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A Skiers Worst Nightmare: RAIN ON SNOW!

Unghhh...what a disaster!

Here we were, sitting pretty with over two feet of snow.  It had been a record December for snowfall!  It looked like the snow was here to stay until mid-April!  The trails were just on the verge of being all packed in and wonderful!

But all it takes is one day of 40+ degree temperatures and torrential rainfall to screw everything up!

Darn it!

Just when you thought the ski gods were happy with us, they pull a trick like this!  All we skiers can do is stand around watching it glumly with the desperate hope that there will still be some of the white stuff left when the rain stops.

The worst thing is that if it were just a little bit colder, this could have easily been ANOTHER two feet of snow!


Today I happened to have to travel from Eau Claire to Minneapolis and it was rainy, cloudy, and miserable for the whole journey.  I can testify that every ski trail within that area got hit and hit hard!  For those of you who are our loyal readers up in Biwabik or in Hayward, let us know...do you still have snow (please say yes...please say yes...please say yes...).

I'm hoping to head out to tower ridge tomorrow and assess the damage, hopefully it will cool off plenty tonight and leave us with a two foot thick block of ice to ski on!  Who knows, the ski gods work in mysterious ways, maybe they're secretly playing cards in our favor!


Last Day To Sign up for the Pepsi Challenge! (at $65)

There's nothing like doing something crazy to get yourself going on your ski training!  In this case "doing something crazy" is signing up for the Pepsi Challenge up at Giant's Ridge!

For those of you who know, this is a race that's definitely among the best in the area.  The course itself is as challenging as anything out there.  One of the things that make the Pepsi Challenge such a blast is that it doesn't attract quite the hoards of skiers that the Birkie does, so you can actually ski it rather than just resign yourself to taking in the day like you have to do over at Hayward (I'm not complaining...but let's face it, the trail gets kind of hacked up at the Birkie).

Really, there's no better way to get in shape for the Birkie than to do the Pepsi Challenge, and you should also figure out a way to stay up there for Friday and Saturday night with a bunch of friends and family (good party)!  

The thing is, the price is about to go up.  December 31st is the last day to register for $65.  After that and up until race day it's $75.  Fortunately you can register online at www.pepsichallengeskirace.com.  So hurry up, register, and maybe you can see me suffering up there like a madman!

Why Do Ski Hats Have Tassels?

I hope you didn't click on this article thinking that I was going to have an answer for you.  The title was "Why do ski hats have tassels" QUESTION MARK!  What that means is that I don't have any clue why our ski hats have tassels.  I just wear hats with tassels because I'm such a conformist (as everybody who knows me is so fond of saying).  If everybody I knew jumped off a bridge, I'd do that too.

Well, I suppose since I got everybody wondering, I should provide some possible reasons that we have tassels on our ski hats.

1.  Because skiers are such fun, festive, party people...we need tassels just like exotic dancers!

2.  So that if your hat gets suck down at the bottom of your ski bag, you can reach down and pull it out by the tassel.

3.  To tell you when you're leaning too far forward and destroying your center of balance (when this happens, the tassel bounces around and hits you in the forehead).

4.  To distinguish them from hunting hats.

5.  To entice a bald eagle, who might think the tassel is a field mouse.  When the bald eagle flies in, you can then capture him, name him "Quanto" and train him to dive-bomb snowmobilers at the Birkie.

6.  If the tassel starts spinning quickly enough, it creates "lift" thus aiding your Birkie time (it also helps to pump your poles and skis full of Helium.

7.  The tassels are due to an ancient Nordic cross-country legend that has since been forgotten.

8.  Ummm....(I have to admit, the "exotic dancer" thing from suggestion one is causing me to auto-censor like mad....let me just say that I have seen some ski hats with TWO tassels).

9.  Because tassels are frickin' awesome and anybody who says different needs to get their face smashed in by a superbly conditioned cross-country skier.

10.  Why not?

Please, if you know the real reason, put it down in the comments!

SKI TECH VIDEO: Mounting a NIS Rottefella Binding

The NNN X-Celerator bindings are easy to install in only a few seconds!

We published a story on the new NNN Xcelerator binding with NIS technology back in March of 2010. To date, this story remains one of the most popular posts on CyclovaXC.com.

This incredible binding is proving to be one of the biggest innovations in the xc ski world in decades.

