Wax Clinic and New Year's Weekend at CyclovaXC


Hey All!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everybody! I hope you're all enjoying some time off from work with your families. We couldn't get a white Christmas, unfortunately, but believe me when I tell you that the snow is coming (and it better get here fast because I'm getting sick of rollerskiing)!

We've got a lot of fun events happening at CyclovaXC over the upcoming Holiday weekend. First and foremost, our SUITS ARE IN and they look AWESOME! If you've pre-paid this is a great time to come and pick your suit up, and if you haven't paid, we're holding your suit for you, but people really want these! In fact, I've just put in a small re-order, so if you missed the bus the first time, contact me now (bj@cyclovaxc.com) so I can adjust it and get you in CyclovaXC colors!

On Thursday the 29th at 6 PM, we're having another great Wax clinic. Our guest speaker is Dan Meyer, the only ski wax scientist in the nation and the owner of Fast Wax. He'll be going through the whole line of Fast Wax products (and it's rockin' good wax). As always at Cyclova XC wax clinics, there is a 10% discount on waxes and waxing tools during the wax clinic. Beverages will also be served.

On Friday the 30th, we'll be doing a night ride on the St. Croix mountain bike trails. This is going to be a casual, fun ride so bring your warm weather cycling gear and your headlamps! We have 2 demo Mt. Bikes available including the famous Mukluk (that bike with the massive tires everybody's so psyched about)! If you've been wanting to ride that baby...now's your chance! We'll be rolling out of the shop at 7:30 PM!

On Saturday the 31st, I really want to play some FOOTBALL! Heck, when there's no snow on the ground and it's 45 degrees, you should be playing FOOTBALL! But it's always hard to get people to stop being pansies and actually play. Actually, I'm going to be in the St. Croix area either Thursday night or Friday morning and I'll be ready to play FOOTBALL at any moment that I'm there (even moments when I'm scheduled to work at the shop:). We'll see how it goes, if you're interested in playing football, constantly pester the shop all weekend and we'll see if we can put something together.

Another activity of note is that Trollhaugen is apparently offering half price off on lift tickets and ski and snowboard rentals, so that's something to take advantage of. The last I heard, the cross-country skiing is still good on the man-made snow there, so give that a look!

So essentially, you should cancel whatever you had planned for New Years and just come hang out with us at CyclovaXC! As always, the awesomeness never stops!

See you soon!

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I'm Getting Sick of Rollerskiing!!!!

I tell you what, this lack of snow is starting to burn me.  We're already a third of the way through winter and there's no SNOW!  Well, from what I've heard, the Birkie Trail's North end is skiable, and there is snow at ABR, so if you're willing to drive you can ski (and we're going to be driving for the races anyway, so why not?).

But honestly, I've just been content to lounge around the house this Christmas vacation and get caught up on the chores.  That doesn't mean that I'm not out skiing though...I'm ROLLERSKIING!

Well to spice things up, I took out my little Go Pro camera and stuck it to the tip of my Rollerski.  I got some funky pictures too, and I'll post more of them over the next few days.

You'll also notice that I wasn't wearing my CyclovaXC warm-up jacket while I was out skiing.  The reason for that is the last time I used it rollerskiing, I fell and ripped it and I don't want to repeat that travesty!

Anyway, here are a couple more weird rollerskiing pictures from the tip of a rollerski:

Smartwool Thermal Shirts ROCK!

I have to admit, I was a little skeptical at first of Smartwool.  Not that I'd heard anything bad about it, but you know how it is, cross-country skiiers are creatures of habit and we don't like to change a working formula (something about doing 50km in sub freezing conditions does that to a person).

However, as all my thermal shirts are in tatters, I figured I'd head on over to CyclovaXC and pick up a Smartwool thermal shirt to try out.

And the results?  To put it simply, I've been amazed.

First of all, Smartwool has that awesome thumb hole that you can see in the above photo.  I didn't even know that was on there when I purchased one for my wife, and she squealed in delight when she found it.  The thing is, after your head, your wrist is the part of your body that is most prone to losing heat (lots of veins near the surface).  So just adding that extra layer of covering makes your whole body feel a lot warmer (not to mention the fact that the thumb hole makes it easier to keep your thermal on your arm when you're pulling on a tight ski suit).

The other advantage that Smartwool has over something like craft is that its neck isn't so tight that it chokes you the whole time you're out skiing (am I the only one that's had that problem?).  And as far as warmth goes, these thermals are top of the line.  I've been doing all my winter roller-skiing in just my Smartwool top and my CyclovaXC warm-up jacket.

You better head on down to the shop and get some of these because the next time I'm up there I'm picking up all the larges that are still in stock.  These tops are perfect not just for skiing, but for the Inca trail as well!

