Sasquatch Dash Trail Run Series 2017

Hey Everyone!
Another year, another season of Sasquatch Dashes! There are some big changes this year as Ben Mullin is focusing on the bike in 2017 (although I still hope/expect him to show up at a couple events). Ben has always done a tremendous job organizing these runs and he leaves some big shoes to fill. Stepping in will be the team of Steve Clark and Tammi Braund (and perhaps some others for single events). As always we're planning a great summer of events that are closer to races than group training runs and all for the low, low cost of ZERO! Fine Print: note that although there is no cost to be a part of the Sasquatch Dash series, there are some local events that are included in the series schedule for bonus points which are paid events. However, it is mathematically possible to win the series without doing the bonus events.

As always, you can get ahead on scoring by ordering a T-Shirt (you receive 10 event points for pre-order, 5 for ordering after). $15 for Pre order and $20 once they're hanging on the rack (please do the pre-order, it's much easier for me). Funds from the T-shirts help us cover the minimal event costs. You can either pay using Paypal with this button or drop off a payment at the shop. Or send a check payable to CyclovaXC to: Ben Jonjak / 510 N. High St. / Chippewa Falls WI 54729:


Size


What is the Sasquatch Dash?

The Sasquatch Dash is a FREE, no-frills trail running series to show off some of the awesome terrain of the St. Croix Valley as well as provide an economical way to get some high intensity workouts. Everyone is welcome, but these are casual events on non-closed courses—so it's up to you to be on your best behavior.

This year we'll be organizing 4 runs ranging from approximately 10 KM to 25 KM, and there will be 2 local events you can do to earn points. All participants will be required to sign a waiver. Our race series is named after Sasquatch, don't expect to be coddled out there—if you want something to drink you better carry a water bottle; if you want to know your time you better be wearing a watch; if you want to know where you're going—you better keep up with the guy/gal in the lead (presuming s/he knows).

Series Rules:

Points are earned based on overall placing at each run for men and women. 1st-20, 2nd-15, 3rd-12, 4th-10, 5th-9,...13th and beyond-1. Points will be doubled for the 25k series finale.

The finish line will be a clipboard with a pen tied to it. Participants will be required to fill in their name on the sheet in their finishing order.

Your series score is the sum of all your scores from the run series plus bonus points. This is different from last year. Now every point you get out there counts!

You can also earn 10 bonus points by pre-ordering our series T-shirt or 5 points by buying one after the pre-order period.

Event Details:

Start time is 9:00 AM (unless it's an event not organized by CyclovaXC).

Course marking will be cue sheets and GPX files you can upload to your GPS device. Keep your eyes peeled for future blog posts about the specific races, or follow us on Facebook.

Individual Event Details (future race locations will be announced with the results of the previous race):

Run 1:
Date: 5/6 and 5/7
BONUS POINT RUN
The calendar fell a little strange this year and events that are usually on subsequent weekends have been bunching up. Usually we like to have a first race in April, but a lot of our runners do the Chippewa 50k and then Seven Lakes and Eau Claire. We'd really like to have our local athletes participate in the Seven lakes Half Marathon because that event helps fund one of the great silent trails of our area. This is a FINISH ONLY bonus point run, so if you don't feel you're ready to do a half, just sign up, run 10KM and then walk in (you'll surprise yourself). We hope to include Seven Lakes Half Marathon in the future.
Event Name: Seven Lakes Half Marathon OR Eau Claire Marathon (one or the other...not both)
Location: Amery or Eau Claire
Please confirm your participation and send an email to: bj@cyclovaxc.com to get your race points.

Run 2:
Date: 5/27
Time: Race start 9AM
Location: A typical Sasquatch Run leaving CyclovaXC. Further details to be announced as race approaches.

Run 3:
Date: 6/10
BONUS POINT RUN
This is a paid event (but it's usually very inexpensive) and it's really well run. Early bird pricing ends at the end of April so register now! Like last year we are going to offer bonus points for this one. 15 points for finishing the half, 10 points for finishing the 10k, and 5 points for finishing the 5k.  Just let Ben (bj@cyclovaxc.com) know so we can check your results and tally your points.

Run 4:
Date: 7/8

Time: Race Start 9AM

Location: A typical Sasquatch Run leaving CyclovaXC. Further details to be announced as race approaches

Run 5:
Date: 8/12
Time: Race Start 9AM
Location: A typical Sasquatch Run leaving CyclovaXC. Further details to be announced as race approaches

Run 6:
Date: 9/2
Time: Race Start 9AM
Distance: The legendary 25k at the end of the year. Points double for this event. I might try to get us out at BRC again. As always, we'll do a pot luck at Lion's Park and celebrate the end of summer (it always comes up so fast!).

AWESOME! See y'all on the trails!

Miscellaneous:
Making Sasquatch noises or dressing up like Sasquatch is encouraged. Keep your eyes peeled for more information (and for Sasquatch...he's out there)!

2013 Sasquatch Series Summary:

2014 Sasquatch Series Summary:

Wednesday Night Sprints! Casual kick off April 26th!


