Hike and Bike Tomorrow at 10 AM!

I just received this announcement and thought I'd pass it along! Happy New Year everyone!--Ben

Announcement:
The First Hike and Bike event is a national event celebrated throughout the United States.
 
The Friends of Stower Seven Lakes State Trail has arranged for you to celebrate this year along our great trail!

Bring the whole family for a memorable start to the new year and meet our new neighbors at the Brothers Country Mart right here in sunny Nye, Wisconsin!

Happy Holidays! CyclovaXC Closed December 24th and 25th

I believe this snowman started out as Darth Vader :). This is from a few years ago when we still could count on getting some snow in the winter. I haven't lost hope yet though and plan to go skiing soon (I'll have a report from the Birkie Trail tomorrow).

CyclovaXC will be closed on December 24th and 25th. Enjoy your turkey, unwrap some presents, and take some quality time with the family. We'll be seeing you all on the trails after the Holiday season!

Solstice Chase Elite Rider Call Out: Jeff Colbert

We're delighted to have 2013 Solstice Chase 42k Men's Champion Jeff Colbert returning to the 2015 Solstice Chase!  Photo Credit:  Chris Gibbs
The Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race is a celebration of Winter, a community festival, and yes a BIG TIME BICYCLE RACE!  As this is a big scale bike race drawing riders of all abilities from across the country, and the first event of this year's Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, we're excited to be welcoming a bunch pro racers to this year's event!  Many of these pro & elite racers will be in pursuit of the HUGE CASH PRIZE for the fastest male and fastest female in the 42k event!

The huge list of pro & elite racers who will be toeing the line and after the $1000 cash purse in the 42k Solstice Chase main event is huge.  Even more huge is the fact that we are nearly at the 300 mark for pre-registered racers (that's right, if you haven't registered yet, you better do so now!  
We're delighted to announce that the 2013 Solstice Chase men's 42k champion will be again returning to the 2015 Solstice Chase....  JEFF COLBERT!  Jeff is one of the toughest riders we've ever seen - when the going gets off the charts tough, he gets stronger and savors it!  The 2013 Solstice Chase was definitely voted by most participants to be one of the toughest days on a bike ever encountered - the deep soft snow, coupled with very difficult course made for an incredibly tough day!  We are thrilled to have Jeff competing at the 2015 Solstice Chase - welcome Jeff! 
Jeff looked fresh as a daisy after winning the 2013 Solstice Chase - which most racers considered to be one of the most difficult days ever on a bike - huge fresh snowfall (soft conditions) on a very challenging course. 
I recently asked Jeff how he was feeling about the coming event, and following are his thoughts: 
"Looking forward to the opening round of Fat bike racing. Solstice chase is an eye opener or lung opener depending on your training. I have been putting in the hard training just to be able to compete with most of these guys. I'm hoping for treacherous conditions. The kind that make most people cry. That's when I usually excel. Bring on the snow, Ice, mud. Anything but smooth grass. Can't wait to see all of my friends and racers on the starting line."

Not interested in riding?  Join us & make a day of it by enjoying the biggest wedding barn in Wisconsin (which will be partially heated), spectating, enjoying the groovy tunes by globally renowned "DJ ESP", ringing a cowbell & cheering on the racers, chatting with the bike vendors (45NRTH, Advocate Cycles, and HED) on hand, or enjoy amazing food or drink from Cafe Wren!  For the full scoop on our amazing race venue and many of the great things happening at this community event, CLICK HERE!

For the full scoop on the Solstice Chase, click HERE.  To register, CLICK HERE!  If you are a pro racer interested in competing at the Solstice Chase, email frank@cyclovaxc.com
 
 

Solstice Chase Pro Racer Call Out: Evan Simula

Evan Simula is no stranger to high speed on a fat bike, and will be in the mix for the money at the 2015 Solstice Chase!  Photo Credit:  Rob Meendering
The Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race is a celebration of Winter, a community festival, and yes a BIG TIME BICYCLE RACE!  As this is a big scale bike race drawing riders of all abilities from across the country, and the first event of this year's Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, we're excited to be welcoming a bunch pro racers to this year's event!  Many of these pro & elite racers will be in pursuit of the HUGE CASH PRIZE for the fastest male and fastest female in the 42k event!

The huge list of pro & elite racers who will be toeing the line and after the $1000 cash purse in the 42k Solstice Chase main event is huge.  Even more huge is the fact that we are nearly at the 300 mark for pre-registered racers (that's right, if you haven't registered yet, you better do so now!  

We're delighted to announce that one of the best known fat bikers around (and for very good reason) will be returning to the 2015 Solstice Chase....  EVAN SIMULA!  Evan is one of the gentlemen of the sport, one of the funnest people you'll ever meet, and a phenom on the bike.  I've never ridden with anyone with his amazing technical skills AND pure speed - usually riders have one or the other.  Evan will put both his speed and skills to the test at the 2015 Solstice Chase!  We are thrilled to have Evan competing at the 2015 Solstice Chase - welcome Evan! 

