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  • New Signature Destination Gravel Guide: Wedges Creek Hideaway

    Today we're announcing our very first signature destination Gravel Guide at Wedges Creek Hideaway in Wisconsin. Wedges Creek is a wood-fired pizza farm and bar with camping and tiny cabins in the middle of gravel country. Early Access to this Gravel Guide is now available to Patrons on our Adventure Team tier. Join us on Patreon to get access now.

  • Last Day for Jerseys is Today [Feb 22]

    As our eyes turn to the 2024 gravel season, we're releasing a brand new northern lights-inspired 2024 Nxrth jersey in time for gravel races and woodsy rambles. Designed and manufactured right here in Wisconsin's beautiful Driftless region by Borah Teamwear, these Pro jerseys are available until Thursday, Feb 22. Every jersey comes with: Fit Guarantee Recycled materials Silicone waist gripper Three rear pockets Lightweight Moisture wicking Made in Wisconsin Shop the 2024 Nxrth Jersey

  • Gravel Goals: Using the 80/20 Model to Balance Endurance, Strength, & Recovery

    In this week's installment of our Gravel Goals series, coach Paul Warloski talks about balancing the key components of a training plan into your busy life. Follow along with the Gravel Goals series to improve your performance in your 100+ mile gravel events. Words by Paul Warloski of Simple Endurance Coaching. To learn more, visit our Introduction to the Gravel Goals series. This week in our series on training for a long gravel race, we’re focusing on how to actually create a schedule that can work in your daily lives. It’s important to create a schedule that maximizes your training time. And we need to include endurance training, strength training, and yoga to improve our health, mobility, and fitness. How do you do all of that? Set up a gravel base training schedule around your life and work schedule Remember, here’s what we talked about in the last post: One long day of endurance riding Three to four days of short endurance riding Two days a week of strength training Two days a week of yoga - recovery and/or strength One or two days a week of intervals One rest day Scheduling Your Key Long Easy Ride Generally, most people have more time on the weekends, so schedule your long rides on weekends if that works. Plus more people are free on the weekends for group rides. Your other workouts can be scheduled for 30 to 90 minutes on days you’re working, again, depending on your schedule. You might find it easier to do double days or maybe you can ride to work and ride home the long way. You have lots of options to fit your schedule! Remember to practice your fueling and hydration along with using potential race gear like bags. Strength Training on Hard Days Generally, I advise athletes to have hard days and easier days. That means on hard days, couple your strength and your intervals. Unless there’s a specific reason you’re working on strength training, I’d suggest doing the intervals in the morning and strength training after work. We’re not trying to become Olympic lifters or bodybuilders so it doesn’t matter if we’re a little fatigued when we lift. Our goal is to lift to fatigue the muscles a little more than usual. Base Training Endurance Days I schedule longer base endurance days for the weekend when I have more time. If I’m training for a gravel century, I don’t necessarily need to eventually ride 100 miles in training. On the other hand, doing 60 miles Saturday and 60 miles Sunday at an endurance pace puts a lot of training stress in the bank and doesn’t cause as much muscle damage. During the week, you can add in as much endurance riding as you’re able to muster with your schedule. The more volume you can build with easy endurance miles, the better off you’ll be. But make sure you increase the volume incrementally each week. If you try to ride 60 miles and you’ve never done more than 20 before, you’re going to set yourself back! Scheduling Yoga Sessions Yoga for recovery - shorter sessions based on simple movements - can happen any time. For example, I have an 8pm Yoga Recovery session for my athletes every Monday on Zoom. Yoga for strength, a Hatha or Flow class, can be counted as strength training or done as part of a double day when you do your ride in the morning or after work. Do the yoga AFTER you ride. The 80/20 Model Keeps You Focused The idea of the 80/20 model is that 80 percent of your sessions or four out of five rides are endurance and the others are intensity. As we’ve talked about in the previous article, endurance rides are key elements of your training plan. You can build up a lot of training volume and stress without as much of the fatigue that builds up with higher intensity. So generally, do mostly easy endurance miles and some hard interval days, and you’ll get the adaptations you need in your muscles and cardiovascular system without too much fatigue. Sample Week Monday: Rest day Tuesday: intervals and strength Wednesday: easy endurance Thursday: easy endurance and strength Friday: rest or recovery ride Saturday: intervals and endurance Sunday: long endurance day You can always switch the weekend days. Try to get at least 48 hours in between interval sessions for full recovery. About Coach Paul Warloski Paul Warloski is a Level 2 USA-Cycling Coach, a certified yoga instructor, and a certified personal trainer. He supports everyday endurance athletes at Simple Endurance Coaching, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He's been racing gravel, road, mountain bike, and cyclocross for decades, so he brings both experience and training knowledge to help you to your best gravel race performances in 2024. He'll be racing the Big Rivers Gravel Series in Illinois, the Hungry Bear in Cable, likely the Coon Fork 40 in Eau Claire, and other gravel races this year. To learn more, or for a free 30-minute Virtual Coffee to talk about your training and your goals, visit Simple Endurance Coaching.