"When are the Wednesday night bike rides going to start again?"  was a question we here at Cyclova XC have been hearing since the warm spell in February!  Well. though it might not be any warmer now than it was the week before the Birkie, we're happy to say, NOW!  Well, to be more precise, April 26th at 6 PM. (Which for some of you reading this, might actually be now!

All of the details about the course and how the ride works can be found HERE (yes a few of the links reference 2016, but the course is the same for 2017).  PLEASE READ!

But in a nutshell:
  • Be kitted up, ready to leave promptly at 6:00 pm
  • We group ride 33.6 miles TOGETHER with the exception of 6 distinct sprint sections of up to roughly 1 mile in length
  • During a sprint segment, you are free to get to the end of the sprint as fast or as slow as you wish
  • After a sprint segment, everyone slows down or stops and we regroup before continuing on
  • We start as a group and we end as a group.  Anticipate an overall average speed, depending on the group, of anywhere from 14 mph to 17+ mph.
  • If you drive to Cyclova XC for this 6 PM event, please refrain from parking right in front of the store (to allow customers of the shop and the pizza place to still get in and out while we are riding).
Anyone who can safely operate a bicycle 34 miles is welcome.  Road bikes are highly recommended! (The route is all on decent pavement and people will be going fast on the sprints!).

This first one on April 26th might be a bit more casual than others.  The forecast says we'll have a steady north wind and a temp of 40..  So wear enough to stay warm and plan on having at least a taillight in case we don't get back till dusk or later. If the group agrees we might make this first one more like 25 miles than 34.  In any case, plan on having FUN! 

Steve

Seven Lakes Half Marathon on May 6, 2017--Will Count for Sasquatch Dash

Hey Everyone!
We're getting set to launch the 2017 Schedule for the Sasquatch Dash, but first of all we'd like all of our runner friends to register for the Seven Lakes Half Marathon on Saturday, May 6th. May 6th and 7th turned out to be kind of a crowded weekend this year as it's also the date for the Woolly Race and the Eau Claire Marathon. Sometimes the calendar just falls strange. We already had to adjust the date for the Mammoth Gravel Classic because of a conflict.

The Seven Lakes Half Marathon is a fun event that helps fund the Stower Seven trail. Register by clicking here. The price is $40 through May 1st (which is very reasonable for a half-marathon).

Regarding Sasquatch Dash, you will receive 5 points for participating in either the Seven Lakes Half Marathon or the Eau Claire Marathon, but it's one or the other, not both. In upcoming years, I'm sure these events will be on different weekends, and we plan to keep awarding points for both of them.

So register now if you haven't already. Remember, your participation points come just from finishing, so you're welcome to sign up and walk it if you think a half is too far. Or sign up and time yourself for 10K then walk in. This is a beautiful trail with plenty of water stops and it's a great place to spend the day. They make the payment schedule very reasonable and convenient so....


Please send me an email confirming completion so I can get you your Sasquatch points (bj@cyclovaxc.com)!


Mammoth Gravel Classic Localized Weather


There must have been some extreme localized weather patterns at the Mammoth Gravel Classic this past weekend.  Or some weird warping of the space time continuum.  Because the ride "The Other Ben" described with the favorable winds and water blowing off of trees is definitely NOT what I experienced.


My ride had wet sand, mud, clouds of insects, pouring rain, watt sapping sloppy Gandy gravel...  In other words it was awesome.

One of our friends who missed the ride is going to do a make-up of sorts this weekend.  I offered that we could get a few people to spray him with a hose and throw buckets of sand in his face to help recreate the full effect.  He seems to think this weekends weather will be "better" as is.  I don't get it.

As I'm wont to do, I wrote a few words about my ride.  For a change though, it's over here instead.

I'll see everyone at the Woolly Wander or the Woolly Race in a couple of weeks.  Don't forget, it isn't too late to sign-up to race or even better, volunteer (woollyvolunteers@gmail.com).

4.22.17 Bike Trail Fundraiser! Keizer Lake Project!

Dan Campion sent me this little note about the fundraiser their holding to continue with the Keizer Lake Trails project. They're doing fantastic work putting together a new trail system, and little fundraisers like this go a long way (plus they're fun). So if you're free on Saturday, April 22nd, consider heading up to Webster. Spread the word!

Favorable Winds Make 2017 Mammoth Gravel Classic a Breeze!

It's rare that you get a tail wind for 100 miles, but that was the case for several hundred riders in the St. Croix Valley on Saturday, April 15th. This was the 6th running of the Mammoth Gravel Classic hosted by CyclovaXC and the Woolly Bike club. It couldn't have been a more perfect day as temperatures hovered in the mid-sixties and the wind switched mid-afternoon to give riders a tail wind for the whole 100 mile loop. There were some reports of water "blowing off the trees" and maybe a little mist here and there, but overall it was perfect. The blowing water helped keep riders hydrated.

