Online Solstice Chase registration is closed. Race day registration WILL BE available!

Solstice Chase Race Day Information, CLICK HERE!

Thanks for the 5 Year Celebration!

Our wonderful friends outdid themselves last night and organized a gathering over at the Luminaries Retreat headquarters to celebrate 5 years of CyclovaXC. Somebody said around 70 people showed up, and it was great to see everyone and share a few laughs. A slide show was going throughout the evening, with pictures from the various events we've done together over the years. Whether we reminisced about century rides, marathons or ski races, one thing was constant: the local adventure community is a group of tremendous people!

It's always too infrequent that we pause and reflect on the things that are important to us, but seeing pictures from the Birkie four or five years ago, the first Sasquatch dash, or our opening day brought back great memories. 

In our first year, Emalea Landgraf worked with us. She needed a place to stay and Tommy K had a house to rent, so we worked out a deal where Cyclova contributed to the expense and the Cyclova clubhouse was born. From a purely business standpoint, it was not a sustainable move, but I think the clubhouse days really served to solidify the concept of the sport community we were hoping for.

Throughout the years, staff members of CyclovaXC have moved on to other endeavors and we miss them and their contributions, but are happy for their success. Likewise, various athletes have come and done events with us, left indelible impressions, and then moved on to other interests. In a world where so much of our time is spent staring at impermanent images on flickering handheld screens, it's extremely valuable to share a glance of mutual suffering with a friend in the midst of a century ride.

The looks that say, "I'm miserable...Isn't this great?" stay with me a long time.

Several people last night approached Frank and I and said that the majority of the people who they consider to be close friends were people they met through the Cyclova community. I feel the same way, and it's a wonderful thing. Emalea used to have a handwritten quote from Dave Landgraf hanging in the clubhouse that said, "Exercise is the best cure for what ails us." It's been my experience in life that people who do the type of adventure events that we like to promote are the kind of people who have their lives together. More importantly, I've seen evidence that doing these events is a pathway towards getting your life together. No matter how well things are going, it's amazing how fast your footing can slip out from under you. I take comfort in knowing no matter what happens, I can always get on my bike, or grab my skis, or lace up my shoes and make progress back towards stability and happiness. Now that I'm constantly worrying about my little girls, the security I get from knowing there's a way to build self-esteem and self-worth through being a part of the adventure community is all the more valuable.

We celebrated 5 years of being open as a retail shop yesterday, but Cyclova actually started here as a web page and as a small team of ski racers. If any of you want a little bit of a chuckle, check out the first blog post from 7-31-2009. The days of racing with Riverbrook turned into Beyond Birkie Fever, maybe you'll all find yourselves characters in a CyclovaXC novel someday :)

In the meantime, please keep sending me your stories and your photos to publish here (and I'll put explosions in the background if you ask...or if you don't). Through our community, I've come to learn about so many different events, adventures, and places to go; and the world has gotten larger, more colorful and way more interesting as a result. Thanks everyone, it's been great getting to know you, let's keep going!

Also, before I'm done, each and every one of you is going to visit Machu Picchu. Who is in for the Ushuaia Loppet this year :) Don't think about it too much, just say, "Yes!"

Lastly...let's not wait five years for the next awesome party! Thank you for doing the work to make it happen, another awesome and positive moment shared with great, great friends!

Oh...and Micah...sign up for the Birkie!

Cyclova XC 2016 Ski Season Kick Off "TEAM NIGHT" - !!THURSDAY NOVEMBER 10TH!!

ABR (Ironwood, Michigan), a favorite getaway among Cyclova skiers, with a stellar trail system groomed to perfection -  photo taken December 2015.
The air is buzzing around Cyclova XC - buzzing in anxious anticipation of Winter, snow, and all things good! 

We want to kick off this ski season in a big way, the Cyclova way! All customers sporting Cyclova XC team wear (and those who might be interested in purchasing some) are invited to join us for a fun, action packed evening on Thursday, November 10th!  Pizza & refreshments will be provided, there will be presentations, and there will be DEALS (on this one night only)!

RSVP (to help us get a head count for food and beverages) and be a part of the anticipatory conversation at the Facebook Event.

