Guests: Matt deNeef; Craig Della Penna
This episode of TOC offers up two very different topics.
I caught up with Matt just before Stage 1 of the Tour to chat about his article, In Pursuit of the UCI Overlord, published June 22nd on the Escape site.
In his story, Matt details the shady goings-on of one Aaron Brown who, in 2012, disappeared with more than $70,000 of “other peoples’ money.” That money was intended for a defense fund for Irish journalist Paul Kimmage.
Going way back to 2012, Irish journalist Paul Kimmage was sued for defamation by the UCI and two of its principals. In his book, Rough Ride, Paul claimed that the UCI had buried the results of a doping test from Lance Armstrong. The UCI took umbrage to that claim and slapped Paul with the suit.
Matt dove down the rabbit hole to find out what happened to the money and to Aaron Brown. What he found will boggle your mind.
Here in the States, people don’t take kindly to picking on journalists and along with editor and writer Lesli Cohen and Andy Shen, a defense fund was set up to help with Kimmage’s legal fees.
What happened next is one of those tales of intrigue and duplicity that keep you riveted to the page.
If you want to know anything about rail trails, Craig Della Penna is da’ man! Our conversation today is about the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail System and what it is going to take to complete a 104 mile long trail that runs west from Boston to Northampton and intersects with 18 other rail trails.
After writing his first book on the history of old RR lines and their conversion to bike trails, Craig was hired by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy as their New England Field Representative focusing on the policy end of building rail trails as well as public outreach. He worked for them for seven years and left in 2004 to become a Realtor, specializing in the sale of houses near the trails.
Having given well over 1,200 lectures in 21 states and Canadian provinces, Craig is one of the country’s most sought after motivational speakers on the economic development, tourism, and community development aspect of rail-trails, and their leveraging small amounts of public dollars to redevelop forgotten or derelict lands into treasured places.
He and his wife Kathleen, operate an award-winning bed & breakfast in a restored, Civil War era house where the restoration was so extreme, it was featured on HGTV. The house sits 8 feet from one of the earliest muni-built rail trails in New England. And within 150 miles of his house sits the densest network of former steam RR corridor in the US.