Check out some of Evan's work in 45NRTH's sweet "RideGroomed" Video - Evan is the featured rider!  45NRTH - RIDE GROOMED from 45NRTH.

I recently asked Evan how he was feeling about the coming event, and following are his thoughts: 
"I am really excited to Race the Solstice chase and see some new faces on the Great lakes fat Bike Series this season including some fantastic new team-mates! Like everyone else I'm hoping for that big snowstorm but I am looking forward having a great weekend of fun and racing regardless of the conditions! "

Not interested in riding?  Join us & make a day of it by enjoying the biggest wedding barn in Wisconsin (which will be partially heated), spectating, enjoying the groovy tunes by globally renowned "DJ ESP", ringing a cowbell & cheering on the racers, chatting with the bike vendors (45NRTH, Advocate Cycles, and HED) on hand, or have amazing food or drink from Cafe Wren & A Wandering Fire!  For the full scoop on our amazing race venue and many of the great things happening at this community event, CLICK HERE!

For the full scoop on the Solstice Chase, click HERE.  To register, CLICK HERE!  If you are a pro racer interested in competing at the Solstice Chase, email frank@cyclovaxc.com

Cyclova Ski Poles Now Available! (Made by US Ski Pole Company)

This is kind of a fun deal! US Ski Pole Company has an option for a custom label on Ski poles, so I had them print up some sweet custom CyclovaXC poles. This is a great pole, USSPC is the supplier of poles to the Canadian national cross-country ski team, and the exact pole the pros use is available at Cyclova (but with the awesome Cyclova graphic). I skied the Birkie last year on the USSPC XC Signature model and I can attest that it's the stiffest pole I've ever used. Because of international trade agreements, poles made overseas do not have access to the high quality carbon fiber that's available in the US, and USSPC claims these are the lightest and stiffest poles on the market.

The other great thing about USSPC equipment is their fully adjustable strap. 
Most ski pole companies issue S, M, L, etc. straps, but USSPC offers an adjustable strap which is a much more effective approach. A lot of skiers in our region like to use bulky mitts because they have problems with cold hands. As a result, they can't fit their hands into the straps of European poles which are designed for use in milder temperatures. With the USSPC strap, you can change the strap size based on conditions. Also, we've had issues with delays getting straps in from the other companies, so it's nice to have this option available. Unfortunately, USSPC does not sell only the strap at this time.

Our current stock is 4 USSPC XC Signature Poles which retail at $249.95, and 2 pair of USSPC Alaska 49 poles that retail at $299.95. Because these are special edition CyclovaXC poles, all USSPC poles we carry have the same label (I ordered the Alaska 49s at 175 cm to tell them apart).

I found it's pretty difficult to take a picture of the ski poles to show off exactly how cool the Cyclova label is, so you really have to come down and see them. This idea of a "customizable" pole is kind of new, and USSPC offers it at no extra cost. If you've got a high school team and you want to get a fleet of custom school poles, come on in and talk with us. I can help you design the graphic at no extra cost.

It's always fun to work with a US based cross-country ski company. USSPC is owned by Andy Liebner who is a very accomplished skier. Check out his book "Wild Shot" about his adventures as a Olympic hopeful biathlete (we've got a few copies of that as well).

Now all we need is some snow!



!Surly Fat Bike Special Order Sale! - 35% - 40% Off On Select Models! *While They Last...*

Want a sweet Fat Bike on a budget?  Get in on the fat bike deal of the decade while it lasts!  35 - 40% OFF on select Surly Fat Bikes!  Photo Credit:  Surly Bikes
On occasion a deal comes up that is too good to be true - but this one is for real!  Sadly, the inventory likely won't last for long...

Surly is overstocked on certain models of fat bikes, and to move the inventory, they're closing several models out at 35% - 40% off.  Imagine a premium quality, legit complete fat bike for $799!  Image a sweet new fat bike, custom fit for you, at a beat up used fat bike price!  Yes, it's true!!! 

Following are examples of some of the amazing Surly complete bike pricing:
Surly Pugsley Single Speed, sparkly purple35% OFF - NEW CLOSEOUT PRICE OF $799.99
Surly Pugsley 10 Speed, black or pure green35% OFF - NEW CLOSEOUT PRICE OF $899.99
Surly Pug Ops 10 Speed, battleship gray40% OFF - NEW CLOSEOUT PRICE OF $999.99
Surly Moonlander, cham-pain40% OFF - NEW CLOSEOUT PRICE OF $1199.99
Surly Ice Cream Truck Ops, black35% OFF, NEW CLOSEOUT PRICE OF $1199.99

Now for the specifics:  Note that we don't have these bikes physically in stock at Cyclova XC, but we are happy to special order one in for you from the Surly warehouse.  Special orders from Surly usually take 1-2 business days, so we can get you pedaling a sweet new Surly fatty at a crazy low price in a couple of short days!  For special orders, we do require 50% pre-payment prior to ordering your bike, and payment of the balance at the time of pick up & your bike fitting session.  To inquire on availability/sizing/etc, give Cyclova XC a call at 715-483-3278 or email frank@cyclovaxc.com

ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!!!

