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Monday: 10am - 7pm
Tuesday: 10am - 7pm
Wednesday: 10am - 7pm
Thursday: 10am - 7pm
Friday: 10am - 7pm
Saturday: 8am - 5pm
Sunday: 10am - 5pm

Ride to Wolf Creek This Saturday?

I already mentioned that the Woolly club is doing a ride on Saturday, Sept. 1st (free, fun ride).  Click here for more info!  This post is notable because I put the totally wrong date on it when I first mentioned it.  I made this mistake, even though the correct date is listed in the posted text below...grrrr.  This is the problem with getting old.  First of all, you can't remember anything right, second of all you wander around tired all the time, going from room to room only to stop and think, "Now what did I come in here for?"  Anyway, I corrected the error and the ride is now correctly listed for Saturday, Sept. 1st.

However, if you happen to be a roadie, there will be other riding options for St. Croix Falls this weekend.  Generally we like to head up River Road to Wolf Creek, eat a pizza, and ride back.  This ride is super casual unless Ryan or Jeff come along and push the pace up to 23 miles an hour.  If it's just me I like to average 15 or so.  Well...having a group of people along always inspires you to go faster.  That's the whole point of riding in a group.

Usually what happens on Saturday is we leave the clubhouse in Osceola around 9:30 or 10, and head up to the shop, then we hang around there for a while and leave maybe at 11.  So if you're in the area and you feel like joining us for a bike ride, head to the CyclovaXC shop.  Or just head out down River Road and meet us at Wolf's Creek.  Anything works.  Satudray should be just a long day of riding around and enjoying life.  If it's hot, we might even stop for a dip in Lion's Park.  Hope to see you all out on the road!

Group Ride on the Woolly this Saturday, Sept. 1st

The Woolly guys asked me to pass on this information, sounds like a fun time!

Group ride on the Woolly Trails this Saturday Sept 1st! Meet at the Polk County info center rolling out at 10am. Spread the word - great way to preview the race course for Sept 30th Minnesota Mountain Bike Series stop #11 The Croix Valley Woolly.

Women's Fitness Group for Thursday, August 30th

Ladies last week we discussed hiking the new portion of the Ice Age Trail the Pine Lake segment near Luck. I promise we will do this in the future, but due to the heat I believe biking would be a better activity for tomorrow. So bring your bike, whatever type, and join us for a lovely ride through Polk County. Depart the shop at 6:30 pm. Hope to see you all tomorrow, Emalea's 

Landgraf Hat in Quebec

We just received another "Ski Like Landgraf" hat image from up in Quebec!  I love it!  Thanks Jim, and congrats on the race!  Here's the note he sent:

"Attached is a pic of myself wearing the Cyclova hat at the finish line of Ironman Mont-Tremblant which I raced on Aug 19. Venue is a little over an hour north of Montreal at the Mont Tremblant ski resort."

World's Smallest Bicycle (Video)

Maybe you've seen this already, but it merits repeating.  Oh, and we don't carry this bicycle at CyclovaXC!  Sorry!

USADA Overstepping Its Authority in Armstrong Case

We had an interesting weekend discussing the USADA sanctions against Lance Armstrong this weekend.  I appreciated hearing everyone's position whether you left it on this blog, on Facebook, or came in to discuss it personally at the shop.  Armstrong's current situation is clearly not good for cycling, and it's going to be interesting to watch how events continue to play out.

The disturbing thing, for me at least, is that there seem to be a lot of rules getting broken by all the agencies involved.  The situation is actually so corrupt, that the actual discussion of Armstrong's innocence or guilt is currently not even relevant (it's like item 546 on the agenda).  I'm also irritated with how misleading all the media reporting on this situation is.

Maybe it's because I'm the son of a lawyer, but for me, the most important point in any controversy is that the government agencies that have been established to maintain order follow their stated protocols. I'd much prefer to see a guilty athlete go free than have an innocent one be unjustly stripped of his/her achievements.  The "refs" have to be held to a higher standard and they must be completely transparent because if you allow the refs absolute power, they can retroactively declare any outcome they want.

So let's just pretend that Lance Armstrong isn't involved and just look at the actions of the USADA.  I think people's strong feelings for (or against) Armstrong are clouding their ability to decide whether or not USADA is overstepping its bounds.

