New Store Hours

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

Good Friends and Bad (Good) Ideas--Mullin on the Falls 170 Ride

by Ben Mullin  

So May 21st I’m thinking about the upcoming MS150 ride and how prepared I am to be completely comfortable on the bike for 75 miles each day. I mean I had ridden close to 400 miles this spring including the Strada Fango Spring Classic. I’m ready right?

Then I looked in my training log. Data, dang data. It showed me I was all pumped after buying my new bike back in March and that I did a whole bunch of riding early, but then due to work and travel commitments I had only been on my bike twice in all of May. I’ll certainly survive the MS150, but not as comfortably as I thought.

I hit the trail that night for an hour ride since that was all I could fit in. As I’m riding all I can think is I’ve got to get a few more long rides in over the next couple of weeks. Not more than an hour after I get off my bike I get a text message from Ben Jonjak. An abbreviated exchange went something like this:

BJ: “Hey, I’m thinking about riding from the shop after work on Sunday to Chippewa Falls and then back on Monday. Interested?”

BM: “You aren’t right in the head. I gotta be back by 6:00 on Monday to hike some Cub Scouts around Interstate Park. Also will we make it to CF before dark?”

BJ: “We shouldn’t have any problems with either. Jeff Evans sounds interested too.”

BM: “WTF, I’m in”

Thus started a few days of excitement and angst about a big weekend of riding. The distance really wasn’t all that scary. Sure the longest bike ride I had ever done previously was 80 miles and this was going to be 85 miles each way and completed in 24 hours. What had me a little worried though was riding to Chippewa Falls with all I was going to have for that 24 hours other than what was going to be provided by the Jonjak’s (bedding and a towel).

My awesome mom has been helping me planning to make a frame bag for my mountain bike for the Gravel Conspiracy this fall. She actually went as far as making a prototype back from some “lovely” plaid fabric to test the pattern she made for fit in the frame. So on about an hours’ notice I visited her and “we” modified the bag to be fit my road bike. Sweet, not everything had to go in my jersey pockets or my saddle bag.
Everything for 24 hours loaded up
That picture contains everything I left home with except two water bottles, helmet and bike shoes. My bike kit, the Cyclova cycling jacket, the plaid frame bag under the top tube containing a pair of running shorts and a light t-shirt (Sasquatch Dash t-shirt to be specific), a toothbrush, $6 cash, driver’s license, bank card, flat kit, multi-tool, cheap Wal-Mart headlamp, a red blinky light, and a few gu’s, Stinger Waffles, and electrolyte tabs.

We ultimately left from The Wolf Den in Dresser instead of St. Croix Falls. This is what made it only 85 miles each day instead of closer to 100. It wasn’t long after departing before we knew it was going to be a long day. The winds on Sunday were about 15mph out of the ESE, exactly the way were heading. Just the flats were work, and then there were some good rollers on top of that.

The first few miles were particularly tough on Jeff. Just a week after Almanzo and on a freshly refitted single speed (2 whole whopping miles on it as a single speed) he was having a little trouble getting into the ride. Thankfully by about mile twenty he was settling in and cranking out the miles. By Monday afternoon he had increased his miles on the single speed by 8600%.
Rolling down the rural country roads. Jeff off in the distance after finding his groove.
The route Ben planned was very good. Relatively low traffic the whole way, decent roads, and scenic views made for good riding despite the headwind. It took us through a number of little towns along the way so we could make some refueling stops. You know, for things like a convenience store bacon cheeseburger personal pan pizza complete with pickles and mustard (mile 40 day 1, seriously tasty).

Unfortunately with that headwind we were a little off schedule getting into CF on Sunday. Sunset is 8:45 and civil twilight ends at 9:15. We had about 7 miles to go at 9:15… Blinky light and headlamp time. Thankfully I don’t think we actually had a single car pass us in the next 6 miles and by then we were into town and had street lights. Ben also called ahead at 9:15 to have the red carpet rolled out.
When we rolled into Casa De Jonjak, Zulma had cold beer and hot pizza ready for us. Red carpet baby!
Suck it in. No, seriously, that's what Zulma said
Beer, pizza, a hot shower, and a little "Empire Strikes Back" before crashing for the night were the perfect end to the day. The wake-up call the next morning came from a cute pig-tailed girl and some Dora The Explorer inspirational videos (We did it, we did it, we did it…). Bacon, eggs, toast, and OJ, and we were rolling again at 9:00 am.