Solstice Chase Pro Racer Call Out: World Champion April Morgan - Returning Champion!

April Morgan - 2014 Fat Bike World Champion, Returning Solstice Chase Champion, winner of many things, and all around great gal will be gunning for the 2015 Solstice Chase title!  Photo Credit:  Kelly Randolph
The Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race is a celebration of Winter, a community festival, and yes a BIG TIME BICYCLE RACE!  As this is a big scale bike race drawing riders of all abilities from across the country, and the first event of this year's Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, we're excited to be welcoming a bunch pro racers to this year's event!  Many of these pro & elite racers will be in pursuit of the HUGE CASH PRIZE for the fastest male and fastest female in the 42k event!

We're delighted to announce to have returning champion (not to mention World Fat Bike Champion, and champion of many races)  APRIL MORGAN returning to this year's Solstice Chase! 
I recently asked April how she was feeling about the coming event, and following are her thoughts: 
"I’m super excited to kick off the fat bike season with the Solstice Chase. This race has quickly become one of my favorites with its challenging course and awesome post-race party! Hopefully we will have some snow, but either way it’s sure to be a riot. I’m looking forward to a record turnout, lots of smiles and a cold beer at the finish!"

April rips on her fat bike - watch out St. Croix Falls...  Here she comes!  Photo Credit:  Todd Bauer
Not interested in riding?  Join us & make a day of it by enjoying the biggest wedding barn in Wisconsin (which will be partially heated), spectating, enjoying the groovy tunes by globally renowned "DJ ESP", ringing a cowbell & cheering on the racers, chatting with the bike vendors (45NRTH, Advocate Cycles, and HED) on hand, or have amazing food or drink from Cafe Wren & A Wandering Fire!  For the full scoop on our amazing race venue and many of the great things happening at this community event, CLICK HERE!

For the full scoop on the Solstice Chase, click HERE.  To register, CLICK HERE!  If you are a pro racer interested in competing at the Solstice Chase, email frank@cyclovaxc.com

Solstice Chase Pro Racer Call Out: Jeff Hall - Returning Champion


Jeff Hall - 2014 Men's Solstice Chase Champion is returning this year!  From left to right:  Josh Bauer, Brendan Moore, and Jeff Hall.
The Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race is a celebration of Winter, a community festival, and yes a BIG TIME BICYCLE RACE!  As this is a big scale bike race drawing riders of all abilities from across the country, and the first event of this year's Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, we're excited to be welcoming a bunch pro racers to this year's event!  Many of these pro & elite racers will be in pursuit of the HUGE CASH PRIZE for the fastest male and fastest female in the 42k event!

The first pro racer that we'll announce will be racing at this year's Solstice Chase - with more to come is....  JEFF HALL!  Jeff Hall has won more mountain bike races across the US, and internationally than you can shake a stick at!  He is one of the gentlemen of the racing world, a family man, works full time at bike industry supplier QBP (where I used to work), and still manages to crush it on his bike!  We are thrilled to have Jeff competing at the 2015 Solstice Chase, as returning champion - welcome Jeff! 
 
I recently asked Jeff how he was feeling about the coming event, and following are his thoughts:  
"I am very excited for the Solstice Chase, being it is the first winter race of the year for me this year. I'll be out on my new LaMere fat bike for the first time and really testing the legs for the first time since winning the 2015 Chequamegon 40. I really like the wide open fast course, it reminds me of the 40 with hopefully some snow. My preparations are still just riding a lot of miles back and forth to work. Being it is my second year of fat bike racing I know how hard these races are and what to expect with the different weather and tire selections. Having such a cool location and the big barn, most likely I will have my wife and kids with me."
 
Jeff Hall, 2014 Solstice Chase Champion leads Brendan Moore & Josh Bauer into the finish!
Not interested in riding?  Join us & make a day of it by enjoying the biggest wedding barn in Wisconsin (which will be partially heated), spectating, enjoying the groovy tunes by globally renowned "DJ ESP", ringing a cowbell & cheering on the racers, chatting with the bike vendors (45NRTH, Advocate Cycles, and HED) on hand, or have amazing food or drink from Cafe Wren & A Wandering Fire!  For the full scoop on our amazing race venue and many of the great things happening at this community event, CLICK HERE!