  • The Winter That Wasn't: Northwoods Ramble Ep 11.

    The newest episode of The Northwoods Ramble podcast recently dropped. Seeley Dave and TJ talk about ice riding, the lack of normal winters lately, and the conditions and snow making up around Seeley and Cable. From the Northwoods Ramble Podcast: It’s been a month since the last Ramble. I guess that is better than the two months between show 9 and 10. Anyway, Seeley Dave and TJ are back for Northwoods Ramble Show 11 and a review of the winter that wasn’t. 2024 started out with a New Years Day paddle down the Namekagon River for Dave and Liz. With almost no snow this winter, we go swale watching to see the piles of manmade snow the Birkie has stored and intends to spread out to create a 10K loop for the 50th. TJ explains a bit about the Birkie’s snowmaking capabilities. We discuss the huge economic hit the area has taken from winter lack of visitors. Dave gives an update on his frozen lake riding goals.

  • Readers' Routes: Scott Haraldson and the Maiden Rock Route

    Today's Reader's Route comes from Scott Haraldson and includes a few hours of driftless climbing hear Lake Pepin. A short and enjoyable one hour fifteen minute drive from the Twin Cities lands you in the small town of Maiden Rock. This route packs as many climbs and gravel roads as possible while keeping the distance under 60 miles. Submission from Scott Haraldson With eight categorized climbs (Based on Garmin's ClimbPro calculations) and up to 15 percent grades you'll get the lungs and heart pumping. To start your day park your vehicle in the Maiden Rock Village Park before pedaling north out of town. Before long you'll already be pedaling yourself up out of the river valley and quickly onto gravel. There are a not many water stops so make sure to bring enough bottles and food to get you through the day. At mile 41 you'll ride through the town of Plum which has a well stocked convenience store and a couple of great options for food for those who want to sit. My very favorite portion of the route comes near the end where at mile 52 you begin a three mile downhill on a very narrow, rough road, that depending on the weather may have multiple stream crossings (that are easy to navigate across). Finish up back in Maiden Rock and stand elbow to elbow with other two wheelers (of the motorcycle variety) at the Six String Saloon. Submit Your Reader's Route All Reader's Routes So Far

  • The 2024 Nxrth Jersey is Here [Closes Feb 22]

    As our eyes turn to the 2024 gravel season, we're releasing a brand new northern lights-inspired 2024 Nxrth jersey in time for gravel races and woodsy rambles. Designed and manufactured right here in Wisconsin's beautiful Driftless region by Borah Teamwear, these Pro jerseys are available until Thursday, Feb 22. Every jersey comes with: Fit Guarantee Recycled materials Silicone waist gripper Three rear pockets Lightweight Moisture wicking Made in Wisconsin Shop the 2024 Nxrth Jersey

