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Not Bragging If Ya Did It: 3 Diverse, Innovative Articles in Nat'l Media

May 04, 2013

Last year I pulled off a stunt that I think is cool and that I don't think anyone else has done. (I'd love to see some info to the contrary to help me flesh things out.)

I wrote articles for national magazines about 3 totally different areas of sport and each of them was first-ever's for the media, that is, they weren't just reporting but were innovative contributions to their areas.

(OK, I'm stretching things a LITTLE, but it's darn close!)

My heroes have always been generalists...

But I haven't seen anyone do this before.

(I enjoy seeing writers colorfully wander into both bike and ski worlds, for instance. I think that Bob "Woody" Woodward did this -- the only other to have done so? He was certainly a heavier hitter than me, and wrote books across topic-areas as well. But he didn't do bikes, skis AND boats! Nor did he develop innovations in those areas. Altho he did pass on huge amounts of expertise. And, of course, all praise to the guru, he also started the first outdoor trade journal. Eric Evans also did great, fiesty 'character' work in the early 80's in skiing and kayaking -- but no triple-play that I can recall or google.)

So here's the fun-list:

1*Promote singletrack skiing and new ski techniques in "Cross Country Skier mag." (Also in "Silent Sports.") New stuff (in case you haven't seen my many pieces on them!): *striding doublepole, *skidaddle, *touring stride, *striding herringbone; plus I promote the seldom-taught uphill striding swing-tail turn and vintage pendulum poling.

2*Present the bike culture of Mackinac Island in "Bicycle Times."

3*Present standup canoeing and flatwater canoe poling and boatocross in "Canoe & Kayak" (OK, here I'm jumping the gun. Ha! They've expressed interest. If they do it, though, they'd be the "big fish" for these topics.) Actually, I've published about this in "Silent Sports" -- a regional mag that has wider impact. (Also, in "Backwoodsman," a national mag, and "Messing About in Boats," a national mag.)

4*Give props and details to Michigan backcountry skiing in "Silent Sports" -- and by extension the whole Midwest and anywhere else there are hills without mountains. "Backcountry" magazine refuses to acknowledge even the existence of BC beyond mountains. "SS" gave it the cover photo.

5*Using military surplus as bike luggage -- in "Backwoodsman."

I still have a step or two up to bring these subjects. I think they're all worthy of "Outside" magazine level coverage. All are about boosting access to the outdoors and increasing conviviality. That's why I think they're cool.

I emailed Michigan's Outdoor Writer group about it. No reply. I suppose I should've included a dues check... : ) So I suppose I'll have to be content with patting myself on the back. And wondering.

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