During his long career of running, biking and paddling in Door County, Bob Richards has seen silent sports gain popularity as participation in organized races swells and more individual athletes use Door County trails, roads and shores.
“Definitely I see a big surge in kayaking, I think that’s really come on strong,” Richards said. “I think cycling is really coming on strong; it was already strong but I think it’s even stronger. Running is always there. If anything all three of them have gotten better.”
Richards is vice president of the Door County Silent Sports Alliance, a group that works to promote local silent sports. The alliance’s annual meeting is tonight at the Lodge at Leathem Smith in Sturgeon Bay, and members and non-members are invited to socialize, discuss 2013’s projects and elect three new members to the board.
The Silent Sports Alliance tries to get members involved in volunteering at silent sports events like the Door County Triathlon and Fall 50, and to host events like bike rodeos where kids can practice riding bikes and learn the rules of the road.
“We’re trying to get out there to enhance and promote a healthy lifestyle in Door County,” Richards said.
The alliance is also active in advocating for silent sports access. Richards said members spoke out last year against the Sporting Heritage Bill that vastly increased hunting access in Wisconsin State Parks. Read more about the Sporting Heritage Bill Here>> Richards also wants to work on getting more mountain bike trails in Door County.
While all exercise is good, Richards said the benefits of participation in silent sports goes beyond physical.
“It doesn’t have to be intense, doesn’t have to be racing, just an active lifestyle, which most people will agree is a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “[Silent sports] promotes that, and gives people an appreciation for the environment and taking care of the land and the water and everything that goes with that active lifestyle. Once you’re a runner, biker and kayaker you want great places to do it that are safe and fun.”
The Door County Silent Sports Alliance’s annual meeting is Oct. 28 at 6 pm at the Lodge at Leathem Smith in Sturgeon Bay.