Santa Rides a Mukluk

Santa swung by the other day to pick up his custom built Mukluk.  With its 4 inch tires, this is the ideal bicycle for cruising around the North Pole, and of course Santa wouldn't go anywhere else but CyclovaXC!

Hope a lot of you are opening up BIG boxes under your trees with things like Skis or Bicycles in them!  Happy Holidays everyone!

Are GPS Watches Reliable?

I stumbled across this interesting article the other day about how GPS watches can sometimes credit you with a shorter distance than you actually ran.  The reason is that those watches calculate your distance by drawing lines between your position at regularly reoccurring intervals.  However, if you happen to go under a tree, or behind a building or something, the satellite can't find you and it ends up calculating by drawing a line between your last two registered positions.  If you happen to go around a corner between these positions, you are not credited for a large amount of distance.

I noticed this once in a half-marathon in Lima.  My watch registered the distance at about 12.85 miles instead of 13.1.  At the time, I figured the course was probably wrong and I was a little disappointed because I ran a pretty fast half.  In hindsight, I guess I was just in better shape than I thought I was.

Honestly, this discrepancy is a little overblown.  My guess is that the difference is negligible in a 10 k, and gets a little bit bigger the farther you run.  However, even over a marathon distance, the GPS is probably going to be within a half mile or so.  This still makes those watches very good training tools.  In fact, if your GPS is constantly telling you you're a little slower than you think you are, it helps to push you harder than otherwise.

I find that my big problem with the GPS is that it takes a while to load up when I'm ready to go for a run.  To me, the whole POINT of running is that you don't have to think about it hardly.  You just slap your stopwatch on, hit the door and BAM! get your exercise in.  However if I have to hit the door and then wait for....loading.....loading........loading..................loading, I start to go nuts.  Also they have a short battery life.

Anyway, read the article and comment below, that's an order!

The Hobbit Looks Like the Inca Trail to Me!


A little while ago I wrote about watching one of the Lord of the Rings movies at the Ironwood movie theatre. Back in the old days, we essentially spent our winter weekends up at Ironwood skiing at ABR (and if it doesn't snow soon, I think we'll be up there for the rest of this December as well).  Anyway, I stumbled across the above trailer for the upcoming "Hobbit" film, and I couldn't resist sharing it here.

Honestly, the first thing I thought when I watched this trailer was that Middle Earth looks a whole lot like the Inca trail!  The big difference being that the Inca trail is real.  I'll be posting more info about this Inca trail adventure shortly, but if any of you out there are interested, start putting some coins in a jar to pay for things (we're looking at June of 2012)!

The Ski Suit is IN!

Presenting the CyclovaXC ski suit!  The mannequin doesn't quite do it justice (and the suit seems to be slightly twisted in a couple places) but this more or less gives you an idea of what team CyclovaXC is going to be looking like this year out on the race courses.  What I'm looking forward to is a whole line of like 10 or 15 guys and gals leading the train and flying our colors, it's going to be awesome!

You can't see it from this angle, but the back of the pants is almost fully black (the image on the thighs doesn't wrap around).

For those of you who have prepaid, head on down to the shop to pick up your suit!  Emalea spent the day putting everybody's order aside in neat little bags, so it should be ready to go.  We're going to have to figure out when to do a team photo day!  We need to start a tradition of hanging up team photos in the shop every year!

For those of you who have ordered a suit but haven't paid, make sure to get your money in soon!  I'm thinking there's going to be a high demand for these and we do have a couple extra ones to sell...but not many!

Cheers!

(oh, and I think Mike included that screwdriver on the floor on purpose...read into that random tool placement what you will :)

SKI TRAIL PROFILE: Anvil Nordic

We've just gotten news of a new Nordic Center in Lindstrom and since it's our job to spread the word, I decided to get this post up lickety-split.  The center is called Anvil Nordic, and the awesome picture above is their Facebook handle (check out [and "like"] their Facebook page here).

The center is located at 11465-335th St. Lindstrom, MN 5505 on Sunrise lake (see map included below), and started as a vintage automotive and marine restoration shop.

They're on a 750-800 acre scenic lake that has a distinctly isolated feel.  This sounds like a great place to go to really feel like you're out in the Northwoods while still being relatively close to the Twin Cities.  Currently they only have 3 km of trails, but they plan to expand and have a lot of city support to do so.  This is definitely going to be a Nordic center to keep your eye on.

They'll be open for $5 per person on Saturdays (9:30 to 4:30) and Sundays (12:30 to 4:30) and they'd really like for people to come by and give them feedback about what they should do for expansion.

Check out their web page here.


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Grip Wax Clinic TODAY at CyclovaXC

Hello Folks,

I hope all of your holiday preparations are going well! For those of you who are looking for 11th hour gifts, we've got a whole bunch of economical stocking stuffers at CyclovaXC! A new shipment of Beyond Birkie Fever just arrived, and the book is a great (and inexpensive) gift idea for all of your family and friends that enjoy cross-country skiing!