For the full scoop on the Solstice Chase, click HERE.  To register, CLICK HERE!  If you are a pro racer interested in competing at the Solstice Chase, email frank@cyclovaxc.com
 
 

Anticipated Race Course Conditions - 2015 Solstice Chase

2015 Solstice Chase Course conditions are expected to be similar to 2014.  Frozen, firm, fast, and kind of white.  Above the leaders of the 2014 men's long race make great time.  Racers pictured include Jeff Hall, Brendan Moore, and Josh Bauer.
We are t-minus 9 days to the 2015 Solstice Chase Fat Bike race - a fat bike race, community festival, and celebration of Winter!  For continuous updates and full info on the event, check out www.SolsticeChase.com, and the Facebook Event Page.  Now is also the time to register for the race, if you haven't already - as we are rapidly approaching the cap of 300 racers!  We are expecting a huge turnout - with especially hot competition for the win in the long race, due to the $1000 cash purse for the long race

We have been getting a lot of questions about the conditions of the race course as of late, and we want to keep everyone up to date.  As fat bikers, it's always key to keep an eye on and respect Mother Nature.  It's warm and rainy now, but the forecast calls for cold and snowy temps literally hours from now.  

In the end, here are a few key point that we can say with certainty at this point:
  • THE SHOW WILL GO ON:  While the race course is officially closed until race day (as we don't want tires to rut up / damage the trail tread - which is currently soft & muddy - in these muddy conditions), the race WILL HAPPEN.  Snow or no snow, the show will go on!
  • WINTER WEATHER WILL HAPPEN:  As a fat bike/xc ski/weather dork, I'm big into keeping an eye on a lot of forecasts.  All of the forecasts I regularly consult are saying that temps are going to drastically cool in the next several days, and that significant precipitation will be falling.  I expect It to we warm (generally above freezing) until Sunday evening, at which time the temperatures will begin to normalize for this time of year.  I expect the ground to re-freeze at that point.  There will be precip over the weekend, but it likely will be rain and drizzle.  It appears as though a significant Winter storm is coming Monday - Wednesday of next week, which should result in a white - snow covered course.  It's possible that a lot of snow could fall, but minimally, I expect a thin blanket of snow to be covering the course (similar to last year).  In the end, I expect the course to be frozen, firm, fast, and white - in other words, similar to last year!  If you're so interested, following are some sources for weather info that I regularly consult:  National Weather Service Forecast for St. Croix Falls, The NOAA "Weather Hazards" Summary, WXCaster's 84 hour snowfall forecast, John Dee's Snowfall Forecast (the most accurate snow forecast out there, in my opinion), and the Nordic Skiers weather page (awesome for weather dorks).  
  • TIRE CHOICE:  Tire  choice is a big deal in any bicycle event - and this is particularly true in a fat bike event!  While there still is a chance of a major Winter storm dropping massive snow prior to the event, I'd say that is a slim possibility.  At this point (9 days out), I'm expecting that the best tire choice will be a 3.8 inch fast rolling tire, with significant knobs on the shoulders.  Think the 45NRTH Dillinger 4!  There is a chance that there could be spots of ice on the course, so I expect that some will be riding with studs, but I don't expect that to be necessary for everyone.  Above all, AIR PRESSURE is critical.  I weigh 185 pounds and if I were racing on (on my Dillinger 4's with 80mm rims), I'd be racing with 6.5psi in the rear and 6psi in the front.  Softer (not crazy soft) is generally faster on this course, gets better traction, and provides a smoother ride.  Remember, as this is a fat bike race, we require tires at least 3.8" wide, with a maximum of 10psi of air pressure. 
Stay tuned for daily updates on all things Solstice Chase at www.SolsticeChase.com, and the Facebook Event Page.  Post any questions on the Facebook Page, as if you're wondering, I'm sure that others are as well!  See you at The Solstice Chase!

Awesome New WSD Kit from Herr, featuring CyclovaXC!

Check out this BEAUTIFUL new women's specific design kit from Herr! Herr is the women's cycling division of the Woolly Bike Club. Check out more about them here

Anyone is welcome to join this group. To pick up the kit visit the following link:

Password: winter


I hope to see some folks wearing this jersey at the Solstice Chase!

Adventure and Tech: Thursday, December 3rd at 6 p.m.: North of Highway 8 and Ultra-light Camping


Woll during the 2016 Wilderman. Photo Credit: Dan Woll

YOU'RE INVITED:  6 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2015 at Cyclova XC:

As always these events are FREE and open for all to attend!  There will be an intermission between the two presentations with snacks, beverages and plenty of time for socializing!  For the full Winter-Spring 2015-16 Adventure and Tech Social Series line-up click here

Adventure:  Dan Woll, local author and seasoned adventurer, shares tales from his cabin on North Pipe Lake and his various athletic feats, including the Wilderman, a grassroots off-road ultra endurance triathlon.  Dan will be accompanied by his beloved and furry side-kick "Bosko" the Bernese Mountain Dog.  Copies of Dan's multiple books, including North of Highway 8, will be available for purchase that night - get your autographed copies and curl up this Winter for some good laughs!