While the weight savings and increase in strength & stiffness are huge improvements, the time savings and convenience of quickly being able to mount these bindings to a ski without tools is proving to be a really big deal - for consumers and shops alike! Add to this the fact that a skier can adjust the placement of the binding on the ski and you've got a real winner!

With that said, we've gotten a lot of questions from CyclovaXC.com readers on exactly how to install a NIS binding and why you would want to adjust the placement of a xc ski binding. We've heard your questions and addressed them in the following Ski Tech Video.


The above Cyclova XC Ski Tech Video demonstrates how to mount and adjust the NNN NIS binding system.

Why are the Bathrooms at Ski Trails Labeled "Men" and "Women?"

This is one of those little pet peeves I have.

Look, the world is already filled with needless redundancies.  There is absolutely NO cause for us to go and introduce a bunch of artificial ones.

Keeping that in mind, answer me this, if it's a ONE seater toilet, then WHY put "men" and "women" labels on the doors?

What frickin' difference does it make?

Are you seriously telling me that if a coach takes the girl's ski team up to the Birkie trail, HE can just go trotting in and out of the toilet why the entire women's ski team has to WAIT for the ONE toilet that has been labeled "women" to come open?  All this while the toilet labeled "men" is sitting their EMPTY?

That's ABSURD!

You know how it is!  When you have to go to the bathroom all propriety goes out the window.  Sometimes you even see this nonsense at marathons.  Port-A-Pots that have "men" and "women" labels on them.


Seriously, somebody give me an answer!!!

This was the type of thing that I started writing like, hahaha, this is going to be kind of a funny joke...but now that I've thought about this for two seconds it makes me FURIOUS!

I'm sure some idiot's going to write me and give me ten good reasons why all toilet seats should be labeled "men" and "women" but it's all just propaganda.  The fact is, the only people who would support something like that are the people that make a living selling little labels that say "men" and "women."

To heck with that!

Sure, if it's a changing room or something, then yes, a label is warranted.  But if it's just a one seater...

I mean, forgo the labels and give the $10 it would have cost to buy them as a tip to the groomer...THINK people!

Getting Back Into Training After Eating a WHOLE Turkey

Ahhh...the holidays!

Here you are doing well on your diet and your quest to get down to a reasonable Birkie weight because you don't want to suffer like a madman on the way up the power lines again....when the holidays come along and RUIN EVERYTHING!

Seriously, why are American holidays all about GORGING ourselves?  I suppose it's because holiday food is so frickin' good!

The other day I headed out to the grocery store to buy the last little this and that to prepare our Christmas feast.  My intention was just to get the necessary ingredients for stuffing (bread, onions, celery), but I'm afraid the Christmas spirit grabbed me and I ended up leaving with about $80 worth of...well, junk I guess.

You see, you just CAN'T keep on passing up the Egg Nog for the whole Christmas season!  By the way, what's the best alcohol for dumping into the Egg Nog?  I was thinking whiskey since that would make it kind of similar to Bailey's but the results weren't that great...rum?  I don't know, help me out!

Then I just HAD to get a pie because you have to have some PIE on Christmas!  I tried to get an apple pie but it ended up being a surprisingly good pineapple pie.  I'd never heard of such a thing!  It was labeled as apple with a tiny little sticker in the corner that said "pineapple" which suggests to me that they were having trouble selling the darn things so they were just trying to disguise what it was.  It was a good tactic though since my wife declared it the "best Pie she had ever eaten."  So I guess we'll be eating pineapple pie every year!

I also had to get some chocolate brownies, because there are times during Christmas when you just have to have your whole mouth filled with chocolaty taste!  I didn't get any cookies though...maybe I'll have to bake some later.

Anyway, the whole point of all this is I'm going to have to ski about 4 hours today just to get back to where I was on the 24th, and where I was on the 24th wasn't anything special either!


It was worth it though, it's fun just DESTROYING a whole turkey on Christmas now isn't it?

Merry Christmas from CyclovaXC!

Hello Everybody!
I was feeling in the Christmas spirit the other day so I decided to prop my cross-country skis together and make a Cross-Country Christmas tree.  It only took me about 4 pairs of skis, a couple rubber bands, and a string of lights to get my tree up and operational, and it looked totally awesome!!!  The only problem was that when my skis were propped together I couldn't SKI ON THEM!  Now that we have a record amount of snow...skiing is a priority!

So I kept my cross-country Christmas tree up long enough to take a couple photos, and then I ripped the thing down and headed out to the trail!