  • USADA does not have the ability to strip athletes of international titles.  This authority lies with the UCI.  However, in every news story you read about this, USADA always declares that they hope the UCI will respect their decision.  The way USADA words this seems something like a threat (although it's kind of a weak threat because what are they going to do?).  The ironic thing is that Lance Armstrong and the UCI filed a joint suit against USADA not to pursue these doping allegations (which was thrown out of court).  However, you should be able to deduce from that pairing that UCI supports Armstrong in this matter.  Essentially this whole situation seems to be a matter of international politics where USADA wants to be seen as the world's supreme anti-drug agency, which they aren't.  UCI gets to make the final decision here, no matter how much USADA postures in the US media.
  • Statute of Limitations: Generally you can't strip an athlete of his/her achievements after 8 years.  USADA alluded to this recently saying that if Armstrong had "played ball" he could have kept 5 of his tour titles (the ones outside the 8 year statute of limitations).  I don't know where the USADA went to law school, but there doesn't exist a provision for them to just ignore the statute of limitations.  
  • Erasing all titles for a 14 year period: This part is really weird.  Usually you can't just say, "everything you did for 14 years was cheating," instead you have to build a case for every single title you want to strip.  It's common for athletes to lose titles but then retain others (Jan Ullrich and Alberto Contador come to mind)  This universal clause thing is an extremely sloppy legal attack.  In fact, it's so sloppy that the people who should be most angry are those that are convinced of Armstrong's guilt.
  • "Universal Erasure" tactic not universally applied: USADA doesn't have any authority to impose sanctions on a guy like Jan Ullrich, but he makes for an interesting example of why the USADA actions are problematic.  If USADA wants to say that they want to erase a guy's entire career because they have "evidence" of an instance of cheating, how do they feel about handing 3 more tour titles to Jan Ullrich?  Shouldn't they recommend to the UCI to award titles to 3rd places finishers (presuming they were clean).
  • Failure to release evidence:  At what point did it become OK in the US to punish a guy without releasing any of the evidence against him?  If they have sworn testimonies, fine, make them public.  If they have drug samples, fine, show them.  What's with this silence?  Worst of all, what's with everybody totally happy to believe the USADA without seeing this evidence?  Honestly, I think the evidence should be readily available to everybody before this even hits the papers.  If you're preparing a legal defense, you have a right to hear what's going to be used against you.  What's going on?
Everybody seems to be so caught up in this "the USADA 'got' Armstrong" frenzy that nobody's looking at these procedural errors.  I'm totally in favor of catching cheats, but IT'S NOT OK TO CHEAT TO GET THEM!  The rules are in place to protect us from unfair persecution.  Sure, the downside of that is that some cheats go free.  But that's a better scenario than the unlawful rewriting of history.

Everything has happened over the course of a couple days so a lot is yet to be seen.  What bothers me is that there doesn't seem to be a sincere and honest pursuit of justice here, instead, it's just a sensationalized attack on a well-known public figure (even the judge that threw out Armstrong's counter-suit admitted that...and I presume he saw more of the evidence than has been available to us, although it's dangerous to presume anything).

Based on the fact that donations to Livestrong have been going through the roof, it's pretty clear that the court of public opinion has judged this to be a farce.  There is a lot of chest-puffing going around and it would be nice to see some reports of actual merit.  The only silver lining I see is that this whole latest assault is being so badly handled that I think this will be the last full-court press against Armstrong we'll be likely to see.  After all "justice" is really driven by what people want to read.  After the USADA's actions, it's going to be hard to sell newspapers with headlines about dirty cycling.  It remains to be seen whether the last headline will read "UCI Elects to Allow Armstrong to Retain Titles" or "UCI Enforces USADA Recommendation to Strip Armstrong Titles."  We'll just have to wait and see.

Of course, I'm left wondering, who is going to punish the USADA for their violations in this matter?  Or are they above the law?

Armstrong Accused of Taking Dinosaur Shaped Gummies

Lance Armstrong is all over the news again, and, like usual, the presumption of his guilt is strong even though absolutely no new evidence against him has been released.

From the beginning, this is what has bothered me the most about the Armstrong controversy.  I'm totally for a clean sport, but I really don't think you should make an accusation against somebody until you actually have hard, physical evidence.  If somebody's guilty, fine, go and get them, but do your homework and get the proof, don't just make lazy accusations.

Armstrong has recently declared that he isn't going to fight USADA charges, but that this shouldn't be seen as a declaration of guilt.  However, pretty much everybody is taking it as a declaration of guilt.

I think Armstrong has an ace in the hole here though.  I think he really just doesn't consider USADA to be all that important.  At this point, the worst thing that can happen to Armstrong is that he gets a lifetime ban, which he doesn't care about because he's already retired, and USADA can recommend that he have his tour titles stripped.  However, from my understanding, the final decision on whether or not he's stripped of the tour titles will lie with the UCI.  And I don't think the UCI is going to roll over and do whatever the USADA says.  Plus, I think Armstrong has a bit more pull with UCI than anyone wants to admit.

The thing to remember with this whole Armstrong episode is that the major criminals of cycling are not the athletes who cheat.  The major criminals are the governing bodies who have been totally ineffective in stopping them.  All of these athletes are subjected to rigorous testing, why is this testing so ineffective that cheating athletes are only discovered years later?

There are just too many stories of labs not following their own protocols and athletes having to fight accusations (based on perception rather than evidence) for years for me to have any respect for the controls in place to keep PEDs out of cycling.  Honestly, I believe a lot of the problem is the fact that you have multiple countries using multiple philosophical approaches to the law.  For example, France has a "guilty until proven innocent" attitude that is magnified when they start pursuing an American athlete they don't like anyway (yes, there was a reason nobody accused Richard Virenque of being a doper until they physically pulled him of a bike--because he's FRENCH!).

