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Word From The Wax Bench...

Bikepacking in the Northwoods

There’s nothing new about touring with your bike, camping for overnights, and seeing the countryside. But over the last few years, as mountain biking has become more popular, a different form of bicycle touring has become more prevalent-bikepacking.

Traditional road bike tourers ride mostly on roads or bike paths while using panniers to carry their belongings. Bikepacking utilizes bikes that are designed for off-road cycling and that are comfortable over long distances. Riders use mostly dirt, gravel, and single-track trails to plan their adventures and typically carry their gear in frame packs to lessen issues when traveling over rough terrain.

Here is one of our favorite blogs about bikepacking in our area written a few years ago by Wisconsin Bike Fed’s Deputy Director Dave Schlabowske. It’s got some invaluable information about the sport as well as a look back at the plans for the inaugural Tour de Chequamegon Bikepacking Weekend.

If you’re feeling adventurous after reading the above article, check out the Tour de Chequamegon website and sign up for this year’s ride. And, stop by New Moon for a full bikepacking set-up including, accessories, gear, and even a cool, new Specialized Sequoia perfect for discovering the trail!

“Shifting” Gears to Spring

Right at this very moment, you’ve got a choice to make if you’re going to enjoy the day outside because (up here) you can literally take part in almost every sport that makes Hayward great—skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing, road biking, hiking, running, fishing (okay, ice fishing)—and all in the same day.

While most of our local customers are still enjoying that amazing, yet fleeting, spring skiing, Moonies Dustin and Ian are on to other adventures—training for the Hungry Bear 100, an unsupported gravel ride throughout the Chequamegon National Forest.

Ian, left, and Dustin pre-ride last week. Photo: Chris Young

Training in early spring for a bike race isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be cold, damp, muddy, bumpy, and unpleasant, but these two seem like they are having the time of their lives. What is their secret? Are they just pretending have fun in order to get out of work? Let’s find out.

Turns out, for Dustin, the Hungry Bear is just the first of many races he plans to tackle this season—and he’s starting early and often.

Dustin getting in some trail time last summer. Photo: Chris Young

“Basically spring training is all about getting as many pedal strokes in as possible—getting your body weathered to harsh hours on the bike—so that when you come to a 40 mile race you can sprint most of it. My training schedule this time of the year is pretty intense; its really important to put in a lot of base miles (now), so that when you come to summer riding (June) you can solely focus on improving your max speed, mainly through intervals and hill climbing. I normally do 15- 20hrs a week. It would normally go like this: Mon. 3hrs, Tues. 3hrs, Wed. 4 hrs, Thurs. 4hrs, Fri. 2hrs, Sat. rest/recovery 1hr, Sun. 3 hrs.”

Ian’s famous smile pre-Cheq Fat. Photo: Daryl McNutt.

Ian rode the 60-mile Snacking Bear last year and is aiming for the 100-miler this May.  For him, gravel rides are special, “I think it’s really about the shared adventure, pushing mental and physical boundaries, and the whole zen of it all, riding through beautiful areas.”

He is specifically setting his sights on the Hungry Bear because, “It sort of captures the early season excitement for biking and sets an early goal to work towards. There’s a fun atmosphere around the event that really celebrates our area as well as the spirit of adventure.”

His training regimen is not quite as detailed as Dustin’s. “I just have to do it ninja style, whenever I can find a block of time to get out and ride. I’ll ride road, gravel, singletrack, and fat bike, just to get miles in the saddle. I’ve started going back to Crossfit as of this week, so I’m hoping to improve my overall strength this season.”

Dustin has quite a few tips for staying comfortable while putting in the big hours.

Dustin riding to a great finish in the Fat Tire last year on his birthday. Photo: Chris Young

Nutrition and timing is pretty important, “I really try to at least eat a half bar an hour (150 calories) and drink a bottle a hour. This allows your body to stay at a comfortable energy level without bogging you down. A common mistake most people make is that they ride for two or three hours without eating or drinking much, then they feel the effects of bonking and try to quickly eat a bigger amount of food/water. When you eat a lot all of a sudden, your body sends a lot of blood to your stomach and not to your muscles, which in turn can make you bonk even worse.”

Carrying a few extra apparel pieces is also a must, “I also carry an extra set of gloves and outer jacket in case I get wet. I’ll just quickly stop and switch up my base layer and outerwear so that on my second half of my ride I can feel dry and refreshed again,” Dusty explains.

Through the muddy trails during the Fat Bike. Photo: Chris Young.

Ian also feels like early spring training necessitates the right gear and clothing. “Keep hands and toes warm. A windproof top and bottom are really helpful. Shoe covers are really helpful, but if you want something deluxe, I’ve really been liking the 45NRTH Ragnarok shoe. Gotta have good snacks and plenty of water…and beer.” Dustin also touts the healing powers of a couple special drinks, “I found that a shot of espresso followed by 6 oz. of alcohol can help with feeling the effects of bonking; it also gives you a little moral booster.” OK, guys, we know what you’re recovery regimen is… 😉

Yep, this is Spring in Wisconsin…

The worst part of spring training might be a dreary headwind, or it might be overcoming your own personal reluctance to get out on the bike when your body isn’t quite up to speed and the weather isn’t quite sunshine and daffodils, but working out on the bike at this time of year has a few more benefits than just being able to crush your next race or group ride.