Here's hoping that all of you are getting plenty of time to see friends and family, and also that you're getting plenty of time to SKI!

I'm off now, I'm getting ready for my yearly holiday viewing of "Conan the Barbarian."  It's a Christmas Classic!

Stonegrinding & Ski Service: Cyclova XC Racing Service Details

Yesterday, we announced the next chapter for Cyclova XC - Cyclova XC Racing Service. Effective immediately, we will begin offering a World Cup level grinding and race waxing service!

For the full scoop, check out our Ski Service info page which goes through everything you need to know about having your Nordic skis stoneground.

Page 1 of the brochure focuses on the logistics of having your skis ground by Cyclova XC Racing Service and has the critical WORK ORDER form which must be filled out for every pair of skis we service. Page 2 focuses on all of the tech info you need to know about stonegrinding. Also included on page 2 is our "menu" of stonegrind structures.

In the coming weeks, look for much more technical information on our range of ski service as well as never before seen tech information!

To start with, check out the below video which walks through the specific process that every pair of Nordic skis ground by Cyclova XC Racing Service goes through.

If you have any questions on Cyclova XC Racing Service, please contact Frank or any one of our convenient drop off locations as specified on page 1 of the above brochure. You can contact Frank via:
Email: cyclovaxcfrank@gmail.com
Phone: 651-734-8670

In this Ski Tech Video, Frank outlines the process that every ski ground by Cyclova XC Racing Service goes through.

Stonegrinding From Cyclova XC Racing Service - An Introduction...

In the works for decades, we are thrilled to announce Cyclova XC Racing Service!

We at Cyclova XC eat, breathe, and sleep cross country skiing. We also eat, breathe, and sleep helping people get the most out of their skis - allowing people to have more fun with the sport!

Our co-founder, Frank Lundeen has over 14 years of experience in xc ski service with top industry companies and athletes - from Olympic Champions to first timers.

It is this passion, experience, and the requests from the skiing public that has led us to launching Cyclova XC Racing Service.

In the above video, Frank introduces Cyclova XC Racing Service and our new Wintersteiger Micro 100 Stonegrinder.

For the Winter of 2010 - 2011, Cyclova XC will be offering World Cup level stonegrinding and race waxing to the skiing public. Doing weekly batches of skis, Frank will be grinding the skis of everyone from Olympians to people just getting into the sport.

Check out CyclovaXC.com tomorrow for the full scoop on Cyclova XC Racing Service's range of ski services, to learn much more about our new Wintersteiger machine, and to see how we can help you get more out of your skis!

SKI TRAIL PROFILE: Troll Hollow (at Trollhaugen) once again will not be open for XC skiing 2016/2017

While skiing at Troll Hollow, just follow the cool Troll signs to stay on track!

NOTE:  Unfortunately this excellent facility is no longer open to cross country skiing.  

Location: Dresser, WI
Trail Distance: 3.5k loop
Trail Terrain: A fun mix of challenging climbs, fun descents, and curvy flats
Warming House: A nice big chalet and alpine ski shop with restrooms, lockers, restaurants, and lounge.
Favorite Stretch of Trail: Sprinting up the trail next to the tubing hill and then letting it rip down the descent!
Venue Website: www.trollhaugen.com

If perfectly machined classic tracks and corduroy is what you're after, look no further than Troll Hollow (a part of Trollhaugen). Centrally located in the beautiful St. Croix River Valley, Troll Hollow is less than a 1 hour drive from downtown Minneapolis and centrally located for a whole lot of people.

Troll Hollow is part of the downhill ski area Trollhaugen. As it is a very well established alpine ski area, they have a whole lot of state of the art equipment - things like the best snow making system in the Midwest, a fleet of Pisten Bully groomers, and of course staff that are literally artists with grooming implements.

Even on a busy day, the perfectly groomed trails hold up well at Troll Hollow!

I recall Troll Hollow first becoming known to Nordic skiers during snow drought years of the late 90's. Initially, they simply opened up their hill to Nordic skiers early in the morning. It was great to get on snow, but as you were either going straight up or down, it made for a very tough workout every time. In about 2002, they developed a Nordic specific trail system and named it "Troll Hollow", after the famous 2002 Winter Olympic Venue, Soldier Hollow.

One of 6 XC ski areas in the Midwest with snow making, Troll Hollow has become one of the most populous XC Ski destinations in the Midwest during recent years. Many citizen, high school, and even collegiate ski races have been held here - both in times of low snow and otherwise.