Sadly, the French anti-Armstrong frenzy spilled over to America, and the result has been millions of dollars and countless hours spent chasing a guy who spends all his free time looking for a cure for cancer.

And you know what?  They STILL haven't published any PROOF of his guilt!!!

So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see how this plays out.  My perception is that Armstrong feels USADA is a joke and that they can't really touch him.  I'm also far more disgusted with the governing bodies of these sports.

Do your job.  Find the proof.  A fair and effective system has to be put in place, the fact that there obviously isn't one is the true crime.

Women's Fitness Group Activity for Thursday, August 23rd!

Come hike beautiful interstate park...Ok, just kidding, that's Machu Picchu, but Interstate Park is awesome too (and closer!)
Ladies! Time to put on your hiking shoes! We are going to explore yet another GREAT trail in Wisconsin's oldest State Park . . . you guessed it Interstate Park right here in St. Croix Falls. Depart CyclovaXC at 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you all :)

Gravel Conspiracy Rider Gear Checklist

The Gravel Conspiracy Route is set, and so it's time to start making certain you have your gear in line.  Here is a gear checklist, and info on how to order from Cyclova XC.  Photo Credit:  Joshua Stamper

Numerous folks have asked for ideas on what gear is needed for Gravel Conspiracy, being it's an unsupported event.  I've organized the key things that cyclists don't normally have below by category - all of which I can order for you at Cyclova XC.  Note that I've embedded links to each product, so you can check it out and get more info.  Note that when talking about specific products, I've include part numbers and pricing.  If you want to order anything from Cyclova, please let me know ASAP rather than waiting until the last minute.  Much of this will be special order stuff and does have a bit of lead time.  

It's key to be as prepared as possible and to be self sufficient.  With that said, I will have some basic stuff like tires, tubes, cables, chains, etc with and available for sale (from Cyclova).  This stuff will be available to all Conspiracy participants.  

General bike thoughts:
  • This isn't a time to try out some new experimental high end equipment - rather run what is tried and trued for you, a bike setup that you're familiar with!  
  • While I don't know much about the course, I definitely plan on running cross tires (and bringing and extra 1 or 2 tires with just in case).
  • Also, in light of Josh's recent final course update, an efficient mountain bike might not be a bad idea as it sounds like the course is fairly "rough" in sections.

BAGS:  Revelate Gas Tank Bag:  This bag is an essential for carrying key stuff like food, cell phone/camera, wallet, etc.  It mounts right behind your handlebar stem along the top of your top tube.  This is a great seller at Cyclova XC and I have several in stock at the store.  BG2660 $57
Revelate Tangle Bag:  NOTE THAT THESE BAGS ARE IN VERY SCARCE SUPPLY, AND IF YOU WANT ONE, YOU WILL NEED TO LET ME KNOW IMMEDIATELY - I WILL BE ORDERING THESE DIRECTLY FROM THE SUPPLIER IN ALASKA!  Also a definite essential for carrying a large water bladder (no water bottle filling stations out on our course), as well as extra clothing, tools, tubes, water purification tablets.  The only possible realistic alternative for this would be a trunk bag on a pannier rack, a back pack etc.  The big advantage of the Tangle Bag is that it's contained within the main triangle of your frame and still leaves room to access both of your bottle cages.  BG2650 Small, BG2651 Med, BG2652 Large:  All sizes priced at $75

WATER "VESSELS" & PURIFICATION:Aquamira Water Purification Tablets:  A must, and something that should always be along in the back country - and something that Josh specifically called out in his earlier list of gear.  1 tablet purifies 32 oz of water and kills all the nasty stuff in water, while not making it taste funky.  You'll want this incase you run out of water in the back country!  #OH2500 $16Hydrapak Shape Shift Reversible Hydration Pack Reservoir:  In my opinion the best reservoir on the market.  Reversable so it's easy to clean, with a nice hose/valve system.  Available in the following sizes:  32oz #WB7300 $32  --  70oz #WB7301  $35  --  100oz #WB7302  $38

NAVIGATION:Que sheet holder:  You can put a printed que sheet inside of a zip lock bag and then clip it on to your bars.  This little clip will do the job, or you can rig something up:  HB1003  $7 

A GPS Device:  A mapping capable GPS device will make it very easy for you to stay on course - as none of us really have any idea what we're getting in to.  The Edge Series of Garmin devices is likely the way to go here.  If you're interested in talking about this, get in touch with me - I can get you this stuff generally for the same price that Garmin publishes on their website.  As a side note I don't know if a smart phone will work for navigation, as there likely will not be a cell tower in the vicinity for most of the ride...TOOL / 