Tech:  Frank Lundeen, co-owner of Cyclova XC, will discuss ultralight camping gear - specifically as it pertain to bikepacking (camping on your bike).  There will be a presentation, discussion, and unloading of the gear off of Frank's touring bike (as in the photo below).  Learn about the products that truly lighten your load, keep you comfortable, and will go the distance with ease!  Whether you want to pack up for a quick overnight in our local Wisconsin Sand Barrens or attempt the Tour Divide, you can travel light as a feather and maximize your space and energy for the journey.   

Frank and his Trek 920 nimbly hauling adventure camp gear along the scenic St. Croix. Photo Credit: Dave Gabrys.

SOLSTICE CHASE 2015: Race Day Venue Info - Parking next to start/finish, Food, Heated Changing Area, Demo Bikes, & More!!

This is the place to learn all about the 2015 Solstice Chase!
The Solstice Chase, the first event of the 2015 Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, is much more than a fat bike race - rather, it's a community festival, a celebration of Winter - and it's for everyone!  We have been hard at work this year to ensure everyone has a great time at the event - and wants to stay for the day!  

Following are all of the details on the race day venue at Big Rock Creek Retreat - 3 miles north of St. Croix Falls, WI.  For the full scoop on everything related to this event or to register to race, go to the event website at www.SolsticeChase.com!

Directions:  CLICK HERE FOR THE GOOGLE MAP.  The address is:  1674 WI Hwy 87, St. Croix Falls, WI  54024
Parking:  Once again this year, parking for the first 150 cars will be right at the race venue next to the start/finish area.  From highway 87, follow the driveway back into Big Rock Creek Retreat - follow the signs to the parking area.   See the map below to view where the parking area is in relation to everything else!  
We do expect the parking lot to fill up, so ask folks to car pool.  Once the barn parking lot is full, racers and spectators will be parking in the big field parking lot  at the venue entrance - out on Hwy 87 - note that this is a 1/2 mile walk back to the race venue, and periodic shuttle service will be available. 

Everything is easily accessible from the start/finish of this year's Solstice Chase!  Parking right at Race HQ, Heated mens & ladies changing areas, amazing food, vendor village, DJ, and more!
Following is a list of the amenities & events at the 2015 Solstice Chase.  Plan on spending the day with us for a BIG FAT BIKE PARTY!  Come early, stay late - stay in St. Croix Falls - or book a cabin on site at Big Rock Creek Retreat
  • The grand Wedding Barn at Big Rock Creek Retreat will again be our base of operation this year.
  • There will be a heated changing area - a room for the gals, and a room for the guys in the building at the lower right corner of the above map.
  • Racers in the long race will be going by the barn 5 times - allowing for amazing spectating & cow bell ringing opportunities!
  • We will have a vendor / sponsor village set up inside of the barn.  Stop by and say hello to them all including 45NRTH, HED, Sven Can See, Advocate Cycles, and Podium Wear - and try out a demo fat bike from Advocate Cycles
  • Cafe Wren will be serving amazing hot drinks, pastries, and BEER at the bar inside of the barn!  We think Cafe Wren rivals any coffee shop / bakery on the planet - and expect you'll agree!
  • A Wandering Fire will have their mobile WOOD FIRED PIZZA OVEN at the event - and will be serving up amazing pizzas all day!
  • DJ ESP / Woody McBride, our event DJ, will be rocking the venue with fun tunes - including some of his own original techno mixes!
  • The upper level of the barn will be partially heated - and there will be an additional warming area in the maintenance building, as well as a changing area for athletes.
  • Numerous bon-fires will be burning all day in the race headquarters area - at each of the race feed zones.  Get out there and cheer on our racers - make some noise (can you say cowbell?)!
  • Join us for the awards ceremony (overall only, no age groups), awarding of the $1000 elite racer cash prize, and huge swag give away.  The awards ceremony will be in the barn area after the last finisher of each race finishes.  We estimate that the awards for the 21k race will be at 1:30PM or so, and the awards for the 42k race will be at 2:30 or so (awards ceremony could be sooner or later, based on when racers finish).
The huge parking lot is right next to the barn / race hq! 
Wisconsin's largest wedding barn - at Big Rock Creek Retreat will be the epicenter of the 2015 Solstice Chase!  The start/finish line will be right next to the barn - as will be wood fired pizza & our sponsor vendor village.  Registration, hot drinks, beer, pastries, awards, and more inside!  DJ ESP will have tunes rockin' the entire venue! 
The view from the bridge going into the barn will be a popular spectating location - with a superb view of the start/finish line!

This is the place to learn all about the 2015 Solstice Chase!

!!$1000 CASH PRIZE MONEY @ 2015 Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race!!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  2015 Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race to feature $1000 cash prize purse - sponsored by St. Croix Falls, the City of Trails!  This is likely the biggest cash prize to ever be awarded in a fat bike race!

Elite racers in the long 42k Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race will have a huge extra incentive to go fast - $1000 in cold hard cash!  The top male and the top female in the 42k race will each take home a $500 cash prize. 

