Keeping the silent sports community informed and self propelled.
"Off The Couch" blog scribe Tom Held did double duty leading up to and through the weekend of the American Birkebeiner. I caught up with him in Hayward and Cable, but it wasn't easy.
By the time he made it to the Moccasin Bar Saturday afternoon, he'd skied the 54K classic race in 3:31:51 (an hour faster than me, as usual), finishing at 11:30 a.m., in time to attend a noon press conference and then file this story for the blog and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports section.
Held also produced a respectful story on the tributes paid to David Landgraf, one of only three skiers to have completed all 38 previous editions of the Birkie. Landgraf was hit by a car and killed while bicycling last August, a tragedy Held has covered extensively, too.
Held also reported on Steve Clark's 100-mile bike ride to the start of the Birkie, which he then skied for the tenth time with the equipment he carried. Held even supplied a video interview. Clark, who heads up Transit or Livable Communities in the Twin Cities, was the keynote speaker at the Wisconsin Bike Summit in Madison on Tuesday, which Held and I covered for our respective silent sports publications.
(By the following Tuesday, Held blogged about an exhausted Clark falling asleep at the wheel of his pick-up truck and driving off the road. "He narrowly missed a cluster of trees, and escaped unharmed, but regretful," Held reported.)
Let it be said that Held and I both spotted Clark biking in the Cable-Hayward area while the two of us were driving. We would both be hypocrites in the eyes of Clark's wife.