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!

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