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  • Backcountry vs. frontcountry
    What are the advantages and disadvantages to snowshoeing in either backcountry or frontcountry areas? First what is the backcountry and frontcountry?
  • Stoked students
    A new sport enjoyed a successful first season at Hortonville High School in Hortonville, Wisconsin, as mountain bikers formed a competitive team that raced in the Wisconsin High School Cycling League (WHSCL) this year.
  • How to get kids hooked on cross-country skiing
    Let’s face it, our sport requires more physical exertion than it gives gravity thrills. It takes patience and practice to develop good technique. The venue is outside, in the dead of winter, without ski lifts. All this means that children can quickly lose interest and get frustrated. However, for families who manage to get their children hooked, cross-country skiing can become an important and positive part of their lives.
  • The off-season
    I paddle from the Spring Equinox to the Winter Solstice, then I let my boats lay fallow for a season. They receive a well-deserved rest, while other activities take up my time.
  • A sister remembers
    I greeted friends, former co-workers, students and neighbors for over four hours at her funeral. It was harder than any race we ever did together because this time she wasn’t there, let alone running or skiing, alongside me.
  • Biking in a winter wonderland
    With all the complaining I do about riding in the extreme cold, you may be surprised that I help out with the group Madison Bike Winter. Yes, I actually ride with and plan events for a group that counts down the days until the winter solstice in June.
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  • What matters most

    For all those who have chased him, it’s hard to imagine Brian Matter ever thought about quitting. But the professional mountain bike and cyclocross racer from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, was at that point in 2004: tired of eating peanut butter and rice, frustrated by meager winnings and fed up with long drives to race all over the country.

  • The Outfitter Loppet is groomed as it’s skied
    The snowmobile-riding groomers of the Loppet Trail in northern lower Michigan bogged down in the thigh-deep powder. With 120 skiers expected Sunday for the 31st annual Outfitter Loppet, race director Josh Baker had 25K of powdery snow trail that needed packing. 
  • Double your poling pleasure
    "It’s simple,"CXC's Andy Keller said. "Both classic and skate skiing require double poling, and most people have easy-to-correct flaws. Addressing those will help everyone have more fun on skis, from the three-times-a-season skiers to every weekend racers. 
with Tom Held
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  • 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.
  • Movin’ Shoes
    RUNNING with Tom Kaufman
    The initial inventory of Movin’ Shoes was four pairs of shoes hanging on a peg board. The first running shoes sold were Tiger Nylon and Leather Cortez. These were soon followed by Blue Ribbon Sports’ (Nike) Nylon and Leather Cortez. The cost of those first running shoes? About $15.
  • Trading my Birkie for a Korte
    So I called the American Birkebeiner office to switch my registration from the full 54K classic Birkie to the 23K Kortelopet set for February 21. Sigh. 
  • SNEAK PEEK: February 2015 issue
    A sneak peek at our February "Birkie issue," with profiles of the new and old guard of the American Birkebeiner, race tips, foregoing competition on skis, too, considering massage therapy, polar vortex snowshoeing and getting ready to bike again. 
Le Mans start to the 2015 Fat Bike Race, Wausau
The 14-mile Fat Bottom River Rampage at Sunny Vale Park, Wausau, Wis., gets underway with a le mans start.
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