This perfect day came in spite of weather reports that claimed there would be an 80% chance of rain. These reports probably scared a few cyclists into staying home. They missed out on what was to be a truly epic day. I'd love to get a job as a weatherman because they never are expected to get anything right.
Some riders insisted on bringing rain jackets along, but that was a mistake because they never needed them. Their jackets remained in their pouches or jersey pockets as they rode through warm spring sun that shone as brightly as their contented smiles.

The roads were as dry as a bone which made for fast conditions, except for the barrens where enough precipitation had fallen during the previous week to make the trail hard and easily passable. This picture illustrates how effortless it was to sail across the barrens:
At mile 60, when we finally hit the Gandy Dancer trail, we didn't even have to pedal anymore because the trail was so hard and fast, and a favorable wind was blowing, and it was all downhill so we just coasted the last 40 miles laughing and singing and feeling like we were all 16 on the first day of summer vacation. What a shame for anyone who missed out on that, it's not everyday you get to feel so free and alive and vibrant! Just that feeling alone justifies waltzing into CyclovaXC and dropping $50,000 on a new carbon fiber custom bicycle.

Once again, this wonderful, perfect, stupendous day on two wheels was brought to you by the friendly folks in the St. Croix Valley. Be sure to return to the area every weekend and weekday throughout the summer to recapture the magic.*

*There were some reports of torrential rainfall throughout the day. Our group blamed Todd. Thanks Todd! Also, thanks to everyone who participated. If you pre-ordered a shirt but couldn't make it to event day, I'll mail your shirt to you. See you at the next one! 

How I'm Preparing for the Mammoth Gravel Classic

First, let me say that even though I've owned a Trek Cross Rip for more than two years, gravel was not my friend.Clement's  X-Plor MSO 700 X 40cc and headed out in search of some gravel.

 Nearly all of my riding was either for transportation or long distance touring and so I rode with narrow tires choosing the most direct route on pavement.  Then two weeks ago knowing that I'd want to join others in the Mammoth Gravel Classic, I put on some

Even before I got to the gravel, I was pleasantly surprised by the performance of the Clements on just regular pavement.  I expected them to be terribly sluggish, but with the design of closely spaced chevrons in the center ridge, the rolling resistance was not that much greater than a quality road tire. But wow, when I finally hit the gravel, it was as if I had discovered an entirely new sport! What fun! What control! And how nice to be on a road where I didn't have to concern myself with cars flying by at 70 mph! Since then I can't seem to stay away from gravel and even joined a group for a 94 mile overnight gravel ride.

So of course I'm excited about the Mammoth Gravel Classic on Saturday (tomorrow!).  And like everyone else who visits this website, I want to make sure I have the best experience possible, which means preparing for the conditions and having the right gear.  Here is what I am going to make sure I have:

BIKE/TIRES

I'll be using my Cross Rip for the 70 mile route, but any bike that is equipped with 40 cc tires or wider should be able to perform adequately through the sand and gravel in the barrons.  For those planning on doing the 35 mile tour, no special bike or tires are necessary. However, this time of the year the crushed limestone surface is still a bit soft and even under the best conditions something in the 32 cm or wider range will perform better than narrower tires. BEST for 70 or 100 mile route: Gravel bike (Boone, Cross Rip, Lorax); SUITABLE: Any light weight mountain bike (hardtail better than suspension) or fitness bike (e.g.,FX 3); LESS DESIRABLE: Fatbike.  NOT RECOMMENDED: Any bike with tires less than 40 cc (unless you are doing the 35 mile option)

RAIN GEAR
Yes we have the O2 raingear -- an assortment of sizes! 
The forecast keeps changing but right now it looks like there will be some rain later in the day. You'll want to have the right clothing to stay dry and comfortable. As we like to say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad equipment.  Wednesday night when I headed home from work it was raining pretty hard and I must admit that at first I was a little grumpy and a little cold but after only a few miles I was warm and happy and stayed that way all the way home for the next 15 miles. The fact that I had both a rain coat and rain pants made a big difference.  The nice thing about  rain gear today is it is extremely lightweight and breathable but still keeps you dry!

I like the Bontrager rain jackets as they will get you through even the heaviest rains.  For rain pants I have been very impressed with the Minneapolis based company O2 product.  They also make a jacket we sell but I haven't tried that yet.  But the pants are quite affordable and unlike most rain pants I've tried, they did not leave me drenched in sweat! The microfiber truly is breathable and yet, no water gets through! A pair of bike shorts under the rain pants is the perfect combination for our spring rains.

For the same reason, I like using just a simple merino wool base layer with a rain jacket. Even if the wool gets a little wet from sweat from an uphill climb, it won't result in a nasty chill later in the day when you are working less hard or speeding down a hill. A regular cycling jersey under the rain jacket should also work okay for the warmer temps that are predicted for Saturday.

Keeping shoes and socks dry can be a bigger problem for longer rides.  The cheapest solution is to not worry so much about the shoes, and just keep socks dry by using bread bags as liners between the socks and shoes. But you can also buy waterproof socks (although we don't sell them) or special coverings for your shoes.

In any case, having an extra pair of dry socks (again, wool is best for summer and winter) makes sense as well as a dry shirt packed away.  Which brings us to the next discussion item...

