HISTORY: 3VBC and Riverbrook Nordic Ski Team Connection

From time to time on CyclovaXC.com, 3VBC, Team Leinenkugel's, and the Riverbrook Nordic Ski Team have come up. We certainly elude to this connection at the bottom of our Mission Statement page to provide some background, but I thought I'd put this post out there to fill in the dots on some of the history and elements that have contributed to Cyclova XC.

Back in September of 1997, Ben and I were getting to know each other and beating up (literally, until one of us bled) each other while doing rollerski workouts. We both also spent a lot of time cycling and doing a lot of bike racing. Personally, I did most of the local WISPORT stuff as well as a lot of USCF Jr and Sr races. I had spent 2 seasons riding with a team based out of Hudson at Art Doyle's Spokes and Pedals and really enjoyed the camaraderie and teamwork aspect of riding on a team

So, we figured that we could create that same level of camaraderie and fun with a Nordic Ski Team. On a dreary fall day in 1998, I walked into Riverbrook to chat with Kevin and Dede (founders and owners until ?2003?) and they loved the concept. I also chatted with a number of my cyclist friends that were also skiers, folks like Tommy Krenz, Kevin Rogers, Marva Sahs, Neal Lundeen, and many others. We met a number of times at Riverbrook, got our feet on the ground as a club, had some great suits made up, and became a truly unique ski club. Our membership included skiers of all stripes from first time skiers to numerous national champions. Above all, it was FUN. Fun to ski and fun to hang out with your skiing friends!

Tommy Krenz coming on to the lake in the 2000 Birkie.

While this was happening, I was also working at the very rapidly growing Riverbrook Bike and Ski. We figured it would also be fun to get a bike team going. So, we printed up a first round of red colored Riverbrook jerseys (there was also an older white version from '96 or so). This first season, there was only a few of us out there, and I was the only person I ever recall seeing at Road Races in the Red Team Riverbrook Jersey.

The following summer, I was able to do some arm twisting with my former team mates from the Hudson based team and the "reincarnated Team Leinies", or 3VBC was born (note that Terry Baillargeon and company had an Osceola based team also sponsored by Leinies back in the early to mid 90's). This team was an instant success due to the same focus on having fun that the ski team had. People were also drawn to it because beer is popular, particularly because our 2 team kits were themed after the popular Leinies Honey-Weiss and Red Lager beers. In fact, our road team kit looked just like the Honey-Weiss bottle label of the time and the Mountain bike kit looked just like the Red Lager label of the time.

Frank Lundeen, David Gabrys, and Mike Lundeen sporting the Leinies kits, July of 2003.

These 2 teams had much to celebrate over their lifetime, most importantly getting people into the sports that may have never otherwise done so! There were many races with 40+ team members showing up, dominating the start line. There were also many races with finish lines and podiums dominated by our team kits. These clubs also put on many events ranging from races (like the Shell Lake Road Race, the Rodeo Stampede MTB Race, the Schwan Shuffle, etc), to tours, to clinics, to weekly rides.

This spirit lives on with Cyclova XC! Come ride with us and let the good times roll!



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