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Sunday: 10am - 5pm

CyclovaXC Long-Sleeve Bicycling Jersey Approval Form

Sigh...what a tremendous amount of work...

Frank and I actually hadn't even been considering doing an order this fall, and then Mt. Borah wrote us telling us they could mix and match pieces from our various designs so we decided to jump all over it.  The result is the above long sleeve bicycle jersey that is a combination of the bike kit and the arms from the "olive" ski suit design.

I always enjoy skiing in a long sleeve bicycling top since they tend to be a little warmer than a skiing top, and not as warm as a warm-up jacket.  I also like the fact that they have a full length zipper (or at least ours does because we paid the extra $5!  YEAH), so you don't have to wrestle with yourself for a half hour to get out of it.

I was really surprised how many people decided to ante up for these jerseys as well.  Mt. Borah said they could reduce the minimum order to 3, but I think I ended up with more than 6 (the general minimum order) telling me they wanted these.

I'm really looking forward to getting this particular piece of equipment.  Sheesh...I think we've essentially got or made available just about EVERY relevant article of clothing (except running singlets)...we might have to talk about those more in the future...probably next summer if I'm not absolutely broke and living under a bridge by then.

CyclovaXC Vest Design Approval Form

Hello All!

Today I received the design approval form from Mt. Borah regarding our upcoming order.  The above picture is the vest, and although it doesn't really give you a good picture as to how the vest is going to look...it gives you more or less an idea.

You have to remember that these little bits and pieces fit together in a way that's difficult to visualize unless you've tried to sew one of these vests up (much the same way that all the little bits and pieces to a human being don't look quite right until you sew them all properly together). 

Frankly, I think this is going to look as typically awesome as those of you who have already donned CyclovaXC are accustomed to having it look!  At some point, I'm pretty sure we're going to offer a ski suit with this design, instead of the "Olive" and "Lime" designs that we had previously.  However, in all likelihood we're going to radically change the pants.

We'll see...and we'll keep you posted on upcoming developments!

First XC Ski Race Of The Season in Lower Michigan

The first on snow XC Ski Race of the 2010 - 2011 season was on Saturday at Brick Wheels in Traverse City, MI! Photo Credit: Brick Wheels

Yes, it's only late October and the first XC Ski Race of the season has happened. No, it didn't happen in a ski tunnel. Rather, it happened in the back yard of the Brick Wheels ski shop in Traverse City, MI.

The even was spearheaded by Brick Wheel's Eli Brown and Tim Brick as well as help from the local ski community.

The snow for the event came from ice shavings created by the Zamboni maintaining the local skating rinks. Many loads of snow were delivered to the back yard of Brick Wheels to create a 70 meter loop that took roughly 15 seconds to ski around.

One might expect putting on a ski race during October to be a challenge, and this was no exception. With warming temps and rain in the forecast after they laid down the course, the crew made the heroic effort of covering the course with tarps and actually salting the snow to absorb excess water. These tactics saved the day and preserved most of the snow - allowing the race to happen.

With over 100 spectators, 25 racers, food, music, and prizes, a great crowd showed up and a good time was had by all.

The race used a time trial format with the top 2 (Milan Baic and Ross Williams) duking it out for the title in a final heat. They started on opposite sides of the course and after several very close laps, Williams was declared the winner.

Click HERE to view the coverage of the event by the local TV News channel.

I'm Registering a Few Complaints about the Weather

A couple of weeks ago I could depend on going out in the morning for a roller ski and be able to enjoy the vista you see in the above picture. However, these days if I wake up in the morning to go roller skiing...all I see is that kind of cold, hard, drizzling evil rain that sinks right into your bones, and then rises up to infect your chest, crushing your lung capacity like a drained can of ultra-boost.

The other thing that sucks about this recent deluge is that it brings out the worm things.

You know what I mean.

They aren't WORMS...they're WORM THINGS!

Worms are long and slimy, but they're reasonable enough and we need them to aerate the soil.

Worm-THINGS on the other hand, are just gelatinous masses of goop stuffed into a little grayish membrane.  Their only purpose is to 1. make you lose your balance as you dodge to avoid them and 2. gum up your roller ski wheels when you don't.

Not to mention the wind...apparently we just set some kind of record for wind velocity.  I'm sure it's the type of "end of the world" scenario that we're going to hear both political parties blame the other for in the latest barrage of hate election advertising.

