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Sasquatch Dash #3 Results and Report


It was a busy day in the valley Saturday with the Croixathlon in Hudson, a Woolly trail workday, among other activities.  With all that activity we had our lowest turnout yet for a Sasquatch Dash.  That doesn't mean we didn't have a good time though.

After several attempts to secure a course that wasn't on private property and didn't require a machete to hack through the tall grass we settled on an out and back course from the overlook through Lions Park, and up the Indian Head segment of the Ice Age Trail along the river to River Road.  As wet as it has been lately the single track on the Indian Head segment was quite squishy, but that wouldn't stop Sasquatch and it certainly didn't stop us.

Without further ado, the results for dash #3:

There wasn't much shake-up at the top of the standings other than Dallas putting a little more ground on second place.  Alex Anderson though with a second win in as many attempts could blow the competition out of the water with another performance like that in two weeks:


With the important stuff out of the way, here is my run down of the race.  Going in, the Facebook trash talk had a pair of targets on my back after a pretty good run at dash #2.  My two season long competition with Adam continues, complete with a traveling trophy now, and Dallas was looking to not let me gain any more ground on the season standings.

Despite the targets I didn't strategize at all other than to stick with Adam or Dallas unless I thought I could drop them.  After Jeff Wolf blasted out off the line, Dallas, Alex Anderson, and Jeff (after he ran backwards to let us catch up) ran shoulder to shoulder all the way to the end of Hamilton.  Jeff decided he had enough racing at that point and said he would cheer for us on the way back.  Alex, Dallas and I strung out on the gravel entrance to the Indian Head trail.

Unfortunately as soon as we hit the single track I started hurting in a bad way.  It wasn't too far down the trail and I was suddenly mentally racing for 3rd instead of 2nd.  The mud, water, and rocks were sapping my legs and Alex and Dallas just walked away from me.  By the time we hit the turn around and we met going opposite directions they had 20-30 seconds on me.

Getting Messy with Sasquatch:

Thankfully for me I had a decent gap going on 4th myself.  The single track hurt the whole way back.  I only put a hand down once as I stumbled up an incline after one of the creek crossings.  By the time I hit the gravel again I just tried to find any gear that would work and keep moving.  I resisted the urge to look back at any point, but I really wanted to.

The return trip on Hamilton was almost a whole minute per mile slower than the trip out.  Ouch.

In the end Dallas ended up returning the thrashing I gave him at the last race and opening the series points gap back up to 5.  Adam ran a stronger race pulling off a negative split on a technical course that doesn't suit his strengths.  Unfortunately for him, he still owes me a blizzard and I keep the traveling trophy for another couple of weeks.

With that, it is only two short weeks until the next Squatch Dash.  I might not be able to increase my physical fitness much in that time, but I might have to work on my mental toughness.

Great New Cycling Inspired T-Shirts in stock at Cyclova XC!

Come on in and check out the great new cycling t-shirts available at Cyclova XC!

We just recieved a shipment of great new cycling inspired t-shirts from Mechanical Threads.  You're passionate about cycling - perhaps the coming Tour de France, Trail Building, or Fat Biking - show off your good taste in cycling with a stylish and comfy t-shirt!

A few of the designs we have in stock are known as the Col du Galibier, Trail Builder, and Abominable Snow Bike.  Swing in in to check them out!  Also note that we have Cyclova XC tech t's in stock, limited quantities of Cyclova XC team bike wear, and a huge assortment of cycling and running clothing!

Come on in and get some!

Sasquatch Dash #3 6-29-13 Meet At CyclovaXC

Hello Folks,
Just a quick reminder that the third Sasquatch Dash will be held this Saturday, June 29th. We've had to change the location a couple of times so please take note that you should gather at CyclovaXC before the race!

The brief course description from Ben is as follows:

We will be meeting at CyclovaXC at 8:30 and the run will be from the overlook North to Lions Park and then the Indian Head segment of the Ice Age Trail along the river and back. The main Sasquatch page has been updated with a link to the course and GPX files.