BAGS FOR CARRYING SUPPLIES

For overnight trips I have always relied on a rack and panniers or even a trailer.  But for a day ride, less is more, and clearly the best method to carry what you need is a handy frame bag. Frame bags come in many sizes to fit all sizes of bikes and allow easy access to snacks, phone, wallet, and yes, even those dry socks we talked about. Seat bags are another nice option.  What we don't recommend are back packs. Let your bike support the extra weight, not your body!

PHONE HOLDERS/ CUE SHEETS

If you rely on your phone for GPS or any mapping software, you will definitely want a way to safely secure it to your bike, as well as a water proof cover for it.  Speaking of water proof covers.... what about those cue sheets you may need to rely on?  Rain and even sweat can ruin your copy in quick order.  To prevent it from becoming a soggy mess, consider finding a place to laminate the cue sheet in advance of Saturday or if that's not an easy option, bring along a zip lock bag.  (We do have 200 cue sheets printed for the ride -- but just on regular paper).

WATER / FOOD

As we have been clear from day one, the Mammoth Gravel Classic is not a race, it's not even an event! Hence, there are no aid stations that you can rely on.  Bring your own water and snacks!

That being said, we do have our favorite places to stop and refuel and socialize.  Below are some of my personal favorites:

Grantsburg Mo Joe (for the 100 mile only)

Great coffee and homemade bakery goods; need I say more? Formerly known as the Wake-up Call Cafe at 675 State Road 70 next to the gas station.  36.1 miles from beginning.

Cafe Wren (for all routes)

Always the most popular stopping point, Cafe Wren caters to bicyclists and other outdoor silent sport enthusiast with organic coffee, amazing homemade soups and sandwiches, and delicious baked goods. The place was completely packed last year.  Mile 85.8 for the 100 milers; Mile  47 for the 70ers and Mile 17 for the 35 milers.

Natural Alternative Food Coop (all routes) 241 S. Main Street

Also in Luck, the food coop is a good excuse to see downtown Luck! If you are looking for things like bananas, gourmet chocolate bars, bulk nuts and all kinds of beverages (kombucha, coconut water and even a six pack or bottle of wine) the coop has it! And no, you don't need to be a member to shop. A very friendly and progressive place to get what you need without delays!

And once  you are back in St. Croix Falls, well there are many good choices to relax and have a beer or some good food to eat. Check out the Mammoth Gravel Classic website for more details!

One last word:  Please remember that parking on main street is best left to short term patrons. SO PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON MAIN STREET!  Lots of places around town, and of course with a bike, you can be flexible!  See you bright and early!!!





Mammoth Gravel Classic Course Updates From Frank L.

The stage is set, I and my crew here at Cyclova XC have been hard at work for weeks - to ensure a great experience for the hundreds of gravel loving adventure bicyclists who will be joining us for the Mammoth Gravel Classic

For days, I had been planning on heading out onto the ride routes on Tuesday - to do the final inspection, ensure no trees were down, and take some photos to share.  When I woke on Tuesday morning to inches of fresh snow on the ground, it was deja-vu - I was brought right back to the Mammoth Gravel Classics of 2013 and 2014 - where we had 12 plus inches of snow fall 48 hours prior to the roll out.  Thankfully, Tuesday's snow was very short lived and warm temps are in the forecast for this Saturday! 

This was the scene out on the 70 and 100 mile courses on Tuesday morning.  Thankfully the snow was short lived!
The snow on Tuesday and rain later in the week will firm up the soft sand in the infamous Sand Barrens - from mile 16.8 to 24.3.  This is a good thing, but it still won't be easy!
The Tuesday snow and precipitation later in the week will prove to be very helpful for riders on the 100 and 70 mile courses, as the moisture firms up the soft sand from mile 16.8 to mile 24.3.  Please do heed my specific tire recommendations on the COURSES PAGE OF MAMMOTHGRAVELCLASSIC.COM and note the literal mile by mile chronicle of each route, dozens of photos, and every type of GPS file/que sheets/etc.  Every single rider should spend time reading up on the route that they will be riding here!

As is common this time of year - especially on the 100 mile course in the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area, you'll find northwest Wisconsin a-buzz with life after a long Winter.  Expect to see hundreds of Canadian Geese, Trumpeter Swans, Sandhill Cranes, and many species of ducks.  Also in Crex Meadows, you'll likely see a lot of fresh greenery - especially in the areas freshly burned by the DNR (as is seen in the below picture).  In short, you'll enjoy Spring blossoming all around you on each of the Mammoth Gravel Classic routes!
The more "normal" gravel from mile 23.4 and on of the 100 mile course is generally smooth and freshly graded.  The freshly done burn by the DNR in Crex Meadows as seen above may result in greenery popping by this Saturday!
As is very clearly specified on each of the course info pages, do remember that the Mammoth Gravel Classic is an unsupported gravel ride.  You are responsible for you in every way - navigation, hydration, nutrition, and mechanical - this is the point of an gravel adventure ride!  Do note however, that there are several opportunities on each of the courses to replenish your food & fluid supplies. 
The beautiful "Rustic Road" gravel section of the 70 mile course (at about mile 45 of the 70 mile course) is in beautiful shape!

