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Beat the Dark and Solon Springs Ride on November 4 and 5!

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 5th 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 2017 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!

OMG! Skull-N-Bones was HOT!

Today was the 4th annual Skull-n-bones gravel challenge, Chris Locke's beautiful gravel ride along some of the most challenging roads of Northern Wisconsin. I ran into these two crazy characters and they kept me company for the first 23 miles before peeling off in pursuit of a century. I haven't been on a bike enough so I was content with "only" doing 50. 

We started off on a humid but relatively cool morning. Everything was great until the sun came out and melted our collective faces off.

Actually it wasn't the sun so much as everywhere. Everywhere was hot. Heat radiated from the road. The water in your bottles scalded your throat when you drank. The air on every descent was like a furnace. Had the heat been coming from the sun you could have potentially escaped by crawling into a shadow or a culvert or finding a swampy pond of water to soak in for a while. But there was no escaping today's heat. It was stifling. You didn't feel it on your arms or forehead so much as deep in your subconscious mind. The heat came in the form of a headache that radiated and throbbed until you felt it pounding in your fingers and toes.

In other words, it was a totally awesome day for a bike ride!

I pedaled along, every now and then getting passed by a pickup truck of bear hunters. You could tell they were bear hunters because they had kennels in the back with exhausted, overheated dogs hanging their heads out the window. The bear hunters always waved. The dogs waved their tongues.

At about 30 miles I still felt good and I ran into Chris. Even though this is an "unsupported" event, Chris takes good care of us. He filled up my water bottles (I had three) and it was a good thing too since I drained the last one just as I pulled into Bruce. I met Chris again at the Fire Hall just as he was on his way out to make sure everyone was OK.

But the enduring memory of this ride is the beauty of it. The roads are absolutely fantastic and it's always a joy to ride your bike through early fall colors. Everywhere you look seems like a postcard as sunlight bounces off vibrant leaves and sparkles in hidden forest ponds and streams. 

This ride is hilly though! Man... I was alone for a bit over half and it took me 5 hrs. I checked my time from 2015 when I rode with Micah and saw we only managed 4:30 on that day (obviously Micah was kind enough to ride at my pace). That's with another 30 to 45 minutes of stops, so this thing becomes a long day. I'd like to see a bigger crew of Cyclova folk out there next year. I think some people are scared off at the idea of a 50 miler as not being "Epic" enough...but this is a tough 50. I've ridden the 100 before too, I was too tired to lift a beer afterward. 

I hope all the riders make it in safe and sound! I'll be looking forward to whatever tales Steve and Greg will share. My guess is they'll both be in the market for lighter gravel bikes after today. Fortunately I know where they can get some.


Skull-N-Bones This Saturday, Sept. 23rd!

Hey Everyone!
Coming up this Saturday is what I consider to be one of the great events of our area: Chris Locke's Skull-N-Bones Gravel challenge. And boy...is it a challenge. For my money the 100 mile course is tougher than Almanzo (that's right...I said it). It's going to be a beautiful weekend, so what better way to get out of your head than grab your bike, get up at the crack of dawn, and ride until the sun catches up with you?

Here's the Facebook page if you're planning on going. Registration is early, but I'm not sure what the official start time is. I just sent a text message to Chris to find out. Hope to see you up there!

To read about last year's event, check out the excellent write-up by that Walter Rhein character in Silent Sports.

EDIT:
ROLLOUT FOR ALL DISTANCES IS 8 AM!

Fun Roller Ski Clinic with Andy Liebner

We had a nice time chatting with Andy Liebner on Sunday, and the guy knows his stuff when it comes to skiing technique. He was also testing some poles with feathers down the side to decrease their wind drag. The best thing about Andy is that he's always trying something new in pursuit of a technical advantage. His recent podium finishes in Argentina show he must be doing something right. 

In addition to feathered poles, Andy also encourages people to train on roller skis by pulling around a tire:
As far as I'm concerned, Mullin has about as good a ski technique as anyone, but he was pretty impressed with Liebner's tricks and drills. 50 KM is a long way, so anything you can do to increase efficiency with each ski stroke adds up considerably by the time you hit the end of the race. 

We'll try to get Liebner back to do another ski clinic in November as a lot of our skiers were out at Chequamegon this weekend. As I said before, skiers of all fitness and ability levels can benefit from having an expert examine your technique and walk you through some efficiency drills. As for me, I think I most enjoyed hearing Andy's stories from his racing days. Thanks Andy!

BIKE TECH: 2018 TREK FARLEY FAT BIKE

2018 Trek Farley 5's are in stock at Cyclova XC - and these speedy adventure machines are going to blow your mind!
At Cyclova XC, a whole lot of expertise & thought goes into into every single product that we stock.  Check out this blog post from way back in 2012 for a bit of background on our philosophy on assortment & presentation.  The fat bike world is really starting to mature, and there are countless exciting advances happening in this exciting niche!  For 2018, Trek has really stepped up their game, with a laundry list of cutting edge features on all of their fat bikes - including their price point fat bike - the very capable 2018 Trek Farley 5 at the affordable price of $1729.99!