  • Gravel Goals: How to Build a Base to Comfortably Finish a Long Gravel Race

    We recently launched a new series called "Gravel Goals" to help you train for your 100 mile gravel races. Today Coach Paul Warloski discusses how to build a strong base to have a solid foundation as you lengthen your distances this spring and summer. Words by Paul Warloski of Simple Endurance Coaching. To learn more, visit our Introduction to the Gravel Goals series. If you are preparing for a long gravel race this year, laying a solid foundation or "base" right now is crucial. This base is not just about logging miles but also about incorporating strength training and yoga to enhance strength and mobility. This is a general preparation phase where you build the capacity to train harder before the main event. You’re getting your body ready to tackle the tough training you need to do to comfortably finish a long gravel race. Think of base training as the foundation of a building; the larger the foundation, the taller and larger the building can be. Understanding the Importance of Base Building Base training is the first phase of a structured training plan. It's about developing a strong aerobic engine, which is essential for endurance sports like gravel racing. A well-developed aerobic base allows your body to efficiently use oxygen and conserve glycogen stores in your muscles and liver - critical for long-distance events - by becoming better at burning fat. Plus, you build more and larger mitochondria in your cells to produce energy, which also helps your body’s capacity to burn fat as a fuel, which we all have in virtually unlimited stores. Key Components of Base Training Endurance rides: These are long, steady rides at a moderate intensity, roughly 50 to 70 percent of the maximum heart rate you’ve seen. They should form the bulk of your base training, helping to increase your aerobic capacity and endurance. You should be able to talk easily with another person and breathe mostly through your nose. Strength training: Incorporating strength training is vital. It builds muscle strength, improves power output, and reduces the risk of overuse or injury. Focus on full-body compound movements like deadlifts, as well as push (chest press) and pull (row) exercises. Yoga and mobility work: Yoga improves flexibility, balance, and core strength. Regular yoga practice can also aid in recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and enhance overall mobility, crucial for long hours in the saddle. Structuring Your Base Training Building Endurance Duration: 8-12 weeks. Focus: Gradually increase the length of your endurance rides. Start with what you're comfortable with and aim to increase volume by about five to 10 percent each week. In the beginning, you might be able to increase it more, but as you work up to longer distances, you’ll increase it less. Intensity: Keep the intensity easy. Use heart rate zones or perceived exertion to stay in the aerobic zone. One good way of monitoring your intensity is breathing through your nose and keeping your mouth closed. You should also be able to have an easy conversation with others. Frequency: Get in one long as possible ride in a week, plus three to four shorter endurance rides. Strength and Mobility Duration: Concurrent with endurance training. Strength training: Two to three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes. Focus on your entire body, especially core strength. We’ll get into strength training more fully in a later article. Yoga: Incorporate yoga sessions 1-2 times a week. Focus on poses that target typical cyclists' problem areas like hips, hip flexors, and lower back. Think mobility, not flexibility. Nutrition and Recovery Nutrition: Fuel your body with a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Don't forget to hydrate adequately. Recovery: Prioritize rest and recovery. Ensure you're getting enough sleep, and consider active recovery days where you focus on light activities like walking or gentle yoga. Include Some Intervals During Base Generally, I do recommend that you include one hard session a week. For my athletes, we work on weaknesses, like your capacity to go really hard, or higher cadence work. This is also a good time to get in some Zwift racing to keep your winter training more interesting. Your primary focus, though, is the slow, easy miles that bring about a lot of adaptations in your muscular and cardiovascular systems without much fatigue. Building a Base is Holistic Building a strong base for a long gravel race is about more than just racking up slow, endurance miles. It's a holistic approach that includes endurance training, strength workouts, and yoga for improved strength and mobility. By following these guidelines, you're setting yourself up for a successful and enjoyable race experience. Remember, consistency is key, and always listen to your body to prevent overtraining. 3 Things to Know About Building a Base for Gravel Racing 1. Ride lots but go slower than you expect so that your heart rate is 50 to 70 percent of your maximum. 2. Do several rides during the week, and increase the time length of one of them each week to build up to a long ride. 3. Make sure you’re recovering with good nutrition and yoga. About Coach Paul Warloski Paul Warloski is a Level 2 USA-Cycling Coach, a certified yoga instructor, and a certified personal trainer. He supports everyday endurance athletes at Simple Endurance Coaching, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He's been racing gravel, road, mountain bike, and cyclocross for decades, so he brings both experience and training knowledge to help you to your best gravel race performances in 2024. He'll be racing the Big Rivers Gravel Series in Illinois, the Hungry Bear in Cable, likely the Coon Fork 40 in Eau Claire, and other gravel races this year. To learn more, or for a free 30-minute Virtual Coffee to talk about your training and your goals, visit Simple Endurance Coaching.

  • Your Fat Bike & Coffee Adventures: Part 2

    We recently concluded our January Fat Bike & Coffee challenge. Despite not having a lot of snow, many of you still got out to join the adventure and share your photos. Check out a few of the photos and adventures from around the community to see what everyone was up to in January.