Follow this link and scroll down to race #3 to download the GPX file! Thanks folks, see you there for some squatchin'!

Woolly Mountain Bike Trail Work Day: Saturday, June 29, 2013

Help build new trails and have a great time at Saturday's Woolly Trail Work Day!

Did you know that the Woolly Mountain Bike Trail network is expanding?  The already World Class Mountain Biking in St. Croix Falls is getting even better, thanks to a new, strategically placed piece of land that the City of St. Croix Falls has opened up to the Woolly Club (huge thanks to the City of Trails, St. Croix Falls for their support of mountain biking!).  

If you enjoy riding the Woolly Trails, this is the perfect opportunity to give back and help a bit with the trails that you enjoy so much - and to meet the people that make this stuff happen!  Another way to help out is to join IMBA and select the Woolly Club as your IMBA Chapter.  

Woolly Club trail boss Mark Fisk and others have surveyed the land, flagged out where the future single track will be (based on the most sustainable, erosion free routes - not to mention the most fun, flowing lines). The next step is to remove some of the invasive species that have crept into the area over the years, such as Buckthorn and Honeysuckle.  Bring with your "branch nippers", brush saw, work gloves, long sleeves, and some bug spray.  A tasty picnic lunch will be provided at noon to re-fuel hungry Buckthorn annihilators.

The basics you need to know about the trail work day:
Where / When:  Meet up at Cyclova XC at 8:30AM, or meet at the work site (junction of Maple Drive and Lincoln Street in St. Croix Falls) at 8:45AM.
What to bring:  Enthusiasm to be part of an epic new Woolly Trail segment, full length pants (to keep the bugs off), bug spray, hand saw, branch nippers, etc...
RSVP:  Please RSVP on the Facebook Event Page (CLICK HERE) so we know how much food to bring with for lunch.

Ladies Night: Thursday, June 27, 2013 - Road Ride North of St. Croix Falls!

Join Katie and Kristen for a ladies only road ride this Thursday!

It's ladies night again tomorrow at Cyclova XC!  

All ladies are welcome to join us for a fun, road bicycle ride going north of St. Croix Falls on our usual Wednesday night road ride loop - with a nice easy pace for all levels of riders. This is a beautiful loop, which travels along the beautiful St. Croix River National Scenic Riverway on the famed River Road, and then traverses the beautiful rural roads completing the loop back into town.  

Meet up at Cyclova XC at 6PM, and the group will roll out on the ride at 6:15PM sharp.  

There are rumors of a fun social outing at the Wineries & Grille - across the street from Cyclova XC afterwards.

Look forward to seeing a great crowd of ladies tomorrow night!

For more information (or to join the women's fitness group mailing list) write Katie at: Kateorkatie (at) gmail (dot) com

Back in Peru--Birkie Trail Running Photo Contest

Hey Folks!

Well, I had to skp town and head to Peru for a while, although it grieves me to miss out on all the momentum that's been building up lately amongst the CyclovaXC community. It's been a blast reading everyone's testimonials about their latest rides/adventures and I hope this trend continues! Remember, there are times when our dear friends are stuck in a cubicle and need a 5-10 minute break where they can think about being outdoors and having fun!

I'm not exactly sure what I'm in for this time in Peru. Roberto says he's coming down again at the end of July so I'll probably make my way up to the sacred valley for some rollerskiing. In the meantime I've just been running.

Speaking of Roberto, the last email from the Birkie mentioned a trail running photo contest, so I submitted the one above (it's of Roberto running up to the Yanama pass). I believe the winner of this contest gets a free entry into the Birkie trail marathon. Anyway, if you want to help me win, just do the following:

  • Go to the American Birkebeiner Facebook page
  • Scroll down until you see the column on the left that says "Recent Posts By others" (it should be right under "friends")
  • Click "see all"
  • Scroll down until you see the photo above and hit "like"
Thanks folks! Remember, just because I'm in Peru doesn't mean I don't want to hear about your adventures. Keep sending them along with photos and I'll post them as soon as I find a place with semi-reliable internet!