MECHANICAL KIT:Following is what I would recommend putting in your Tangle Bag for bike tools/supplies - enabling you to be self sufficient in most any situation:
  • 2 inner tubes on your bike at all times (bring at least 4 total with you on the trip up there)
  • A REAL pump, such as the fabulous Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump that we stock at Cyclova XC.  You can air up your tires hundreds of times in less than 2 minutes each with this great pump!  Note that this pump comes in different sizes for different size frames.  Medium (49-54 cm frames) PU1772, Large (54 - 59cm frames) PU1773, XL (59 - 64 cm frames) PU1774  All sizes = $35
  • A real patch kit, including glue (not a glueless patch kit), such as the Park Tool Vulcanizing Patch Kit
  • Tire levers
  • A great multi-tool, such as the Crank Bros Multi-17 tool.  This includes all sizes of Alan Wrenches, screw drivers, chain tool, spoke wrenches, 15mm open wrench (pedals, hub cones, etc)  TL8117 $30
  • A derailleur cable would be a good idea if you can install it
  • A few spokes to fit your wheels might be smart
  • A tire boot, which Park Tool makes, but you can also just cut up an old tire you have laying around to a piece about 1 inch wide by 3-4 inches long - in case you slash up your tire.
  • A SRAM Chain quick link would be a good thing to have with in your tire repair kit - in case of chain troubles.  Note these are specific to 8, 9, or 10 speed drive trains.

NUTRITION:This is a tough area to give advice, as everyone's nutritional needs are generally different.  Following is what I will be bringing:
  • An electrolyte replacement drink such as NUUN or Camelback Elixor
  • Gels or energy chews for fueling while riding
  • Some tasty and satisfying energy bars, such as Clif, Stinger Waffles, Pro Bar, or what ever tickles your fancy
  • Some real food for lunch on the road, which I will prepare for myself each day - a sandwich or something.
  • I SERIOUSLY plan on bringing with a bunch of Beef Jerky - as this is the wonder fuel for me.  I'm going to try to get up to the Jack Links HQ sometime in the coming week to see if I can get a huge (like 10 pound) bag of 2'nds.  I'll keep you posted on that.  Even if I can find that, there are plenty of gas stations along the road up there with amazing jerky assortments!  Some Salted Nut Rolls would also be a good idea while on the topic of Gas Station food.
  • A recovery drink that works for you.  I'll be bringing with some Endurox

CLOTHING:September on the North Shore is very unpredictable.  We will likely have frosty mornings and sweaty afternoons.  Following is clothing that I would deem appropriate to pack with:
  • Chamois Butter or DZ's Nuts!
  • 3 pair of cycling shorts (1 pair per day, cuz they'll be nasty after each day)
  • Knee / leg warmers
  • a few good long sleeve base layer tops (Smartwool, Craft, Ibex, etc)
  • A few cycling jerseys (short and perhaps long sleeve)
  • A wind proof front cycling jacket
  • A think skull hat to wear under your helmet
  • Good xc ski gloves such as Toko or Yoko, which are in good supply at Cyclova XC
  • Winter ski hats / beanie for before/after riding
  • Rain jacket
  • A wide variety of clothing for before and after riding - be prepared for freezing temps!

General camping gear to be hauled in the truck:
  • Figure out your tenting arrangements - we'll be spending 3 of the 4 nights in tents.
  • Bring a sleeping bag good down to below freezing.  I have access to special ordering amazing sleeping bags from several top brands.  Inquire if you're looking...
  • Bring a good comfortable and insulating sleeping pad.  When camping in cold weather, you often get cold from the ground, rather than the air, thus the importance of a good sleeping pad.
  • Pillow - there are a variety of great stuffable camping pillows
  • Camp Towel - small packing, quick drying, light:  Out Go Microfiber towel, XL  OC2505  $32

Feel free to contact me with any questions on this stuff - or to suggest anything that I may have missed!

The Cyclova XC "Conspirators" at The Gravel Conspiracy

The Gravel Conspiracy is a rugged 3 day, 290 mile, tough guy ride in the Boundary Waters / North Shore area of MN.   Did I mention it's almost entirely on unpaved surfaces?  Photo credit to Joshua Stamper.

There has been a certain buzz at Cyclova XC and among our race team about something called the Gravel Conspiracy for much of 2012.  I first learned of this event while sipping a Rhinelander Stubby beer (that stuff tastes better when it's cold out) out in the silent winter woods on a Snow Bike ride with Joshua Stamper and David Gabrys last winter.  Dave & I told Josh that this event sounded great, and that we were in on the spot!

The Gravel Conspiracy is a generally unsupported ride beginning in Grand Marais, meandering to Ely, and back over 3 days on gravel roads, ATV trails, and moose tracks.  3 days & 290 miles - with the longest day being 125 miles.  You bring your own water, food, and gear.  No one is coming to get you if you bonk - only the wolves.  If you have a mechanical issue, you fix it.  In short, serious business.  The only luxury will be the fact that a truck will be hauling camping gear for everyone - from stop to stop.  