  • Adventure Cycling for Two at the Brand New Tofte Trails Cabins

    Tofte Trails cabins just opened last fall on the north shore of Lake Superior. Near Lutsen mountains and some amazing gravel, MTB, fat, and bikepacking adventures, they offer beautiful and relaxing cabins designed for couples and solo travelers surrounded by wild adventures. Enjoy a Q&A with the owners and photo gallery then start dreaming up your next adventure. To learn more, visit Tofte Trails. Q&A with owners Chris & Kelsey: Congrats on opening Tofte Trails last fall! Seems like a great location for bike adventures? We actually have a direct connection to Jackpot/High Climber trail off of Onion River Road which connects to Britton Peak Trail head. So guests can either drive 10 minutes to Britton Peak or head left out of Tofte Trails up Onion River Rd and access world class trails. Guests can bring their fat bikes and head out directly from the property and get to Jackpot and Britton Peak. Jackpot/High Climber is a point to point 16 mile wilderness trail through the Sawtooth Mountains that connects Britton Peak to Tofte to Lutsen Mountains built by Rock Solid. Sustainably built with the environment in mind, it’s a flowy trail with awesome features and jumps along the way. Onion River Rd is a forest service gravel road and reaches the Gitchi Gami paved trail and the new gravel connection to Lutsen Mountains. They recently expanded the gravel to paved connections around Lutsen Mountains. Britton Peak also offers a connection to the dead end Carlton Peak Trail and is another awesome gravel option with an amazing view pay off of Lake Superior and the surrounding valleys at the top. We absolutely love our location as it is proximal to all of these great adventures. SugarBush Trail system is 2 minutes up Onion River road. The best cross country ski and snowshoeing trail system in the state and it offers incredible summer hiking too. Jeff of Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte has all of the outdoor gear anyone would need to make the most of these adventures just in case anyone needs to rent any bikes, boards, skis etc. Excitingly we can now share the news that another trail system build out is set to begin at the top of Onion River Rd and will offer another world class trail system. Which is amazing as there will be even more great rides right out your door from Tofte Trails. Riders can fuel up and get a bite to eat at Coho Cafe, Lutsen Lockport Marketplace, Bluefin Grill, and the Tofte General Store all within 5 minutes away. You’re at a pretty cool intersection of rugged outdoors and luxury indoors. Where do you see those two things coming together for gravel and fat bikers? Our goal is to bring nature lovers to the doorstep of the outdoors in comfort. We want our guests to have an incredible experience and feel a certain moody vibe when they stay at Tofte Trails which is why we poured so much energy into the details and outfitted the cabins with 140 year old barnwood. Secondly, our cabins offer an aesthetic that guests love and the size and layout makes you feel entrenched in nature. Again, our location on Onion River Rd offers gravel and fat bikers everything they would want for trail access to get to Britton Peak, Jackpot, Carlton Peak and so on. Many of our guests are among the play hard, chill hard variety. We really encourage everyone to get out, get dirty and come back to your cabin for a restful retreat. The cabins are built to be an experience in and of themselves and to complement your outdoor adventure. You started with Cuyuna Cove and now you’re now adding Tofte Trails. How has the Cuyuna cycling community influenced what you built into your Tofte Trails experience? We built Cuyuna Cove to be an access point to all of the adventures we love to have in the outdoors and Tofte really is an extension of the same. We love the North Shore and the feeling you get amongst the wilderness is largely unmatched in Minnesota. Cuyuna’s trail system built around crystal clear, spring fed mine pit lakes is unrivaled in the state but this differs from what the North Shore offers in scope of its biking, hiking, skiing, views of Lake Superior, paved trail and so on. It takes years to even come close to touching all of the North Shore adventures one can have. Kelsey and I continue to go on new hikes, new exploration up and down the shore and we haven’t even chipped the tip of the iceberg. So it really is endless with more to come. There are great people behind the scenes for the trail associations that are making these new systems come to life and we are thankful to all of those who diligently work against bureaucracy to make it happen. Then the general public gets to benefit further from these efforts. Specifically to outdoor gear and bikes we added storage en suite on the back side of the cabins at Tofte Trails and made some systems modifications to accommodate winter and summer even more sustainably. Our cabins are an artistic endeavor for us that we do our best to combine or weave into nature versus forcing into nature. We want you to feel like you’re IN the woods even when you’re inside one of our cabins. A lot of our guests talk about loving to get dirty and get after it but having an experience based stay to come back to afterwards is the cherry on top for the day. Separately we have a ton of wildlife that comes through our corridor so if you are quietly relaxing at your cabin you’ll see an array of animals go by the cabins. Mornings in particular are great for waking up slowly with more wildlife slipping through. We are mulling over an off grid stay option in the future at Tofte Trails for those riders who just want to crush trails and crash or use the property as a basecamp to head into the boundary waters, but of course we will still put our take on this variety of stay as well. You guys built some incredibly thoughtful amenities into these cabins. What are your personal favorite things about them? We appreciate this question as this is where the labor of love lies. It took a ton of effort to outfit these cabins with 140 year old barn wood and avoid drywalling a cabin. Even cedar finish has a certain feel to it. Beautiful but not what we were going for. The barn wood is unmatched and given how labor intensive it was to acquire, clean, sand and install it is likely to stay one of the most unique aspects of our Tofte Trails cabins. With so much imitation and 1 off cabin stays being offered through Airbnb we truly wanted to build another one of a kind stay that juxtaposed the old world with new amenities and we wanted guests to feel this heavy, moody vibe. The cabins push you into a reflective and pensive frame of mind. As for the amenities we went all out. The cabins are equipped with dishwashers, large mini fridges, in floor heat, supplemental heat gas fireplaces, mini splits for AC in the summer as we are getting hotter temps, spa inspired shower/bath layout and design, en suite storage for outdoor gear, brass finishes, custom concrete countertops & fireplace stand, king size beds on custom oak frames, oak cabinets & shelving, and projectors for movie nights or for stormy/rainy days. Automatic blinds double as the screen for the projectors. The fireplace, mini split, projectors and blinds are all on remote for convenience. Board games provide those nostalgic vibes from a simpler time that so many of us crave these days. There are other small artful pieces in the cabins that guests really enjoy as well. We took note of how our best stays from our travels always offered decor and items that when interacted with add to the overall experience. We are all so overwhelmed by the constant stimuli of today’s world that we wanted guests to really be able to check out, relax and unwind. At the same time we recognize many cannot unplug fully so we provide fiber internet for those that need to stay connected for work. Cell service is still bad on the North Shore so having great wifi also helps out in that regard. Besides the abundance of forest around Tofte Trails, we additionally brought in 17 trees (Moonglow Juniper, Red Cedar, Bonny Blues) that further contribute to the beautifully landscaped property and will only get better year after year as they will all grow to be sizeable trees providing more privacy to each cabin. We also planted hoards of natives throughout the property and around each cabin and privacy fencing that will begin to grow taller and flower this coming year. Boulder retaining walls around the cabins further add to the North Shore mystique.