Mother Nature decided to play nice Monday and kept the wind out of the ESE. We soft pedaled all the way back to Dresser. Maybe not the whole way I guess, but my effort level was overall quite a bit lower for a faster ride. Some of the highlights on the way back included racing the tractor for about 5 miles on the big rollers and a gas station that didn’t have the powdered donuts that Ben Jonjak was craving badly at about mile 77. Seriously, what gas station doesn’t have any powdered donuts?

We got more red carpet at the conclusion of the ride as Jeff Wolf rang the cow bell as we rolled in and had spaghetti cooking on the stove for us. Awesome!

I told Ben he wasn’t right in the head when he proposed this adventure. In reality it was exactly what I wanted/needed and the timing was incredible. We had a great 11 hours on the bike in that 24 hour period and talked about more adventures for the coming summer. I am grateful for the all of the friendship and bad (good) ideas that I have found in the CyclovaXC community. I may not be right in the head either, but I love it.

FREE Gandy Dancer Group Ride for Saturday, June 1st 2013

Dan Campion just sent this to me and I think it would be a lot of fun for anyone in the area who is interested. The ride from Siren to Webster is about 6.5 miles for a round trip of around 13. If you're really feeling ambitious, I suggest you leave St. Croix Falls at around 9 and intercept the group on the trail (you'd end up with an 80 or so mile day)!

This should be a fun/casual ride, so if you're looking for something to do to celebrate national trails day, this is a good option! Plus, the Gandy is free on that day, so what do you have to lose?

Lundeen on Almanzo 2013

Photo by Craig Linder
My Almanzo adventure started a few weeks back at the Strada Fango gravel ride. There, I suffered like a dog on the soft surfaces, huge climbs, and through miles of snow/slush/running water. My All City Nature Boy single speed cross bike with 700 x 32 tires definitely wasn't the bike for me to ride there. Also at the core of my Strada struggles was a lack of hydration & nutrition (I hadn't expected 67 miles to take me close to 6 hours).

For the Almanzo 100, aside from having a bit more fitness, I toted with plenty of food, water, and gear in my Tangle Bag (yes, available at Cyclova XC). I carried 3, 20+ ounce bottles of water with me, and refilled them all 3-4 times each during the event (yes, that's a lot of water). I also carried with the following food, which was all consumed by the time I crossed the finish line:

2  Honey Stinger Gold energy gels

4  Honey Stinger energy chews

4  Honey Stinger Vanilla Waffles

2  Salted Nut Rolls

1  Pull Tab can of Chef Boyardee beef ravioli (along with a Titanium Spork)

1  bottle Reed's Kombucha ginger drink (my new super fuel)

9  Camelback Elixor orange electrolyte tablets (which I dropped into my water bottles when refilling them)

My bike setup was very similar to Strada Fango, except I ran a bigger gear (42 x 16). I also dusted off a sweet old racing wheelset (Dura Ace hubs, Mavic Reflex rims, and a trick spoke lacing pattern) of mine and glued up a pair of Challenge Grifo tubulars to them. This wheel/tire combination rode like a dream - fast acceleration, speedy top end, silky smooth, great traction in the loose scruff, and stiff. This wheel set change alone trimmed more than 2 pounds of rotating weight from my bike, as compared to my setup for Strada Fango - and 2 pounds of rotating weight is a REALLY BIG DEAL! 

I arrived a bit later to the start line than I would have preferred, so elbowed my way in about 4 rows back from the front. Standing in a mass of 1500+ ecstatic gravel riders confirmed in my mind what a big deal gravel adventure bicycle riding is. I've never had so much fun during an event - and it was 100% free! Chris Skogen's very positive and fun pre-race announcement & the entire group singing Happy Birthday to his young son prior to the start set the tone for what was to be an amazing day!

With that, we were off and rolling. The pace was controlled at the front by a lead car for a bit, and then the car took off. My 42 x 16 gear was quickly spun out in the huge lead group, so I had to pedal in quick bursts with very high cadence and then tuck for a great draft. As we went over some rolling hills and turned onto our first gravel, gaps started developing, and I found myself in the 2nd group, with the lead group slowly pulling away (which I was fine with). 