Actually...come to think of it...the weather's not all that bad after all.  At least there are no TVs out there.  See you guys later...I'm off to go roller skiing!

Cyclova XC Group Weekend Workout Plans Finalized

One of the many amazing running trail options in the St. Croix River Valley.

The plans for this weekend's Cyclova XC Weekend Workout Extravaganza have been finalized. A fun couple of days, with some great workouts, and beautiful Autumn weather is in store!

These workouts will be throughout the Upper St. Croix River Valley region highlighting a number of the choice places to train in this beautiful area.

Skiers and runners of all abilities are absolutely welcome to join us. There will be a range of skier abilities and everyone will be accommodated and welcomed with wide open arms! Additionally, some basic coaching or help with technique will be available for those whom desire it.

Following is the planned schedule of events:


Skate Rollerski rolling from the church parking lot in Scandia, MN. This will be the toughest workout of the weekend. We will do a warm up and then ski a couple of laps on a 5 mile course with gently rolling terrain. A few of the locals plan on doing the 2 laps at a time trial pace, but most likely will just be out there having fun.
Lunch at the Coffee Time Coffee Shop, in St. Croix Falls, WI
Spectate and cheer on racers at the Red Barn CycloCross Classic Cyclo-Cross race in Taylors Falls, MN. Bring your cow bells!
Easy 1 hour Classic Rollerski on the starting at the junction of the River Road and Hwy 87, about 2 miles north of St. Croix Falls
Dinner at the Indian Creek Winery, in St. Croix Falls, WI


Trail run at William O'Brien State Park. Meet at the main park building / ski trail head. This run is a long standing tradition with the local community on O'Brien's great XC Ski Trail system. Run will likely be 1.5 hours or so at an easy pace.

Please let us know which workouts or meals you plan on attending. I plan on giving both restaurants a rough head count so they know what to expect.

See you this weekend!

Cyclova XC Group Workout Day in St. Croix Falls, WI

There is no better place for fall training than the beautiful St. Croix River Valley!

Cyclova XC Group Workout Day in St. Croix Falls, on Saturday (and Sunday AM)!

Mark your calendars everyone, and plan on spending the day with us in St. Croix Falls, WI on Saturday for a day of XC Ski Training!

All workouts will have a focus on having fun, with some coaching provided if requested.

The full range of Cyclova XC Gear will be available at these workout, so check it out!

Following is our schedule, with specific meeting places/routes to be announced on Wednesday:


9:00AM: Classic Rollerski for about 2 hours
Noon: Lunch at Coffee Time Coffee Shop, 125 N Washington St., St. Croix Falls
1:45: Spectate at the (Pro, 1, 2) Red Barn CycloCross Race in Taylors Falls
4:00PM: Skate Rollerski, for about 1 hour. Some technique drills and a bit of speed work


8:00AM: Morning Run/Jog for about 1.5 hours

Please let us know if you plan on coming so we can give the coffee shop a rough head count for lunch. Just drop us a line at cyclovaxcfrank@gmail.com or on on Facebook Group Page.

Have a Bottle of Muscle Milk!

The other day I finished a roller ski and I was just starving/parched, so I sprinted into a nearby Holiday (where all true runners/bikers/skiers take about 95% of their meals....not by design, but because we're out running/biking/skiing till the brink of the bonk all the time and we look for the first place with anything edible that we can find).

So anyway, I was prowling the aisles of Holiday like a deranged werewolf, and I was actually looking for some chocolate milk (Old Mike C., used to refer to chocolate milk as his secret weapon, since it's so full of instant calories that it takes that bonk headache away almost instantly).

Well, I was starting to get FURIOUS because I couldn't find any MILK!  I found plenty of beer (do they still make beer with 25 grams of protein...they should), but no milk, and I was getting angry and desperate and my eyes were starting to go all blurry.  Then, miraculously, I discovered where the milk was kept (it was in the farthest fridge thing on the right kind of behind the ice machine oddly).

Well, as I looked through all the different bottles of milk, a container that said "Muscle Milk" kind of caught my eye (only in part because it also said "contains no milk" on the bottle).  The main thing that grabbed my attention was the big number 25 as in 25 grams of protein!

I'd never tried muscle milk before, but I decided there was no time like the present so I grabbed the thing along with some nasty gas station danish that had been sitting on the shelf since before world war I (I love those nasty old danishes).  As I walked the muscle milk up to the counter, the woman working there said, "wow...I keep wanting to try that, but I'm afraid to!"

