Keeping the silent sports community informed and self propelled.
Congratulations are due to the winners of Silent Sports' prize drawing conducted at Canoecopia, the paddlesports expo in Madison, Wisconsin, March 9-11. More than 400 people entered to win a Bending Branches wood canoe paddle, made in Osceola, Wisconsin, and a selection of books on biking, hiking and skiing in the upper Midwest.
The paddle was won by Dave Clemens, a long-time reader of the magazine, in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Sharing the books -- titles, authors and an illustrator of which we've featured in Silent Sports -- will be shared by John Ryder of Sparta, Wisconsin, and David Olson of Cambridge, Illinois.
Like diet pill poppers only interested in seeing immediate results, Minnesota lawmakers seem unable to commit to programs that integrate exercise and lifestyle changes intended to lead state residents to better health over the long term.
Some Republican legislators are expressing doubt in the effectiveness of the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP), a multi-pronged effort included in a 2008 bipartisan health care package it was hoped would lead to cutting future health care costs.
Chicago is the latest city -- but not the first in the upper Midwest -- to jump on the bike-sharing bandwagon.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday the selection of Alta Bicycle Share, Inc., of Portland, Oregon, to make 3,000 bikes available at 300 solar-powered stations this summer, with expansion to 5,000 bikes and 500 stations by 2012, according to the Chicago Tribune.
To talk about how best to enjoy the current warm and sunny weather, Wisconsin Public Radio's Joy Cardin turned this morning to Tom Held, a frequent contributer to Silent Sports and the "Off the Couch" blogger for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
You can hear the 45-minute discussion here.
After making several stops throughout Minnesota to gather ideas for how to make bicycling safer, state transportation officials will host an online discussion on March 22.
A statewide bicycle planning study -- and possibly Minnesota's first electronic bike map -- may result from the information gathered by Minnesota Department of Transportation officials earlier this month.
Having spent many of my waking hours of late adding events to the Silent Sports events calendar -- there are now more than 500 listed, including 187 in June alone! -- I've fallen behind on my "Off The Couch" blog reading.
And Tom Held's been busy.
In conjunction with the National Bike Summit, which wrapped up yesterday in Washington, D.C., the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) released state-by-state factsheets detailing how federal money has served bicyclists and pedestrians. They make for interesting reading. LAB breaks down this spending -- a mere 1.5 percent of the federal transportation budget -- by congressional district, too.
Here's a snapshot of what the money has meant in the upper Midwest. :
Two Milwaukee bicycling events taking place in early April ought not to be missed.
1) Sponsored by Wheel & Sprocket, the 28th annual Bike Expo at Wisconsin State Fair Park April 5-8 will include free cycling seminars, host dozens of cycling organizations and businesses, have more than 2,000 bikes available for purchase. The event is expected to draw as many as 11,000 cyclists.
An Illinois law that took effect earlier this year allows non-Chicago bicyclists to proceed through red lights. The law is already undergoing some tweaking because of some vague language, according to mybikeadvocate.com.
In a previous piece, Chicago bicycle accident attorney Brendan Kevenides expressed support for the legislation, writing, "It would be reasonable, in my opinion, for bicyclists throughout the state to be permitted to treat traffic signs and signals as yield signs. That is how most people ride anyway. If the coast is clear, after slowing to a stop or near stop, bicyclists should be permitted to proceed."
Recent apparently random attacks on cyclists and runners in a downtown plaza Minneapolis, Minn., and in a state park in Cedar Falls, Iowa, have mobilized police and citizens.
Yesterday when I joined the Get Up & Ride National Bike Challenge, I noted that Wisconsin's vanguard in bicycling advocacy had already racked up the third highest point total.
Today, Team Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, which launched this encouragement program last year, had slipped to sixth place in the "warm-up before the campaign start," which is May 1 and continues to August 31.
Despite a report in an Ontario, Wis., newspaper, the Disney corporation is not buying the Elroy-Sparta State Trail from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The state agency issued a statement today "to assure the public" that the trail is not for sale and that the report, originally published by The County Line newspaper and "picked up by other news media," was an April Fools prank.
Off The Couch: Birkie raises cap, Wodke heads to Boston, Mad City 50K & Trailbreaker Marathon on Saturday
On the "Off The Couch" blog, Tom Held reports the organizers of the American Birkebeiner will raise the cap on skiers for the 2013 event to 9,500 -- up from 9,000, which was reached this past February.
The new owners of the Telemark Resort are also actively wooing the Birkie back with a proposal to build a heated expo center. For the last two years, while the resort was in foreclosure and its future iffy, the Birkie moved registration to the Hayward Middle School.