The rain outside has me a little bit bummed out today, but don't fear folks, winter is on its way! The big news of the day is that Frank Lundeen is putting on the second FREE CyclovaXC wax clinic at the shop at 6PM on Thursday, December 15th. In this clinic, Frank will be de-mystifying the art of grip (kick) wax for classic skis. As with all wax clinics, there is a 10% discount on any wax or tool purchase during the clinic!  This is also a great time to get your name in the drawing for the CyclovaXC Apparel giveaway!

The other event on the radar for this weekend was a relay race at Troll Hollow, although I haven't yet received an update on trail conditions due to the weather. We thought it would be a blast to get as many team members as possible organized to come by for this...but the rain has us hanging in limbo. You'll have to check in on CyclovaXC on Friday for more details and whether or not this event is still scheduled.

Also, Mt. Borah told me that the CyclovaXC team suit should be arriving “the week of December 16th” so those should be coming any day now! We'll let you know the minute they arrive, but I think there's a pretty good chance they'll be in the shop for the wax clinic!

That's all for now, hope to see all of you at CyclovaXC and I also hope that this rain turns to snow overnight!

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Cyclova XC's Team Apparel Giveaway!


Tommy Krenz is thrilled to be sporting a Cyclova XC kit - and this is your chance to get some, FOR FREE!
Cyclova XC has always been focused on having fun with our sports and building community around them.  We believe being a part of a team is part of what can make XC Skiing, Cycling, and Trail Running so much fun!  If you haven't been part of a team before, and are curious - by all means contact us to get in on the fun!

Now through the end of December is your chance to WIN FREE CYCLOVA XC TEAM GEAR!  Thanks to a generous donor who believes in the magic of our sports and the great time that being a part of our team is, we are offering  FREE CYCLOVA XC TEAM GEAR to one lucky winner.  

Every customer who makes a purchase in our store between December 14 and December 31 is eligible to fill out a ticket to be entered in a random drawing.  On January 2, 2012, we will draw the lucky winner who will have their choice of the following pieces of Cyclova XC Team Gear:
Each of these prize packages has a value of $130+, and each will ensure the lucky winner will be skiing/biking/running in comfort and style!  Come on in to the store to learn more, and to enter!


Tubbs Snow Shoes IN STOCK at Cyclova XC!




Winter is here, snow is coming (again), and snow shoe season is just around the corner!  There is a whole lot of snow shoeing that goes on in the St. Croix Valley, and we took our decision on which snow shoes to feature in our store very seriously.  After much review, we decided to feature the US's #1 snow shoe brand - Tubbs!  We now have the area's best assortment of Tubbs in stock and ready for you to - either for sale or rental!

As with every other product in our store, we don't sell it if we don't believe in it ourselves.  We have chosen some very specific snowshoes from the Tubbs collection - models we feel work best for our customers in the conditions you encounter, offer the best value, and of course fit. 

For someone looking for a great all around snow shoe, our primary feature model is the Tubbs Frontier (see the above featured video).  The Frontier is available in ladies or gentlemen specific models - and in a wide variety of sizes for different sized people and snow conditions.  This is a metal framed shoe, with an amazing easy to use (and supremely functional) binding - also with ample steel cramp-ons under foot for control in icy conditions.

Additionally, we are stocking the Tubbs Flex ESC (see below video) in models for both genders.  This snow shoe is ideal for snow shoers who plan on spending a lot of time on tracked or groomed snow shoe trails (even icy) conditions, such as those conditions found in many of the local state parks (Interstate WI, Interstate MN, Wild River, O'Brien, etc).  The Flex has a flexible plastic body, which flexes and adapts to firm undulating surfaces.  As the body of the shoe is flexing, the large steel cram-ons are gripping any slick ice that may be present under your shoe.

In addition to these 2 key models for adults, we also are also featuring a wide variety of models for kids of all sizes.

Make the short trip to St. Croix Falls and explore the amazing St. Croix River Valley on Tubbs snowshoes!




CyclovaXC is a Happy Place!

Hey Folks,
We just wrapped up another great weekend at CyclovaXC!  It's so much fun to hang out at the shop and have new and old friends stop by to talk about skiing, biking, and essentially just getting the most out of your life.

Yesterday, I turned to Frank in the shop and said, "This store is a happy place, there's a good vibe in here!"  That's the kind of sensation you can hope for but not really guarantee, and I'm glad we're nailing it.