Aside from enjoying the beautiful course - be sure to stop by and say hello to our friends at Cafe Wren in Luck, WI and enjoy a tasty beverage, snack, or lunch (each of the routes goes right by).  Also be sure to hang out in St. Croix Falls and show our local lodging, food, &drink establishments that bicycles mean business in St. Croix Falls.  

A few other special requests to keep in mind as you prepare to come to St. Croix Falls:
  • Please park on a side street or one of hundreds of free parking spots 1 block to the east (up the hill) from Cyclova XC.  Don't park on Main Street and block parking for the full day for the many other small businesses in St. Croix Falls.
  • Please bring a $5 bill to buy your State trail day pass at rider check in - which will be at Cyclova XC.  The cash line will be super fast this year, and the charge will be $5 even.  Every rider will also be required to sign a waiver.  
We look forward to riding with you on Saturday!



Here Comes the Mammoth!

The Mammoth Is ON!

Hey Everyone!
Just a reminder that you all need to be at CyclovaXC on Saturday, April 15th at 8AM for the roll out of the 100 mile event (70 and 35 mile riders go out at 9AM).

Remember that the event is FREE but you do need a state trail pass for the Gandy Dancer section of the ride. These can be picked up at CyclovaXC on the day of the event. If you're a local rider, please stop by Cyclova to get your state trail pass prior to the day of the event. Trail passes are also available at trail heads and at the Polk County Visitor's center. We love to keep our local trails SILENT and your trail pass purchases demonstrate the positive economic impact of Cyclists! Thanks for coming, and be sure to spread the word about the great Gandy Dancer State Trail!

The forecast says a high of 66 with a chance of rain. Our event is ON, rain or shine. The security of our riders is our chief concern, but we'll only cancel or postpone if extremely adverse conditions arise. The forecast looks good with overnight rains that will actually make for a much better riding surface on the gravel sections.

Those of you who ordered T-Shirts will be able to pick them up on event morning.

Queue sheets will be distributed on event day. They are also included in the event mailer along with this event map. Further information on the courses in various file formats can be found here.

Bring some cash for your stop at the Cafe Wren.

Participants this year include:
Kelly O'Day, editor of Silent Sports Magazine
Dan Woll, author of North of Highway 8 and Further (he's also on the poster)
Walter Rhein, author of Beyond Birkie Fever and Reckless Traveler
Copies of these books will be available for sale at Cafe Wren, so bring a couple bucks!

Also, mark your calendars for these other St. Croix events:
May 6thSeven Lake Half Marathon--a fund raiser to keep the Stower 7 trail SILENT, a very worthy cause!

May 6th, Woolly Wander -- a free scavenger hunt on the Woolly Trails and in Saint Croix Falls with CASH prizes.
May 7th, Woolly Race---Click here for more info---They're still looking for volunteers, if interested write: woollyvolunteers@gmail.com
May 13thAdventure Triathlon--Fun, challenging event!

June 10thCity of Trails Half, 10k and 5k--The most beautiful trail run around!
July 8th, St. Croix Fat Cat, A triathlon put on by the Scandia-Marine Lion's Club
Sept 23rdSkull-N-Bones Gravel Challenge--This is over in Bruce and we love this event, it's the PIRATE gravel ride. Check out this fantastic article in Silent Sports.

Be sure to click "going" on the Facebook event, and fill out the confirmation form here.

If you have any questions just write bj@cyclovaxc.com.

As always, this is an unsupported gravel adventure. Be ready to take care of yourself and navigate! It's going to be a great day!

Epic Adventures around and on Lake Superior and beyond!

Thursday, April 6 at CyclovaXC 6 - 8 PM in St. Croix Falls. Everyone is welcomed!

No, this isn't Amy at Lake Superior, but it is
Amy on yet another one of her epic journeys!
Amy Middleton (local business owner and silent sports enthusiast) will share tales of her epic 1000 mile kayak journey on Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan, followed by Frank Lundeen discussing his 1200 mile bike packing trip around Lake Superior and evolution as a bikepacker. 



Bikepacking Frank on just another normal day in paradise! Photo credit: David Gabrys
For those of you who have yet to hear Amy speak on her kayak adventure, or Frank on his bike trips, you will surely be in for a real treat!  

Of course, you all know Frank has about an 18 page resume when it comes to envy-producing bicycle adventures, but what you might not know is that his "bicycle adventurist" debut was his 2003 Circletour of Lake Superior (a hearty 1200 miles in 11 days of riding!), So since this was the beginning, Frank's presentation will focus on his progression as a bikepacker. He will share dozens of photos dating back to the 2003 Circletour  around Lake Superior to an extremely rugged bikepacking trip Summer of 2016. On that epic trip he used the most remote route possible to get from St. Croix Falls to Two Harbors, MN!  Frank will share tricks he has learned along the way in his 20 years of bikepacking - and show the cool gear he'll be using on his 2017 bikepacking trips!