On any given Tuesday...

When you get the call, you have to decide if you're going to answer.  Tuesday morning I got the call.  Okay...it was actually a text.  It was Frank. "Want to ride the hundred mile Mammoth Classic gravel course today?"  It's 7:15 in the morning, sleep is still squeezing it's grip on my brain.  I don't know about you, but I don't make any big decisions before coffee...at least two cups.

After the cobwebs cleared, I thought about it more.  Hmmm...100 miles. On gravel.  Today.  Like, in an hour or two.  Throwing nutrition, hydration and caution to the wind, I accepted the invitation.  Did I mention I just rode a 4 1/2 hour century Saturday at the Trek 100?  You might recall the Mammoth Classic was cashed due to a pile of snow dumping on the region two days prior to the event.   To that effect, no one has actually ridden the 100 mile course yet.  Never one to shy away from the opportunity to be "first", I was pretty stoked to disappear into the wild for the day.  Frank on his All City Nature Boy single speed, and myself on a freshly built custom All City Macho Man. After a little wrenching on our bikes at CyclovaXC,  Frank and I departed with 200 oz. of water, a pile of Stinger snacks, some Sport Beans, Cliff Bars, and a zip lock full of homemade Quinoa salad (thanks, Katie...super tasty by the way). Armed with a cue sheet we leaned into it.  At 10:30 we rolled out north on Hwy 87, turned left on the River Road and began our march to madness.

The skies were clear for the most part.  The sun warming us up quickly.  We rolled through Wolf Creek, mentally paused to reflect on what cold offerings the Wolf Creek Tavern might be serving the early arrivals, and pushed on to the first section of gravel.  The conditions were awesome.  The previous night's rain left the first sandy section very rideable.  However, as we pressed on I remembered the soul sucking power of those 5-7 miles of sand.  The sand is deep, unforgiving.  You'll be riding along safely surfing across the top of the hard sections of sand when, without warning, a demon from below grabs your rear wheel and sucks you to nearly a stand still.  All of your energy powered through your pedals to free yourself from it's grasp.  At some points you are thrown virtually sideways trying to fight your way out of the deep sand.  The demons fight hard, but the gravel God's are forgiving.  This section of torture is found in the first 20 miles of the 100 and 70 mile Mammoth Classic course.  Once you're through and pulled yourself out of the pain cave, you are greeted by a few miles of black top...ahhhh...recovery.  But don't get too comfortable!

Throughout the last hellish section my chain was hopping around on my cassette.  At one point I threw it completely.  While climbing a brief roller, I heard the unmistakeable grind of a broken chain jammed into my chain stay.  After a few four letter words, I assessed the situation.  The link broke where I dropped a few links before the ride, replacing the chain pin with a new chain pin.  Rookie mechanic move.  Note to self.  Don't replace a chain pin with another chain pin.  Break a new link and drive in the new pin.  Frank worked his magic and got my chain back together.  With only 30  miles on the odometer, I was tempted by the little voice in the back of my mind..."Turn back.  You can ride the road all the way back to St. Croix Falls."  I told Frank about my internal dialogue.  He quickly gave me the confidence that my bike will be fine.  Onward!

The 100 mile course includes a handful of miles on an ATV trail.  The entrance to this section pulls you into the unknown.  The double track looks sandy, but it was surprisingly rideable.  After a few miles I looked over my shoulder.  Frank was gone.  Out of sight.  I doubled back expecting to find him tending to a flat or something related.  He simply pulled up to read the cue sheet and decided to refill his bottles. Good.  We rolled out, but somehow missed the next left into the final section of ATV trail.  Nearing Grantsburg, we decided to stick to the road and drop the hammer gunning for a cold coke, snickers and other assorted snacks available at the Wild River Outfitters.  After missing a few sections of gravel on the Wisconsin side, we rolled into the outfitters with 44 miles on the odometer.  Fortified with some sugar and drink, we set out to battle the second half of the course.