After work, Emalea and Mitch accompanied me up to Loggers to watch the Packers continue on their phenomenal season.  When we arrived the Viking game hadn't finished up, so we watched it patiently as the clock ticked closer and closer to 3:15.  Then 3:15 came and went and the announcers kept saying things like, "next up..the post game" which was disturbing because I wanted them to say, "next up...THE PACKERS."  Anyway, I started to get embarrassingly frantic about the game not being on, and it got worse and worse as the seconds ticked by, until the waitress finally changed the channel.

Sigh...

It was only like a two minute delay, not at all the fault of the staff at Loggers, but I just get worked up when the Packers are on.  I don't even order my food at a bar until I actually SEE the game on the screen (not hear them assure me it's going to be on...I need to SEE it!).  So I felt a little bad about getting snappy, but hopefully I settled down to everybody's satisfaction when I finally saw the old green and gold.

This warm weather isn't making any skier happy, but there are some upcoming events that should be fun.  I heard word that there is going to be some sort of casual relay race at Troll Hollow next weekend, and this should more or less coincide with the arrival of our new ski suits (they're supposed to be in this week), so we'll send a shout out if that materializes.

Also, Emalea and I started thinking it might be fun to have a sledding party one of these days.  Any suggestions for a hill we can use.

That's about it for today.  Hope you all had a great weekend and the cubicle isn't too stuffy this morning.  Hope to see you all out on the trails sooner rather than later!

Solid Skiing at Tower Ridge (near Eau Claire, WI)


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A buddy of mine called me up and advised me that Tower Ridge has a pretty good cover of snow. I didn't need to be told twice, so the second I was able I packed the old gear in to the Subaru and made the familiar drive out Hwy Q.

True to the word, Tower Ridge was solid, although I was a little nervous about the sign that said you weren't supposed to ski there until after dark because the land is open for hunting.  However, I figured that I had just as much right to be there as the hunter's did, so I grabbed my high visibility vest from my car and went skiing, along with my "Ski Like Landgraf" hat (which is orange/red).  I figured between those two things, it would be tough to mistake me for a deer...but I didn't see any hunters anyway (what season is it now anyway...muzzle loaders?).

I got two hours of skiing in and I could have gone longer if the body had been able.  I found the trails to be in very good condition actually.  There were a couple spots that lacked snow cover because they were right under pine trees or something, but for the most part there was a pretty solid base of snow.  The only downside was that somebody had driven some sort of vehicle out on the trails leaving a couple sets of tracks that were a little squirrely to ski over, but I assumed that those were left by people tending the trail so I'm reluctant to complain.

Folks, I think winter is here to stay, so come on out and get your skis if you've been waiting for the snow to fall.

By the way, I'll probably be hanging around St. Croix Falls after work to watch the Packers, so if anyone wants to come up and meet me at Loggers for a beer + awesomeness, that would be...awesome!

Oh, and I forgot to take a picture of the trail at Tower Ridge, so I just posted a google map as to how to get there (it's a little bit hard to find the first time...in my humble opinion...but it's worth it, they've got a great lodge).

It's Back-Country Skiing Time!

Every year it seems like I get stuck at my mom's house with Frank when the first snowstorm hits.  Last year we were up there and the second the big flakes started falling, Frank started sprinting around getting his equipment ready (sort of like a kid on Christmas morning).  Truthfully, it's pretty hard not to feel a little Christmassy when the snow hits...I mean just LOOK at that picture.  It's like it was taken in the middle of a snow globe.

Anyway, Frank was all excited about driving down to the Spooner trails, but I finally talked him out of the idea.  As excited as I was to go skiing, I didn't want to drive anywhere in a blizzard.  Plus, the thing you always have to remember is that the trails don't get groomed for at least a day, so there's no point in making a mad dash to the ski trails.

What we ended up doing instead was just grab our back-country/waxless/rock skis and just go on a little ski/hike around the back 40.  Every skier whether they be beginner or Olympic hopeful needs a pair of waxless touring classical skis for just having fun on.  At CyclovaXC we carry the Rossignol EVO that retails at $150.  Here's a picture of my daughter playing in front of the Evo display:
Those skis are great because you don't have to think about them.  You just throw them on and you head out into the woods.  You can use them either on a groomed trail, or you can just break your own path.

On Sunday I headed out to Irvine Park in Chippewa Falls and just played around for an hour.  This is the best kind of training because it really doesn't feel like training.  Instead, it feels like you're just playing around.  However, when I got home, I felt that familiar, invigorating exhaustion in my arms and legs that let me know I'd gotten a good work-out.

It's easy to freak out a little bit this time of year because there is usually a bit of a "dead period" between roller-skiing season and snow-skiing, but a pair of back country skis fill in the gap nicely.  Every time we get a dusting, you can hit it with the back-country skis, and before you know it we'll be flying along on expertly groomed corduroy!

Toko Wax Clinic, Salomon's Head of Global XC Product, & Clothing Sale - What To They Have In Common?