Over the past decade, the fat bike has been continuously reinvented.  Literally dozens of pounds removed, handling vastly improved, rolling resistance cut in half multiple times, and flotation drastically increased.  Trek's 2018 Farley line up embodies the latest in these most meaningful fat bike innovations!

Now, we will focus in on the hot new 2018 Trek Farley 5 - all sizes now in stock at Cyclova XC - your fat bike experts and hosts of the 2nd biggest fat bike on the planet - the 45NRTH Solstice Chase
The intelligently designed frame is stout to provide absolute efficiency, accentuated by front & rear thru-axles, and even included great details like ports for internally routed dropper seat posts!
The frameset is the foundation of any bicycle, and the Farley 5 frame checks all of the boxes you want to check!  Following are highlights of this great frameset:
  • Stout & Stiff Frame:  This Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame is intelligently shaped through Trek's tube shaping process.  You'll notice the tubes all vary in shape, diameter, and thickness - even different from one size to the next!  In short this frame is absolutely stiff where it needs to be stiff, but allows a bit of "cush" where you want it to!  This ensures that all of the energy you put into the pedals goes into propelling you further into your adventure in comfort!  
  • Carbon Fork & Thru-Axles:  How are your wheels attached to your fat bike frame?  This is a critical element to any bike being efficient, handling well, and and riding smoothly!  The 2018 Farley 5 frame pairs up the the amazing Bontrager Haru OCLV Carbon Fork - a torsionally stiff, smooth riding, beautiful rigid carbon fork.  Wheels are attached to the frame & fork in the best possible way with full on 15mm & 12mm thru axles for the front and rear respectively.  These large diameter thru-axles drastically increase the stiffness & torsional rigidity of both the front & rear end of the bicycle - meaning increased efficiency & more precise handling (thru axles are a massive upgrade from standard quick release levers)!
The Farley 5 has a killer drivtrain - note the beautiful Race Face Aeffect crankset, and the Shimano "one by" drivetrain.  This drivetrain ensure you have all the gears you'll ever need, with only a rear derailleur!
The component kit on any bike is always critical, and the Farley 5 doesn't disappoint! 
  • Drivetrain:  The Farley 5 has a rock solid drivetrain which will perform flawlessly, go the distance, and ensure flawless performance (whether you're sweating in the Sand Barrens on a hot August day, or riding a sub zero frozen river in January)!  Highlights of the drivetrain include the beautiful Race Face Aeffect crankset & a clutched Shimano "one by" drivetrain.
  • Brakes:  Hydraulic brakes are the ticket any season of the year, especially Winter!  SRAM's new Level hydraulic disc brakes ensure more than enough stopping power in any condition. 
Come on in while the gettin' is good.  We just received a full size run of Farley 5's, and they likely won't last long!
Particularly on Fat Bikes, tire & wheel technology is of paramount importance!  When it comes to fat biking on soft surfaces, especially snow, it all comes down to tire contact patch.  While this is a complex discussion of physics, I'll boil it down to the following points which the Farley 5 delivers on:
  • Tire Tech & Rim:  The Farley 5 is spec'ed with a smart combination of 27.5" x 4.5" tires mounted to an 80mm wide rim.  On the front you'll find the all new gnarly Bontrager Gnarwhal, while on the rear you'll find the fast rolling Bontrager Barbegazi tires.   Both tires are built around a super supple, fast rolling, grippy 120 tpi (thread per inch) casing, with an especially aggressive tread on the the front end.  As a bonus, the Gnarwahl tire on the front is studable, and can use any brand of "pocket style stud", in stock at Cyclova XC.  For riding groomed singletrack in the winter, generally studs aren't necessary, but they can be a lifesaver in transformed snow where ice is present.  It's important to note the importance of running fat bike tires at very low pressures - otherwise you'll never enjoy the benefits of riding fat.  While riding on snow, you'll usually want to be running between 4-6 psi of air pressure in these tires (even less if the snow surface of soft).  In the end, more tire surface area / contact patch = more fun!
Every size of the Trek 2018 Farley 5 Fat Bike is in stock at Cyclova XC!  Come on in for a free test ride and to experience the latest in Fat Bike technology professionally fit to your body!

Liebner Takes 1st & 3rd in Argentina--Will Present at Cyclova Sunday

Andy Liebner of US Ski Pole Company is having a busy week! After taking 1st and 3rd place in a pair of FIS races in Argentina, he hopped on a plane to come give a rollerski clinic at CyclovaXC. The clinic is free to the public and skiers of all ages and abilities are welcome. Just be at Cyclova Sunday, Sept. 17th at 9AM. Here are the details on his recent races:

International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross Country Ski Races in Bariloche, Argentina.
11 SEP 2017 10 Kilometer Classic event
12 SEP 2017 10 Kilometer Freestyle event


Andy Liebner, of Soldotna Alaska, now residing in Cheboygan, Michigan claimed first place victory in the 10K Classic on Monday. 5 Nations were present and competing.