“It is generally getting nicer out, the sun’s out, the creeks are flowing; its just a nice time to be outside,” Dusty says. And, you’re looking ahead to all the biking season has to offer.

New Moon rides will be starting up soon. Come join us work out the kinks and get ready for your cycling season. Check out our Facebook page for updates.

Get out and make the most of these last few days when everything is possible. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Spring Skiing and Fat Biking Continues!

When the weather is constantly changing and in-between winter and spring, you don’t have to give up your daily ski or bike. In fact, if you are able to plan ahead, you might just have some of the best skiing and biking of the year!

This past weekend, was one of perfect spring skiing. Ian held a wax clinic at OO and he said this about the trail, “It was ideal spring skiing with a firm and fast deck, but not so icy that you couldn’t get an edge.” Joel also was out on the Birkie Trail and he commented that from “Hatchery to Mosquito Brook….was just super skiing!” As for the bike trails, they currently range from excellent to fair, with the fair spots being choppy, mainly from deer traffic. CAMBA-Fat posted this video that talks about the conditions in Seeley.

If the bike trail looks like this behind you, it’s time to get out of the woods and grab a latte!

Temps will be warming up in the next few days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the trails are done for. “Based on the forecast, we will have good morning skiing and biking through late this week,” Chris says. “Friday and Saturday will be warm with overnight lows only just under freezing. What that means for skiers and bikers is to plan on getting onto the trails by 7am or 8am at the latest, getting your ski or bike in, and then prepare to be out of the woods by 9am.” Getting off of the trails before they get too mushy enables to the trails to stay in their best possible condition as long as possible. “When the trail refreezes it will be in good condition for the next outing,” Chris explains, “If you leave significant ruts with your skis or tires, that makes it incredibly difficult for users the next day. And, in extreme cases if you’re breaking through the snow into the dirt, you can even do damage to the trail bed.”  Let’s all try to be good stewards of the trails and leave them in the best possible condition for as long as possible.

You can keep up-to-date on trail conditions, grooming, and trail closures HERE for fat biking and HERE for the Birkie trail, or, feel free to give us a call at the shop. 715-634-8685. Somebody here is bound to have been out and about recently.

And, don’t fret! Even though mud season is coming up, New Moon has some fun events planned to keep you busy until the trails dry out. Check out our facebook events page-we’ll be posting soon!

Speed Into Spring – Specialized Style

Even Californians get pumped about the seasonal change into spring, and bikes are definitely on our brains now as we watch the snow start to really fade away. To help spur on those new bike desires, Specialized has launched their largest spring sales promotion ever, the “Speed into Spring Sale”. We are currently switching over our retail floor to showcase bikes once again, so the timing works out great.
From now through the end of March, select models all the way from Hotrocks and Rockhoppers up to Diverges, Epics, and Stumpjumpers are on a co-oped discount. Discounts vary by model, but as an example, the Epic Evo Comp 29 which lists for $3,220 is advertised at $2,969, a total savings of $250. The discount will be split in half, $125 given at time of sale in store, and $125 via a rider rebate card from SpecializedRebates.com. Sales prices are only valid on bikes that are currently in stock.
Check in store for the full list of models and prices, but here are a few to whet your appetite:
All Rockhoppers and Pitches both Mens and Womens $50-$100 Off
Roll Sport models $100 Off
Como 2.0 Pedal Assist E-bikes $500 Off
Stumpjumper FSR ST Comp 29 $250 Off
Epic Evo Comp 29 $250 Off
Epic Evo Expert 29 $500 Off
Fuse Models $100-$500 Off
Looking forward to rolling into Spring in style!
-Ian

Fat Bike Demo Fleet Liquidation Sale!

It’s that time again when we have to clean up and make room for our upcoming summer season. That means we need to find new homes for our winter fat bike rental and demo fleet.

SHOP NOW!

We are offering our used Specialized Fatboy SEs at $1100, discounted from $1600. These Fatboys are equipped with up-to-date, industry-standard 150mm front spacing and 197mm rear spacing for maximum compatibility with fat biking components and clearance for all fat bike tire sizes 3.5″ all the way up to 5″. These are even capable of accepting 27.5 fat bike wheels if a rider were to want that. Riders will find our demos ready for snow riding with Specialized 4.6″ Ground Control Tires mounted on Specialized Tubeless-Ready Fat Rims! That’s a huge plus for more technically inclined riders. Mechanical Disc Brakes and Shimano 1×10 shifting round out a really great package for launching into fat biking!

Got Kids? No problem! We even have 20″ Fatboy and 24″ Fatboy demo bikes on sale for the little ones!

We are only offering in-store pickup with all Specialized bike purchases, no mail order shipping. So, plan a fun trip to Hayward to play on the trail, enjoy the area, and pick up your new fat bike! Call anytime with questions: 715-634-8685.

SHOP NOW!

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