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  • The majesty of the Manistee
    With a length of 190 miles before it reaches Lake Michigan, the Manistee also offers opportunities for multi-day downriver camping excursions. The latter experience is what my wife Cyndy and I were after when we set out to spend four days on the river.
  • Meet your maker
    You may doubt there are many differences between steel bikes from one builder to the next. But you need to look at their frames as artwork. These builders take form and function into equal consideration. They are part engineer and part artist, and each build is like a snowflake; no two are the exactly same.
  • By muscle & machine
    I talked with eminent trail builders, old school and new, and I’ve explored the fruits of their labors. In search of answers, I finally staged a race to see if one of these machines could replace human labor.
  • Among the few who paddle past the dunes

    You would think that a national park called the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore would be a favorite destination for kayakers. Apparently not. One park employee thought that maybe someone had done the trip the year before.

  • Leave it to the young
    When they passed through Duluth, Minnesota, Seth Siladke and James Thomas, two 25-year-old men from Traverse City, Michigan, had a long way yet to go on the 4,600-mile trail; a thru-hike fewer than 10 people have completed. They hoped to finish by late September.
  • Purposeful driftless pedaling
    On my road bike I swooped into lush green valleys and labored to climb out of each, but I largely followed the ridgeline on curving roads looping south from Viroqua, then north to Westby. Later in the day on my fat bike, I bombed down the Sidie Hollow wooded singletrack which twisted, turned and flowed beautifully .
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  • As a runner, one of my favorite things to observe is a high school student also becoming a runner. Kids join a team for many reasons. Some join to hang out with friends. Some join to test themselves physically. Some join because they love the sport. Some join because their parents sign them up. 
  • NoMo-a-GoGo
    On a biking tour of Kohler and Sheboygan neighborhoods, downtown business districts, the Lake Michigan lakeshore and the routes in between, one is struck by the many ways residents in these small Wisconsin communities are encouraged to get around by means other than their cars. 
  • My 30-plus years as a triathlete
    Every person who has completed a triathlon has a reason for taking up the sport. Usually the attraction is the challenge. You wonder if you can finish a triathlon or be competitive at it. In my case, it had more to do with needing to make a lifestyle change than anything else. 
An image.
An image.
  • A long wait for a long race
    "Thirty-seven years of doing this and this’ll be the first time I miss my start," I told the skier sitting next to me on the bus transporting us to the start of the American Birkebeiner. 
  • How was the coldest day of the year for you?
    Last year we were left stumbling by the unceasing cold that settled like a 60-day cloud of depression. This year we got gut punched by the Packers, an ache that will linger long after the cold fades.  
  • Training on rainy days
    XC Skiing with Mitch Mode
    I have learned to take comfort on rainy days when dawn brings grayness and haze settles on the land as a heavy blanket. 
  • Hill Climbing 101
    BEHIND THE BARS with Kierstin Kloeckner
    As a trainer and cycling coach, I am constantly urging clients who don’t like hills to give them another shot. After all, is riding through flat cornfields day after day really that much fun? By learning to embrace climbing, a whole new world opens up. 
  • Acquired skills
    XC SKIING with Mitch Mode
     None of this is instinctive. We are not born accomplished skiers. It is an acquired skill. Technique is the driver. Without it we flail, energy wasted. Our enthusiasm may know no bounds, but bad technique is an open window as the furnace runs hot. Technique comes with time and with work. It is malleable, changing form as our experience grows. We may be born to ski but we are not born competent skiers. 
  • The way of the blade
    PADDLING with Darren Bush
    There are no right or wrong paddles. If you are a fan of big blades for flatwater paddling, then more power (literally) to you. Do you like skinny little Greenland kayak paddles? By all means, use them. Like a bent shaft canoe paddle or a traditional willow-leaf design? Good for you. As the French say, 
    à chacun son goût
  • The best Birkie ever
    FOOTLOOSE with Bruce Steinberg
    Carol and I raised over $6,500 in pledges for a clinic that specialized in macular degeneration research. All I had to do was finish the 1994 Birkie filled with the calamities; calamities that paled in comparison to what Carol and other sufferers of macular degeneration have to cope with every day.
  • Quenching your thirst
    GEAR with Lou Dzierzak
    There are more options than ever to carry water with you on your adventures. Once limited to heavy plastic bottles stored in hip belt holsters, athletes can now choose from handhelds, belts with multiple bottles and lightweight technical vests.
  • COMING in the September issue of Silent Sports
    Bicycling improvements in Sheboygan County, building singletrack by muscle and machine, custom steel bikes, Manistee River paddling and more. 
  • The places we go
    The August issue features road and mountain biking in Viroqua, Wisconsin, paved trail riding in Iowa, thru hiking the North Country Trail, paddling along the Sleeping Bear Dunes, through the Boundary Waters and on the Wisconsin River. 
Casey Randolph speedskating demo
2002 Olympic gold medalist and Wisconsin native Casey FitzRandolph demonstrates and talks about his sport at the Edgewater Hotel rink in Madison during the Frozen Assets Festival on February 7, 2015.
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