Hint:  The world's top 4 brands of Nordic skis can be found at Cyclova XC, in St. Croix Falls!

Question:  What does a Toko Wax Clinic, Salomon's Head of Global Nordic Product Development, and a 20% Off XC Ski Clothing Sale have in common?

Answer:  All 3 and more can be found at Cyclova XC in St. Croix Falls this weekend of course!

That's right, we've put together a big fun Nordic weekend here in St. Croix Falls!  Come on out for a ski on the only good skiable snow in the Midwest at Trollhaugen, and then drive 4 miles north to beautiful St. Croix Falls! 

This is sure to be a fun weekend for the hardcore Nordic enthusiast, as well as for the entire family!  In addition to the events happening here at Cyclova XC, St. Croix Falls is putting on the "Rivertown Holiday" festival weekend - a fun filled Christmas/Winter season festival for the whole family.

Here at Cyclova XC, we have a fun weekend planned:
  • All Day Saturday & Sunday:  20% OFF On XC Ski Clothing!  Sales includes SportHill Apparel, SmartWool Apparel (socks, base layers, etc), Bjorn Daehlie Apparel, Hats, Head Bands, Ear Muffs, and more!  20% off pricing excludes Gloves.
  • Saturday Morning, from 7 - 9AM:  Ski on the great snow at Trollhaugen.  Many Cyclova XC team skiers will be out enjoying the snow.  Additionally, Emily Landgraf of Cyclova XC will be leading a beginner to intermediate skate ski lesson, at 8AM.  Look for her in a Cyclova XC jacket near the ski entry area at that time.
  • Saturday Evening, at 6PM:  The first installment of the Cyclova XC Wax Clinic Series - with waxing appropriate bubbly beverages for all!  Mike Lundeen of Toko & Madshus leads a clinic for all levels of skiers - from Olympians to first timers on glide waxing fundamentals.  In this clinic, we will highlight the fundamentals of how to apply glide wax. It is more important to apply wax properly, than to buy the spendy stuff. Learn to make the most of the time & money you spend on glide waxing, by applying it properly. All are welcome and attendees are entitled to a 10% discount on any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic - including discounts on some very special closeout products!
  • Sunday Afternoon, at 2PM:  A very special, last minute announced visit and presentation by Isaac Wilson (Salomon's US Product Manager) and Salomon's Global Nordic Product Development Manager.  Joing us at 2PM for a presentation on the Cyclova XC big screen on Salomon's Product Development, Factory, and some of their latest and most exciting ski technologies!  How many other opportunities do you have to meet the decision maker of a major ski manufacturer's Product Development Team?
World Cup Level Ski Expertise is found abundantly in St. Croix Falls, WI!

Apparel Sale this Weekend at CyclovaXC!

As you all know, our first wax clinic is coming up on Saturday, December 3rd at 6 PM (for more information click here).  We'd like to see as many of you there as possible since proper waxing technique is crucial to having fast skis on race day (plus, we'd just like to see you all).

As an extra incentive, in addition to a completely free wax clinic, and the 10% discount you get on ski waxing items during a clinic, we'd also like to offer a 20% discount on apparel this weekend (excluding only team gear and gloves).  For those of you who haven't yet picked up a pair of Sporthill training pants, now's the time to do it.  Now that we're stuck in that no man's land time of year when it's either raining or there's not enough snow to ski, you'll find you'll be reaching for your Sporthill pants almost daily.  These pants are form fitting enough so there is no interference when you're out for a run, but they're also a relaxed enough fit so you don't feel too out of place buying an energy drink at a gas station on the way home.  They're also the perfect pant for holiday football games with the family since they're rugged and won't tear when you get tackled (presuming that anyone can catch you of course).

Speaking of that, we should really start doing some football games up at the shop on the weekends.  Maybe after the ski season in March or so when everybody's kind of tuckered out from skiing and dragging their feet about training.

In addition to Sporthill pants, we also carry SmartWool socks and base layers.  As anyone who has ever skied the Pepsi Challenge can tell you, you can never have to many thermal shirts (throwing on a dry one after the race makes life a LOT better).

So come on in Saturday, learn how to turn your skis into rocket ships (we're planning on providing some sort of refreshment...but we don't know what yet), and stock up on your waxing gear and skiing apparel!

Great Skiing At Trollhaugen - in the St. Croix River Valley!

Trollhaugen was a busy place on Wednesday morning, with a full parking lot and a bus load of high school kids out enjoying some early season skiing!

