Bike Camping: Tips for Enjoying the Best of Both Worlds

first_imgIn this adventure packed combo, you’ve got to earn your downtime at camp.With no gas-filled machine getting you from campsite to campsite, bike camping (or bike touring) is a start-to-finish testament of endurance, preplanning, and the strength it takes to push through the uphills with 30 pounds of camping gear around your back tire.Bike camping forgoes the comforts and leisure that car camping provides, making planning, orienteering, and skills a high commodity. There’s no sugar coating it- bike camping is a physically demanding task, but once you get out there and try it- it can turn out to be the most rewarding. In most camping scenarios, the relaxation, slowing down, and enjoying the outdoors is on hold until you find your spot for the night. With bike camping, the journey adds just as much exploration and adventure to the trip as the destinations do.Here is a short list of tips and must-pack items to make your first bike camping trip one to remember fondly.Know how to be your own repair crew.Gear is not limited to the food, tent, and clothes you brought. The bike itself is the most integral part to the journey and if something needs and adjustment or a tire goes flat, you better know how to jump in and get things rolling again. The idea for a trip like this is to travel as many miles as yourself or your group feel comfortable during the day and have a planned or at least ideal spot in mind where you have flat ground to lay in your tent or under a tarp at night. During those long stretches in the daytime, you won’t likely be in a populated area with impeccable cell service and the bike version of AAA. Knowing how to take care of your bike is just as if not more important than understanding how to set up a tent.Plan a course within your means.If you aren’t a well-practiced biker, don’t plan to bike 25 miles a day with uphills that are too steep or trail sections that are too advanced. If a car can access the areas you’re wanting to bike, it might be worth the trip to check out what type of terrain you’re in for before you start pedaling. If you want to experience the area for the first time by bike so you don’t spoil the experience by seeing it all by car, the internet just might be your best friend in that case. You can look up tried and true beginner friendly trails and roads recommended by others who were once in your same situation- looking for where to start.Pack light. Then pack even lighter.It’s an art form in itself and for those who are experienced in backpacking, you should aim for about the same weight you’d put on your back. It’s a delicate balance of food being lightweight and packed efficiently so you still have room for your tent, sleeping bag, clothes, and all the rest. When sweat starts dripping and your calves start burning, you will regret bringing anything beyond what is absolutely necessary. By planning ahead, you may find that while most of your journey is remote, you come across a general store half way. Then, at departure you are only having to carry meals for half the days until you reach that store where you can replenish.The must-haves:Water, a map, rear bike rack, repair tools, tent, sunscreen, lighter, anti-chafing cream (trust me), clothes, food, first aid, and a good dose of patience!For a recap of a family’s first 5 day bike camping trip, more on what to bring, how to stay entertained, good spots for it, and additional resources, go check out “Bike Camping for Beginners” by Ethan Hipple.last_img read more

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No minimums: The new rule for loan participations