I kind of grunted in acknowledgement and then proceeded to my car where I devoured the muscle milk with a voracious appetite.

My verdict?

It's decent enough...though nothing special.  It takes kind of like those nasty sport shakes that you used to get at the IGA (they were only good when they were cold).  I think you're better off getting your tub of protein at GNC and mixing that up with REAL milk at home, but caught in a pinch the muscle milk seemed to work OK.

Send me your muscle milk stories...I'm sure everybody's dying to hear them.

Forecasts Call for Heavy Snow and Cold In Midwest This Winter

Accuweather.com winter forecast graphic is a beautiful thing to many skiers throughout the Midwest, New England, and parts of the west.

If you’re a Nordic skier whom lives in the upper Midwest, you’re going to like what you’re about to read!

The long range forecasts from the National Weather Service, Accuweather, and Farmers Almanac are all pointing to an average to snowier than average and average to colder than average temps for the coming Midwest Winter.

Accuweather.com's Joe Bastardi, whom is developing a track record of being one of the most accurate (or lucky) long range Winter weather forecasters is calling for a cold and snowy winter for the Midwest. He specifically mentions Minneapolis, Chicago, and Detroit as areas that can expect significantly above average snow and ice, largely coming from repeated Alberta Clipper storm systems quickly passing through. He cites La Nina as the main cause for this harsh winter, with sea temperatures below normal across much of the central and eastern Pacific Ocean.

The National Weather Service's December through February precipitation forecast.

The widely respected National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center just came out with their updated forecast, mirroring much of what Accuweather's Bastardi had to say. They are generally calling for a colder than average winter for the norther part of the lower 48 states, with warmer than average temps for the southern tier of the country. In terms of snowfall, they are predicting average precip for many of the skiing regions of the country, with above average precip through the northern rockies and norther plains. Summary: For the Midwest expect below average temps with average precip.

Finally, we can't forget about the good old Farmers Almanac winter forecast. They've been doing this for over 100 years and somehow are relatively accurate. This Winter, they are calling for a very cold and very snowy Winter for the Midwest and New England. Specifically, they are calling for a "procession of Alberta Clippers" for us here in the Midwest. It is these "Clipper" systems that have historically yielded the best, and most consistent skiing conditions here in the Midwest.

All of these forecasts seem to generally agree on the Midwest Winter forecast being cold, with above average precip, and with repeated Alberta Clipper Systems moving through.

Obviously weather is a big deal to skiers, cyclists, and runners. Over the past year, our long range forecasts (like this one from last fall and this one from last month) have been some of our most popular posts. We hope you've enjoyed this one.

As I said last month, now as a Cyclova XC reader, it is your responsibility to begin doing the snow dance and hope these forecasts become reality!

We Want to Hear Your Birkie Stories (Join the CyclovaXC Writing Team!)

Hello All!

First of all I just want to say THANK YOU for everyone who got back to me so quickly about getting in an order for some CyclovaXC vests and long sleeve bicycle/skiing jerseys.  For those of you who are interested and haven't contacted me about it, you can read the details here!

CyclovaXC has been experiencing a pretty massive growth spurt lately (much like my lovely little daughter in the above picture...who is modeling her custom CyclovaXC beanie!).  Because of that, I thought I'd send out another CALL FOR EDITORS AND CONTRIBUTORS! (we want to hear your Birkie stories!!!!)

Right now I believe we have about 10 or so people who have permissions to post things on CyclovaXC, but of those it's pretty much just Frank and I who do most of the writing (although I'm guessing Andrew is about to get started again).

For those of you who don't know, the whole point of this web page is to serve as a kind of "communal scrapbook" as to what's going on in the local (or international) biking/running/skiing/triathlon/anything you want to do community.  The idea is that when we're all old and decrepit, we can browse through the pages of CyclovaXC and point at the pictures that we took and posted of ourselves back when we were young and fit and magnificent and say, "seee...seee...seeeeeeee!" all this while spitting up horrible tasting portions of creamed corn.

Seriously, it's nice to keep a virtual diary of every ski season.  I wish we'd had this back in the old Riverbrook days!