Check out Troll Hollow, the guaranteed perfect snow will be sure to have you grinning from ear to ear!

Hey Dude! You got the wax!

Here's a guest article by Steve Peplinski for you to enjoy!  He makes a few pretty solid points so pay attention!

Hey Dude! You got the wax!

Sometimes they scream it at me as I flash past them on the downhill. It’s always during a race. Sometimes it’s a long steep downhill, and I’m in a tuck shooting past some gently skating skiers. Other times, it’s a less dramatic pass, late in the race. A couple of years ago with only a few k to go in the Birkie, I was closing in on a skier. I watched him climb each hill, and then pulled closer on each downhill. Finally, I knew that I could pass him just over the next rise. As I glided past, he said “Boy, I wish I could change skis with you.” I smiled inwardly, knowing the secret of fast skis. I’m about to share it with you.

Is it stone grinding? Perfect base structure scientifically matched to the temperature and snow conditions? Maybe it’s using a heat box to saturate the bases. Or maybe it’s that final brushing with a brush crafted of Tibetan yak hair. It’s all of the above and none of the above. Yes, I have good wax, but in truth, my competitors probably know just as much about waxing as I do. So why do I have the fast skis? It’s simple. I ski faster. Not all the time, but I ski faster when it counts.

I watch my competition as I climb. They all look pretty strong. Some look more powerful than I. They may be pulling away from me on the uphill. But once I hit the downhill, I usually gain ground. I’m not too concerned about losing a couple of feet to them on the uphill. In fact, I prefer to. But when the crest of the hill approaches, I want to have a little bit extra to keep skiing when most everyone else is resting. I see it all the time, after a great climbing effort, skiers stand up and go into resting mode at the most critical part of the climb. Meanwhile, I’m trying out my best V2 sprint form as I crest the hill and accelerate down the back side. Once I get up to speed, I get into an aerodynamic tuck and enjoy the scenery as I close in on skiers in front of me. All because “I have better wax.” It’s interesting to see strong, experienced skiers stand up and get into a resting slouch as they get to the top of a hill. Interesting and rewarding because I know that even though they trained just as hard as me, even though they are in just as good shape (maybe better) as I; even though they may be 20 years younger than I, “I got the wax!” I’ve decided to come with an acronym for the phenomenon: WAX: Win At the Xenith” alright, zenith is the correct spelling, who knows what WAZ is. As they start their well deserver rest for a hard climbing effort, I win the downhill by the judicious application of power at the highest point of the climb.

So stop worrying that your skis didn’t spend enough time in the hot box. Forget about the shortcomings of your base prep. The way to have fast wax is to ski fast when it counts. And that is completely within your control.

Avoiding Illness: Emergen-C and Echinacea-Goldenseal Can Help!

Emergen-C and Echinacea-Goldenseal have helped bring many endurance athletes back from the brink of illness.

Let's face it, simply staying healthy is more important that fitness or optimally performing equipment when race day arrives. If you are sick, you simply will not perform on race day. During the XC Ski season, simply staying healthy can be the biggest challenge of racing.

Viruses run rampant during winter, kids bring home bugs from day care, you are stressing your body doing tough workouts and enduring the cold... This is a prime recipe for getting sick - but you can't, as it's ski season!

Aside from the obvious sure fire ways of staying healthy, like getting adequate sleep, washing your hands, and eating right, I've found a couple of supplements that I believe help to prevent me from getting sick. At times, these supplements have brought me back from the brink of illness!

Emergen-C's 1000mg packets of Vitamin C are easy to tote along whether you are at work, traveling, or even wrapping up a workout. Just take the packet and dump it into a small glass of water. Let it fizz for a few seconds in the water and then enjoy! This big dose of vitamin C is equivalent to eating a whole bunch of oranges and I believe helps me stay healthy. I personally take this on a regular basis.

The other less known thing that I use is an herbal extract called Echinacea-Goldenseal. This stuff can be found at most Natural Food Coops, etc. It is a small vial of liquid concentrate with a dropper. As a warning, this stuff DOES NOT taste good, but it really works. Just take the recommended dose by putting it into a shot of water (only a little bit of water, so you can drink it like a shot - literally). I don't take this stuff daily, rather reserve this for when I feel illness coming on or when someone in the house is ill.

I believe the combination of Echinacea-Goldenseal and Emergen-C provide a 1 -2 punch that frequently succeeds in helping athletes avoid illness.

