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  • Axletree in Illinois: What grassroots bike advocacy looks like
    What happens when a bicycle shop chooses to broaden its focus on selling bikes but to include bicycling advocacy? Something pretty darn special happens. You’d think every bike shop in the world would also advocate for bicycling, and many do. But it’s rare I find one which works so hard at it as North Central Cyclery and Axletree. 
  • Mark Harms redefines fast
    Hundreds of triathletes chasing Mark Harms would love to know the secret behind his remarkable run of success: six USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in the past seven years, and one ITU World Age Group title. 
  • Mountain bikers pay for Chequamegon trail building
    The Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival and other mountain biking events have bankrolled a substantial amount of the singletrack that now exists in the Chequamegon area, nearly 90 miles worth, according to the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association, which began building singletrack in 1999. 
  • An icon returns
    “When they mothballed the (Bell Canoe Works) molds, people all across the country would search me out and asked if I was going to build canoes again,” Ted Bell said. “Once my noncompete expired, I decided it was time to get back into the industry.” 
  • A whole lotta dairyland to ride
    If you have ever done either the Dairyland Dare or the Dairy Roubaix, both put on by Michelle and Stewart Schilling, you know there will be cows, hills, burning legs, sweat, tears and more hills. Oh yes, smiles are mandatory as well.  
  • No one left behind
    At five-foot-seven or so, Bob Barabe was a giant in Wisconsin cycling, a gentle giant. Bob was a loving husband, father and career guidance counselor. But he also harbored a passion to ride free and race hard. He taught everyone he touched the joy of cycling.  
  • To save ourselves, we need to change course
    Each time I meet a new client struggling with their health, I wish I could magically change the environment they live in, provide them with the mental strength to commute by human power, the infrastructure to do so safely and instill in them fear that if they don’t make some simple lifestyle changes, they will not survive for long. 
  • Paddlers unite
    The West Michigan Coastal Kayakers Association’s 125 members, which include 43 family memberships, run the gamut from the hardcore surf riders of the Great Lakes and folks that do Eskimo rolls as easily as you snap your fingers, to neophytes who are just learning to kayak.  
  • Getting along with getting old, Part II
    Growing old as a runner is like changing residences. Your body is no longer a youthful temple; it has transformed into what Realtors call “a fixer upper” and you are the handyman constantly attending to assorted stiff muscles, sore tendons, achy joints and dull pains. 
  • Ultrarunner Zach bitter creates ‘a work of art’
    "It is staggering, as mind-boggling as the distance itself. It is borderline unbelievable and it would be unbelievable if it wasn’t strictly documented," Rich McKnight said after witnessing Zach Bitter smash the U.S. 100-mile and world 12-hour records. 
  • Shape up for snowshoe season
    Why are some 20 year olds so out of shape that they cannot keep up with someone close to their grandparents’ age? I am not an unusually fit person. But I keep in good enough shape so I don’t become so easily exhausted when snowshoeing. 
  • Pushing my dad

    I found the Mount Lemmon Half Marathon, billed as the “world’s toughest road marathon.” I figured I’d end up walking most of it anyway. And since I’d be walking, it occurred to me I could push my outdoors-loving dad.

     
  • Night users of state trails subject to fines
    Take a walk or bike on a state trail in Wisconsin during night-time hours and you unknowingly become a criminal subject to a $175 fine. That’s because buried in a section of the voluminous administrative code for which state government is notorious is a provision that state trails are closed from 11 p.m. until 6 a.m. Known as NR45.04, the rule was created by the DNR in 1984. 
  • Attention to detail
    “I really like the idea of people on bikes. And people on beautiful bikes that I paint is even better,” says Jason Sanchez, 43, from the Milwaukee hearse garage of a former funeral home he converted for his custom bicycle painting business. 
  • David C. “Dave” Angell
    Dave’s athletic interests included much more than running. Swimming, skiing, biking, canoeing – he did all with enthusiasm. And if you knew him for any length of time, you knew his passions were by no means confined to athletics.  
THE ACTIVE PURSUIT
with Tom Held
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