We expect a huge elite racer field in this year's Solstice Chase - which in part will bring in a massive influx of citizen racers, fat bike enthusiasts, and spectators!  The $1,000 cash prize is sponsored by the St. Croix Falls Tourism Committee, which encourages fat bike enthusiasts to stay and play in St. Croix Falls - The City of Trails!

The Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race is both a fat bike race and a community event.  While we put great focus on having great amenities for our racers such as amazing coffee & pastries from Cafe Wren, wood fired pizza from A Wandering Fire, a heated barn, and amazing spectating (spectators will see the racers in the long race 5 times from the start finish area).  CLICK HERE to check our all of the amenities and details on the 2015 Solstice Chase!

For the full scoop on the 2015 Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race, go to www.solsticechase.comFor up to the minute updates, frequent the Solstice Chase Facebook Event.  

Cyclova XC Thanks Kristen Livingston!


We're sad to announce that Kristen will be leaving Cyclova XC.  She has moved on to pursue other opportunities.  We'd like to officially thank her for her years of service here at Cyclova XC, and wish her luck in future ventures!  Best of luck Kristen, you'll always be part of the Cyclova family!

Solstice Chase Fee Increase on December 1st! Sign up NOW!

Hey Folks!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that your training for the 3rd annual Solstice Chase is going well!

I'm pleased to announce that we are currently sitting at 220 entrants for the Solstice Chase! Today is the last day to register at the $45 entry fee, so click here to sign up now! In a few days we'll be making a HUGE announcement about the prize for the top overall male and female finishers (you're going to be very happy).

Don't forget to visit SolsticeChase.com to check for updates. We'll be sending out an email with final instructions approximately a week before the event.

We're expecting a wonderful turnout so bring your friends and family along to spectate/party/cheer and be prepared to have a blast! See you on the 19th!

Fantasy Skiing and Real Skiing With Cyclova XC

Fellow Skiers and Nordic Enthusiasts,


I have two fun opportunities I would like to invite and encourage the Cyclova XC ski family to participate in.  One is a virtual competition and is real life.

Fantasy Cross Country

First lets start with the virtual competition.  I'm sure many people are familiar with fantasy football.  Noah Hoffman, one of the elite US skiers has created the cross country equivalent.  It might not be quite as full featured as ESPN's fantasy football, but the sport is definitely way better.


This is all free, but Noah and his sponsors have teamed up for some pretty sweet prizes.  There are both weekly prizes and some season long prizes.

He has also included the ability to make your own league.  I've created a Cyclova XC league.  I'd love to get some folks online and playing.  It will get you incentivized to get online and check out the latest World Cup news, reports, and results.  I even hear that you can watch the races this year online if you have certain NBC stations through your TV provider.

So, go check out the website, make a team, and then sign up for the Cyclova XC league.  The password is stcroix.  The first World Cup weekend is this coming up and the teams will lock on Friday so don't delay.  If you miss this weekend, don't worry, you can get in for the next World Cup weekend.

Fulton Brewery Team Race and Happy Hour

Can't relate to the elite level skiers in virtual competition?  How about getting on your own skis and racing and then drinking beer with your teammates?  I think everyone can get on board with that.

For the second year Fulton Brewing is sponsoring a Team Race on December 16th at Elm Creek.  There is a 5k skate race and a 5k classic race.  Do one ($8) or do them both ($14).  The winning team as determined by the scoring system wins a prize.  But in reality everyone wins, because everyone gets beer.


Last year Frank, Mitchel, Alisa, and myself represented Team Cyclova XC.  It would be a blast to have an even bigger team this year.  Worried you aren't fast enough to be on the team or race?  Non-sense.  This is a super welcoming race format and a low key event.  If you can ski 5k you can participate and we want you to be there!


Most of us haven't been on snow yet (I'm hitting Troll for the first time in the morning) but they are making snow at Hyland and Elm Creek now, so even if Mother Nature doesn't provide us with the natural stuff we should still be getting ready for some early season racing in just a few weeks.

I hope to see you out there.

Cyclova XC CLOSED on Thanksgiving & Black Friday

Cyclova XC will be closed on Black Friday - we'll be enjoying the outdoors with friends & family - you should be too!

NOTICE:  Cyclova XC will be CLOSED on Black Friday & Thanksgiving (November 26-27)

Cyclova XC was founded on the simple principles of having fun (though biking, xc skiing, and outdoor adventure) building community around those activities.  Because our amazing customers embrace these same ideals (they're enjoying the outdoors with friends & family over the holiday - not shopping), Cyclova is usually a lonely place on Black Friday.  We want our staff to be able to enjoy this same luxury - of enjoying the holiday with friends & family, all while on a fun outdoor adventure!  For this reason, Cyclova XC will be closed on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Our one requirement of staff enjoying the day off on Black Friday is that they take a few pictures of their outdoor adventure of the day and share with us a few words about it.  We'll be posting stories on each of our staff's Black Friday adventures right here on CyclovaXC.com!