It's November, and believe it or not, we have great xc skiing here in the St. Croix River Valley.  Trollhaugen's dedication to Nordic skiers continues this ski season, through allowing Nordic skiing anywhere on their many perfectly groomed alpine runs, from 7AM - 9AM.  After a few more days of snow making, their 2.5 Troll Hollow Nordic loop will be finished up and covered in a beautiful blanket of snow.  The Troll Hollow loop has 100% man made snow coverage and is lighted late into the night, making for one of the most convenient XC Ski venues in the region - with guaranteed snow!


I've enjoyed skiing at Trollhaugen twice already this season, and have enjoyed skiing around on the flats at the bottom of the hill, and have also gotten in a great workout by skiing up and down the big hill.  As a bonus for skiing up the hill, you can ski down, practicing your slide turns (or Tele turns if you're a better skier thank I).  Finally, Steve Edling tipped me in on a great little tip for skiing at Trollhaugen on a busy day, suggesting that I ski back and forth on the bowl at the top of the hill.  Up at the top, there is a great bowl, with a curving trail and fun terrain that provides a great workout.  

Come on out and join us this morning at Trollhaugen from 7 to 9 for a fun ski, including a beginners lesson at 7:15 - just look for the Cyclova XC jackets.  Also, I will be leading the wax clinic at Trollhaugen's Nordic Race Clinic tomorrow at noon.  Come on over to Trollhaugen and check it out!


The father & son team of Pedersen & Pedersen out acending the Troll, and sporting a Cyclova XC "Ski Like Landgraf" hat.


Ironwood Movie Theater

After a hard day of skiing at ABR, you might want to head out to the local, high-tech movie theater in Ironwood, MI to watch a recent release.  Back in the old days when Frank and I used to rocket off to Ironwood every other weekend throughout November and December, we used to top off our 4 hour skiing day with a flick or two.  Now, my memory might be fuzzy, but I seem to remember that we hit the Ironwood theater to watch "The Fellowship of the Ring" when it first got released.  The reason I remember this is because Frank had already seen it once, and he took to screaming out "YE shall not pass!" at any time that it was appropriate (or inappropriate...the key was that he was yelling it a lot).  And not only did he just yell it, he emphasized the "YE" and extended it, so it was like "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE shall not pass!"

Well, after listening to this for about two weeks, we excitedly went to the movie theater to watch LOTR: FOTR (that stands for "The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring") for the second time.  As the movie progressed to the point where Gandalf had his huge showdown with the Balrog on the bridge of Khazad-Dum, I could tell Frank was getting pretty excited that the "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Shall not PASSS!" line was about to happen.

The Balrog appeared...

There was a ball of flame...

Gandalf stepped forward and said...

"YOU shall not pass!"

"What?" Frank said disgustedly, shocked to come face to face with the fact that he had been loudly misquoting the film for a week.  Then after thinking about it for a second, he shrugged and said, "he should have said 'ye.'"

I happen to agree with him.

Anyway, here's the scene in case you have forgotten it.  I scoured Youtube for the "You Shall Pass--Obi Wan Kenobi" parody but couldn't find it (it would have been a pleasant surprise for Jeff...oh well).

No Snow at ABR Today (unhappy face)

Well, ABR was awesome yesterday but today it suffered the effects of 50 degree temperatures and...well, it didn't really rain, but it was very humid, humid enough that the snow just died.

That being said, I still skied for an hour today on my old bulletproof back-country skis, but about a quarter of that ski involved walking along on grass.  It was one of those stress-free, fun days, but it wasn't really skiing (still anything beats roller-skiing).

All this being said, ABR is still THE place to go for early season skiing. With their lake-effect snow they get HUGE dumps and literally can manufacture a great ski trail literally overnight.  So keep an eye on the forecasts and keep your fingers crossed because I'm thinking we'll be making some trips to ABR in early December.  Although things don't look good for this weekend.

Always give ABR a call before you head up there.  It's a long drive and I just don't want anyone to drive up on the recommendation of this web page only to be sorely disappointed upon arrival.  Here's their web page and phone number             (906)-932-3502     .

Trollhaugen is the best bet for this weekend I think!

ABR Trail Conditions on Thanksgiving

Hey everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving!  For the last two years, Zulma and I have been on the road for Thanksgiving.  Last year we were at the Crazy Horse Monument in the Black Hills, and this year we were up at Ironwood, Michigan staying at the AmericInn and hitting the ski trail in the morning (well, I was hitting the ski trail, Zulma and Sofia were hitting the pool, and the waffles...well...I hit the waffles too).

The skiing was courtesy of ABR, and if you haven't ever been to ABR, let me tell you that it's probably the best place for early season skiing.  It was fun coming up here because I hadn't been to Ironwood since about 2001.  Back in the old days, Frank and I used to make this trip regularly, so driving up on Tuesday brought back some memories.

