Mountain News 

Mountain biking drops in popularity

DURANGO, Colo. — In a perverse irony, the popularity of mountain biking has dropped off since the first mountain-biking president moved into the White House.

George W. Bush, of course, is that mountain-biking president, and since 2001, when he took office, mountain biking has lost 17.3 million participants, according to the Outdoor Industry Foundation. The drop was particularly precipitous two years ago, when the total bike participation and outings dropped 11 per cent.

But it’s not Bush, but another Texan to blame in this, reports the Durango Telegraph. "Once Lance Armstrong started winning the Tour de France, there was an upswing in the popularity of road biking," observed Mary Monroe, the executive director of Trails 200, a trails advocacy group in Durango.

What seems to be happening is that the causal riders of mountain bikes are losing interest, but the hard-core riders are still at it and, if anything, becoming more serious. The Durango Telegraph says that mountain biking is as big as it ever was in Durango.

Monroe says the identity of Durango is closely intertwined with mountain biking. "The power of open space and trails affects the makeup of the town," she says. "It’s bigger than the events. It’s the lifestyle."

‘Green’ business map planned

CARBONDALE, Colo. — An effort is underway to create what is called a "green map" for the Roaring Fork Valley. That map will provide readers with choices of businesses that practice sustainable practices.

The map is being assembled by a physician, Will Evans, an organizer of Sustainble Tomorrow Today. The emphasis, he says, is to localize the economy. Part of the strategy is to encourage businesses that do not make the list to make efforts to qualify in a future year.

The initial effort is aimed at the Basalt and Carbondale areas, and if that succeeds, the effort may be expanded to include the entire Roaring Fork Valley, from Aspen to Glenwood Springs.

Banff baby boomlett linked to new housing

BANFF, Alberta — Banff is having a baby boomlette. The number of births has increased by 25 per cent this year, and this is after a 15 per cent increase the year before.

What’s happening? The Rocky Mountain Outlook points to two things. First, it used to be that couples, when they got ready to create families, moved down-valley to Canmore, which was less expensive. But lately, Canmore and Banff are in the same price range. Second, Banff has been aggressively building affordable housing.

Telluride examines its carbon footprint

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Telluride continues to plot how it can reduce its carbon footprint. The town has set a goal of reducing Telluride’s carbon emission levels 15 per cent by 2010, and an additional 15 per cent by 2015.

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