The next brief, but hairy section of the course takes you across the St. Croix River on Hwy 70.  There's a healthy sized shoulder, but you will share this 4-5 mile section with semis hauling all kinds of business.  Eager to pull off, we made a premature left turn and had to hop back on the highway until we  made it to the correct road.  With a mild tailwind, on a lightly descending blacktop road, we began the return trip to Taylors Falls.
The first mile or two is blacktop.  Reminiscent of Shel Silverstien's "Were the Sidewalk Ends", I watched the blacktop disappear under my Bastogne's, reconnecting with the gravel we came to conquer.  Unlike the sandy hell pit known as the "Barrens", the Minnesota side is hard pack sand and gravel.  We easily kept a 19-20 mph pace for many, many miles.  It was a welcomed contrast.  Approaching the 60 mile mark I began to feel the fatigue of the day.  It was the same earlier this spring at the Almanzo.  Did I eat enough?  Did I drink enough?  Will I start cramping?  Turns out Frank was fighting the same voices.  We pulled over, devoured the quinoa salad and topped off our bottles.   We turned onto the next section of gravel greeted by fresh, and I mean super fresh, groomed gravel.  It was a little soft, but nothing compared to the Wisco side.  We rolled for a mile or two and discovered the source of the conditions.

We cruised past him, with a slight nod and a wave.   This section led to the another brief section of blacktop just west of Sunrise, MN.  We crossed the road onto "Pleasant Valley Road".  Aptly named, this section was one of my favorites.   Tacky and fast, we rolled at 20 mph with a slight descent into Sunrise.   Earlier in the ride Frank mentioned an awesome pizza place in Sunrise.  He noted it has never been open when he sought it out, and today was no different.  With 75 miles behind us, we both felt a little defeated when we saw the dark windows in the pizza joint.  We needed calories, so I dug out the final reserves.  A pack of sport beans and a Cliff bar.  We shared the spoils, continuing our tour.  Shortly after sunrise I watched a bee fly straight at me and into my helmet.  I was too slow to react, receiving a burning sting on the crown of my dome.  I this happens, but not to me!   These little monsters find a helmet vent or unzipped jersey.  Frank shared a story about his bee attack during a team time trial, but I'll let him tell you that one.  I forgot how painful a bee sting can be.  My head throbbed for the next 20 miles.

As we approached the entrance to Wild River State Park you can see the road disappear into the woods.  Visually from a mile away it appears to go straight up.  I had visions of Oriole Road, the crushing climb at the 90 mile mark on the Almanzo course in my head.   Fortunately it was about 1/3 of the distance.  Frank told me he was going to take it easy up these climbs, giving me the green light to gas it back to town.  I told him I don't roll like that and we will end it as we started as a duo. This section of the course is beautiful...rolling, deeply tree lined, the gravel road rolls up and down a few times before leveling off on top of the river bluff.   Hmmm...what goes up must go down.

Ten miles to go.  I was feeling pretty good, so I took the pulls to get us back to Taylor Falls.  I guess the 100 miles Saturday was good for me after all.  At about the 90 mile mark you hit Hwy 95.  You only ride for about 100 yards before taking an immediate left onto the final leg of gravel.  The wind was supporting us, as was the gently descending road.  Farms, open fields and a mild slope rolls back toward the highway.  After a right turn onto Unity Avenue, a short gravel section leads you back onto Hwy 95.  Its all down hill from here!  I claimed the Taylors Falls sign sprint, though I will admit it was uncontested.  We crossed the St. Croix again, rolling into St. Croix Falls feeling good and completely satisfied with the day.  As I mentioned earlier, we missed a section of gravel on the Wisconsin side, so our final distance was 91 miles, just short of the 96 course design.  My computer displayed 5:40 for time.  A respectable finish to an awesome day!

I am so glad I answered Frank's call.  More to come!

Who Wants to Do a Training Camp in Colorado With Tommy K in August?