Check it out, stay healthy, and stay fit!

The Blizzard of '10--Cyclops 2.24

Like Nicholas Cage said in The Rock, "well, gosh...kind of a lot's happened since then." For the purposes of this newsletter "then" refers to the LAST edition of the Cyclops that came BEFORE the great midwest winter blizzard of 2010 which will long be remembered as the storm that brought the roof down on the metrodome. In fact, that storm was so enormous that Frank and I STILL haven't managed to write all the various stories and stuff we had planned (a LOT happened, what can you do?).

But there's really no time to stop and get caught up, SKI season is upon us in full force. There is no longer a need to make wild and crazy voyages to far off regions like the Upper peninsula (although a trip to Giant's Ridge is still warranted because it's awesome up there). We've got snow in our back yard, 22 inches of it to be more or less precise.

Oh, and the other BIG news is that Steve Edling is now OFFICIALLY a member of CyclovaXC. Steve always rides along the crest of his entourage, so watch for our membership numbers to swell exponentially in the upcoming months.

I keep having all these grand and ambitious ideas about how many ski races I'm going to do, but then I spend a week chasing my little baby around (and she can't even crawl yet) and doing a depressingly little amount of skiing. Actually, it's not depressing because I don't even NOTICE the time going by (hanging out with the baby is a blast, I make an effort to spit up whenever she spits up so she's less self-conscious about it). Still, you can mark my words that you'll be seeing me out at Tower Ridge in Eau Claire this weekend! Hope to see all you Chippewa Valley locals on the snow!

Member Profile: Steve Edling

Anonymous Crash Marks in the Snow

Skiing is good at Timberland

The Vests, Jerseys and Hats are IN!

10 Things to Do When Snowed In

Sunday's Training, 30 minutes of Shoveling

The Definitive Shot of the '10 Blizzard

Ski Tech: Salomon SNS Wedge

The Beauty of a -20 Degree Morning

Trail Conditions and Grooming Videos from Giant's Ridge

Birkie Registration Closes Today (Saturday)!

The Birkie's website, at birkie.org announced the news yesterday. Today is your last chance to get in the Birkie!

It hasn't happened this early in years, but today, the 2011 American Birkiebeiner will close registration, more than 2 months before race day!

With a race cap of 8,400 skiers, this number is expected to be exceeded today - therefore the closure of registration.

Skate waves 1 - 4 and wave 9 were full as of Friday morning and event management has added a 10
th wave to allow for a quality experience for all event participants. Classic waves 6 and 7 are also full, with a new classic wave 9 being added by event organizers - similar to the skate race.

So, if you have any intention of being a part of the coming Birkie (if you're reading this, clearly you do), you need to immediately go register at www.birkie.org by 6PM CST tonight!

So, what is fueling this growth of America's biggest XC Ski race? Having spent much time in Birkie country, my observation is that the Birkie has some very energetic new members and leadership with both staffing and board members. The results of this new energy and creativity are clearly evident. The Birkie has many new programs ranging from shuttle bus service from the Twin Cities, to summer running events, to ski tours, to family fun skis, a separate classic race trail, and many others. Clearly, several winters of great snow conditions across the Midwest and elsewhere in the US has helped the sport at large as well.

The skiing community has noted this great work and will be flocking to Hayward, WI in late February for the legend known as the Birkie! See you there!

Trail Conditions and Grooming Videos from Giant's Ridge

I just received a bunch of photos and youtube links from Shannon Kendall and John Filander up at Giant's ridge. For those of you who have never skied up at Giant's ridge, I really encourage you to make the trip some weekend and check out their world class trails. They truly have some spectacular, beautiful terrain up there that is the perfect place to do some hard-core Birkie training!

Back in the 90's when Frank and I were doing every single ski race within a three state radius, the Pepsi challenge always stood out as one of the favorites of the year. There were many seasons where it was just brutally cold, although I believe they had an above freezing edition last year! The best part about the Pepsi cup was the fact that it's just on the edge of being too far away, so you're easily persuaded to get a hotel and stick around for an extra day or two. There is seriously nothing better than escaping with all your skiing buddies and putting in a good 72 straight hours of training (with appropriate time set aside for eating and sitting in a hot tub or something).

Anyway, along with a lot of great photos (I'll be saving some and posting them later), here are the videos (if you're at work, turn the volume down on your computer so your boss doesn't figure out you're watching videos rather than working...at CyclovaXC we care about preserving your job):

Travel promo codes are often available, no matter which trail is on your list.

