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Word From The Wax Bench...

Gateway Trail Fun Day Rides Again

This Saturday, CAMBA and the Hayward Area Memorial Hospital invite you and your family to the Gateway Trail Fun Day. From Noon to 3, come explore this new beginner trail system located on the Hospital property. This event will offer a variety of fun activities including a mini mountain bike expo, bike demos, and  plenty of fun and games along the way. All ages and abilities are welcome!

According to CAMBA executive director Ron Bergin, “A gateway trail is an entry-level trail that is suitable for beginning mountain bikers or those uncomfortable with narrower, more technical trails.”  Construction on the Hayward Hospital Trail began during the summer of 2017. “The ultimate plan for the trail is to build up to six miles of trail,” says Bergin.

“Of course one of our goals is to provide a trail for younger riders to have fun and a positive exposure to mountain biking, but a trail of this nature is perfect for riders of all ages, including those in the more senior age ranges,” says Bergin. The trail is wider than most singletrack trails, has no rocks, roots, or other obstacles; and has a fun rolling flow without any significant hills.  “This is not to imply that the trail is a simple, flat straight trail,” Bergin clarifies.  In fact, the trail has many sweeping turns and a great fun flow.  Experienced riders truly enjoy the trail as well.

If you’re worried about having the right type of bike or nervous about trying the trail alone, don’t give it a second thought! New Moon will be on-site offering FREE bikes to borrow for the event, and volunteers will be offering guided rides for those who want to check out the trails with a more experienced rider.

This is the second year that Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Water’s Edge are partnering with CAMBA to host the Gateway Trail Fun Day. HAMH had several goals in mind when they decided to co-host again this year. Hayward Area Memorial Hospital’s Marketing/Communications Director Cherie Morgan explains, “Our primary goal for the day is to expose as many people to the Hospital Trails as possible and to raise awareness of what a great trail system we have to offer. We wanted to offer people the opportunity to try the trails or bikes, that may not own equipment or be comfortable doing so on their own. With the support of local bike shops and CAMBA trail guides, we are able to offer that opportunity at this event. We also hope to promote the great work CAMBA has done to expand our trails to include mountain and fat biking.”

“HAMH wants people to see Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge as a partner for their overall health and wellbeing. We are here for the community if they need great medical or senior care, and we are also working to become a community leader in health and wellness. By partnering with Hayward Area Ski Trails Association (HASTA) and the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) we are able to offer a trail system for people of all ages and abilities. The Hospital Trails offer trail running, hiking, mountain biking and fat biking. In the winter outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy classic skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing. In addition to our trail system we sponsor a number of events in the community that support healthy and active lifestyles,” Morgan says.

No matter what your level of biking expertise, please come check out the Gateway trail this Saturday-Grab a snack and kick off the mountain bike season by supporting and celebrating the new trail!

—Photos supplied by CAMBA and Chris Young

 

 

 

 

Hungry Bear Wrap UP

This past weekend, the Hungry Bear Gravel Ride growled over the rivers and through the Chequamegon woods. You may have read in a previous newsletter about how Dusty and Ian have been training and planning for the big event. How did the big day pan out for our two intrepid cyclists?

Early in the week, the weather looked grim, and several people decided not to ride. But the day turned out to be beautiful and sunny…so no excuses…and both Ian and Dustin were on no matter how the weather turned out.

Before the race.

Dustin has been training tirelessly for a few months now, and although the Hungry Bear is the first race of his season, it is just one of a long line of races he plans to compete in over the summer.

Dustin channeling a high fashion model after his ride.

It was a good but hard event for Dustin, “Last year’s pace was pretty easy and low key, but this year, riders went hard right off the bat. I was surprised that some of the fastest riders were pushed off the back of the front group during the first surge, but the best part of the day for me was being able to ride with that front, fast pack.”

Up until the Hungry Bear, Dustin’s training mainly consisted of longer, easy rides-slow and long distance. But things are going to change now that he is setting his sights on the Borah Epic. He has big plans to make the top 60, and his training regimen will be intense. “I’ll do one day at the terrain park practicing jumps, balancing, and wheelies; one day working on hill climbs; and interval sessions the rest of the week, as well as attending 3 group rides per week.”

Ian, still smiling and feeling fine after his Crud Cloth worked wonders!

Ian wasn’t training quite as regularly as Dustin, so he decided to switch to the Snacking Bear 60, which turned out to be a good decision, “I was thinking this at mile 50 or so on Rock Lake Road when the suffering began to creep in. I still have hopes to do it, maybe next year.” Another reason the Snacking Bear was the perfect race for Ian is that he really loves snacks! “Since it’s really important to stay well fed during a race, it’s fun to experiment. I took some cues from my Birkie supply list and brought with some smoked herring fillets, pickles, a peanut butter filled chocolate Clif bar, and these tasty new bits called GFB (Gluten Free Bites) made with dates, peanuts, and dark chocolate. I will say that the smoked herring is easily my favorite exercise food, some good fats, protein, and I think they have magical powers.”

Some of Ian’s Snacking Bear snacks.

Although he had a bit of a delay around mile 40 to re-inflate his front tire and tighten a bottle cage, he was able to hang with a nice group of riders. “We all rode together until about mile 40, maintaining a fast, but manageable tempo that made the race go by pretty quickly. It’s fun to ride with people who are talented and know about riding etiquette.” His other favorite parts of the day included the pizza and Crud Cloths. “Crud Cloths are easily the best post-race solution to clean off all that sweat and dirt short of hopping straight into a shower.”

Ian, smiling post-race.

So, the first race of the year is in the books. Hope you all are looking forward to a fantastic summer of riding and racing. Look for Moonies at all the area events including the Borah Epic, Chequamegon 100, Lutsen 99er, Pre-Fat, and, of course, the Chequamegon 40 and Short and Fat.

 

 

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!

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!

Rex Clinic Recap

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting the Hecker family on behalf of Rex Ski Wax for a liquid wax clinic at the Samuel Johnson Nordic Center at OO (in our fancy smancy New Moon Wax Room no less!) Another perk of the job is that I was able to get out for a short bit to enjoy a bit of top notch spring skiing.
We sprayed, we brushed, we conquered. It was a great way to showcase what is turning out to be a paradigm shift in waxing. Jeremy Hecker led the demo, representing not only the Rex brand, but his new role as the Head Nordic Ski Coach for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. The event was well attended, and we had our hands full during the whole demo, waxing skis and getting everyone up to speed on how to apply these new waxes. The trail had just been groomed on Friday, so the skiing conditions were excellent. It was ideal spring skiing with a firm and fast deck, but not so icy that you couldn’t get an edge.
Later in the afternoon we headed back to the shop for a “happy hour” with some apres ski snacks, beverages, and further wax wisdom. It was a great event to host as a follow up to our success with Rex over Birkie. Thank you to the whole Hecker family, Mike, Connie, Chris, and Jeremy for being great partners and representatives, but also for all they do in the Nordic community in our region and abroad on the World Cup circuit.
We will definitely do this event again next ski season, so keep your eyes on our events calendar in the Fall. In case this was the last weekend of truly great skiing for the season, I hope you enjoyed this winter as much as I did! -Ian

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