As you can see from the above photo, the trails were pretty good up until about 11:30 on Thanksgiving day, but I think the warm temperatures and the sun might have had their way with the trail since then.  I bought a 3 day pass, so I'm planning on heading out there in the morning on my back country skis (good conditions for the Rossignol Evo's) for an hour or so before heading back to Chippewa.

See you all at CyclovaXC for your Black Friday Cross-Country ski shopping!

Store Info


Cyclova XC, Inc is a boutique bicycle, xc ski, and outdoor adventure store.  Our expert staff of career cyclists & skiers take great pride in offering the best service to all of our clients.  You'll find the atmosphere in our store to be different than almost any other bike shop on the planet - we believe bikes are beautiful, and should be presented as art.  We tastefully display one of each of our bike models with rotating art exhibits passing through. 

Cyclova XC is located in beautiful downtown St. Croix Falls, WI, about a 50 minute drive from Minneapolis in the beautiful upper St. Croix River Valley, and the gateway to northern Wisconsin's plethora of silent sport opportunities.  This area is a literal playground for cyclists, xc skiers, and trail runners - with a world class network of trails for our customers to enjoy!  With three wineries, great coffee shops, shopping, theater, bed & breakfasts, and camping (at one of 3 state parks within 8 miles) within a 5 minute walk of downtown there is plenty to do after you're done with your ride, run, or ski.

In short, Cyclova XC is a community of silent sport enthusiasts; where athletes and enthusiasts come to purchase their equipment, have it serviced by experts, learn, and enjoy their craft.


Inside Cyclova XC, you'll find 3000 square feet of the best assortment of XC Skis, Bicycles, and Trail Running equipment in the US.  All presented in a clean welcoming art gallery type atmosphere!

It is our goal to provide Cyclova XC customers an enjoyable & clean shopping experience at Cyclova XC.  It is our opinion that most bike and ski shops are cluttered, confusing, and lack expert service.  Friendly, expert service for our customers is always the priority at Cyclova XC.  At  Cyclova XC, you will find the best bikes, xc skis, and shoes, and accessories presented as we believe they were meant to be presented - as art!  In addition to presenting our products as art, we also feature rotating art exhibits throughout our store - to add to the experience.

Cyclova XC features select XC skis from the top 4 brands on the planet, along with expert service:  Rossignol, Salomon, Madshus, and Fischer!

Providing all of our customers expert advice (whether you're a first timer or an Olympian), is at the core of our being.  Every bike, ski, boot, ski pole, shoe, and other technical piece of equipment is carefully fit to each customer.  If the product doesn't fit the customer and their needs, we simply won't sell it to that customer.  Equipment fitting optimally is always the most important factor in enjoying your bike, xc ski, and running experience - and we're here to make certain that happens.

We believe that servicing the products we sell is as important (maybe even more so) than selling the product in the first place.  At Cyclova XC, we offer a full range of bike service - from flat tire changes to custom bike builds, from tune ups to wheel building.  On the ski service side of things, we offer a full range of waxing services - but are best known for our world class xc ski Stonegrinding and Race Prep Thermo Treatment (hot boxing).  You can depend on Cyclova XC to service your xc skis and bicycles at the same level that the US Ski Team members, factory team members, and other elite racers depend on us for!


Cyclova XC Co-Owner is among the most experienced XC Ski Technicians in the country.  You'll also find the most advanced XC Ski specific ski

Cyclova XC was launched in August of 2009 as a bike & ski team with a daily updated blog.  Here is the story on the name Cyclova XC. The founders and now co-owners of Cyclova XC (Frank Lundeen & Ben Jonjak) launched Cyclova XC with the simple goal of having fun with our sports and building community around them.  When we started the Riverbrook Nordic Ski Team and Leinenkugel's Bike Team in the 90's, we had a similar goal - and now this simple goal is again thriving with the Cyclova XC Team.   After more than 2 years of rapid growth & a global audience viewing CyclovaXC.com daily, selling over 150 team bike and ski kits, and suggestions from many folks that we open a store - we have done so.  For the full history on the progression toward the opening of our store, CLICK HERE.


Wax Clinic Schedule for CyclovaXC (All Welcome, Free to Attend)

Hello Everybody,

At CyclovaXC we understand that the process of preparing your skis can be a daunting task.  For that reason, we have broken up the waxing process into 7 separate wax clinics.  We highly recommend these clinics for both novices and experienced skiers as the industry standard for waxing evolves every year.  Why cost yourself valuable minutes and energy in your races by persisting in waxing your skis with last year's methods?

These clinics are completely free and everyone is welcome to attend.  As an added bonus, you will have the opportunity to purchase wax and waxing tools at a 10% discount after the clinics!

Come and join the fun folks at CyclovaXC and learn how to get everything out of your skis, your wax, and (most importantly) yourself!