Steve Edling, David Leske, and Duane Lee enjoy a sunny winter day on skis
Team Night Event Schedule (Thursday, November 10):
6:00PM:  Team night starts - Pizza & refreshments will be provided
6:10 - 6:40PM:  Frank Lundeen, Cyclova XC co-owner presents new products & product highlights of the 2016-17 ski season. 
6:40PM - 8PM:  Cyclova XC Staff and reps from select ski vendors on hand to help Team Cyclova members with their race xc ski product needs.

SPECIAL DISCOUNTS:  EXTRA SPECIAL PRICING on select products is available this one night only (no exceptions) - and you must be a Cyclova XC ski team member with Cyclova ski gear (ski suit or jacket) to qualify.  Specific discounts and specials (up to 60% off of MSRP) will not be announced until this night at the event - and will include skis, poles, apparel and wax.  Many of the specials will be a one time, special order, pre-paid basis only. 
Note that the team discounts offered at this one time team night are too steep to publish, but know that discounts will be double the normal team discount or greater - in short you don't want to miss out on this - and this is the time to stock up for the season!  We will require cash or check payment to get these maximum discounts.  

Not on the team?  Know that WE WANT YOU!  We want you to be part of the most fun ski team out there!  We practically invented the concept of a "fun citizen ski team" - and we do it well.  Since day one, Cyclova XC has simply been about HAVING FUN and BUILDING COMMUNITY around our sports.  Skiers of any level, any age, any gender, and with ties from anywhere in our region are welcome - as long as your focus as a skier is to have fun!  To join the team simply contact us or stop by the store and order yourself a ski suit or warm-up jacket!
Cyclova Green Machines: (R-L) Duane Lee, David Leske, Mike Colaizy, Tony Lushanko, Tommy Krenz, and Steve Edling celebrating post-race at the 2015 Noquemanon Ski Marathon

Beat the Dark and Solon Springs Ride on Nov. 5 and 6!

Hey Folks!
Mike Colaizy is leading a free 100 mile ride on the Gandy from the Polk County Information center (on 8 and 35) to Danbury and back before dark. This ride traditionally happens on the first day after daylight saving time expires and early darkness sweeps across our land. Sunset on November 6th is 4:55 with last light around 5:15. This is challenging but doable for experienced cyclists. 8 hours of riding with 1 hour of food and rest stops would require an average speed of 12 mph to “beat the dark.” It’s an out and back so all participants can cut the ride short and return whenever they want.

Be sure to indicate you're coming on the Facebook Event!

This is going to be the last great century ride of the 2016 season!

On Saturday that same weekend is the great Solon Springs 100k/50k hosted by the legendary Patrick Ross. I see no reason for riders to not do BOTH of these rides!

After this, put 'em away and dig out the fat bikes and cross-country skis!

Event Report: Keizer Lake Trails Fundraiser

Here's a great note from Dan Campion about the Keizer Lake Trails ride this weekend. That sounds like a super cool area...hopefully we'll be seeing a fatbike race up there shortly!--BJ

This past Saturday we hosted the Tour Burnett trail bike and trail run adventure. This wasn’t a race, but more of a long afternoon on the backroads and trails in the Danbury and Webb Lake area. I’ve been biking and running these challenging trails (one of which runs directly behind my house) for years and finally got around to planning a non-motorized event on them. 

My inspiration for the course layout and length was the Barkley Marathons in the mountains of Tennessee – check out the documentaries on Netflix or Youtube. The idea of not having any entry fee or chip timing came from running the Sasquatch Dash trail runs. Anyone can plan a 5K as a fundraiser – but I wanted to make an event that would be a backwoods, self supported, no fee ride and run that would be brutal enough to scare off the weekend warriors. Just by finishing this course you’d achieve podium status. As a triathlon junkie, it just made sense to mix biking and running to make it a multi-sport endeavor. 

The purpose of the event was to raise some money for the Keizer Lake Trails project. The Lake Country Pedalers Bicycle Club has spent the last year working with the Burnett County Natural Resources Board to get permission to build a silent sports playground on a 1,352 acre property just east of Webster. The property has eight lakes, is completely forested and is hilly. There are approximately 13 miles of established two rut trails on the property now. Our goal is to build some singletrack trails and some remote bikepacking campsites. Construction has started on two of the campsites – special thanks to the crew and kids from Northwest Passage for the labor. One campsite is on the shore of a trout lake, and the other is on a peninsula surrounded by water and almost has a Boundary Waters feel to it. Imagine bikepacking up the Gandy Dancer Trail and having to ride less than five miles off the trail to enjoy some excellent backcountry camping. The next step is to design the singletrack trails. Anyone who has trail design experience and is willing to help us with this can contact me at danocampion@hotmail.com. Check us out by searching for Keizer Lake Trails on Facebook.

