We are pleased to announce our October issue of BRO is on newsstands and online! The leaves are beginning to change and the nights are cooling down; Fall is here and Blue Ridge Outdoors has your autumn adventure plans covered.Jess Daddio is at it again this month with a feature on the Great Eastern Trail, a long distance hiking trail that parallels the Appalachian Trail from Alabama to New York. The trail is made up of connecting existing trails and is not quite complete as of yet, but that didn’t stop a couple of intrepid hikers from thru-hiking the GET from end to end. We have the story of their thru-hike, plus a guide to the trail. We also give you eight great fall adventures that include incredible views of all the fall colors the Blue Ridge has to offer. There is something for everyone from climbers, to bikers, to hikers, to paddlers. Speaking of paddling, Graham canoes down the new French Broad River Trail with a French Broad River Keeper to check what the new blueway has to offer. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. There is also an op-ed from pro paddler and North Carolina native Chris Gratgmans on the current state of the Green Race: is it becoming too popular and attracting paddlers that are not suited for the level necessary to negotiate the river? Does the race need a screening process? Chris offers his opinion.This month’s essays are full of important issues and big adventures. Learn to hang glide, help save one of the most polluted rivers in America right in our backyard, experience what it’s like to be a girl in man’s river guide world, and take a hike with a father and his autistic son.We discuss and interview a couple of Blue Ridge record breakers in Matt Kirk and Ben Friberg. This summer Kirk set a new “unofficial” unsupported Appalachian Trail speed record, while Friberg paddled his SUP from Havanna, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, becoming the first person ever to do so. These are amazing athletic achievements, which flows right into our Debate question for this month: Should performance-enhancing drugs be legalized? Then our issue wraps with a profile of Americana queen Nora Jane Struthers and her circular path to new grass stardom.We hope you enjoy this issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors! We had a blast putting it together, and we hope you have a blast reading it.Let us know what you think about this issue or other issues in the comments below!FeaturesGET: The Next A.T.Adventures With a Splash of ColorThe Green Race: Disaster Waiting to Happen?No Rush: On the New French Broad River TrailEssaysBig Adventure: Learning to Hang GlideA Hike Worth Talking AboutThe Forgotten River: Saving D.C.’s Anacostia RiverGirl Guide: On Being a Woman and a Whitewater GuideDepartmentsBen Friberg: Havanna to Key West on a PaddleboardMatt Kirk Sets New A.T. Speed RecordDebate: Should Performance-Enhancing Drugs Be Legalized?Americana Circus: Nora Jane Struthers
Wenger continued: “When we had the period of restricted finances, we had to sell the players when they started to perform – from 18 to 23. “A player becomes a player at 23 or 24, but if you have to sell them at 23 or 24, then you just feel you work for the other clubs.” Wenger believes giving the opportunity to the likes of Wilshere and now 20-year Spaniard Hector Bellerin can only stand Arsenal in good stead for the challenges ahead. “For years you could say to me: ‘you have no choice, you have to play them’, but now we want to maintain that,” said Wenger, who has in the past two seasons spent big on recruiting proven talent Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck. “It is part of the DNA of the club to give a chance to young players.” Wenger added: “You can see that all of the clubs who are performing on a longer period, that it is the core (of the squad) which have grown up together. “It means something to them inside the club, that they belong to that.” Wilshere has recovered from minor ankle surgery and could be in line to make a first appearance since the end of November at Burnley on Saturday, when Arsenal will go in search of an eighth successive Premier League victory. However, midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has already been ruled out of contention for next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Reading as he battles an inflamed groin. “I hope it does not become a long-term problem, but he faces a hurdle this week in training,” said Wenger. “We will see if he has recovered well, so this end of the week and the start of next week are important, to see if he got rid of that inflammation.” Press Association Wenger accepts every squad goes through a natural regeneration process. “When all your main players get close to 30, you can’t buy a 30-year-old player, you have to buy a player who is 22 or 23, because if you buy another player of 30, they all die together,” said the Arsenal manager. “You have to analyse individually as well as it depends on the physical potential of a player, not only of the age. “If a player is 30 per cent over what the others are, then if he drops at 32, he can (still) play at 35, because even when he drops, he is at the level requested. “It is like (Usain) Bolt, who can still win a 100-metre race at 33. If he was at (his) limit at 28, then at 32 he will not win anymore, but he is so much above that he can still win the race.” Wenger was unable to prevent the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy, Sami Nasri and Bacary Sagna all swapping the Emirates Stadium for bumper pay deals at Eastlands in recent seasons. However, Wenger is not about to let 23-year-old Wilshere – who has been at Arsenal since the age of nine – or indeed anyone else of his current talented young squad depart the club, which is now emerging from the financial restrictions of their ground move from Highbury to Ashburton Grove. The Gunners boss insists Arsenal are “not in a position any more where we have to sell our best players.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepts any ageing team will “die” unless it is regenerated with younger talent – but has warned Manchester City the days of cherry-picking their top graduates is over. Reports have linked City with a summer move for England midfielder Jack Wilshere as the north-west club look to inject fresh life into a squad which has failed to keep up with Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea, slipping to fourth place following Monday night’s defeat at Crystal Palace. City captain Vincent Kompany turns 29 on Friday, while players such as Yaya Toure, Pablo Zabaleta, Aleksandar Kolarov, James Milner, Edin Dzeko and David Silva are all also now senior statesmen within the group.