Clinic Schedule:

Saturday, December 3 @ 6PM: Mike Lundeen of Toko and Madshus leads a clinic for all levels of skiers - from Olympians to first timers on glide waxing fundamentals. In this clinic, we will highlight the fundamentals of how to apply glide wax. It is more important to apply wax properly, than to buy the spendy stuff. Learn to make the most of the time & money you spend on glide waxing, by applying it properly. All are welcome and keep in mind that you will receive a 10% discount on any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic! Additionally, we will soon be announcing some very special VIP guests for a never before seen presentation on XC Ski design and manufacturing. Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 15 @ 6PM: Frank Lundeen on de-mystifying the art of grip (kick) waxing classic skis. The art of grip waxing doesn't need to be a complicated mystery - and it won't be if you attend this clinic. 10% off on any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic!

Thursday, December 29 @ 6PM: Dan Meyer, owner of Fast Wax, Polymer Scientist, and life long skier leads a clinic on fast skis with Fast Wax - made locally in the St. Croix River Valley! 10% off on any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic!

Thursday, January 12 @ 6PM: Frank Lundeen focuses in on ski prep for extreme cold conditions - such as those commonly found at January ski races like the Pepsi Challenge. Learn the keys to making your skis glide in those frigid squeaky January ski events! 10% off any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic!

Thursday, January 26 @ 6PM: Frank Lundeen zeroes in on advanced race glide waxing techniques. In this clinic, we will discuss and demonstrate advanced race glide waxing techniques used on the World Cup - tricks that will make real differences in your ski speed and race results. A few of the topics to be covered include application of flourinated glide waxes, synthetic hardeners, flourocarbons, layering of waxes, and application of structure. 10% off on any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic!

Thursday, February 9 @ 6PM: Waxing guru and master of fast skis Jerry Slater of the Toko Tech Team presents the inside scoop on how to prep your skis for the weekend's Pre-Birkie and Mora Vasaloppet races. 10% off on any wax or tool purchase during this wax clinic!

Thursday, February 23 @ 6PM: Frank Lundeen presents how to have your best skis ever at this year's Birkie! Ski selection, structure, glide waxing, and grip waxing will be discussed and demonstrated.

All clinics are at the CyclovaXC retail store in St. Croix Falls
CyclovaXC
125 North Washington St., Suite A
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024
(715) 483 3278

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ABR Has Good Snow!

According to the ABR web page, there is good snow out there, and that's good enough for me!  Frankly, I've been trying to figure out what to do since my wife has a few days off for Thanksgiving.  What better way to celebrate than to fast forward to winter (actually, she's excited about hanging out in a big, beautiful hotel room for a few nights)?

I'll be going up there pronto and posting some pictures for all of you to see.  If things go well, maybe I'll run into a few CyclovaXC teammates!

Cheers, and happy Thanksgiving!

Snow! Everybody's Going CRAZY!

It's nice to go through Facebook and see all the pictures people are putting up who are all psyched out about the recent snowfall.  It's all just theory until the flurries start and then BANG, people are revved up.  Something about seeing those flakes in the air and feeling that crisp, frozen air enter your nose that makes you want to SKI!

This picture is from last year when we were still working on a cover for "Beyond Birkie Fever" (Tom and Debby just called me up raving about the book by the way, so head into CyclovaXC and get a copy!) and we thought it'd be cool to have the CyclovaXC suit and a Birkie founder bib on the cover.  So, I went over to Landgraf's house and asked him if I could borrow one of his bibs for a photo shoot.  Actually, I was a little uncertain as to whether or not that was a legitimate request (those bibs are precious), but Dave thought it was an awesome idea and was only too eager to let me use one of his bibs.

So this is one of the billion or so photos I took and which we eventually didn't use on the book cover, but I'm still glad we have them, and there's no better way to commemorate the first snowfall on CyclovaXC than an image that includes a Landgraf Birkie Bib!

Skiing the Sibley Ski Tour Back in '95 or so

I was just digging through some old photos when I came across this one from the Sibley Ski Tour from about fifteen years ago.  Frank and I are decked out in the original Riverbrook duds that we designed after a rollerski down at Lake Wissota Park.  This suit became known as the "icicle" suit since back then the sublimating companies couldn't do a fade, so they just dribbled icicles on the fade areas (it was effective enough from a distance).  Oh, that was also a one piece suit which seems to have gone the way of the dinosaur.

You know...the whole one piece versus two piece argument isn't a slam dunk.  Sure, the two piece is a lot more convenient for things like going to the bathroom before a race.  But it's like Mike says, when you zip up that one piece suit, you just feel complete.

Anyway, I seem to remember this being a brutally cold race and the fact that we're both wearing neck warmers seems to attest to that.

Sigh...to be fifteen years younger again, oh well.

But as you can see, Frank and I have been doing this ski thing for a loooooong time!