned a profit, overall the group incurred a net loss of R74.7-million, due to the cost of post-retirement medical benefits, Manyatshe said.He said Sapo aimed to leverage its infrastructure to provide a range of services, including banking, career and Internet services. “We want to make more than R100-million profit next year,” he said.SouthAfrica.info reporter
In an alliance with Microsoft, Finnish company Nokia has taken a big leap to revive it fortune by launching its smartphones, Lumia 920 and Lumia 820, in New York last week. Among the two smartphones launched, Nokia Lumia 820 is a mid-range phone, which doesn’t have the special camera lenses but it sports exchangeable backs that can switch colours.Launching the smartphones, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop reportedly said the new phones will go on sale in the fourth quarter in “select markets.” Nokia, which has been nearly absent from American market in the past few years, expects to recapture the attention of US shoppers.Facing stiff competition from Apple’s iPhone and devices running on Google’s Android software, Nokia has tried to stem the decline in smartphones in part through a partnership with Microsoft Corp. announced last year. It has moved away from the Symbian operating platform and has embraced Microsoft’s Windows Phone software.Nokia launched its first Windows phones late last year under the Lumia brand, as the first fruits of Elop’s alliance with Microsoft. Those ran Windows Phone 7 software, which is effectively being orphaned in the new version.Nokia sold 4 million Lumia phones in the second quarter, a far cry from the 26 million iPhones that Apple Inc. sold during those three months. So far, the line hasn’t helped Nokia halt its sales decline: Its global market share shrunk from the peak of 40 percent in 2008 to 29 percent in 2011, and it is expected to dwindle further this year.The new Windows Phones come as Google and makers of Android phones have run into legal trouble, which could slow the momentum of Android devices.With AP inputsadvertisement