Following are screen shots of the courses - day by day:

Stage 1:  From Grand Marais, MN to East Bearskin Lake.  50 mile warm up.  Photo Credit to Joshua Stamper

Stage 2:  East Bearskin Lake to Ely, MN.  125 miles.  Photo Credit to Joshua Stamper

Stage 3:  Ely to Grand Marais, MN.  115 miles.  Photo credit to Joshua Stamper.

Cyclova XC & the Woolly Crew have a group of 8 hearty gentlemen who will be co-conspirators:
Daniel Knoblauch
Frank Lundeen
David Gabrys
Tyler Prahl
Jeff Evans
Dallas Wynne
Mark Fisk
Keith Velaski

This is going to be an epic adventure on bicycles!  Stay tuned to CyclovaXC.com for more on our team's final preparations and the gear that we plan on packing with!  Also, stay tuned to the Gravel Conspiracy Blog for the official scoop on the event!

Cyclist Turns the Tables on Bike Thief

I was reading yahoo news the other day and they randomly had this story about a guy who had his $2,500 carbon fiber Fuji stolen, and managed to find the thief who was trying to sell it on craigslist in Seattle.  He recorded his confrontation with the thief (and the police) and posted the whole thing on You tube.  Now, I'm about to give you the link to the video, but I just want to warn you that the video contains a lot of profanity (F-bomb), as you might expect from a recorded confrontation between an angry bicycle owner and the guy who stole his pride and joy.  Here's the warning again THE FOLLOWING LINK CONTAINS ADULT LANGUAGE: Bike thief gets owned.

I think there is a lot of emotion in the above clip that we all can identify with.  I mean, not only is it terrible when somebody steals something from you, it's especially bad when you tell authorities about it and they're like, "oh...it was just a bike."

Excuse me?  Just a bike?

If you changed the word "bike" with "$2,500" somehow people start understanding the gravity of the situation.  I can't figure out why, in the modern age, with all the cycling awareness that Lance Armstrong has created, people still can't comprehend what modern bicycles are worth.

Still, all that being said, I can't at all condone what those guys did in the video.  Frankly, I think they're pretty lucky they didn't get slapped with an assault charge.  If you try to rely on the "citizen's arrest" thing, most likely you're going to get in way over your head very fast.  Also, if the thief had been smarter, he could have just claimed the bicycle was his.  All he had to say was, "yeah, officer, these guys are crazy, I was just trying to sell my bicycle and these guys are trying to take it from me." 

Fortunately the thief was kind of stupid and basically admitted on film that the bicycle was stolen so justice could prevail.  Take note, however, that it wasn't the justice system that got the bike back, it was thief error.  The justice system is really designed to keep civilians from taking the law into their own hands as was done in this video.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy the guys got their bicycle back.  I just don't want people having their bicycle stolen and then end up sitting in jail because of their efforts to try and get it back.

I've been lucky in that in the 20 or so years that I've been cycling, I've never had anything stolen.  Part of it is living in rural Wisconsin, and part of it is just dumb luck I suppose.  

Oh, but speaking of stealing, we're currently selling our 2012 bicycles at CyclovaXC at a 30% discount (this applies to items in stock).  So if you have any interest in stealing that Madone in the above photo from us, we're making it pretty easy for you :)

The Bjorn Daehlie Display Rack at CyclovaXC

The Bjorn Daehlie rep left us a rack of display clothing the other day that will be at the shop for a little while longer.  The above picture includes the new line of Roller-ski specific clothing that Bjorn Daehlie has launched (the rep took that stuff with him).

Sigh...wouldn't it be nice to live in a place where clothing companies actually thought it would be profitable to design clothing specifically for roller-skiing?

Anyway, the quality of the Bjorn Daehlie stuff is fantastic, but it's just a little too pricey for us to carry in the store yet.  We might be able to do it next year, but there are no guarantees.

I do think, however, that I'll be ordering quite a few pairs Bjorn Daehlie warm-up pants for the CyclovaXC team.  You really need a pair of warm-up pants with a full length zipper if you're going to be out doing ski races.  Be on the lookout for that.  The pants will look like this, but with a decal that says CyclovaXC:
There are also a couple thermal shirts available:
And a sweet $380 jacket that I would buy if money was no object.
So come on in and check this stuff out.  We will be putting in a Bjorn Daehlie order in a couple weeks, so if there's something you want us to order for you (like 10 of those $380 jackets), let us know!

Emalea will have the price list for the other stuff at the shop.

Women's Fitness Group Activity, Thursday August 16th!

It is time to return to our Thursday evening routine! Tomorrow we will be biking! Leaving the shop at 6:30 pm. There are some hills that are calling ALL of our names! Remember all types of bikes are welcomed. Time to once again challenge yourself and enjoy fitness and friendship. I look forward to seeing you all, Emalea

A Hawaiian Luau at Lion’s Park! Tuesday, August 14th

Festival Theatre is putting on a Luau fundraiser to benefit youth and family programming.  Sounds like a blast!  If you're interested, call 715 483 3387 for more information!

Special Offer For Those on CyclovaXC Email list!

