North & Central America

Being Beluga

CHURCHILL, MANITOBA, ATINRY PORT TOWN perched on the western edge of the Hudson Bay some 600 miles north of Winnipeg, bills itself the "Polar Bear Capital of the World." And rightfully so. Each...

Being Beluga

I'm here for a week to explore Churchill without its famous blanket of white. I get a good start the morning after I arrive, when I hitch a helicopter ride to Wapusk National Park, 35 miles...

Being Beluga

Now's a good time, whispers my guide, Barbara Draper, a Winnipeg native who's lived and worked in Churchill for the last decade. She smiles—perhaps a little too enthusiastically—as I...

Being Beluga

Ten minutes east of town, my companion and guide Paul Ratson, a tundraman from central casting, looking swarthy in a rust-colored flannel shirt, pulls his weathered van off the road and, as a...

Ramp It Up

Brandon Nicholls, now 14 years old, got his first for-real BMX bike on his seventh Christmas. "I just started riding from there," he says in a voice so newly dropped to baritone that he uses it...

Do the Javelina

Not all Sonoran desert mountain-biking hazards have needles, as I was reminded on a recent ride. I was peeling down a stretch of craggy Tucson Mountain singletrack, my mind so focused on...

Here On Planet Granite

Kayakers scout rapids, climbers scout routes, and telemark skiers scout lines. Mountain bikers rely on momentum. Or at least that's what I tell myself as I drop off a muddy knob roughly the size...

Blacktop Beauty

It's the cows. These three words have become the standard, slightly wry explanation for why there are so many sleekly paved roads in the 35-mile radius surrounding Madison, Wisconsin&...

Gravity's Rainbow

Drop off Bald Mountain's 9,150-foot summit, plunge 3,400 vertical feet in ten miles on buffed western singletrack through sagebrush and pine, and you'll realize why Sun Valley is fast becoming...

Take the Express Lane

It was as a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic skeet-shooting team at the Mexico City Games that millionaire magazine publisher Bob Rodale caught his first glimpse of a velodrome. "What a beautiful...

Slog Heaven

Nasty weather, frigid temperatures, and a face caked with mud are three reasons why cyclocross racing is, and will always be, a niche sport. Yet in Seattle, where 36 inches of annual rainfall...

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