From here, my mantra for the day was draft & conserve on the flats (letting the non-single speeders pull me along on the fast / downhill sections where I was spun out, and ride the climbs aggressively - maintaining any momentum I had as far/fast as I could go up the climbs so I could keep my big single gear turning. 

I rode the first 30 miles or so without eating anything, but the for final 70, I found myself consuming a bottle of water every 30 minutes or so, and eating regularly. This kept me moving and feeling good. At about Mile 50, I started to feel the unwelcome twinge of quadriceps cramping from time to time - when pedaling hard out of the saddle as I pushed hard to keep my single speed bicycle moving up the hills. I kept on pounding the water, food, and electrolytes, which generally held off the cramping beast. I did walk what was I think 4 of the steepest and longest hills out on the course - which was almost as fast as riding and much easier on the legs.

And then there were the river crossings... The first river crossing at about mile 40, which I had heard about wasn't a big deal. The water was about 1 foot deep and a bit muddy on either side, but was literally a hop, skip, and jump across. The 2nd river crossing (at I think about mile 65 or so) though was a different story. I arrived to a long line of nervous riders waiting to cross. The river was raging, and it looked deep. When I arrived, there was a big rope strung tightly across the river, with 3-4 burly volunteers helping people across. By help I mean hand holding, carrying bikes, and even carrying people. At 6'3" tall and 190 pounds, this was a tough crossing for me, with water up to my hips. Race organizers made the right call routing everyone after the top 50 around this tough river crossing.

The final 30 miles or so was a blur, and I felt surprisingly good. There was a long rolling section with a rolling tailwind that I was in a train of 5 Penn Cycle racers with and we were averaging 30+ miles per hour for a long time. This incredibly fast section was followed by an epic high speed, curvy gravel descent - it felt like a video game, rather than real life. This descent was followed by a massive climb known as Oriole climb, which was the final climb that I walked/ran up the majority of. From the top of Oriole climb, the final 10 miles was mainly rolling headwind back into Spring Valley. Upon crossing the finish line, a traditional congratulatory handshake from race volunteers was much appreciated.

Upon finishing, I quickly got out of my race kit, cleaned up, and put on some comfy dry clothes. I spent the next several hours helping out, feeding, and cheering on countless smiling (and grimacing) gravel riders. Congrats to the big Cyclova crew that all conquered Almanzo this year! I can't wait to do it all over again next year!

If you still need some more gravel stories, check out Kristen's "Century of Gravel" story on Gravel Shark!

Sasquatch Dash #2 Write-Up and Results

by Ben Mullin

We had a good turn-out this morning with about 25 people.  A fair number of repeaters and quite a few first timers.  Dallas gave a course recap in a crowded CyclovaXC at about 8:45 and then we all headed down to the overlook to start.

I had two competitive strategies heading into the race.  The first goal was an ongoing competition with Adam Lushanko, amped up by a considerable amount of trash talking this week including a 7:00am wakeup call this morning.  The second goal was to try and close some ground in the series standings on race organizer Dallas Wynne.  At the first race he took off the line and I let him go, wanting to run my own race and thinking he would come back to me.  He never did.  So my goal, outside of running strong, was to mark either of them.

Off the line Tony Lushanko, just a week past the Lutsen 50k trail run, took the lead and lead us around the fish hatchery, through the north campground and up to the Horizon Rock Trail.  I had no intention of staying with Tony so I settled into the back of the Cyclova train with Dallas and Frank.  Somewhere up the monster climb that is the Horizon Rock Trail I passed Dallas and Frank.  Just before we reached the visitor center and Skyline Trail Kevin "I make world class athletes look weak" Rogers came strolling past.  He casually strolled on up to Tony and passed him as well on his way to a commanding win.

The next mile and half down to the group camp things strung out a bit.  I took the occasional glance back to see how the gap was to Frank and Dallas (just holding) and the gap to Tony and Kevin was slowly inching up.  I opened it up on the descent down to the group camp and nearly lost it on a switchback, but thankfully just kept my footing.  That was my last glimpse of Kevin and my last glimpse of Tony came on the exit to the south campground.  They apparently really opened it up once we hit the pavement because they were GONE.

After a trip around Lake O' Dells we hit the bottom of the Meadow Valley Trail and the standing water it contained.  I took a few light steps trying to edge around it but end up just running through it anyway.  It was about 6" deep and fairly cold.  I'm sure glad we were almost done climbing because I didn't need any more weight on my feet at that point.