Mainly what we need is photos!  You know how it is when you're out racing and you see those professional photo guys.  Getting their photos seems like a great idea until their proofs arrive in the mail and you end up paying like $600.  Back in the old Riverbrook days, we used to just get in the habit of taking each other's pictures...but it wasn't easy to share them since digital cameras were new...as was the internet (sheesh...I'm old).  Well, now with things like google picassa and emails that let you attach huge files, it's easy to share photos...so we just need a TEAM of people out there TAKING photos!

But besides that, it's always fun to hear the various training/racing stories that no respectable magazine would publish (although you should keep it more or less clean here on CyclovaXC too).  Honestly, cross-country skiing is just a mystery sport to so many people!  They don't know how it takes over your life and makes you do crazy things like drive 6 hours out of your way in the HOPE of finding snow, or spend $150 on a piece of wax the size of a quarter, or how it makes you capable of eating six metric tons of food at a buffet!  

So dust off your old computer archives of skiing/biking/running or any kind of training photo you've taken over the years, slap down a paragraph or two, and write me requesting a permission to become a CyclovaXC contributor!  We guarantee you'll find it a blast, and we'd love to hear your stories!  I'll be awaiting your emails at cyclovaxc AT gmail.com.

Oh, and everything runs more smoothly if you have a gmail account, so if you want to join us, send me one of those!

Does Anyone Want a CyclovaXC Vest?

Hello Everyone!

As I mentioned yesterday, Mt. Borah is having a big sale and Frank and I are thinking of placing an order for a couple things.

First and foremost...people have been asking me to get us a vest for quite a while, so that's what I'm trying to do.  The reason we're trying to rush and push this through is that Mt. Borah is currently willing to use our currently existing designs and "tweak" them so they fit for other products.  What that means is that we can save on the design costs, etc.

Currently what I need from all of YOU is to mention if you're interested in a vest, or in a long-sleeve cycling jersey or a lime green CyclovaXC hat (these are the three items we're thinking of placing orders for).  Actually, Mt. Borah has told me that they will accept a minimum order of 3 right now instead of 6, so any of you who are ambitious and want ANY KIND of item available from Mt. Borah, just head on over there and as long as you want 3 we can probably get it done (you can even get triathlon wear if that's what you want).  

As fun as it is to click on all the available products and dream, in order to keep it simple, let's focus on the vests (unless you're REALLY serious about something else).

I have to call up Allan and see if he is willing to sponsor us again for the vests so we can use the model with his logo on it (which is the same as the bike kit...pictured above).  I assume they'll just cut the arms off and make it into a vest...but I have to confirm this with Mt. Borah.  If Allan is willing to sponsor us, I'll probably get some long sleeve jerseys made up as well, since my wife needs a team top.  If I get a long sleeve jersey, I'll again use the bicycle kit design and just do the arms in plain old white (which I think will look pretty cool actually).

My plan is to get cycling wear for both the vest and the long sleeve jersey.  I figure it doesn't hurt to have pockets, and the extra length is kind of welcome.  That way these vests and jerseys can be used year round.

I might also get some hats, but we'll see how money and interest is looking.  The hats are a little bit expensive, so that's prohibitive too.  If I get hats, they will be Lime green and will have the CyclovaXC shield on the front, and probably say CyclovaXC.com on the back.  I might just order 20 of those because you can never have too many hats...but we'll see.

Right now the prices are looking like this:
Vest:  $85
Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey (with full length zipper): $100
Hats: $25.75

Anyway, let me know what you think...but do it sooner rather than later because I'll need to get this deal most of the way done by Friday and ALL of the way done by Monday...so get in touch with me!  

Again, that's cyclovaxc at gmail.com!  Hope to hear from you!!!!

Place Your Order NOW for CyclovaXC Skiing Gear!

I just received an interesting offer in the mail.  Mt. Borah (the guys we've been getting our awesome CyclovaXC gear from) are retooling or something, so they're eager to have us do a re-order.  The interesting thing is that they're allowing us to mix and match designs we've already put together.  Frank and I weren't necessarily thinking of doing another ski suit this year, but if we get a couple sponsorships and a lot of people are interested, then we're happy to get it rolling.

I know people have talked about getting vests, and I think (if I understand everything correctly) we could have them print up any kind of vest that we want.  For example, if you want a vest that looks like the "Lime" ski suit, or the "Olive" warm up jacket, or even the bike jersey, all you have to do is say so and I can call up Mt. Borah and get it done.  Also, according to the email they sent me, there might not even be a minimum order, so the time is now!