Rack and panniers or a bike trailer? Learn the pros and cons of both on Thursday, April 6th












Getting in gear for the Mammoth Gravel Classic, April 15th

Believe it or not, the Mammoth Gravel Classic is less than 2 weeks away - on Saturday, 15 April, 2017!

Yes, even though we like to pretend we just let cyclists get out there and discover all the hardships and other obstacles on your own for the 35, 70 and 100 mile routes, we actually do inspect the conditions in advance and even remove fallen trees where needed!  (I mean, tough is one thing, but we do want to make sure it's passable!) So sign up now for this free event SATURDAY, APRIL 15th!  

Do be sure to read through the extensive course info page for the course that you plan on riding - and be certain to have a navigation plan.  Remember, this is a self supported gravel adventure ride - simply put, you are responsible for you!

On occasion, when inspecting the courses for the Mammoth Gravel Classic, we need to get out the "heavy artillery".  Above Frank strikes a pose on the 100 Mile Mammoth Gravel Classic course - while out inspecting the course last week! 
This bridge was underwater, but no longer! Will it be open in time for the Mammoth Gravel Classic? Who cares? We can get under (or over) it!  It's all part of the adventure!  Gravel conditions don't get better than this!
See you on the 15th!

Pre-order your Cyclova "Gravel Green" 2017 Cycling Kit!

Hey Folks!
We're busy finalizing the look for the 2017 Cyclova "Gravel Green" cycling kit! This design is a little more subdued than some of the other kits we've offered, but the color scheme is consistent and you'll be able to mix and match all your other Cyclova gear with this uniform. The design for the shorts is the same as our current XC ski tight so chances are you've seen these out in the wild already.

I'll be putting in the order this week so we'll have our kits by the early summer. In addition to Men's and Women's specific design, we'll also be offering a Tri suit and Tri shorts.

Pricing is as follows:
Jerseys are $75
Shorts are $75
Tri Suit $110
Tri Shorts $80

Upgrade to bibs +10
Upgrade to Fiandre Pad +10
Upgrade to Comp pad +15

The kit comes with a very good pad, but I upgraded to the Comp pad on the last round of kits and I recommend it.

For sizing, here is the Mt. Borah sizing chart:

Mt. Borah also sent a M men's Tri suit which is currently at Cyclova, so if you're curious about a Tri fit, go and check that out. Also, don't hesitate to write me about fitting questions. I've done a lot of these kits over the years and we can come up with a good guess about sizing. Also, I'll be putting in a big enough order so we can swap out your size if the jersey you order turns out to be incorrect. Tall sizing is also available.

To pre-order, send an email to bj@cyclovaxc.com and include:

  • All the product you wish to order.
  • Please specify whether you prefer the men's or the women's cut (I always assume you might be ordering for a friend, believe me a lot less confusion ensues if I just specify whether it's men's or women's).
  • Whether you need a "tall" fit.
  • Any bib or Chamois upgrades.
For more information on the specific product, please check out the information pages on Mt. Borah:
(Note: They don't have a listing on their page for the Women's Team powerband short, so please verify material, etc., using the men's)

Payment on delivery. Thanks everyone!

Summer Bike Rentals at Cyclova XC!

Steve gives the thumbs up on our new Populo Sport Electric Assist rental bicycle.  Come on in and rent a bike for a beautiful day in the St. Croix Valley!
We are thrilled to announce a variety of rental bikes being available at Cyclova XC for the Summer season of 2017.  

St. Croix Falls is a premier national destination for a variety of types of cycling.  Our area boasts two State "Rails to Trails" trails, world class mountain biking & Winter fat biking, road riding second to none, and nationally known gravel adventure riding!  We also host several of the nation's biggest events such as the Solstice Chase, Mammoth Gravel Classic, and the Woolly Mountain Bike Race!  You owe it to yourself to come experience riding in the Upper St. Croix Valley for yourself!

All bikes in our rental fleet are top quality in their own respective categories and are priced at $55 per day.  To rent a bike, we recommend reserving in advance.

Following are rental bike options:
  • Populo Sport Electric Assist Bicycle:  A comfortable, confidence inspiring bike with an electric assist motor which can help you along - enabling easier hill climbing, keeping up with speedy friends, and extending your riding range.  This is perfect for riding on the Gandy Dancer / Seven Lakes Trail or pavement.
  • Trek FX3:  Cyclova XC's all time best selling bike, the FX3 is a comfortable and incredibly versatile bike.  The perfect bike for riding the Gandy Dancer/Seven Lakes trail and pavement!
  • Salsa Beargrease X5 Fat Bike:  Our best selling fat bike is equally ideal for riding Summer dirt or Winter snow!  If you're looking to get out and ride the Woolly Trails, the Beargrease X5 is what you're after!