Ummmm...Ice cream!
Hey Folks!  Yesterday I sent out an email to our email list that included a SPECTACULAR OFFER, if you don't know what I'm talking about, chances are you're not on our email list.  Take note that subscribing to this blog by email is not the same as our official team email list (that's why I'm posting this here).

So, if you didn't get yesterday's email with the SPECTACULAR OFFER (add echo voice here), and you'd like to receive it, please send me an email (bj@cyclovaxc.com) with "Add me to your email list" in the subject line.

Don't forget, tonight is Latin Dance night at the CyclovaXC retail store in St. Croix Falls at 7 PM.  That's also when the first pre-season game is!

Here are some photos from Peru to tide you over while you wait for the SPECTACULAR OFFER email to arrive:

Women's Fitness Group Activity, Thursday August 9th: Latin Dance Night!

Hey Ladies!

I've been hyping it for the last two weeks, and the date has finally arrived. Zulma's back in town and ready to do another one of her fantastic Latin Dance nights!  Be prepared to learn salsa, merengue, zumba, and every other Latin dance you can think of.

As always, Latin Dance night is women only.  Be at the shop at 7 PM!

By the way, the above picture is Zulma and I at Machu Picchu in about 2007, back when it was easy to climb up Wayna Picchu (now they make you plan ahead..shesh...).

Thinking of Dave Today, Landgraf Hats at Pisac, Peru

Here's a shot of the CyclovaXC inca runners wearing their "Ski Like Landgraf!" hats in front of the ruins of Pisac, in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Cyclo-Cross Bikes: Order yours before they run out!

Cyclova XC loves 'Cross season!  Above, Cyclova XC team member Mitch Bruns rips it up in a 2011 Cross race

Summer is winding down, and the most pleasant time of the year to bicycle is on the horizon!  What does this mean?  It means that Cyclo Cross season is almost here!  Click HERE for a brief history on the sport of Cyclo Cross.

With Cyclo Cross on the horizon, it's time to think about your 'Cross bike situation.  Cyclo Cross is still a niche sport (albeit it one of the fastest growing segments of cycling), so demand almost always outstrips supply when it comes to bikes.  I've seen this every year over the past decade, and it's already happening with major suppliers for this season.

This all means that if you're even remotely considering a 'Cross bike this season, NOW IS THE TIME to come on in for sizing and to order up your bike!  We at Cyclova XC are huge fans of Cyclo Cross racing/riding/adventuring and so we have a great assortment of Cross bikes to offer you!  As is always the case, we go through a full detailed fit session on every bike we sell - which includes 13+ adjustments on a 'Cross bike - millimeters matter!  Following are highlights of the many 'Cross bikes available through Cyclova XC:

The 2012 Salsa Chili Con Crosso is one of our favorite 'Cross race bikes.  Fun, very fast, and thoughtfully built!
Salsa Chili Con Crosso bike (very limited availability in sizes 55, 56, & 60cm)  $1,699.99
Salsa Chili Con Crosso frame sets (limited availability in sizes 51, 53, 55, 56, & 58cm)  $799.99

As Salsa cleverly claims:  The Con Crosso is your gun at the knife fight!  This is true in that this is a very fast and reliable race rig.  Stiff, light, agile, and playful, this bike is capable of dominating the podium at any level!  
Frameset Info:  Made of butted and optimally shaped aluminum tubes, this frame is stiff where it needs to be.  The frame is further enhanced by the oversized PF-30 bottom bracket shell and is built to fit the 1 1/2" to 1 1/8" tapered fork, which is what the frameset & bike come stock with.  Did I mention this fork is a full monocoque carbon tapered steer tube precision instrument?  Salsa always includes many thoughtful details on their frames - a few of which are included on this bike including the shaped top tube (providing a flat spot for the bike to rest on your shoulder, when shouldering the bike) and swapable geared or single speed rear drop outs.  
Bike Build:  The full bike from salsa is very thoughtfully built with a 1 x 10 SRAM Apex/Rival kit.  One thing I noticed right away is that even though it's build as a 1 x 10, Salsa included the front Apex Double Tap Shift lever on the bike.  Other component highlights inlclude the Paul chain guide, DT Swiss R450 rims, and more!

We're super excited for the new All City Macho Man to become available in the coming weeks!  You should be too!
All City Macho Man bike (all sizes available by early August)  $1595.99
All City Macho Man frameset (all sizes available by early August)  $595.99

All City is about thoughtfully making beautiful niche steel bikes, which also happen to be at a great price.  The Macho Man is a great example of this!   A classic looking cross bike, with innovation built in, nicely built!  
Frameset Info:  Steel is real!  All City is a proud Twin Cities based company, thus the Hennepin Avenue Bridge on every head badge and on some rear drop outs.  A speedy steed built of 4130 Chromoly, utilizing double butted main triangle tubes, tapered seat stays, externally tapered & ovalized chain stays - this is a steel frame that means business.  Add to that a classic looking, high tech steel fork to match!  This frameset delivers the goods, while providing a classic steel ride and look.
Bike Build:  The Macho Man is built up impressively with the full Shimano 105 10 speed kit.  A could of nice details include the new CX 70 front derailleur and Tektro R520 canti brakes (our favorite cross brake).  Add to that solid wheels laced to the Conti Cross Race tires and you have yourself a winner!