Anyway, what I want to convey right now is that anyone who has even the slightest inkling of getting ANY kind of CyclovaXC product should contact me right away (cyclovaxc at gmail.com).  I talked to Greg recently and he expressed interest in getting a new ski suit, as did Emalea, and I believe Dave had some friends who wanted something as well.  If you want to see what we currently have available either at my or Franks house, check here.  But if we don't have a size that fits you and we need to special order, you need to talk to us ASAP so I can get the order in with Mt. Borah.  I think they have a 10% discount until Oct. 31st, so don't delay.  Heck...don't even finish reading this, just start sending me an email with your most minute question!

Hope to hear from you!

A Shout Out to Johnny Klister!

Besides CyclovaXC.com there are one or two other noteworthy websites on the world wide web.  One of them is Yahoo, another one is Google, but following close behind is Johnny Klister.

You know, the fact of the matter is there just aren't enough web pages out there promoting the XC lifestyle.  Perhaps that's because 99.5% of the population are just too frickin' weak to be able to handle it.  Yeah...that's what I said...WEAK!  All that "Urban jungle" nonsense doesn't scare ME!  You want to meet a guy who's TOUGH...talk to a Cross-Country skier.

Well...Johnny Klister is aware of this harsh reality!  I'd say that their page is a bit more frivolous (and I mean that in a good way) than this one.  I'm pretty sure most CyclovaXC readers have probably already heard of Johnny Klister...but in case you haven't...now you have.

I'm also going to put a blog roll feature down below this article, so if any of you stumble across any relevant XC skiing blogs or whatnot...let me know.  The more the better!  And if you decide to comment on any or all of those blogs, make sure to put http://www.cyclova-xc.blogspot.com/ as your URL!

Classical Rollerskis On the March!

Unggghhhh....I'm feeling pretty low today because I made the mistake of not going out to roller ski yesterday morning.  Sometimes on a lazy Sunday you just like what it feels like to sit in bed and wait for the baby to wake up and politely ask to be changed.

"Excuse me father...I seem to have had a bit of an 'accident,' can you help me out?"

"Why certainly my dear..."

My little Sofia is very articulate for a 2 month old.

But as good as it feels to just sit around and do nothing in the morning, you certainly pay for it in the afternoon.  I don't know what the deal is!  If I don't get my exercise in I get this dull headache and I just want to binge drink until it goes away.  Maybe it's just Birkie Fever or something...I don't know.

Anyway, I'll certainly be on the trail tomorrow...I can't take two days of this...gnaghhh....

Running: An Essential Part of Ski and Cycling Training

Friend of Cyclova XC Kami strides it out in the Gopher to Badger running race.

When I began ski racing full time, I noticed that most of the fastest elites would run several times per week, even when amidst perfect snow conditions. At first this confused me, as I thought that when perfect snow was avaialble, you should take advantage of it.

Well, if racing your best is the priority, simply skiing more isn't the answer. There are as many training methods for Nordic skiing as there are Nordic skiers, but one of the things that nearly all elite skiers have in common is that they are runners.

Much like myself, many elite skiers consider them selves skiers that run for training purposes.

Aside from actually skiing or roller skiing, running is just about the closest thing to skiing that you can do - it's weight bearing and demanding of your cardiovascular system.

Additionally, many skiers and cyclists, including myself, do not perform at their best if all they do is traing specifically for their sport. In other words, they get stiff, slow, and placid when only skiing or cycling. I personally believe that I tend to get a bit "muscle bound" if all I do is ski or ride. Going out on an easy 30-40 minute run helps to loosen my legs up and simply help my muscles move better.

So there you have it. If skiing fast this winter is you goal, lace up your running shoes and get out at least once per week for a little trot!

Road Ride Review: Blue Mound State Park and surrounding area

Cyclova XC Member Dan Knoblauch (in the 7 Eleven jersey) and his Mom conquer "The Blue Mound" climbing Blue Mound State Park.

Recently I had the pleasure of doing some quality riding in the Madison, WI area. Day 1 was a wonderful ride from Fontana to Madison, WI. This was a day with wonderful rolling farm roads - a day on perfect roads in the sun that simply makes a cyclist smile.