Mammoth Gravel Classic T-Shirt



Hey Folks!
Remember that April 15th is the Mammoth Gravel Classic, the gravel century ride that launches the gravel season here in...well, basically the whole world. The ride is FREE as always, but this year we're offering a T-shirt to commemorate the awesomeness of the brave souls who endeavor to defy the elements and ride until they collapse. Plus...it's always nice to have a clean, dry shirt to pull on when you're getting a pizza after the effort.  Proceeds from the shirt will go to help cover the expenses of the ride.

I'll be putting in the shirt order around March 10th. I'll order a few extras, but the only way to guarantee you'll get one is to pre-order.  You can do so by clicking on this paypal button:

Size

Or by sending a check for $20 payable to CyclovaXC to:

P.O. Box 187
112 N. Washington St.
St. Croix Falls WI 54024
(be sure to indicate shirt size on the memo line)

Or just stop by Cyclova and pay for a shirt there.

We're looking forward to seeing everyone at Mammoth! This is a fun, chill event and a great way to spend the day! If you're planning on coming, please remember to fill out the confirmation form so we have your emergency contact information, etc! See you all soon!

Birkie 2017 Cancelled, Long Live the Birkie!

The bad news came today, February 24th, 2017. The 2017 Birkie had been cancelled. All our hopes were pinned on a massive snowstorm that dropped about a foot on Eau Claire but didn't make it much North of Rice Lake.

Through this whole topsy-turvy week, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation has been fantastic. Ben Popp has been doing daily video updates, diligently going through a process that included contingency plan after contingency plan and letting the racers know where Birkie headquarters stood every step of the way. But the Birkie office can't control the weather and we just didn't get the necessary last minute snow to save the day.

I was on my way back from picking up my bib in Hayward when my wife read the cancellation announcement. This is one of those things you hear which takes a little bit of time to get used to. The Birkie is the race many of us circle on the calendar as the focus for the entire year. It keeps you honest in a world that wants to seduce you onto the couch and put pounds on you and make you sedentary. The intimidation factor of the Birkie makes you go out at 6PM in total darkness and ski for an hour in -10 degree weather. Maybe, just maybe, at the end of the year, you'll find you not only have enough energy and strength to finish the Birkie, but you also have enough fitness to chase your children around, and be healthy, and happy.

The good news is that the fitness you develop while training for the Birkie doesn't go away when mother nature isn't cooperative. The 2017 Birkie has done its job. We're fit, ready to go, and already looking forward to the next epic event. Training for the 2018 Birkie begins now.

I'm planning on heading up to the start area tomorrow to enjoy the Birkie events. It just wouldn't feel right to not wake up on Birkie morning, nervous and excited, to drive up to Cable for a day on skis with your 10,000 closest friends. My hope is that if Ben Popp is there, maybe we can talk him into awarding us a completion pin if we do a lap or three on their 5k loop :).

Remember folks that your race fees go to maintain and preserve the wonderful trail system that is the envy of the rest of Northern America. Many of the most memorable moments of my life have taken place on that brutal, beautiful windy track that stretches down from Cable to Hayward. We'll see y'all up at the start area tomorrow. Birkie 2017 is cancelled, long live the Birkie!
With my mom who would have been skiing her 30th Birkie...it'll have to wait for next year!

!!XC Ski Super Closeout Sale at Cyclova XC - 50% OFF ON SKIS & BOOTS, 25% OFF ON WAX/BAGS/GLOVES!!

Get in the SKI PRODUCT SUPER SALE at Cyclova XC - come in while the gettin' is good!
Every now and then, there is a sale that you can't afford to miss.  If you're a XC Skier, you can't afford to miss this sale - from February 16, 2017 - February 26, 2017!

Nearly all of our in stock ski products (doesn't apply to special orders) - skis, boots, ski clothing, wax, waxing tools, drink belts, ski bags, and more are part of this sale!  Following are the 2 categories of this sale:

25% OFF:
**The following in stock items are included in the 25% OFF SALE:
  • All in stock grip & glide ski wax
  • All in stock waxing tools & accessories
  • All in stock ski gloves
  • All in stock Drink belts
  • All in stock Ski Bags
50% OFF:
**The following items are included in the 50% OFF Sale:
  • All in stock xc skis (skate skis, classic skis, touring skis)
  • All in stock xc ski boots
  • All in stock Sporthill clothing
  • All in stock One Way brand ski pants 

All remaining in stock xc skis are on sale at 50% OFF!

All in stock wax & waxing tools at 25% OFF!

**No discounts are applied to any special order ski products.

PRELIMINARY WAX TIP: 2017 American Kortelopet & American Birkiebeiner

Race day waxing can be hectic, so rest easy the night before the 2016 Birkie by waxing in advance.  Above, the author helps classic racers at the Mora Vasaloppet apply the structure of the day.
Following is the preliminary Cyclova XC Racing Service 2017 Birkie Wax tip for the 3 major wax brands of the region. Note that these are not officially endorsed wax tips by the wax companies, rather these are tips that I have personally created based on my 18+ years of professional experience in creating race wax tips.  Please also note that these wax tips will be updated, should they need to be.

For the full scoop on how to follow wax tips, check out MY ARTICLE on the topic. 