Hey Folks!

I talked to Tommy K the other day and he's interested in doing a training camp in Colorado from August 9th to the 18th. This is still very much in the planning phase, but if you're interested, please send an email to me at bj@cyclovaxc.com, and I'll get an email list started.

It warmed my heart to have Tommy come along with this plan, because it reminds me of the good old days 10 years ago when the Colorado trip was the highlight of the summer. If you've never done any riding in Colorado, let me tell you, it's intense. Tommy made sure to tell me that featured rides will be: Left-hand canyon, Trail Ridge Road, Peak to Peak, and Mt. Evans (pictured).

The trip will also involve hanging out at some rented cabins and doing some spectacular trash talking. The only downside of this whole thing is the way Tommy tends to rip people's legs off in the mountains (but hey, that's kind of what you're signing up for isn't it?).

So please send me an email if you can make time for this adventure!

CyclovaXC Women Only Fitness Group

Fun, fitness, and friends are the theme of the Cyclova XC Ladies Fitness Group!  Be a part of it!

Hey Ladies!

Cyclova XC has had a ladies fitness group since January of 2012 - focused on fun outdoor adventures in our river valley - with friends.

Be a part of the fun!

For more information, go to the Cyclova XC Ladies Fitness Group Facebook Page, or to join the women's fitness group mailing list write Kristen at:  kristenvelaski@gmail.com

Big Rock Creek Is Now Open for Mt. Biking (Trail Fee Applies)

Map to the Mt. Biking Trail Area
Great news folks, some of the most incredible trails in the whole Midwest are now open for Mt. Biking! Big Rock Creek has opened its doors to the cycling community, and if you were lucky enough to get out there during the ski season, you know how exciting this is.

I was out riding on the Big Rock Creek trails over the weekend and I was completely blown away. I've been told there are 20-30 miles of trails that run through the property, and the first comparison that comes to everyone's mind is that this trail system is very similar to the Birkie trail. However, since this trail system is so new, there are some things to be aware of:

  • The access point to the Mt. Bike trails is not the same as the access point to the ski trails. Big Rock Creek is planning on renting out its clubhouse, so it's our responsibility as cyclists to not interfere with the business side of things. The access point is indicated on the above map, and there is plenty of real estate between the access and the clubhouse so it should be a breeze to stay out of sight.
  • These trails are roads that run through the property, but they are not gravel roads, it's more like two single track trails running side by side. Please use caution as the terrain is extremely challenging! Learn the trails before you let 'er rip!
  • Trail passes are $10 per day or $75 for a season pass and $100 for a family pass. Passes are available at CyclovaXC and you must sign a waiver of liability.
  • To get to the trail you have to cross about a quarter mile of mowed grass, then you pass through a gate and enter a different age. It's truly awesome out there!
Here's what the access road looks like (on 235th St. within sight of 87):
This picture was taken facing South on 235th St. (Lone Maple St.) looking towards Highway 87
You drive down the gravel road until you go through a gate (about 1/4 mile in). You can park down in that area, or up on the clearing at the top of the hill (access is by a mowed path on the left). 
This place is brand new so the whole thing is a great adventure (plus you pretty much get the trails to yourself). 
This is the grassy area on the top of the hill for parking and hanging out, the trails themselves are more worn in.

We're looking for a lot of feedback about this area--what you like and what needs to be improved, so please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or comments (bj@cyclovaxc.com). I'll be at Cyclova June 12th, 13th, and 14th if you want me to personally give you a tour of the cycling area. Frank is in the process of getting a GPS map of the whole trail system and we'll post that as soon as it's available.

Also, keep in mind that the clubhouse area is available to be rented out. Spread the word, Big Rock Creek is a unique and special place and we're excited about training out there!
Another grassy area you can ride through, however the trails themselves are more well-defined than this
In my excitement last weekend, I forgot to take a picture of the actual trail! I'll have something like that posted next Wednesday.

See you out there!