All City Nature Boy bike (all sizes available)  $950.99
All City Nature Boy frameset (all sizes available)  $550.99

All City is about thoughtfully making beautiful niche steel bikes, which also happen to be at a great price.  One of my personal favorite cross bikes - and my cross bike of choice the past 2 seasons, the Nature Boy is a great example of this!   A classic looking single speed cross bike, with innovation built in, nicely built!  We think that 'Cross is a great place to get started with riding a single speed - and the Nature Boy is up for the challenge!
Frameset Info:  Steel is real!  All City is a proud Twin Cities based company, thus the Hennepin Avenue Bridge on every head badge and on some rear drop outs.  A speedy steed built of 4130 Chromoly, utilizing double butted main triangle tubes, tapered seat stays, externally tapered & ovalized chain stays - this is a steel frame that means business.  Add to that a classic looking, high tech steel fork to match!  This frameset delivers the goods, while providing a classic steel ride and look.  Extra style points should be noted for the internal cable routing, and beautiful horizontal rear dropouts featuring the siloutte of the Hennepin Avenue bridge!
Bike Build:  A truly incredible bike ready to rock for under $1000!  The Nature Boy is solid from top to bottom:  from the FSA Vero single speed crankset to the Cane Creek S3 headset!  The Tektro CR520 Brakes and sweet All City Standard hubs are gravy!  The bottom line is that you won't find a better value in a cross bike for under $1000.
A variety of new 2013 Trek Cross Bike Models are available in limited quantities - in both aluminum and carbon frames with a variety of component packages.
2013 Trek Ion CX bike - built with Shimano 105 & Tiagra available in all sizes:  $1,699.99
2013 Trek Ion CX Pro bike - built with SRAM Rival available in all sizes:  $2,099.99
2013 Trek Ion Frameset:  $809.99
2013 Trek Cronus CX Pro bike - built with Shimano 105:  $2,939.99
2013 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate bike - built with SRAM Force:  $3,889.99
2013 Trek Cronus XC Ultimate frameset:  $2,199.99

Trek just released their 2013 year model lineup of cross bikes - in time for the 2012 cross season - offering incredible values and performance!  Trek's cross bikes are race oriented, high performance bikes.  First pick your frame material and then your component package.  Of course, fit is by far the most important factor in choosing any bike!

The Ion series of bikes feature the ultra light, stiff, and efficient aluminum frames with a smooth and stiff carbon fork.  

The Cronus series is an ultralight & ultrasmooth 500 series OCLV carbon frame, with Trek's proprietary BB-90 bottom bracket.  This frame is paired up with Trek's full Carbon Cross E2 fork - featuring a ultra stiff tapered steer tube. 

We had another epic blast of a weekend in Osceola/St. Croix!  Once again it was this massive ordeal just getting there because my car chewed up its clutch and spit it out.  However that's a blessing in disguise because it means I have to bike everywhere I go.  That's awesome because you're not biking for recreation, you're actually using your bicycle as a means of transport, which is much cheaper and better than driving.

The thing is, if you're riding your bicycle 90 miles a day, all you're really thinking about is where you can make your next stop and get your next bottle of gatorade.  You literally flush GALLONS of water through your body, which has to be good for you (kind of like periodically switching the water in your fish tank).

This weekend, the big event was a 40 mile ride from Osceola to Wolf's Creek.  It was supposed to be mellow, but we brought Ryan and Ted along and those guys get jumpy if the speedometer drops below 22 or so.  At the end of the ride, we jumped into the river at Lion's park which is absolutely fantastic.

Back at the clubhouse, we played Sapo, Badminton and finished off by watching "Idiocracy!"  Sofia wasn't around, unfortunately, but I snapped the above shot a few days earlier in our yard.

Remember folks, next weekend we'll be starting the party early with LATIN DANCE NIGHT on Thursday, August 9th, followed by a weekend of awesomeness.  Make sure you're in the area, Sofia's going to be there!

CyclovaXC Weekend Team Rides

More and more I'm finding that I prefer the casual team ride on the weekend to doing a race somewhere.  However, Frank seems to be getting back the racing itch, and he's been talking seriously about putting together a Wisport group for next summer (so if you're interested in getting some team suppor from Le Gran Lundeen, get in a TEAM KIT!).

Last week, I was shot from making the arduous journey from Chippewa Falls to Osceola (90 miles on the dot...mainly because I rode around in circles until 89.9 miles became 90).  Saturday was more casual and included a fun little ride up to downtown St. Croix Falls from Osceola.  We then went down River road, and stopped at Lyons Park for a little swim.