The course consisted of a 20 mile ride that included grass covered snowmobile trails, paved roads, gravel roads, sand roads, and sandy ATV trails, mostly surrounded by the Burnett County Forest. The 10 mile run was an out and back course on the snowmobile trail, complete with a “pit stop” at the Voyager Village Clubhouse. In order to get full credit for finishing the course, participants had to come back with a drink receipt from the bar. My hope was to get about 20 muddy and sweaty runners up at the clubhouse having a mid-run drink and show that the silent sports folks spend money in the community.

We started the day with a group photo, then went over the course details and handed out maps. We lined up on the trail and the official start of the event was when Kevin Link rang the bell on his bike. Within the first mile we had our first rider drop out with mechanical issues. After a few miles myself, Kevin Link, Grant Arneson and Greg Atkinson were in the lead pack. By the time we hit the sandy Pearly Swamp Road, Kevin and Greg had dropped us and it was Grant and I in the chase pack. We noticed bike tracks on the road and knew that some riders had taken a wrong turn so we chased them down and came up on Renae Wright and Don “The Donfather” Meck (who just turned 77 this week) as we entered the last ATV trail. The roads that go through the county forest aren’t maintained very often, but ironically they were graded this past week and some of my course markers were removed, so some of the riders missed a 3 mile section of gravel and ATV trail. We just hammered the last two miles of snowmobile trail and got back to the house to grab our running shoes and drink money. 

This is where the pack thinned out. We started the day with 14 riders, and most of riders either didn’t plan to run, had other commitments later on, or had enough good sense to “know when to say when”. Four of us laced up our shoes and headed off into the woods again. The idea of an ice cold drink kept us going for five miles to the Voyager Village Clubhouse. As we ran past the golf course and then staggered up to the bar with our muddy clothes and scraped up legs we got a lot of looks. A group of golfers at a table asked us what we were up to. We explained that we’d been riding and running for almost 4 hours and then I noticed that the one golfer was leaned back in his chair, eating from a pile of peanuts that he had mounded up on his beer belly. We ordered drinks and figured that we’d spare the bar patrons from having to smell us and we enjoyed our beverages on the patio. The five mile run back home was nothing short of a death march. Cate and Jeff ran off ahead while Mitch and I kept each other motivated by joking about how the sun was going down on us. We got back to the house and enjoyed a potluck dinner and a beer and swapped stories while the kids ran wild outside. In the end, it was myself, Mitch Coe, Cate Hayman and Jeff Howe that finished the first running of the Tour Burnett. And yes, we have the receipt to prove it.

If we decide to do it again next year, we’d love to move it to the Keizer Property itself (we are still working out insurance issues with the County Forest folks) – watch for details. Special thanks to my family for hosting a bunch of crazy riders and runners and to the brave souls who came out to tackle this challenging course. At the end of the night we counted $316 in the donation jar!

Solstice Chase Comeback Call-Out: Samantha Olson

Hey All!

Last year we had a lot of fun calling out racers who are coming to compete at the Solstice Chase, and we'll be doing the same this year. We're happy to give a shout out to our racers and their sponsors. First up is Samantha Olson. This is going to be her comeback race because she has been dealing with some health issues for the last year. It will be great to have Samantha out there on the trails again, we've missed seeing her smile and laugh as she goes rolling by!

Solstice is already 2/3rds full! So if you haven't registered, do so now! See you on the trails! If anyone wants their race story featured on CyclovaXC.com, send the info to me at: bj@cyclovaxc.com!






Balsam Branch Nordic Ski Trail Work Day - This Saturday, October 22 @ 9AM

We guarantee that trail work is a great time, and we actually do get a bunch of work done - although you might not know if from this picture!
It's important that everyone who enjoys trails give back to the trails.  

This Sunday, October 22 at 9AM is just that opportunity!  The very hard working volunteers at the Amery Nordic Ski Club are having a trail work day to get the trails in primo shape for Winter!  Meet up with the group at the main Garfield (DD Kennedy Park / Balsam Branch) Trail head at 9AM.  This is one of the region's very best ski trails with about 4k of lights and is located roughly between St. Croix Falls and Amery, WI - about 1 hour from Minneapolis. 
 