The climb on Meadow Valley Trail back up the switchbacks to the Horizon Rock Trail was a speed hike.  There was no running that.  Charging back down the Horizon Rock Trail towards the road to the north campground I thought I caught a glimpse of Dallas charging hard through the trees behind me and tried to pour on whatever I had left.

The coup de grace of the course was the final climb back up to the overlook.  Mountain top finishes are just brutal.  I completed both of my objectives clawing a few points back on the overall standings on Dallas and retaining the title from Adam.  I'm afraid I might just be lighting a fire under both of them though...

After the race and cheering in all of the finishers (except the Velaski's, sorry guys!) a large contingent headed over to the Dalles Cafe and completely overwhelmed the one server there.  Next time we are going to have to call ahead or something.

The next installment of the Sasquatch Dash will be on June 29th.  We are dialing back the technical terrain in favor of the trails at Balsam Branch.  This should be a good race with lots of rolling hills and few short punchy climbs.
Standings and Results:

Brianna on Almanzo 2013

Here's another tremendous testimonial on Almanzo from Brianna Prahl. There must be something about this race because everybody I asked about it wrote me a couple pages. Fantastic! Enjoy:

by Brianna Prahl

This was the first gravel century, and longest ride I'd ever done by 47 miles. I sent in a postcard, almost on a whim after a text from my husband Tyler reminding me that there were "only" 27 more days left to register. I think I surprised us both a little.

Then I panicked, realizing I'd be riding this race with at least 2 guys that have done this race in the past. I kicked up my weekly spin routine at the YMCA and rode outside as much as I could.
Tyler did a great job mentally preparing me, and having heard his stories about last year's ride, I was able to get a good idea of what I was up against.

It was a perfect day, sunny but not too hot. Windy, but not too bad. It had rained the night before so there wasn't much dust or loose gravel for the first 50 miles.
I honestly didn't have much of a strategy, besides eating and drinking a lot, trying to keep up with the guys, and mentally preparing for the worst. I remember my first 50 miles being hard but manageable. We added on a few extra miles and a hill climb on a wrong turn, all the while being filmed by a camera crew.

I started petering out right before the 2nd water stop. We had gotten into a nice rhythm and I should have been drinking and eating more. I was spent by the time we got there, and my back was killing me. I started to really worry if I could finish and still walk afterwards. I stretched a lot, ate a ton and refilled my water supply.

These next 10-20 miles were pretty brutal. Endless hill climbs on loose mean looking gravel, and white knuckle downhills hoping I wouldn't veer from my line and grate all my skin off. I didn't have much experience on loose gravel until then.

Around mile 80 Chris Skogen appeared from the woods to direct us around the 2nd river crossing which had become unsafe to, adding another 3 miles to our ride.
I walked up a lot of hills. I fell down twice when my legs were so weak I could hardly clip in or out, and have matching bruises to show. I wolfed down an unknown amount of calories and I felt for the first time both of my thighs seize up and cramp after the last significant and insane climb (which I walked).

After the last climb we were something like 7 miles from the finish line. I drank water the whole way and choked down one last GU to try and prevent my legs from cramping up again. At that point we knew we had made it and you could feel the energy as everyone picked up the pace and enjoyed the sunset the rest of the way in.

Evans on Almanzo 2013

Hey Folks,
Here's the second installment of the Almanzo 2013 recap as Jeff Evans takes us step by step through his day. Enjoy!

by Jeff Evans

To sum up the feeling I had nearing the completion of my first Almanzo of the two I have now attempted, I would simply use the word “emotional.”

This race is something special, everyone knows the story by now, it’s free, grassroots, it’s hard, and it’s something to be proud about participating in. It’s riding and suffering for the sake of the sport, not for a cause, not to say “look at me I’m changing the world,” it’s just a simple indulgence of 1500 like-minded athletes and adventurers.

Last year in 2012 I was pushed beyond any limit I thought existed, right into a totally new world of “ultra-bonking.” This isn’t a hungry feeling, dehydration, or cramps, or headache, or nausea. This is what happens after you have been enduring those symptoms and fighting them tooth and nail for the last 3 hours, pushing into your 9th hour of riding. We clawed for every foot into the wind, grinding in our lowest gear, in our drops to get every advantage possible so we could try to hit 10mph. Miles did not “tick off,” they lingered, and teased us as the computers would not give you any good news.