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Ian Lampl Ian Lampl is CEO & Co-Founder of LoanStreet Inc., an innovative online platform that helps financial institutions share, manage, and originate loans.Prior to launching LoanStreet, Ian served as Deputy … Web: https://www.loan-street.com Details Liquidity.  Every credit union seems to need it.  Yet, no one seems to know where to find it.  At the end of 2018, the credit union industry’s collective loan-to-share ratio was at an all time high of 85.6%. But look a little closer and you’ll discover that it is really the tale of two markets. Large credit unions, and especially those with assets greater than $500 million, are over-concentrated with loans and desperate to diversify their balance sheets. Many are brushing up against their limits on non-member deposits and find the costs of raising additional capital through CDs to be too high to profitably fund new loans. At the other end of the spectrum, there are thousands of smaller credit unions — especially those with assets less than $250 million — that have very low loan-to-share ratios and are eager to purchase higher-returning loans.Naturally, it would make sense that larger credit unions, flush with loans, would trade with these smaller credit unions, who are flush with excess cash.  Yet, there are far fewer transactions between large and small credit unions than you might expect. Why is this the case?  Historically, selling and buying loan participations was viewed as an activity only large credit unions could, well, participate in.  To most in the industry, the process was opaque and complex, requiring a significant amount of effort that only larger credit unions could afford. What’s more, it was also fraught with long lag times, difficult contract negotiations, and arduous monthly financial and regulatory reporting and reconciliations. The result:  large credit unions preferred to sell in the biggest sizes possible to as few institutions as possible — and as infrequently as possible. Inevitably, that meant selling to other large credit unions that had balance sheets big enough to absorb those large loan sales. Hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller credit unions were simply left out on the sidelines, even though they had plenty of liquidity to put to work. But today’s loan participation market is fundamentally different, even if this old way of thinking all too often remains. The truth is that the most costly and burdensome roadblocks have been removed. Minimum purchase requirements no longer exist. Now, no credit union is too small to participate.  How could this be?  Technology and standardization. First, technology is greatly reducing the cost and administrative burden that led to large deals involving larger institutions. New software platforms are streamlining the upfront due diligence process and new tools are automating the ongoing financial and regulatory reporting requirements for all parties. As a result, buying and selling credit unions can partner with as many other credit unions as possible without bearing any additional administrative burden. It’s as easy to trade with 100 institutions as it is with a single one.   Second, the increasing prevalence of standard participation agreements means that another significant friction in the deal-making process has been removed. Today, credit unions no longer need to hire expensive lawyers to craft bespoke contracts, and can instead leverage standard legal agreements used by hundreds of credit unions. That not only saves on legal fees but allows both parties to close a lot faster. The upshot of these two innovations to the loan participation process means that it is just as efficient to work with smaller credit unions as it is with a larger one. As a result, the market is now open to purchases of any size:  there really are “No Minimums.” In fact, it is not uncommon to see purchases that are even smaller than $1 million. This development is a true win-win. Smaller-sized deals expand the universe of potential buyers. That provides large credit unions more liquidity to fund new loan growth and greater diversification. Smaller credit unions, meanwhile, get the chance to obtain better interest earning assets and more efficiently deploy their capital at lower risk.If you have been avoiding participations because you thought your credit union was too small or if you are a large credit union avoiding sales to small credit unions, we encourage you to look again at new participation technologies or as CUNA puts it:  Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union.last_img read more

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Euro property bond launched

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Supertram blues

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Frankfurt Marathon scrapped over coronavirus fears

first_imgTopics : The 2019 men’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Fikre Tefera, while Kenya’s Valary Aiyabei set a new course record of 2:19:10 in the women’s event. The Frankfurt Marathon on Tuesday became the latest sports event to succumb to the coronavirus pandemic with organizers announcing this year’s race, scheduled for October 25, has been cancelled.”Set against the hardship which this worldwide pandemic has inflicted, the cancellation of a sports event is of minor significance,” said race director Jo Schindler.”We have not taken this step lightly and have done our utmost to find solutions.center_img “Now we have to face the cold reality that cancellation is inevitable.”The Frankfurt event, held annually since 1981, is the second-biggest in Germany behind the Berlin Marathon. Some 27,000 runners took part in 2019.This year’s Berlin Marathon, traditionally held in September, has already been cancelled.Kenya’s Wilson Kipsang holds the Frankfurt course record of two hours, 03:42 in 2011.last_img read more

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These schools are adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to property in their zones