When:  Saturday, Oct. 22nd, at 9:00 am.

What To Bring:  Most importantly bring yourself - but if you have a landscaping rake, shovel, chainsaw, and some work gloves, -they will be helpful.  Don't forget your appetite to talk with fellow skiers about the coming ski season!
Tasks for the day:   
  • Chainsaw work for fallen trees on lighted and snowshoe trails
  • Drill weep holes in electric boxes of Light Poles
  • Open horse coral gates
  • Both Ski and Snowshoe trails could use some clearing of fallen small branches
  • Three lights need to be worked on
  • Mow start area and outer loop
  • Clear branches from Lights
  • Fill in rut at bottom of hill near starting line
  • Wood chips in some areas if possible
Spread the word to ensure a great show of support for one of the greatest ski trail systems in the region! 

See you this Saturday (October 22, 2016) @ 9AM!


Contact Greg with the Amery Nordic Ski Club with any questions at:  gredenho (at) yahoo.com

A light pole goes up at a trail work day at the Balsam Branch Trails - fall 2010.

Ski Season Is Coming


Not that anyone is counting, but there are 138 days until the Birkie... OK, maybe someone is counting.

Frank tells me that there has been an unusually high number of roller ski related sales in the shop the last few weeks.

Team CyclovaXC has been hitting the pavement for some roller skiing of our own.  Come race season we are going to be fit and fast.


Centuria’s Baker Orchard Welcomes Cyclocross Bike Racing Sat., Oct. 8


How about those apples? Centuria’s Baker Orchard Welcomes Cyclocross Bike Racing Sat., Oct. 8

CENTURIA—Baker Orchard will be hosting their 8th annual Minnesota Cycling Federation Donkey Cross Bike Race Sat. Oct. 8, with the first event rolling off at 10:00 a.m.

Hundreds of riders from all over the Midwest will be challenged by a typical cyclocross course, with barricades, run ups, mud, water, and sand every lap, making this race great for spectating and photo opportunities.

Relatively new as a bike racing format in the United States, cyclocross racing has been a signature fall finish to the bike racing season in Europe for years. Long before mountain bikes started to appear in the United States in the early 80’s as a way to enjoy biking off-road, the crafty Europeans took their road bikes, fitted them with wider tires having an aggressive tread, and went out in the countryside racing on varied terrain courses.

The bikes have now been further improved with brake designs that work better when wet, and more clearance between the tires and the frames when the mud builds up. All the major brands offer cyclocross specific models.

The courses are set up with barricades that require riders to dismount and carry their bike over them, steep uphill sections that must be climbed on foot carrying the bike, and sometimes include a section through a tent filled with spectators. Riders make several laps of the course, going through the feature sections every few minutes, so watching the races is easy and action packed.

A perfect day for a cyclocross race in Belgium would have about 4 inches of wet snow on the un-frozen ground, and by the third lap it would be a mud bog, but, the weather in Centuria will be dry and warm next weekend.

Baker Orchard will be open as usual with all their fall specialties, and yes, there will be apples.

To check out an event poster with detailed start times and registration information visit: www.mcf.net look for the calendar and click Donkey Cross.

###


--Polk County Tourism Council

Celebrating 5 Years Of CyclovaXC!

Hey All!

Hard to believe it's been 5 years already! My little daughter Sofia is just a baby in the above photo :) The official opening date was October 1st, 2011. I was looking through the old posts starting here and it's kind of fun to bring back some cool memories.

The whole point of opening this shop was to get the opportunity to meet a new crew of awesome people. It seems like every year a new group swings through and shares their adventures; each with great stories of marathons, hikes, ski events, and the like all over the world. Hearing about these events is always inspiring, and provides ideas for new places to see and new challenges to conquer.

Every year I intend to write a note like this on October 1st and I miss it (I'm only a day late this year). 

As we mentioned before, our awesome customers are throwing a party for us on Saturday, October 29th. Check out the post here and we hope to see you all there. Remember to keep sending me stories of your adventures with photos sporting some Cyclova gear and I'll post it here (bj@cyclovaxc.com)! See you on the trails! Thanks for taking such good care of us!