This Mountain Biking Race Is A Muddy Catastrophe You Can’t Stop Watching

“We want to tread that line between it being really dangerous and really fun,” said the course’s designer.

The organizers of the USA Cyclocross National Championships knew exactly what they were doing when they scheduled the race for this time of year in Hartford, CT. It might not be the most hospitable for fans with near-freezing temperatures and muddy ground. But what the setting lacks in comfort it more than makes up for by transforming the race into a near-chaotic scramble that sees as many riders on the ground as on their bikes at any given time.

This clip shows men aged 50-59, God help them, finding their way down the hill with a lot of help from gravity and a slick, muddy surface.

While age might not be the only factor in success here, it’s clear that the 40-49 group had a much better go of things, though I’m as likely to chalk that up to dumb luck as I am skill.

The course designer, Keegan Schelling, said in this interview that he was going for just this outcome when he plotted out the course, stating,"A good course should be a well-balanced mixture of difficulty and dynamic features — steep climbs, slippery, muddy sections, stuff that keeps everybody on their toes. We want to tread that line between it being really dangerous and really fun.”

Well, if those were his criteria, I would say he’s successful on every level...for now. The weather report for the weekend suggests higher temperatures and no rain, so this event could take a turn towards the safe and predictable as the crop of elite-level racers square off in the coming days.

When he described the flood control dike portion that you saw in the clips above, Schelling colorfully described the segment as “soul-crushing” stating, “That will be the place to watch the race if you want to watch people suffer."

As long as no one gets seriously hurt, who among us doesn’t want to see people voluntarily subject themselves to this muddy, cold downhill tumble?

via Honor Africans / Twitter

The problem with American Sign Language (ASL) is that over 500,000 people in the U.S. use it, but the country has over 330 million people.

So for those with hearing loss, the chances of coming into contact with someone who uses the language are rare. Especially outside of the deaf community.

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Looking back, the year 1995 seems like such an innocent time. America was in the midst of its longest streak of peace and prosperity. September 11, 2001 was six years away, and the internet didn't seem like much more than a passing fad.

Twenty-four years ago, 18 million U.S. homes had modem-equipped computers, 7 million more than the year before. Most logged in through America Online where they got their email or communicated with random strangers in chat rooms.

According to a Pew Research study that year, only 32% of those who go online say they would miss it "a lot" if no longer available.

Imagine what those poll numbers would look like if the question was asked today.

RELATED: Bill and Melinda Gates had a surprising answer when asked about a 70 percent tax on the wealthiest Americans

"Few see online activities as essential to them, and no single online feature, with the exception of E-Mail, is used with any regularity," the Pew article said. "Consumers have yet to begin purchasing goods and services online, and there is little indication that online news features are changing traditional news consumption patterns."

"Late Night" host David Letterman had Microsoft founder and, at that time the richest man in the world, on his show for an interview in '95 to discuss the "the big new thing."

During the interview Letterman chided Gates about the usefulness of the new technology, comparing it to radio and tape recorders.

Gates seems excited by the internet because it will soon allow people to listen to a baseball game on their computer. To which Letterman smugly replies, "Does radio ring a bell?" to laughter from the crowd.

But Gates presses Letterman saying that the new technology allows you to listen to the game "whenever you want," to which Letterman responds, "Do tape recorders ring a bell?"

Gates then tells Letterman he can keep up with the latest in his favorite hobbies such as cigar smoking or race cars through the internet. Letterman shuts him down saying that he reads about his interests in magazines.

RELATED: Bill Gates has five books he thinks you should read this summer.

The discussion ends with the two laughing over meeting like-minded people in "troubled loner chat room on the internet."

The clip brings to mind a 1994 segment on "The Today Show" where host Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric have a similar discussion.

"What is internet anyway?" an exasperated Gumball asks. "What do you write to it like mail?"

"It's a computer billboard but it's nationwide and it's several universities all joined together and it's getting bigger and bigger all the time," a producer explains from off-stage.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The future generations will have to live on this Earth for years to come, and, not surprisingly, they're very concerned about the fate of our planet. We've seen a rise in youth activists, such as Greta Thunberg, who are raising awareness for climate change. A recent survey indicates that those efforts are working, as more and more Americans (especially young Americans) feel concerned about climate change.

A new CBS News poll found that 70% of Americans between 18 and 29 feel climate change is a crisis or a serious problem, while 58% of Americans over the age of 65 share those beliefs. Additionally, younger generations are more likely to feel like it's their personal responsibility to address climate change, as well as think that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is viable. Overall, 25% of Americans feel that climate change is a "crisis," and 35% feel it is a "serious problem." 10% of Americans said they think climate change is a minor problem, and 16% of Americans feel it is not a problem that worries them.

The poll found that concern for the environment isn't a partisan issue – or at least when it comes to younger generations. Two-thirds of Republicans under the age of 45 feel that addressing climate change is their duty, sentiments shared by only 38% of Republicans over the age of 45.

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