first_imgBrett and Sharee Cuthbert, with their children (from left to right) Manon, Fraser and Milla are looking for a home in a great school zone. Photo: AAP/Steve PohlnerTOP notch public schools have boosted property prices by hundreds of thousands of dollars and we’ve found the next generation of premium real estate school zones.Public school catchments are the defined geographic areas from which schools draw their student population, and families are competing for homes in popular catchments to be among the enrolment.Brisbane State High School’s (BSHS) popularity has seen demand for catchment housing near frenzy.Some BSHS catchment families even launched legal action this year after missing out on enrolment.But there are other great schools throughout Brisbane and price premiums are being achieved in those suburbs too, according to Property Pursuit Buyers’ Agents principal, Meighan Hetherington.“By sending the children to a very strong state school, they could be saving somewhere in the vicinity of $40,000 to $120,000 per child over the seven year course of that junior schooling,” Ms Hetherington said.“Over three or four school age children it’s a really significant saving in school funding that they can then contribute to the house or private secondary schooling,” she said.Ms Hetherington said the difference in price between being in or out of a catchment can be huge.“If you’re on the wrong side of the line, I’ve found there can be up to 12 per cent differential between a similar or comparable property in the same street,” she said.“We’re sometimes talking about a $1.6 million house on one side of the street versus a $1.8 million on the other side that’s in catchment,” she said.Ms Hetherington said prime school zones have the three Cs — community, culture and cafe’s.She said a fantastic principal coupled with a stable teaching roster, excellent facilities and programs, strong community support and a local cafe hub all combined to create desirable districts.Among her top tier picks, Ms Hetherington said Ironside State School was most interesting.“It’s aspirational and the housing prices around Ironside are well above the Brisbane median. It’s one of the schools I find people will most compromise on their property wish list in order to get in,” she said.“Rainworth is really interesting too because, along with great facilities, they have extraordinarily strong community around it. Ms Hetherington said among those on the rise, Eagle Junction State School caught her eye.“When Kalinga became a suburb in its own right, popularity increased in that school,” she said.She said Eagle Junction parents are beginning to concede on house quality in order to get in the zone.Sharee and Brett Cuthbert and their three children are moving to Brisbane in 2018.Mrs Cuthbert said they’ve looked for a Brisbane home for the past 12 months, and the prime element was school zones.“Good schools are driving prices up in rental and buying markets,” Mrs Cuthbert said.Mrs Cuthbert said while top academic results were a positive, they were happy to pay the premium for a total community experience.“The community feel is the best thing about going to those schools — being in the same neighbourhood where the kids can ride their bikes around,” she said.But competition has been tough according to Mrs Cuthbert.“We actually looked at house that was one house outside the catchment, and that will be effecting that home’s price,” she said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus1 day agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market1 day ago“Then there was one in the zone we went to on a really busy road and it was swarming with families,” she said. Current hot State School zones: Ironside (St Lucia)Indooroopilly MacgregorWilstonAshgroveRainworthBulimba Hot zones “on the rise” Eagle Junction (Clayfield)Norman ParkKenmore SouthGracevilleBardon Source: Meighan Hetherington, Property Pursuit Buyers’ Agents Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclairlast_img read more

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Investible green bond indices ‘not quite there yet’ – Climate Bond Initiative

first_imgInvestible climate bond indices will not come about for several more years, despite the universe now exceeding $0.5trn (€369bn), according to a report by the Climate Bond Initiative.The report, ‘Bonds and climate change: The state of the market in 2014’, found that the majority of existing issuances stemmed from the transport sector, accounting for close to $359bn globally.Climate and green bonds linked to energy issuances accounted for a further $74bn, while financing deals exceeded $50bn.The report also found that issuances would double over the course of 2014, exceeding $20bn compared with $11bn in paper in 2013. Sean Kidney, one of the report’s authors and chief executive of the Initiative, said the paper showed how investors could invest in climate bonds without risk.“The investment opportunities we find are safe and secure investment-grade bonds,” he said. “This is a Dull Green Market – just how pension funds and insurance funds like it.”Bridget Boulle, report co-author, highlighted there would be significant growth in the market in the coming years as municipalities, cities and corporates become more interested in the market.However, she told IPE there were still issues surrounding the discoverability of the climate and green bond market for institutional investors.“There is still certainly work to do on discoverability and identification of product, and then packaging it in a way that is exciting for investors – especially institutions,” she said.“Indexes will be a part of that, although, at the moment, they are mostly used for discovering rather than as a benchmark for investing in the index.”Boulle added that investable indices were “not quite there yet”.“I’m not sure there is enough large and liquid products around to be a really viable investment, but when we are there it will be even easer for institutions,” she said. “That’s the next step in a few years’ time.”According to the report, China remains the largest market for carbon bonds, with $140bn of its $164bn in issuances coming from the state-backed railway company.The UK is distant second, with a market of $58bn, $7bn larger than the US market, and France close behind the US with $49bn.Standards for property-backed climate bonds were recently put out to consultation.The standards suggested that any unit used for a climate bond should be in the top 15% of its regional market in cutting carbon emissions.There has been some activity in the green bond market in recent weeks, with the German development bank (KfW) announcing its first dedicated issuance to fund renewable energy projects.While initially targeting a €1bn raise, KfW confirmed earlier this week that it had enjoyed a “huge success” and issued €1.5bn in paper with a five-year maturity, paying an annual coupon of 0.375%.Insurer Zurich has confirmed its interest in the nascent market, doubling its commitment to $2bn, of which it has invested $400m so far.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to ‘Bonds and climate change’ reportlast_img read more