During a ride like this you call a lot of things into question. Some are funny, some are tragic, and others are just self-destructive. Did I have the training? Yes. Did I eat a big enough breakfast? No. Do I want to be doing this right now? Hell No. It’s really hard to stay positive and optimistic when you’re pushing beyond what you thought was possible for hour after hour. You check in and out of awareness for your surroundings, you play games with yourself, you eat and drink like you just got off a deserted island, but none of it helped in the long run. With the body slipping into failure mode, my mind and spirit simply imploded, leaving nothing more to fuel the attempt at this thing called the Almanzo.

Sitting in the grass of some farmer’s yard at mile 86, I could do nothing but try and lower my heart rate, focusing on something/anything to keep me from acknowledging the complete mental/emotional breakdown I had just experienced for the past several hours. It took 5 minutes to chew one almond, I couldn’t squeeze my water bottle hard enough to drink for 30 minutes, I was destroyed and for a while pretty scared. After an hour and a half, I rode the next mile to a crossroad to get picked up by Tyler who finished like a rockstar, got in my car, and sped off to save my butt. Everything I thought I knew about riding a bike was called into question on this day, it was not a good ride home, or a good recovery period. I failed, I gave everything my body had and it was not good enough, I was ashamed.

Fast forward to this year… Long winters with no training don’t bode well for endurance fitness. Post-failure, I didn’t go into some movie montage of training to come back triumphant with grit and determination and fanfare and all of that. I let my fitness and preparation slip and slip and slip all fall/winter, not where you want to be. Coming into this year I did not think I could do this, and really fought with myself to keep from pulling out altogether.

I decided that I did not want to have my only Almanzo be a life shattering experience like last year, so I just blindly stayed committed to the plan to ride this with the crew. Just telling myself I have the legs, listening to my friends and family and instead of injecting self-deprecating doubt, I chose to believe what they were saying to me instead. This made a massive difference once the race kicked off and we hit the gravel.

Spirits were high, I was focused on the task at hand, and I just kept telling myself I belong here, I can do this… this is what I do, I ride bikes, it’s fun. All day we rolled over gravel, had some death defying descending opportunities, and of course, we got kicked in the teeth by veritable walls of dirt to climb. I walked them, better to finish than fail is all I told myself. “Finish this today, do it better next time.” Instead of being discouraged by others flying up the hills, I just stayed right where I had to be inside my head, “no shame, I will finish, that’s all there is to it.” Again, this wasn’t some intense montage type of talking myself through it, it was calm and thoughtful, almost deadpan.

This year we did “tick off” miles, 5-10 at a time before you’d realize you’re eating gravel for breakfast lunch and dinner. We of course ate sandwiches as well, which are far and away the best gravel century food you can bring. There comes a point where you just need real food. You can only take so many Gu packets and waffles, and shot blocks and what not. This year these food stops were not periods of desperation and dread for the next section. They were fun, I wanted to get back on the bike.

Throughout the day I just kept telling myself, “Hey, you are going to finish this.” I’d push a little harder to see how the legs felt, they felt great. I’d hang back off the group and just take stock in what I was doing. My mind was in a great place, my body felt great consider how horrifically out of shape I am at this point in time, and things were looking up.

When we got to the re-route around mile 80, where Chris Skogen himself was giving directions, I was nervous because I wanted to ride by the place where I had “broken down” last year, I needed this redemption. There was nothing we could do though so we rode on, and came to a tent serving beer, and of course as is CyclovaXC tradition, we drank Hamms and took stock in the work we still had to do. Tyler was really impressive on the day with his riding, however what impressed me the most and what really showed his sterling character was when the nice man offered him a PBR… and Tyler, without skipping a beat, asked if they had any Hamms. Good Man.

We rolled out of the beer stop in great moods, pedaling at over 20mph, and then I recognized where we were… there’s the farm, that hill that drove the final nail into my coffin, “I made it, I feel great, I’ve got this.” As I charged up that hill, the same hill that I could barely push my bike up last year, I pointed out the spot to the group, and then dropped back for a minute. Can’t lie, I got choked up thinking about the day and the feeling of overcoming doubt and bad attitude to actually do this thing. I was so grateful for all of the friends that I ride with, all of the positive words and reassurances, and just that this thing called cycling exists.