The Beauty of a -20 Degree Morning

Actually, as you can see from this photo, I utterly FAILED to capture the beauty of a -20 degree morning.  But since I bothered to run upstairs to grab my camera and then downstairs again to snap a couple pictures, I figured I'd go ahead and write about it ANYWAY!

I'm not even sure it was -20 degrees either to be honest (whew...this is becoming more and more like one of those terrible posts you'd find on Yahoo blogs [except I'm not getting paid]).  It was -SOMETHING however.  It seems I spend my life in a state of digital confusion these days.  If there were only ONE thermometer at my disposal, I would feel pretty confident about what the temperature was.  However, since there's one on the morning TV show (man...those shows are AWFUL!), and there's one on my Blackberry (pumped in from Yahoo I think...so it's probably about 30 minutes out of date), and I think there might be a physical one outside...and NONE of them EVER have the same number...I don't have any idea how cold it was.

Except to say that it was definitely COLD!  My car really grumbled about starting this morning.

But as I walked back to my house, my Polish blood too dumb to freeze (and I really am Polish, so I can say things like that), I happened to notice the fog rising up over the river and I had to take a picture.  In fact, as I was driving Zulma in to work, the Chippewa was really quite spectacular (didn't have my camera then though).

-20 is something unique and special, and although...yeah...it pretty much sucks to go outside, if you can get over yourself for two seconds and take a moment to look around, you'll see the world take on an appearance you've never seen before.

I wouldn't recommend cross-country skiing in -20 though.  I've done it, and all that results is your lungs get frozen and you flee to Peru for 10 years!

You've gotta find something to like about -20...it's beautiful and it makes the hot chocolate taste better!

SKI TECH: Salomon SNS Wedge

Above, the SNS Wedge is mounted under a Pilot Equipe binding, raising the front of the binding 5mm in relation to the rear.

Just as the athletes were showing up in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, I started hearing chatter about a "wedge" that the Salomon sponsored athletes were putting under their bindings. I kept on hearing about how athletes, including several Americans were scrambling to get their hands on a pair of the very limited supply of this mystery wedge that Salomon had available.

I was confused at first, as the only wedges I had ever seen under bindings were the canting wedges, which canted one edge of the ski in by a few degrees - these were fairly common back in the mid 90's or so. It turns out that my assumption was 90 degrees off.

This "SNS Wedge" cants the front of the binding up 5mm in relation to the back of the binding. Raising the front of the binding up a bit is said to increase the forward ankle flex of the skier, resulting in a more powerful beginning of each skate or stride. In other words, this forward ankle flex encourages your ski to "squirt" up ahead - thereby increasing the free feeling of the gliding ski. Salomon claims that the difference is most notable when skiing up hill.

This sounds like a good theory and it actually makes perfect sense. Think about it, proper ski technique involves aggressive forward ankle flex (resulting in your lower leg angling forward with vertical femurs) for both skate and classic skiing. This wedge plate further forces athletes to adopt this position. All Salomon skate boots that have had the "Energizer Cuff", dating back to the mid 90's also encourage this body position as well.

In personally trying out the wedges for the first time, I'll admit the skis felt very free underfoot, particularly when skiing up hill. My guess is that these wedges make more of a difference when athletes are fatigued (toward the end of a long race especially), when the skier is tired to the point where they are struggling to hold good technique together. So these wedges are probably a good thing if you plan on skiing any marathons this winter. My guess is that these wedges may also be helpful for beginner skiers who may not have ideal body position established while skiing.

You can easily see that the front of the above SNS Wedge is thicker than the rear of the wedge.

The SNS Wedge can be used with any non NIS Salomon or NNN binding. They are sold by the pair and include 6 extra long binding mounting screws (they replace the stock length mounting screws that came in the front of the binding).

The Definitive Shot of the '10 Midwest Winter Blizzard

So when the massive blizzard of '10 hit (I figure I'll be saying that again and again for the next 40 or so years), Frank and I were at my mom's house up in Spooner. The awesome thing about my mom's house is that it has a massive forest out back, so you can just go back-country skiing out there. In fact, Frank and I got stranded at mom's house last year as well, and we did the exact same thing (if you do a search for Back-country skiing on CyclovaXC, maybe you'll find it...then again, the little search box on this site is terrible, so you probably won't).

