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Congratulations Birkie Skiers!--Cyclops 2.5

This year Frank and I decided to "get the band back together" as well as meet up with a whole new crew of enthusiastic/crazy/half-baked runner-biker-skier types to dish up some joy and chaos. Now after the first CyclovaXC Birkie, all I have to say is: Ladies and Gentlemen...MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! To be absolutely honest, we've had very little game plan beyond the normal rallying cry of "Charge boldly forward, burn all bridges, and be willing to adapt!" Well, we've charged, we've burned, and we've adapted, and I think we're just settling in to a nice little niche that we've scratched and clawed and excavated for ourselves. You know how it is, once the beast gets moving, it's a lot harder to slow down!

I'm sure there are many of you who were lurking around at the Telemark lodge before the Birkie who, for whatever reason, I didn't identify (that's why you buy the warm-ups!). But for the 15 or 20 of you that I DID manage to chat with in the midst of pre-race jitters (and long bathroom lines) I just have to reiterate...well met comrade!

From the first pre-dawn moments in which Frank, my mom (Birkie 24 for her I believe) and myself identified the towering and ever physically intimidating frame of Alan Lindsley (I'm not even kidding...the dude is SCARY) standing in the newly plowed Birkie Parking lot resplendent in his glorious (and highly visible from a distance) CyclovaXC warm-up jacket (I reiterate...YOU need to get one), we knew it was going to be a great day. Things only got better as we stumbled dazed and confused onto what must have been the first bus of the day (mom got us up at 4 AM) and encountered the entire Osceola contingent (genuinely happy to see you dudes, but honestly your masculinity remains in question until you start shelling out for some CyclovaXC duds...and I'm not the only one who thinks that).

The race itself, as you know, was pretty darn close to perfect. It seems like everyone had a PR, except for those of us who have gone without the Birkie for a few years and were relegated to the 5th wave. But even in wave five, the chopped up snow remained fast (the skiing gods smiled upon us), and since the whole objective was just to move up a wave or two (as it is for pretty much everybody) the chances are good that we got it done.

Oddly, it's only AFTER the race that the real carnage begins as the masses of jubilant skiers continue down their rocky trail along the Birkie's esophagus only to be vomited out at the end of main street where they gather and revel with beers in hand and euphoric cheers for all the other competitors who continue to fight down the last two hundred meters of their epic journey (the guy in the US National team ski suit and the big yellow cowboy hat was there to drive them in)! By the end of the day, we all knew that the roaring miserable beast they call the Birkie trail had been ravaged and defeated (at least, until next year when it's sure to come rising up again).

In light of the fact that just about everybody and his/her brother apparently jumped on our web page for waxing advice, Frank and I have decided to dedicate some more time to the technical side of how to get your skis fast. Look for us to post some more "proper waxing technique" videos and perhaps even start to offer some other services in the future (as always, we've got more ideas than time, but we'll let you know the moment any one of our sinister notions comes to fruition).

For right now, even though March is the best time of year for skiing (crust skiing), our focus has to shift to the pending bicycling season. After the Birkie, the wind just goes out of the race circuit, and although we'll post any news we hear of CyclovaXC guys at the Bear chase (be the Bear), we've got to wrestle with our distributor over some bike jerseys, shorts, and some running singlets. I'm sure we'll be making announcements soon with images of what the gear is going to look like and how much it's going to cost...so start saving up (no more lame excuses, we know you want it, and more importantly YOU know you want it, so commit early so we're sure to have your PROPER SIZE!!!!!).

As for the articles of the last few weeks, most of them dealt with imminent Birkie Fever and wax tips and techniques (I'm not including those), but there were also a couple other ones of interest that you might have missed and remain relevant. Read them here (do it...do it NOW):

Bloggers and IOC Need to Give Olympic Athletes a Break

NBC's Crappy Olympic Coverage is Really Starting to Irritate Me

Getting Over the Jet-Lag: Lindsley's report from Fallun, Sweden

Dave Landgraf and Allan Lindsley tear it up in Fallun, Sweden

More News from Fallun Sweden

My Wish List

That's it! Congratulations all CyclovaXC skiers on a fantastic Birkie and a fantastic first CyclovaXC ski season! Pump up your tires and lace up your running shoes because this party has just started!

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