We rolled in to the finish and I got my handshake, although not from Chris who, as I mentioned, was on course doing the re-route. We quickly cracked beers, had some cheers and headed back to camp to eat anything we could get our hands on. I could not ask for a better feeling than the one you get recounting a race with everyone, knowing that people could have gone faster, climbed the hills, whatever, but it doesn’t matter because just to finish this thing was plenty, it was all I needed. What matters are the experiences, the lessons, the personal triumphs, and fact that we are all in this together.

What a ride, nothing in the world could have motivated me more for the upcoming season. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

More testimonials still on the way...

Sasquatch Dash #2--FREE TRAIL RUN--Saturday, May 25th

Hey Folks!

It's almost time for the second race in our tremendous FREE trail run series: the Sasquatch Dash! To participate, just show up at CyclovaXC at 8:30 and be ready to do about 6 miles through some beautiful trails. We had a blast last time, and after the race everybody stuck around for coffee! If you want to see the current series standings check here. Remember, you get one mulligan in this series, so it's still wide open (we better see Lone Wolf on Saturday...after all, this is his event kind of).

As usually, Dallas has put together a tremendous course. Here are his words on that:

As with last time we will meet at Cyclova. If you are unsure about the route I highly recommend getting the free Everytrail app or Everytrail Pro for a few bucks, and downloading the dash map. With it your smart phone will help you stay on course. I can't wait until Saturday!

Remember, we don't mark the course, so either keep with Dallas (tough to do) or memorize it. We had cue sheets available last time but there are no guarantees we'll do that again (we named the series after Sasquatch because we aren't planning on making it easy for you).

As of right now, we've got 14 people confirmed as "going" on our Facebook event page, please click on that and sign yourself up! Also, send it to your friends and sign them up too! This is a fun way to meet new, great people who are excited about fitness but still casual and willing to have fun with it!

Sasquatch #1 was a blast and I've got high hopes for Sasquatch #2! See you on Saturday!

2013 Almanzo Stories--MN's Great Gravel Ride

Saturday, May 18th was the Almanzo 100, and a pretty good sized group of Cyclova cyclists headed on down to participate. Saturday evening, Facebook lit up with some great stories and photos, so I sent out some emails (that's what I do for a living) and asked people to send me a couple paragraphs about their experience that I could compile for an article.

Well, they did more than send me paragraphs, they sent me PAGES, so instead of one article, you're getting three over the next couple of days.

But before I start in with that, Frank suggested I put in the following video (if you are reading this in an email, you might have to come to the CyclovaXC page to see the video--Also note: I believe I heard a mild profanity in the background music at the beginning so be aware of that, it's a clean video otherwise):

Almanzo 100 from CRASH+SUES on Vimeo.
If you want to see some more of the press coverage of Almanzo, you can check here and here (the second has another good video).

First up, I have a paragraph from Kristen Velaski (she was the first to reply, so she gets the first article):
Best memory of the day: around mile 30 or so we followed the pack up a hill, our legs were on fire climbing that thing, Salsa drove by with their film crew and they got footage of all of us suffering. At the top of the hill we reached a fork in the road, there sat the Salsa film crew getting footage of about 35 befuddled cyclists that realized they made a navigation error. Half of us grumbled, the other half whipped out their iPhones to find a map to get us back on course. Salsa filmed the entire thing laughing I'm sure! Maybe they knew we were headed off course when they filmed us climbing! We laughed at ourselves a little, too!
Next up, stories from "The Mountain" and Dean Franklin! Stay tuned!

2013 Timber Swinder--Wannigan Days 5K run--Sat. July 20th 2013


9AM Saturday, July 20, 2013
$15 Pre-register, $20 Race Day
Registration and Bib Pick-up 7:30-8:45 @ CyclovaXC
FREE KIDS 1/2 Mile Run 10:15 @ Snap Fitness
Awards 10:30 @ Snap Fitness
Don't forget to spend the weekend in St. Croix Falls at Wannigan Days - for a full weekend of Timber Swindlin'! 

The Timber Swindler is a 5k Running Race on the morning of Saturday, July 20, 2013.  Come and do the race, then hang out and enjoy the fun of Wannigan Days!  This is going to be a fun event for all, and a fundraiser for the folks at the Ice Age Trail Association Indianhead Chapter - the folks that created and maintain the world class 1200 mile hiking trail that goes across Wisconsin!

