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  • Want to ride 200K? How about 1,200K?

    Half of the Minnesota Randonneurs's rides are 200K or shorter, and this year, for the first time, they will offer four gravel rides of 100K to 150K. Randonneuring groups in the upper Midwest primarily offer rides, called brevets, of 100K, 200K, 300K, 400K and 600K. A full schedule of brevets is listed here.

  • Snowshoeing ‘up north’

    I threw my snowshoes, hiking pole and a daypack filled with essentials into my Ford Ranger and drove north. The designated snowshoe trails that I visited in both Flambeau and Brule River state forests were relatively short, from a half mile to two and a half miles in length. In most Wisconsin state forests, you can snowshoe just about anywhere, as long as you stay off groomed cross-country ski trails. So this leaves snowshoeing distances up to your choosing.

  • No Tuscobia phobia
    Against all odds, I was poised to steal a win seven hours into the 75-mile fat bike race at this year’s Tuscobia Winter Ultra held between Rice Lake and Park Falls, Wisconsin. That didn’t look at all likely at the start, when the sub-zero temp caught me a little off guard. I was losing sensation in my toes before I even got off the bus.
  • Massage therapists relieve aching muscles

    A  hard run, some hill climbs on a road bike, an hour of cross-country skiing or a day of portaging canoes and carrying packs in the Quetico. When I do any of these things my muscles will be complaining the next day. The best antidote for those sore muscles might be a visit to a massage therapist.

  • Birkie roots run deep
    It’s no wonder that Ben Popp, executive director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, has such a burning passion to get children and families outside and on cross-country skis. He started skiing with his family in Phillips, Wisconsin, not long after he had learned to walk.
  • Paralympian skiers take flight
    All the other competitors proved their drive, courage and perseverance long before they entered the International Paralympic Committee Nordic Skiing World Championships, that took place on the trails of Telemark Resort near Cable, Wisconsin.
    
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  • Under new management
    Kevin Feind has the ability to take a state park in need of attention and make it a dream Wisconsin destination. He did it over his 17 years as a ranger at the Brule River State Forest, which bodes well for Pattison and nearby Amnicon Falls state parks, which he took over as park supervisor in January 2014. 
  • Test ride

    Fat bikes are coming to the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, a sprawling 8,600-acre nature preserve and recreational area hidden away in the substantial hills and hollows of western Wisconsin. And they’re arrival may lead to even bigger things.

     
  • 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. 
  • New film to focus on ice climbing in Michigan
    The maker of a cinematic 2013 short film publicizing Marquette, Michigan’s groomed snow bike trail have taken on another U.P. silent sport as the subject of his next film: the rich history of ice climbing in nearby Munising. And filmmaker Aaron Peterson is using Kickstarter to crowd source the finances needed to complete the two-year movie project. 
THE ACTIVE PURSUIT
with Tom Held
An image.
An image.
An image.
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS
  • 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.
     
BLOGGERS
  • SNEAK PEEK: April 2015 issue
    In the April issue: Paddling through Busse Woods in northern Illinois, biking the length of Michigan's Old Mission Peninsula, profile of a round-the-world bicyclist and special calendars for 2015 mountain bike races, marathons and ultramarathons. 
  • ATV'ers seek year-round access to the northern Eisenbahn State Trail
    With their winter grasp on the northern half of the Eisenbahn State Trail, ATV'ers are now formally seeking year-round access to the rail-trail through Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. 
PHOTO GALLERIES
VIDEOS
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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