We always look forward to seeing all of our great clients - while out on a ride, ski, run, or here in the store - perhaps we'll see you in the great outdoors on Black Friday!

CXC Nordic & Biathlon Dryland Clinics at SNAP Fitness in St. Croix Falls - 12/8/2015 & 1/12/2015


We are thrilled to announce two great Nordic events here in St. Croix Falls - in partnership with CXC, Snap Fitness, and Cyclova XC.  

Bruce Manske, one of the gentlemen of Nordic skiing (and of CXC) will be heading up a XC Ski and Biathlon clinic with 2 opportunities to attend - first on Tuesday, December 8 and second on Tuesday, January 12 - both starting at 6PM at Snap Fitness here in St. Croix Falls.  

Instruction will be available on XC skiing, biathlon, and rollerskiing.  Additionally, there will be ample opportunity to try out the Concept 2 SkiErg Machine and electronic biathlon rifles by Eko Aims.  Also featured will be a virtual biathlon relay race by event participants!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Mullin's Icebox 480 Race Report


Prep

About two months ago while visiting a running specialty store between a wedding ceremony and reception, Starr and I saw a poster for this race.  I gave her the elbow nudge trying to get her interested.  At the time she didn't seem too thrilled with the idea.  Fast forward a month and Jim Thanig posted on Facebook that he was doing it.  With the idea of having other people there as added ammunition I got her talked into this crazy timed race thing.

Aren't all races timed you say?  Sure, but most races have a set distance and they time how long it takes you to get there.  Not the Icebox.  This is a timed ultra event where there is a set time and you see how far you can run.  In this case 480 minutes, or 8 hours.

The race is held on the single track at Whitetail Ridge in River Falls.  For the first 6.5 hours you run full 7 mile laps.  Starting with an hour to go they open a one mile loop which you can do instead.  The key is that you only get credit for completed laps.  If you start a 7 mile loop and run 6.5 miles but aren't back when the horn sounds, you don't get credit.

To say I was trained for this race would be a lie.  Sure I ran a 50k in April in a hair under six hours.  Sure I've had a few 4-5 hour bike rides in the last month or two, I even had a 9 hour day on the bike during the Gravel Conspiracy.  But I'm not even quite averaging 8 hours a week of total aerobic effort.  With the wrap up of bike season and the transition to ski season I'm probably only running 20 miles a week.  So to think I was prepared to go out and run for eight hours on technical trails would be silly.

Goals

I wasn't going to let being unprepared stop me though.  I did set a few goals ahead of time.

  1. Don't get injured - ski season will soon be upon us and the Birkie was only 105 days away.  There was no way I was risking ski season for a silly running race.
  2. Have fun - I certainly wasn't doing this to win so I better have fun.
  3. 32+ miles - Assuming I wasn't risking injury or having fun, I wanted to set an all time distance record for running.
A late entry to the goal list came when Adam Lushanko threw his hat in the ring on the Wednesday or Thursday before the race and said he wanted our traveling trophy back.  So adding goal number four was beat Adam, or at a minimum, make him earn it.

Gear

Having only one other ultra under my belt, the Chippewa 50k this past spring, I'm still not quite sure how to prep for these types of things.  The lap style race made it easy to pack lots of things in your "drop bag" and have it waiting for you once every 7 miles.

The start temp of 32 degrees had me really wondering what to wear.  Ultimately I decided on my ski tights, a long sleeve base layer under my CyclovaXC tech t.  I wore my FITS socks I picked up at the Birkie Trail Marathon.  I opted for the stylish buff instead of a hat.  In my drop bag I put shorts, another shirt, a couple of hats, a few changes of socks, my cycling jacket, and two pairs of shoes.  In the end I changed my shoes once, and wore everything else all day.

Nutritionally I got a little crazy.


OK, half of that was for Starr.  I did pack a ton of that, and I even carried two of the GUs for the entire race.  But I ended up consuming two packets of Tailwind and the rest from on course Hammer Gels and then a few chips, a pickle, and some grilled cheese on the last lap or so.

Race



The race starts in the parking lot and within 100 yards dives into the single track.  The race relies on some courtesy and self seeding to not cause too much traffic in the opening miles.  Besides, you've got 8 hours to run, you probably aren't going to win just because you got the hole shot.

I started somewhere in the middle I think.  It was easy to get anxious right away with someone right in front of you.  But despite a few offers to let me by I just took it easy for a while until there was daylight between them and the next group up the trail.

The first lap passed with a moderate amount of passing and being passed.  I was feeling fine, but the thought of running another three, four, or five more laps was a little daunting.  At the end of the first lap I grabbed a gu, dropped my gloves off, made a quick trip to the port-o-potty, then refilled my bottle and kept moving.