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Register for the 2014 Birkie NOW!

Hey Folks,

I just completed my registration for the 2014 Birkie and I urge you all to do the same! This race fills up quickly, and if you want to get in, it's best not to put it off! Click here to go to the registration page!

We had a blast up there last year, and I'm looking forward to seeing a sea of Cyclova skiers milling about the hall of champions before the race, hammering out on the course, and enjoying a well-earned cup of soup afterwards!

Yes...Birkie Fever...I feel it building....

Frederic Lions Bike Race June 8th, 2013!

Frederic Lions Bike Race Celebrates 26 Years on June 8

FREDERIC--The Frederic Lions Bike Classic will be held for the 26th time on Sat. June 8.

Started in 1988 by the Frederic Lions Club, the race has held on to be the third longest running citizen’s bike race in Wisconsin.

The idea to host a bike race in Frederic started as a coffee table discussion in the winter of 1987. Terry and Jo Duea, Dave Dopkins, and Steve and Elisabeth Puetz collaborated on the concept of a starting a local bike race, after watching the success of a popular citizen bike race in Grandview, WI, that Dopkins had participated in. The Frederic Lions Club came on board as a host organization.

Over a quarter century, proceeds from the race have been directed by the Lions Club to the various charitable causes they support.

This year’s race will be a 26.4 mile individual time trial and will bring racers to Frederic from all over the Midwest.

The race will start at the Frederic High School campus at 10:00 a.m., with registration starting at 8:00 a.m. The race route is an out and back course, going east on Clam Falls Drive, south on CTH I for 13 miles, turning around just north of STH 48, and returning by the same route to Frederic. The course has a total of 1300 vertical feet of climbing.

Top riders will complete the course in under an hour, averaging well over 26 miles an hour on what is considered a difficult time trial route. A new class was added in 2010--the single speed division. This class offers awards to riders who complete the course on bikes with only one gear. 2010 single speed winner was Ricky Wells, Strum, WI. Wells completed the course in 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 59 seconds, riding faster than several riders on conventional bikes with many gears available. The course records are held by Joan Carlson, Menomonie, WI--1 hour, 8 minutes, and 50.8 seconds (2010), Lance Niles, Onalaska, WI--58 minutes, 51 seconds (2009), Ricky Wells, Strum, WI--single speed--1 hour, 7 minutes, and 59.5 seconds (2010), and Andrea Potyondy-Smith, Champlin, MN--single speed--1 hour, 28 minutes, 33 seconds (2012).

2012 winners: Dan Logan, Osceola, Pat Lapekas, River Falls, Dan Johnson (single speed), Frederic, and Andrea Potyondy-Smith (single speed) Champlin, MN, are expected to return to defend their titles.

Past winners with a local connection include: 1988-Wendy Weinzierl-Griswold and Greg Nelson, 1993-Kevin Link and Jolene Selover Baillargeon, 2000-Terry Baillargeon, 2001-Frank Lundeen of CyclovaXC, 2011-Dan Johnson (single speed).

Also of interest, author Michael Perry rode the race in the early 90”s.

Arthur Martin, Frederic, is the only person who has completed all 25 of the previous races, and is expected to keep the streak going this year. He has been spotted on several training rides around the backroads of Leader Land.

The individual time trial format features riders starting at 30 second intervals, with the goal of riding the course as fast as possible. Drafting, pack riding, and other team tactics are not allowed, so time trials are referred to as the race of truth. Just lungs, legs, and heart rates in the ozone. Time trial specific bicycles are designed for aerodynamics and some cost over $7000. Aero wheels alone may cost over $2500 a pair and run with over 200 lbs. of air pressure.

Race timing and results will be provided by Chimp Timing of Brooklyn Park, MN.

The Lions Classic is one of the 20+ events of the WiSport Cycling Series, which offers age group recognition in both road race and time trial divisions, at races held all around Wisconsin.

For more information and an entry form: www.fredericlionsclassic.com, 715-327-4892, or www.wisport.org