Day 2 was even more amazing, but in an entirely different way. You see, rather than sunshine and farm fields, we were riding in the rain through the "Alps of Wisconsin", in the Blue Mound area west of Madison.

The area between Mt. Horeb and Mazomanie and west is without question the hilliest road riding in the Midwest and is where the Horribly Hilly Hundred bike event is held. Following are a few highlights and suggestions on riding in the area.
  • There is a fantastic limestone bike trail paralleling Hwy 151, going west out of Mt Horeb. You can take this right into Blue Mound State Park and beyond if you like. This is the only flat riding in this area.
  • The toughest climb that we were able to find is the road to the top of Blue Mound State Park. There were many hills that closely rivaled this climb, but this had the most difficult combo of gradient and length. It is a gain of about 650 feet of elevation.
  • Explore! The area north of Blue Mound State Park is covered in amazing black top roads that time simply forgot about. Just head north out of Blue Mound and turn down the curviest, hilliest roads you can find. You won't be disappointed!
  • If you need a quick route back to Blue Mound that won't beat you up too much, Hwy 78 is a great quick route all the way back to Mt. Horeb from Black Earth.

A beautiful back road scene, somewhere north of Blue Mound - a cyclist's dream!

Another amazing scene somewhere north of Blue Mound. The road is about to go up with switchbacks!

Psychlo-Cross--Cyclops 2.20

Hello All,
The months are trickling past and cyclocross season is in full swing. Yet, like many of you, I find myself focused on the snow-covered distant horizon. If you haven't dusted off your roller skis and worked a couple hour or two sessions (at the very least) into your weekly program then you're getting behind the game (although knowing most of you, there's undoubtedly plenty of time for all of you to catch up)!

Speaking of that, many of you probably remember my tirade about my factory faulty roller ski wheel that I nevertheless paid an exorbitant sum for. Frank, and rightly so, thought I was a little over-the-top in this article (and I'm not inclined to disagree since I'm pretty much over-the-top in everything). Specifically he thought it might have been excessive for me to include a clip of Robert DeNiro as Al Capone screaming and yelling using a string of profanities over the vengeance he's about to wreak (you can rarely use the verb "to wreak").

Well, he's right, and honestly I have to say that I DO love my Pro-Ski roller skis. However, when I wrote that article I was thinking about the fact that I sometimes like to do 4 hour roller ski sessions, and had my wheel blown out on me right at the 2 hour turn around point...I would have been looking at a VERY miserable day. Also, I have to say that the ball is pretty much in Pro-Ski's corner to make amends, and I would be open to receiving some amends, but they haven't contacted me yet (they're the ones in the wrong here). I'll keep you updated as to how this plays out, but my suspicion is that the buck stops here (with me absorbing the cost obviously). For the record, we want to make it clear that the clip inclusion was a joke and is not in any way indicative of any malicious intent (I thought that was pretty clear, but you know how lawyers are).

Oh, and as long as we're speaking of legal liability, we just want to make it clear that anyone caught sexting inappropriate pictures to members of the media will be suspended for a duration of not less than two (2) races (especially if the pictures you send are of the supremely non-impressive nature of the ones involved in a...ahem...similar and current scandal).

We've got a fairly short issue of the Cyclops for you this month since I sent the last one late and I'm sending this one early. Still, there's plenty of little links down there for you to click and enjoy...so we expect you do so to the fullest intent imaginable (if you don't I'm going to sick Robert DeNiro as Al Capone on you....kidding...kidding...shesh...why so serious?).


The Necessary Contents of Your Water Bottle Carrier

Your water bottle carrier is a pretty vital piece of equipment, but what's probably even more important is what you carry in the little gear pouch (presuming of course that your water bottle carrier even has a gear pouch...which I hope it does).  Bringing the right stuff with you can be the difference between an enjoyable training session and a six hour death march.

However, sometimes when you're dragging yourself out of bed for your 4 AM workout sessions, you just don't have the time to think about just what you should be bringing with you every time you train.  In your groggy state, you might forget something that's VITAL, so I figured that I'd better sit down and write a checklist regarding everything your water carrier pouch should contain (I might just save some lives...and anyone who knows me knows that I'm all about saving lives).