If you would like Cyclova XC's waxing guru's to wax your skis up for the fastest skis of your life at this year's Birkie or Korte, CLICK HERE for the full scoop!  Also, check out the HUGE SKI PRODUCT SALE HAPPENING AT CYCLOVA XC - WITH MANY SKI PRODUCTS AT 50% OFF!

Event:  American Birkiebeiner & Kortelopet, from Cable to Hayward, WI.

When:
American Kortelopet:  Friday, Feb 24, 2017.  Skate & Classic waves starting at 10:45AM
American Birkiebeiner:  Saturday, Feb 25, 2017.  Skate & Classic waves starting at 8:15AM.

Want More Details??? Waxing for a huge ski event like the Birkie is a very different deal than for a smaller more common event.  To understand the many considerations that go into a wax tip (especially for a huge event like the Birkie), check out this  very detailed commentary on the logic on the 2013 Birkie Wax Tip.  This will help the most hard core ski dorks (yes, we're proud dorks) understand the some on the considerations that go into the creation of a professional wax tip.  There is also a wealth of ski tech info on the Cyclova XC Ski Tech page.

PRIMARY FORECASTS USED IN THIS PRELIMINARY WAX TIP:
Race Day Forecast - National Weather Service Point Forecast
Favorite Long Term Forecast - Accuweather.com
Favorite long term weather commentary - JohnDee.com

EXPECTED CONDITIONS ON RACE DAYS:
After 5 days of temps continually staying above freezing (even overnight) and rain on Monday/Tuesday, expect snow the trail surface to be old & dirty transformed snow, with a fair bit of dirt & debris mixed in.  More dirt & debris (and less snow) will be found the further south you go, and especially on south facing hills and at road crossings.
 
Overnight lows both Thursday & Friday nights will be close to 15'F, with a temp of near in the mid twenties at the start.  Daytime high will be in the mid 30's, with a mostly cloudy sky. The snow temp will be relatively cold during the day despite warming air temps.  There is a chance of a bit of snow or sleet on Friday.  Expect machined track conditions comprised primarily of old dirty snow & ice.  Classic tracks will be firm, glazed, and very abrasive.  Due to the huge number of skiers going over the same snow (glazing and rounding off of the snow crystals), later wave skiers can wax a bit warmer than the early wave skiers. 

Ski Flex Tips:  Moderate to stiff flexed skis for machined/firm/icy track conditions.

Structure Tips for Korte & Birkie:
Structure (Jr Waves through wave 1):  Warm Universal Grind or a medium structure (2 passes with the Red Toko Structure-Rite tool).  
Structure (Wave 2 and back):  Corn Snow Grind or a coarse linear structure (2 passes with the Yellow Toko Structure-Rite tool).  

Glide Wax Tips :
Fast Wax (Elite through wave 1): HS-20 Blue, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-20 Blue, Scrape, Brush, HSF-20 Tan, Scrape, Brush.  Apply Flite #11 Cold  (Blue) Flourocarbon ironed (using the Fast Wax Base Saver) or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Fast Wax (Wave 2 and later): HS-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSLF-30 Red, Scrape, Brush, HSF-30 Salmon, Scrape, Brush.  Apply Flite #11 Cold (Blue) Flourocarbon ironed (using the Fast Wax Base Saver) or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Swix (Elite through Wave 1):  LF-6, Scrape, Brush, HF-6BD, Scrape, Brush, FC-7 Cera ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Swix (Wave 2 and later)  LF-7, Scrape, Brush, HF-7, Scrape, Brush, FC-8 Cera ironed in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Elite through Wave 1):  Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Red, scrape, brush, Jetstream Red ironed or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad
Toko (Wave 2 and later):   Tribloc LF Black, Scrape, Brush, Tribloc HF Red/HF Yellow mix (2 : 1 Ratio), scrape, brush, Jetstream Red ironed or roto-corked in, brush with dedicated flouorcarbon brush, and polished with polishing pad.

Grip Wax Tips:
Swix:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Swix KX-20 Base Klister, iron, smoothen with thumb, and allow to cool.  Wait to apply your grip wax of the day until Friday night, and check wax reports / weather.  The optimal grip wax of the day will likely be 1 thin layer of Swix KX-30 or KX-35 Klister.  If fresh snow has fallen, this will likely be carefully covered with a thin layer of VR-40 hard wax.
Toko:  Roughen grip zone with 150 grit sandpaper.  Apply Toko Base Green Klister, iron, smoothen with your thumb, and allow to cool.  Wait to apply your grip wax of the day until Friday night, and check wax reports / weather.    The optimal grip wax of the day will likely be 1 think layer of Toko Red Klister.  If fresh snow has fallen, this will likely be carefully covered with a thin layer of Toko Red hard wax.


Should you have any questions on Birkie ski prep, feel free to stop by or contact the expert ski technicians at Cyclova XC.  If you're interested in having us wax your skis, ensuring lightning fast skis, check our our Birkie Ski Service Program HERE.  Give a fun shout out to all of the Cyclova XC Team Skiers on the trail - as well as everyone wearing the Ski Like Landgraf Hats!