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If you’re wondering what the trails of Holmenkollen are like two hours before the start of the men’s 4x10km relay:

What Holmenkollen looks like two hours before start time

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You know how the closest we come to seeing nordic skiing in the granddaddy of countries is when the US Ski Team buys ninety minutes of coverage from NBC to show-off the annual spectacle that is the Beaver Creek World Cups, well, I’ve come up with a bit of a solution. It’s insanely low-tech, crude and will probably get me in a bit of a tussle with EuroSport down the road, but here’s the men’s and women’s finals for the World Cup in Rybinsk, Russia. Enjoy…

Rybinsk Sprint Mens Final

Rybinsk Sprint Final Women\’s

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Stripped down to bare steel, then built back up again from the ground floor...

The old air-cooled bike might not yet quite be road-worthy, but the CB750 Tourer is no longer the oily, dirty rheumatoid tosser purchased earlier this fall. In the last days it’s been stripped down to bare steel, then built up again from the ashes to become the avenging angel of misery, only of the prettiest kind you see here in the photo.

And what is good, Phædrus,
And what is not good…
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?

***       ***       ***

That’s all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel. ~Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Final Rollerski of the Season (Hopefully!)

There’s plenty of beginnings and endings in skiing. And today I passed a relatively notable one, where I trade in my trusty, slightly rusty Marwe rollers for my fleet of Rossignol’s, which are all packed up for the flight across the pond to Norway. My season kicks off at the Norwegian Cup in Beitostolen, Norway in about two week’s time.

Tomorrow, I have an uphill run on the schedule, into the mountains of the Cascades, an appointment in the afternoon in the Liberty Bell junior high classroom for my In The Arena project, then a little drive to the airport.

With the beginning of the real season I’ll be a bit better with the frequency of my updates from the road. Check in here, or at my team’s website at

Until the next time,

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It might still feel like summer, but I'm already starting to dial in the little parts of the ski racing equasion. Mark Waechter of Ultra-Tune's been showing me the ropes with getting a better handle on my racing boards. Between the morning and afternoon sessions my coach Scott Johnston and I were cranking on my fleet of skis; first scraping, then flex testing, finishing with waxing. The next session at Ultra-Tune I'll take this information and hash out a lil grinding plan to have both my old and new Rossignol's running better than my competitors. Watch out...

The weekend had an altogether different kind of grind - the 11.5mile Cutthroat Classic. It's a classic trail run that crosses from Rainy Pass on the Western side of the North Cascades, then drops down from the high alpine setting into the sunny side of the state. With three miles of climbing remaining, decided to set off solo and put about four minutes on the closest pursuer by the time we reached the valley on the other side, who came all the way from Track Town USA (Eugene, OR) to defend his Northwest trail running title. It felt good to race and be so in control, especially in longest running race of my life.

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Growing up on the edge of the Cascades, I’ve spent my fair share of time up in the mountains. If there’s one pretty incredible place here, it’s getting up in the high alpine lakes of the Enchantments. It’s a place where crystal clear water, towering peaks of granite, alpine wildflowers meet and mountain goats roam. I’ve ran into people from time to time who have came to my boyhood home to visit the Enchantments. I’ve been told more than once it’s the most spectacular place on earth. That’s pretty heady stuff, but who am I to argue?

When the Methow Oly Development Team and five other friends decided to run the marathon distance from the Mount Stewart trailhead to Lake Colchuk, up Aasgard Pass, past the Enchantmens, then into the Snow Lakes for the week’s Sunday workout I was stoked. Here’s a couple photos from the six and a half hour adventure.

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Perhaps its not surprising some of the best skiing in America can be found beside a volcano stretching 12,276 into the sky. What might be surprising, though, is this underground mecca for ski training is used near exclusively in the summer months, and, even though one can see hundreds of acres of terrain on the upper reaches of Mt. Adams, all the skiing is done on paved logging roads put in years ago to haul out the resident Ponderosa, White Pine and Doug Firs. All it takes to put a smile on this skier’s face in the summer months is smooth pavement that meanders through the Cascade foothill. To have all this in a sleepy town that sparingly shares the road with fossil fueled BMW R75’s and mid-nineties Chevy Silverados makes it even better.

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I’m all about tradition. And if there’s a singular custom that holds true for the endurance athlete – whether they be skiers, cyclists, paddlers, whatever – it’s the Sunday long workout. This week was no different. Only today, instead of heading out for a semi-epic crust cruise that circumnavigated either Moon Mountain and Broken Top, or hitting all the neighborhood streets from West Bend to Tumalo, today it was time to get out on the road bike.

The past couple seasons I worked with a coach who didn’t really believe in cycling. With mountain biking, he thought the chance of injury too high. With road biking, that it wasn’t sport specific enough. To mention the desire to get out and spin on the S-Works would invariably be met with a variation of the theme, “Skiers ski.” Anyways, today brought back how much I missed getting out on the roads and watching the miles click by while being powered solely on muscles, powerbars and the desire of a gluttonous feast consisting of cheese and bacon and guacamole topped hamburgers and greasy onion rings, all washed down with a chocolate-banana malted shake.

With my Bend days now down to single digits, I knew I needed to get in a least one decent ride in Bike Town USA. Sunday morning a group of seven professional athletes of either cycling, triathlon or skiing descent rolled out on the roads to the cowboy town of Sisters, Oregon. From here we made our way up McKenzie Pass. As the pace picked up and the gradient steepened, I was a tidbit nervous with my serious lack of cycling miles and with both the eastern and western climbs of McKenzie Pass looming. McKenzie is a fabled road here in Oregon, the original pass through the Cascades that connects the high desert of the East with the wetter West. Being so oldschool the postman used to have to traverse it on skis at the turn of the century, the road snakes and weaves its way along the mountainside, a two-lane path matching nature. It stands so much in contrast to modern road straightened through dynamite and man’s might. Certainly better for quicker driving from point A to B, but it’s like a friend of mine says, “Take the interstate if you want to go from one place to the next to get there absolutely as fast as possible and see absolutely nothing.” Both have their place. I just seem to overemphasize speed and miss out on taking in roads that roll along with lava fields and country estates.

Getting back into town, ravished, its time to slide into Sno-Cap for the aforementioned all-American culinary experience. But it’s a hot Sunday afternoon and the line stretches straight out the mom-and-pop burgershack to the street. We’re hungry, real hungry, so we head down the street to a café that specializes in all-natural vegan food. The wait was non-existent, but so was that malted milk shake.

the old highway twists its way through everthing from big stands of timber to lava fields.

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Bend Camp is back. And that means the skiing here is expected to practically  last right up to the Fourth of July.

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