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PFZW and Landbouw lead Dutch sustainable investment ranking

first_imgThe €156bn healthcare scheme PFZW and the pension fund for the agricultural sector, Landbouw, performed best on sustainability last year, according to the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO). The funds came joint first after being checked against VBDO’s sustainability benchmark, which focuses on governance, policy, implementation and accountability, the organisation said.VBDO, which assessed the investments of the 49 largest pension funds in the Netherlands, said that ABP, Unilever’s Dutch scheme Progress and PNO Media ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively, with the pension funds of ABN AMRO and KLM coming last in the ranking.According to Jacqueline Duiker, interim project maanger at VBDO, governance is gradually increasing in prominence as all pension funds are now discussing the issue of sustainably investing at least once a year. She noted that all the pension funds have a sustainable investment policy in place, aimed at meeting international standards and guidelines, such as the UN’s Global Compact.However, she added that pension funds still fell short with the most important criterion, namely implementation of the policy.“Although pension funds are often able to explain what they don’t want, resulting in exclusion, ESG integration and engagement, they still fall short of positive selection and impact investing.”According to VBDO, pension funds increasingly offer transparancy about their sustainability credentials, “albeit not always monitored by an external auditor”.During the presentation of the survey, Joanne Kellermann, out-going director of pension supervision at regulator De Nederlandsche Bank, underlined the importance of the sustainability benchmark.“Nobody likes to be last on the list,” she said, adding that pension funds’ participants could also benefit from the VBDO’s findings, “as they enabled them to check their scheme’s performance”.last_img read more

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​AP1 picks managers to run €4.3bn in global emerging market equities

first_imgAberdeen Standard InvestmentsBlackRockFirst State InvestmentsFisher Asset ManagementGMOGQG PartnersJP Morgan Asset ManagementKBI Global InvestorsLegal & General Investment ManagementRBC Global Asset ManagementRobecoTOBAMUBS Asset ManagementWellington ManagementAP1 said it expected that these managers would diversify the fund’s portfolio and provide flexibility, and as well as complementing each other well in terms of investment styles and risk profiles.In its 2018 annual report, AP1 reported a 0.2% investment loss for the year – although this was 1.7 percentage points above its benchmark.Chief executive Johan Magnusson said in the report: “For several years now we have been saying that the extremely favourable returns on the financial markets are not sustainable in the long term.“We can now see signs that conditions are changing, and we therefore anticipate a growing challenge in terms of achieving our real return target of 4%.”Further readingHow We Run Our Money: Första AP-fonden (AP1) Chief investment officer Mikael Angberg outlines the fund’s investment philosophy to IPE’s Carlo Svaluto Moreolo AP1, one of Sweden’s four main state pension buffer funds, has selected 14 managers for its SEK45.3bn (€4.3bn) allocation to emerging markets equities.In May 2018, the SEK324bn fund moved to re-tender its entire allocation to emerging markets equities and entrust it to a range of external managers.Majdi Chammas, head of external asset management at AP1, told IPE: “These are the approved managers for EM equity, but not all of them will manage money. The funding decision is separate from this, but these are all eligible for managing money on behalf of AP1.”The managers selected are:last_img read more

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Bulldogs Beats South Dearborn Behind Roell’s No-Hitter

first_imgAlex Roell was brilliant on the mound on Thursday, as he threw a no-hitter to lead Batesville past South Dearborn 2-0.The pitching was strong on both sides. Senior Alex Roell earned the win for the Bulldogs and struck out two, while South Dearborn’s Rose sat down seven. Roell pitched five innings, giving up zero runs, zero hits, striking out two, and walking one. Rose took the loss for South Dearborn. He threw five and a third innings, giving up two runs, four hits, and striking out seven.The only runs on the day were from Jacob Christie’s one out double in the third inning, as he plated Trey Heidlage and Zach Britton.Jack Blomer, Jacob Christie, Joe Bohman, and Quinn Werner each managed one hit to lead the Bulldogs.The win makes the Bulldogs 8-5 overall and tied for first in the EIAC with a 4-1 record. Batesville will compete against North Decatur (10 am) and Connersville (6:00 pm) on Saturday evening.Courtesy of Bulldogs Coach Justin Tucker.last_img read more

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