Get up to the minute info and RSVP for the event at the FACEBOOK EVENT.

There are numerous ways to be a part of this event:
  1. Participate:  Click here to pre-register.
  3. Bring Your Kids:  Bring your kids for the free kids race!  They'll get a real race number and medal!
  4. Volunteer:  Contact Ben at Cyclova XC to volunteer (  
  5. Spectate:  Bring a cow bell and make some noise!
For the full scoop on this all - as well as the entry form, CLICK HERE.
For the full 5k course map, including various formats to GPS files, CLICK HERE.

Some have been wondering what the story with the event name, "Timber Swindler" is.  If you're curious about characters such as Frunck Lundgerdeenren, see Ben's research on the Timber Swindler.

2013 Woolly Photo Set

It rained in the morning on Sunday, April 19th, but the Woolly trail drains amazingly well, and by the time the kids race took off at 9 AM, the conditions were fairly dry.

I only had a couple hours to man a road crossing before I had to get in to open up our shop, but I managed to get some delightful pictures of the kids race, as well as the first few guys of the citizens' race. You can toggle through them in the above slideshow presentation (assuming that it continues to's a free feature from Google).

If you recognize yourself in a photo and want a copy, send an email request to


Bike Polk and Burnett County State Trails Free June 1 & 2 Celebrating National Trail Day 2013

POLK/BURNETT COUNTY--Recognizing National Trail Day, Polk and Burnett County will not require state trail passes for bike riders on the Stower 7 Lakes, and the Gandy Dancer State Recreation Trails, June 1 & 2.

Both trails normally require a Wisconsin state trail pass for bike riders 16 years of age and older. The passes are good on all state trails.

The Stower 7 Lakes Trail, the newest Wisconsin state recreation trail, opened in 2010 and offers a very scenic 14 mile ride from the trailhead in Amery to just outside of Dresser, passing next to Nye and Wanderoos. Take a look at

The Gandy Dancer State Trail has been operating for 17 years and offers a longer 47 mile route from its trailhead at the Polk County Information Center in St. Croix Falls to Danbury. Four villages and unincorporated Lewis are located on the trail in Polk County, and they are all less than six miles apart. Siren and Webster are on the trail leading north to Danbury in Burnett County.

The Gandy Dancer Trail follows the Soo Line railroad corridor that founded and served the small towns in Polk County. In Frederic, the 1901 Soo Line Depot was refurbished and serves as a rest stop for the trail as well as the museum of the Frederic Area Historical Society. The Frederic Depot is the last remaining depot of this rail line, and is open weekends from Memorial Day through leaf season in October.

Trail maps and more information for the trails are available at the Polk County Information Center 800-222-POLK The Burnett County Visitor Center and the Polk County Parks office 715-485-9294


Map: Stower 7 Lakes to Gandy Dancer Trail Connector

Amy of gfGoodies just sent me this sweet map which is a trail connector between the Gandy Dancer and the Stower 7 Lakes trail. This route is the most direct one you can take on the lowest traffic roads. Perhaps at some point in the near future a bicycle only connector trail will be built, but for now this is a very good solution.

To download the map, click here. Also note that I have placed this connector map in our navigation bar in the header of this page.

Thanks for doing this Amy! You can help her out by giving her page a like here!

CyclovaXC Wool Jersey Re-Order!

Hey Folks!

I've had a lot of people ask me when we're going to do a wool jersey re-order. Well, good news because today is the day!

Leif Zimmermann Modeling His Jersey
This time we can offer a wider style range. Just like last time, the chest will say "CyclovaXC" in either black and red, or white and red lettering depending on the jersey style.

The price will be $85 for pre-order, and the extras that will be available at the shop for walk-ins will be $100.

To pre-order just send me an email ( including the style, size, and quantity that you want. The cut-off date for pre-orders will be Friday, May 24th. After that the jerseys should arrive within a month (note style #1 is sold out in size Small--also, this provider was just a bit tough to work with, so if they should happen to sell out of the style you want, I'll let you know so you can make a substitution).

This is a great jersey for cold weather riding, or even to be used at the end of a ski race to warm up. Actually, once you get one, I doubt you'll wear anything else throughout the winter.

I look forward to your emails!