In the 10k Classic, the temperature was 20’f and the tracks were crisp and dry. “It’s strange traveling in one day from summer, and immediately enter into winter. That’s what’s nice about our South American neighbors and the opposing seasons, from the continental US, we can fly in less than a day (remain in a similar time zone) and compete in international ski races on real snow.”

On Tuesday the 12th of September, Andy competed in the 10K Freestyle event and earned 3rd place. Only 9 seconds behind the winner, Andy was more than satisfied with his podium performance. Attributing his success to ‘experience and wisdom,’ in both events under the conditions and challenging terrain.

“I came here to coach an athlete and in doing so, I was recruited to enroll on the start list by my athlete and many others. Given the high altitude, and 2.5 Kilometer loop located on the top of a popular alpine ski mountain, there were some extremely fast, sharp corners to master. Most stayed on course, but some unfortunate skiers lost control and flew into deep snow over steep edges. I thought it was a fun, but challenging course. One of the most technically challenging courses I’ve ever skied. Courses like these add more variables beyond muscles and lungs that traditionally have the advantage in ski races.”


Andy is founder of the United States Ski Pole Company, located in Cheboygan, Michigan. In addition to accelerating his business he coaches privately out of passion and earned Olympic coaching status with Roberto Carcelen of Team Peru to Sochi 2014.  

Andy Liebner Leads FREE Roller Ski Clinic At Cyclova--Sunday, Sept. 17th!

Andy Liebner in Argentina, early September 2017
Hey Everyone!
I know you're still thinking about summer, but if you are one of those lucky individuals who looks at the above picture and longs for immaculately groomed XC ski trails, then there's an event coming up at Cyclova you need to attend. Andy Liebner of US Ski Pole Company (best ski poles out there because they're made in the good old USA) is coming to Cyclova on Sunday, Sept. 17th at 9AM to lead a free roller ski clinic. 

Andy is a former biathlete and a Worldloppet race champion. Andy has a great eye for technique and he knows how to make a couple small suggestions that will result in a major increase in speed and efficiency. If you don't have any roller skis, don't worry, I've got a couple extra pairs I can bring along for you to try. I know I, for one, will be curious to hear his impressions on skiing in Argentina. That's an epic trip that one day just has to happen!

Everyone is welcome from beginners to experts. Trust me, this clinic will make you a better skiier. Plus, Andy is a great story teller and I know we're going to have a blast. I'm sure there will be time for coffee afterwards as well! I hope to see you all there. Be sure to click "going" on the Facebook event!

Square Lake Triathlon this Saturday--Seeks Volunteers!


I just received this email and thought I'd pass the information on. Here is the email: randy@frontrunnerusa.com

And here is their web page with more information.

We're Bringing in Altra--Sasquatch Wrap Up!

Hey Everyone!

We had a great final Sasquatch run today (and typically awesome pot luck...runners bring the best food--and LOTS of it!). I'll get more into that in a minute. First I'm excited to announce that we're bringing Altra running shoes to CyclovaXC! We've been chatting about this for a while and we're glad to finally announce this is happening. For our initial order we'll be carrying size runs of the following models:

Lone Peak 3.5
If someone wants more water resistant (but not Gore-tex) the Lone Peak 3.0 neoshell is what they should get.
Superior 3.5
Escalante 

These are the models we'll be carrying, but please check out the Altra web page (Note: the Superior 3.5 is not yet listed on the Altra web page). We can order anything you want to fit your needs. For example, the Lone Peak Mid Mesh 3.5 looks like a perfect choice for anyone thinking of coming with me to hike in Peru one of these summers :). 

Don't hesitate to contact with us as we put together our order so we're sure to have the size, model, and color that suits you. Just send a message to bj@cyclovaxc.com and we'll have your shoes for you shortly.

Ok, on to the Sasquatch finale!

We had a nice little crew of regulars turn up for our annual run/pot luck. This year the calendar fell kind of funny so we were running on both Memorial day and Labor day (which kind of hurts numbers). We'll see how that shakes out next year. Tammi's course was perfect as usual but she marked it with chalk and there was a light rain that morning. However it didn't turn out to be enough rain to completely wash all the markings away...judging by the fact that I think everyone got back in.

Everybody had a different mileage objective today. Greg needed to add something like 3 miles to the established course, so when we said "Go!" he went running off in the completely wrong direction. Steve was the first to cross the line, apparently having not gotten lost out on the course. Jim and Tammi came in together and mentioned that even though it felt like a cool day, there was some brutal humidity out there.

Later on, Steve returned to the Cyclova where he'd left a crock pot stewing. This he fastened to his speed concept with inner tubes and police tape and came rolling out to the park to serve everyone. We were fearful he was going to flip the contraption over as he rolled down the hill to the camp area, but he made it safely and the food was delicious.

The last race was double points so there was some shuffling on the leaderboard. Here are the final men's results (here's the link for the larger version):
And here's the women's final leaderboard (link):
So it's a wrap for 2017! Thanks everyone for coming out and running with us! Thanks to Tammi for taking over as series director! We'll see you all in 2018 and don't forget to order your Altras!