QPR will give fitness tests to striker Jay Bothroyd and midfielder Akos Buzsaky before manager Mark Hughes names his line-up to face Blackburn.Former Rovers player Bothroyd has been nursing a hamstring complaint, while Buzsaky appears to have made good progress in his recovery from an Achilles problem.Both men are hoping to at least be on the bench at Ewood Park, where Rangers will be without the injured Heidar Helguson and Luke Young as well as the suspended Djibril Cisse.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
SAN JOSE — Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said he might go back to dressing 12 forwards and six defensemen for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings even if Tomas Hertl is unavailable to play.DeBoer labeled Hertl, who has missed the last four games with a lower body injury, as doubtful to play against the Kings. The team will know more Friday morning with the game, the Sharks’ last at home this month, at 1 p.m.The Sharks looked lethargic in their 5-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday …
The big mystery of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance — how many seats each party will get and who will get more — may have shifted focus from the clout of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the Maharashtra unit of the BJP. Last week, however, as some spurts of rebellion arose in the Mumbai unit following the finalisation of some city seats, the true extent of Mr. Fadnavis’ dominance of the party in his State, a five-year project, was revealed.The list of candidates released by the Maharashtra BJP saw the sidelining of several bigwigs, many of whose relations with Mr. Fadnavis had soured of late. The fact that the high command in Delhi backed him fully on the list, though some of those replaced (like Ghatkopar MLA Prakash Mehta) are considered close to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, is significant.Eased outOne of the biggest names to be excluded was Education Minister Vinod Tawde, who was denied ticket from Borivili, one of the safest seats for the BJP. Relations between Mr. Fadnavis and Mr. Tawde have not exactly been rosy since 2014, when the former became a surprise choice of Chief Minister. The seat was given to Sunil Rane, considered close to both Mr. Fadnavis and Union Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, ensuring that the latter too provided support to the candidate, in the face of obvious hurt feeling among Mr. Tawde’s supporters.Within Mumbai, the choices for Colaba (replacing sitting MLA and local strongman Raj Purohit with Nationalist Congress Party turncoat Rahul Narvekar) and Ghatkopar East (replacing veteran Prakash Mehta with Parag Shah) were decisions that led to much heartburn and even some acts of violence by supporters of Mr. Mehta.Mr. Rajpurohit, considered a strong leader with his origins in Rajasthan, had embarrassed the Fadnavis government with certain utterances. His replacement with Mr. Narvekar, who has only recently joined the BJP from the NCP, however was the blow that hurt the most, according to his supporters.BJP sources, however, say Mr. Narvekar is the perfect replacement not just because his brother Makarand Narvekar is a BJP corporator but more importantly because he is the son-in-law of Ramraje Naik Nimalkar, senior NCP leader and Chairperson of the Maharashtra Legislative Council. “Nimbalkar is one of the biggest supporters for [NCP leader] Sharad Pawar, and this move has neutralised an aggressive NCP move on that seat,” a BJP source said.In Mr. Mehta’s case, it was a relationship that began on a promising note with Mr. Fadnavis being helped by the former to move into the late Gopinath Munde’s turf, turning sour after 2016-17 when certain corruption allegations were levelled against Mr. Mehta who was Housing Minister. Considered a strong leader among the city’s Gujarati community, he has been replaced by young gun Parag Shah.The most tricky replacement was that of Jalgaon strongman Eknath Khadse, who was placated after ticket was given to his daughter, Rohini Khadse-Khewalkar, instead.In one fell swoop, there has been a generational and factional shift in the Maharashtra BJP. Mr. Fadnavis has stamped his authority on the Maharashtra BJP.