Well, Frank and I decided to go skiing to our friend Kevin's house in Spooner, so we headed out on our back-country skis and I took the opportunity to snap this nifty shot which shows Frank trudging along on the unplowed highway (I'm pretty sure that this is going to be the definitive shot of the '10 midwest winter blizzard and get me 50,000 hits). It's pretty rare that you can get a stop sign in the frame when you take a picture of one of your friends out skiing...and for good reason...streets are super exposed compared to ski trails and, believe me, the wind cut you in HALF.

Well, we ended up not going to Kevin's house after all, and just swung back around to ski in the woods behind my mom's house. I'll be posting more about that later this week.

Here's hoping you all got your cars dug out OK!

Sunday's Training: 30 Minutes of Shoveling!

The annoying thing about this photo is that it doesn't adequately show how much snow is piled up there. I should have had my 23 inch tall daughter take the picture...THEN it would have looked like nothing more than a mound of snow!

Wow...what a weekend right people!  Needless to say Frank and I never made it up to Timberland hills like we wanted to.  That wasn't a huge problem though because we were able to just ski on the highways!  But that was up in Spooner, and I was totally unprepared for how hard Chippewa Falls got hit.

That space in the above image is where I park my car.  It's always a wonderful surprise when you get home and you have to shovel for 30 minutes (and yes...I'm counting that as training).  Actually I don't know how long it took me.  Come to think of it, it was nearly two full quarters of football, so maybe it was closer to an hour (I didn't get to see the Bears get whipped in the blizzard...football is best when they're playing in a blizzard).

In the background of the image you can see a dog's perky ears staring up.  That's where I had to shovel to.  Awesome!  I was going to take an "after" photo, but it was pitch black!

We're kind of hoping that school is cancelled tomorrow so that we can head out to Tower Ridge!  If not tomorrow, then I'm sure I'll be seeing you out there this week!

Cheers, and happy skiing!

Top 10 Things To Do When SNOWED IN...

The #2 thing to do when snowed in, skiing in the fast lane is a rare opportunity to seize!

I'm not sure that this weekend's blizzard will be the legend that the famous Halloween blizzard of 1991 is, but it is definitely one to remember! In fact, this was the single biggest snowfall through much of the Midwest since that famous storm of 1991. A 20 year storm of sorts!

  1. One can either be giddy or mope about the situation, so following is the Cyclova XC list of the top ten things to do when snowed in! Enjoy!

10) Pick out new snow tires for your car
9) Get caught up on blog posts for CyclovaXC.com
8) Register for your entire schedule of ski races this winter
7) Spend at least 2 hours cursing the fact that the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul didn't have the snow plows going throughout the night
6) Get caught up on your holiday shopping by getting Cyclova XC Gear for your loved ones
5) Take advantage of the Winter cover by skiing through the woods in your Chewbacca mask and scaring your neighbors
4) Exchange stories of the great Halloween blizzard of 1991
3) Tell anyone who will listen about how when you grew up, you skied up hill through 3 feet of snow to school, on home made skis - both ways
2) Skiing in the fast lane of your local highway (take advantage of being able to pass cars on your skis while you can)!
1) Yahtzee!

The Vests, Jerseys and Hats are IN!

Hey All!

For everyone who ordered vests, long-sleeved jerseys, or hats, I'm pleased to inform you that the order is in.  The stuff looks really great, but I'm especially psyched about the hats.  Trust me, they don't look as good in the living room as they're going to look out on the ski trail...but I think even in the living room they look pretty cool.

These hats are awesome!  I think that regardless of what else is going on with CyclovaXC, I'm going to get some hats printed up every year.  Seriously, is it possible to have too many hats?  And you can get an order of 13 for $250 or so, so it's not a terrible expense (not that it's super cheap either).

I'm also liking the full length zipper on the jerseys.  I don't know about you, but I've basically thrown my arm out of its socket a couple of times trying to change out of wet ski clothing in my car or whatever.  It's amazing how much easier things are when you just go...



The vests fit a little tighter than the other clothing because the wind panel on front isn't stretchy, but it's still good (I can squeeze into mine...so you should be able to squeeze into yours).

I believe I've gotten this stuff to everybody who lives in my neck of the woods.  The rest of you are probably closer to Frank, so get in touch with him about getting your stuff.  Don't forget to send me your checks payable to Ben Jonjak!  Here's the article with the prices.  Cheers!