Right at about the first mile you pass by the start lap area again before heading up the big hill.  It is one of several areas on the course where you can see people some distance behind you or ahead of you.  I was a little surprised to see Jim and Katie starting into their second lap but not see Adam yet.  As I was getting to the lap I saw him walking back up from the port-o-potties.  His lack of urgency to get back on the course had me a little worried that he had checked out mentally.

Waving to the camera less than a mile into the race.
By the end of lap two I was starting to feel the run.  I was now at 14 miles in about 2.5 hours which was my longest run by distance or time since the Chippewa 50k back in April.  Starting into the third lap the hills were starting to get bigger.  I was keeping my HR really low and I found it harder to keep it down and was doing more hiking.  People were getting more spread out on course too and I was spending longer periods of time alone on the trail.  One of the sections where you can see back a ways on the course I saw Adam chugging along.  I gave a nice shout out to get his attention.  He seemed in good spirits.  It was hard to tell exactly how far behind he was at that point.

As I finished the third lap things were starting to be pretty uncomfortable.  I was having some aches and pains that I was mentally trying to judge if I was just hurting or if I was getting injured.  I decided to change shoes at that point.  For a little while the new shoes felt like I was running on clouds.  It only lasted a mile or two, but it was nice for a while.

As I was nearing the end of lap four, having now run a marathon so far, I was starting to think about when to call it a day.  I was serious about not wanting to get injured and wanted to be safe rather than sorry.  I thought I might be catching up to Starr so I thought maybe I would run until I caught her and then finish out the lap with her.  That didn't work out so well.

Putting on a good smile for the camera.  This is either lap four or five so the smile is taking some effort.
I ran, I shuffled, I jogged, but I never caught up to her.  Around mile 6 I was really starting to shuffle and decided I was absolutely done at the end of the lap.  Not that the pain was too much to fight through but I really wanted to not cause injury.  Remember, I was now approaching a run 3 times longer than anything I had run since May.

So with a mile to go I told the folks I was power hiking behind that I was done at the end of the lap and was going to run it out and started really running, not shuffling.  Wouldn't you know it but my legs felt WAY better.  My heart rate went almost immediately to threshold level effort, but my legs felt great.

At 6 hours and 33 minutes I ran into the lap area having completed 5 laps and 35 miles.  My longest run ever by 4 miles and only 33 minutes longer than my 50k.

I rolled into the lap area just after Katie and Jim which surprised me because I thought Starr was behind them.  Turns out she had just run up the big hill about a mile into her fifth lap.  Obviously I hadn't caught her.

Jim and Katie were among the growing crowd hanging around between 2 and 2:30 for the 1 mile laps to start at 2:30.  As much as my inner competitor wanted to use that last hour and a half, or even just wait and use that last hour for short laps, I stuck to my guns and hobbled to the car to change into street clothes.  Could I have run farther?  It doesn't really matter because I didn't.  I ran 35 miles and I'm pretty proud of that.
Jim and Katie logging a few extra miles.
Katie and Jim started cranking out 1 mile laps at 2:30 and rocked out 4 of them to bring their daily total to 32 miles.  Adam finished his fifth lap some time shortly after 2:30 I think.  I told him I had the trophy in the car and he should go crank out a few more laps.  He did just that putting in another 3 miles to get his daily total to 38.  I got a little nervous waiting at the finish for Starr.  There was under 15 minutes to go and I wasn't sure where she was at.  Thankfully with about 9 minutes to spare she finished her fifth lap to make 35 miles.

Adam going for the win.
Neil Soltis also did five laps to join the 35 mile club.  One person I didn't even realize was at the race until I saw them doing the 1 mile laps (they must have passed me while I was at the aid station or something) was Steve Clark.  He was an absolute animal and took tenth overall with 46 miles.

Relief evident as she finishes 35 miles.
Analysis

So I easily met my original 3 goals.  Almost a week out from the race now as I write this I feel fine.  I have only run once but I have no lasting injuries.  The day was pretty fun.  And 35 miles is definitely an all time PR.

Adam accepting the traveling trophy.
A little while after the race finish we had a little awards ceremony next door at the Rush River Brewing Tap Room.  Since I called my day at 35 miles I was only able to make Adam work for the trophy, not hold onto it for myself.  I have to really hand it to Adam on this one.  He will freely admit that one of his struggles is usually going out too hard and fading.  Adam really paced this one well and had plenty of energy left at the end to crank out those extra miles to take the win.  I'm going to have to watch out for a smarter racer when we toe the line again... assuming I can convince him to race again now that he is holding the trophy.

Mullin's What's Next

What's next?  That should be obvious.


OK, there are a few things before then.  I might run a Thanksgiving 5k.  The Dash and Dine 5k by Front Runner starts less than a mile from my house.  I'm curious if I've got any extra gears from the higher training load this summer.

But then, seriously, it is ski season.  Workouts are cranking up, ski specific fitness is the focus, let it snow!

A pair of happy 35 milers.