So here it is...the water bottle pouch checklist for groggy mornings:

1.  $20--This is a catch all because $20 can be magically transformed into a myriad of spectacular things.  You can buy food, you can buy water, and (if you're training in South America) you can bribe your way out of jail. The only problem with bringing money is that you can't eat it so I also suggest you bring...
2.  Something to EAT--Let's face it, we've all bonked and we've all dug through garbage cans or something even more horrible in that kind of wolfman/depraved state you get to when you bonk (if it hasn't happened to you yet...it WILL...nobody is above the bonk).  Personally, I prefer to bring a snickers bar or something with me rather than one of those horrible power bars or whatever. The Snickers bar has all the protein you need, and it's the kind of treat that can actually motivate you to train (provided you don't allow yourself Snickers bars anywhere but when you're out training).
3.  Whatever medication you're on--for me that means a Ventolin inhaler...which probably every Birkie skier needs.
4.  A Cute Little Roll of Toilet Paper--I'm not talking a whole roll, just 20 or 30 squares.  It's amazing the difference a little toilet paper can make in an emergency situation.
5.  NO Cell phone--Don't even bring it.  Chances are, you're training to get away from the people who might call you, so don't shoot yourself in the foot.  Besides, there's no emergency that items 1-4 can't solve, so why would you want to bring your cell phone anyway?

Ok!  Print this of and email it to your friends.  See you at 4 AM!

Salomon Founder, Georges Salomon Passes Away

What sort of equipment would Nordic skiers be skiing on if it wasn't for the revolutionary Salomon Nordic System? (Photo Credit: Salomon)

Georges Salomon, the founder of Salomon passed away one week ago today, October 6, 2010. He passed peacefully in his home near Lake Annecy, France.

In 1946, when Georges was 25 years old, he and his father opened a workshop at Côte-Saint-Maurice in Annecy, France. The following year, they started supplying ski manufacturers with ski edges for the rapidly expanding European ski market. After taking some engineering night school classes, he designed a machine to produce ski edges (metal edges for Alpine skis). His father didn't see the need to expand and invest in such machinery, so Georges took over the company at that point.

Georges Salomon holding Salomon's first ski, the S9000. (Photo Credit: Salomon)

Since then, Georges and Salomon have been an industry leader with one innovation after another. Likely Georges' most famous creation, the releasing safety binding is said to have saved the ligaments of hundreds of thousands of skiers. These Alpine safety bindings were first released in the 1966 as the Allais and Skade models for the Olympic games in Portillo, Chile. In the late 1979, Salomon started making Alpine boots, which was an immediate success.

The Salomon Profil SNS boot binding combo completely revolutionized Nordic skiing. (Photo Credit: Salomon)

Finally for us Nordic skiers, during the 1979 - 1980 winter, Salomon introduced the Salomon Nordic System (SNS), including the boot and binding that many have since come to know as the "D Pin" system (due to the fact that the metal loop at the front of the boot is shaped like an upper case "D"). Next, came the SNS Profil Binding System, which was released in 1989. Next came the SNS Pilot System in 1998, released in time for the Nagano Olympic Games. Most recently, Salomon has gotten into the Nordic ski market, with the first skis hitting store racks during the fall of 2006.

Snow Sports lost a pioneer last week in Georges Salomon. Whether you enjoy skinny skis or big fatties, he has made a major impact on your enjoyment of the sport.

Road Work on My Roller Ski Trail!

I was out roller skiing with Greg and Kathie the other day when we noticed that the road crews had come along and drilled out the cracks and made them into huge grooves in the middle of the trail.  Although I'm ashamed to admit that my initial reaction was annoyance (because they'd left gravel and rocks strewn about everywhere), I had to settle down and realize that we were LUCKY because this was an effort of maintenance! 

Road/trail upkeep is a science, and all you have to do is engage in a little bit of international travel to realize that the guys we have here doing it in the US are the best in the world (in foreign countries there are literally TREES growing up from the cracks...I've seen 'em).

The next day (as I was out roller skiing again at the crack of dawn), the road crews had again made an appearance and all the cracks were filled in with tar.  I'm sure this will increase the life of our lovely bike/roller ski trail by a hundred or so years, so I'd like to offer a sincere thank you to the roller ski maintenance crew and all their hard work:

Thank you!

However, the question still remains...with all the effort they put into maintaining this trail...why do they still let the snowmobilers use it in the winter and grind the whole thing down to choppy gravel?  I mean...isn't that a little bit counter-intuitive?  Also...what the heck do the snowmobilers need the trail for anyway?

Sigh...the mysteries of the universe continue...