In the above photo, Micah is just chillin' on his bike, waiting for Wayne to fix his puncture:
Wayne had forgotten his team kit, but he rides more in that plaid print anyway.  I suggested getting a novelty CyclovaXC team jersey printed up that had that brown plaid print instead of the "stained glass" image on our typical kit.  Problem is, we'd have to buy a minimum of six, and I don't think Wayne wants that many (he could outfit the whole family that way though...hmmmmm).

This weekend is the Lamar festival in St. Croix Falls, so we're planning on riding around that.  We'll probably be swinging by the shop at around 10 AM, so if you're up for a ride, look for us there!  Jeff wants to do something like 70 with a stop at the Wren, but we'll see.  I'm more into about 30 and a swim at the park, but I've been known to do crazy things.

See you on the roads!

Inca Runners 2012 Part I

Hey Folks,

Well, I finally decided to get my butt in gear and post some stuff about our 2012 trip to Peru.  We had an awesome time, and the intrepid souls that risked coming down acquitted themselves nicely.

A few of my friends in Peru saw this photo and were like, "who's that frickin' guy with all the abs?  I counted them, there weren't SIX there were TEN!"

And it wasn't the National Champ they were talking about either, by CyclovaXCs own Kevin!  This is a guy who just ridiculously dominates at any form of sporting competition, and the only thing he ever does for training is eat powder sugar, jelly-filled donuts...oh wait, that's me (not the guy with the abs...the guy with the donuts).

The above picture is from the first day of activities--surfing.  Doug and I chilled on the beach.  The second guy from the left is the surfing instructor, he was also the lead singer of a heavy metal band, and told us how this guy asked him to punch him in the face four times at one of his concerts.  Nice guy to know.
After surfing, I took the team on a bus tour of Lima that included some time spent at Peru's Parque de la Reserva (a big water fountain park with light shows).  This is the type of place that people don't think of when they think of Peru...but yes, Lima has awesome touristy things like this too.
Here's a shot of the main cathedral in Cusco.  We got there the next day right at the outbreak of a massive parade.  But I think there's a parade pretty much every day in Cusco.
Here's our first day hiking.  Kevin was getting itchy to hike since he'd been sitting around for like six minutes and wanted to do a serious workout.  So we hiked up to the ruins of Sacsayhuaman, and then on to Q'enko, and then on up to Puca Pucara.  Here we stopped to take our picture with a guy dressed up as an Inca Sun God or something.
Here we are at some of the lower steps of Pisac.  From here the photos start getting really intense, so I think I'll give you a break for a few days before I show you any more (plus I have to sort through the 3,000 images I took).  As you can see, this was a totally awesome, mind blowing trip.  I'll get back to you all on the rest of it shortly!

Sorry, No Women's Group Activity for Thur, Aug 2nd

Hey Ladies,

Emalea has to cancel the women's group workout tonight because she's feeling a little under the weather.  Never fear, lady's night will be back with a bang on Thursday, August 9th with another edition of the ever popular, LATIN DANCE NIGHT!  That's right, Zulma's back from Peru and ready to show you how they shake it in South America once again!  So circle August 9th on your calendars and be at CyclovaXC at 7 PM for a great time with the local ladies!

9th Annual Lamar Festival--Including a Family Bike Ride

Hi Folks,
We just wanted to let you know that our friends at Bont Chiropractic are putting on a fun family bike ride at 10:30 AM at the Lamar Festival this weekend in St. Croix Falls.  Here is the friendly invitation I received with information about the bike ride:

"The 9th Annual Lamar Music and Arts Festival will kick off this Saturday, August 4th at 10:30 am with a family friendly bike ride. The ride begins at the Lamar School located at 1488 200th Street, Saint Croix Falls, WI 54024 at 10:30 am. The ride will connect onto the Gandy Dancer Trail and finish 3 miles up the road at the Centuria Park where refreshments will be provided free of charge. You can return with the group back to Lamar for all the music and activities by 11:30 or continue on your own up the Gandy Dancer Trail and return to Lamar later in the day. The festival features many activities for children and adults as well as music by extremely talented groups from the likes of the River City Cloggers, the Festival Theater Troupe, the Brazilian African Percussion fusion of Batucada, drum circle demonstration by Beyond the Rhythm, dance by the Illumination Fire Troupe, and the unbelievable musical talents of Brian Wicklund and the Barely Jacks, plus many local musical talents. Activities start at noon and finish at midnight. So come for an hour or stay all day. Food and refreshments are for sale at the event and entrance is by donation.  Off street parking is available at the Lamar Music and Arts Festival."
For a .pdf version of the poster, click here.

As always, you'll have a blast in the beautiful St. Croix valley, so if you're not doing anything, come on up and give it a look.  You can also check out the lamarcommunity.org web page!

I love how they put "Creative Costumes Welcome!" on the poster.  That's a lot of leeway for a guy like me, I think I'll go as the Sarlacc pit from "Return of the Jedi."

Kidding aside, hope to see you at the Lamar Festival this Saturday!