  • Introducing "Gravel Goals", a 100 Mile Gravel Training Series

    Today we're introducing a brand new training series called "Gravel Goals" with coach Paul Warloski. Over the next few weeks and months we'll be publishing helpful articles for training for your 100 mile gravel rides. Whether you're training for your first one or looking to improve your performance, we want to support your goals and help you have a successful gravel ride. Gravel Goals with Coach Paul Warloski Words by Paul Warloski of Simple Endurance Coaching Any long gravel race, especially 100 miles and longer, is a physical and mental challenge. But that’s why we do it! And there’s a difference between just surviving to finish a long gravel race and finishing one comfortably, maybe even racing it. Preparing your body with good training and good nutrition along with some mental training goes a long way toward a successful event. Our goal throughout several articles in the Gravel Goals series is to give you the framework of what to do to prepare for a long gravel race. We’ll cover these topics over the next several weeks: Base training Intervals Training schedule for working people Nutrition and hydration Recovery Mental preparation Five Keys to Training for a 100 Mile Gravel Race For now, let’s start with the big picture of training for a gravel century ride. Here are the five keys to a successful event: Lots of base endurance miles. Intervals that prepare you for the challenges of gravel racing Strength training Yoga for mobility Recovery 1. Base Endurance Miles The key to a successful event is building up your endurance. This means as many miles as possible at a very easy pace, roughly 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Essentially, you’re riding at a pace where you can easily talk with someone about everything except maybe politics or religion. This kind of riding builds the adaptations in your cardiovascular system and your muscles to be ready for a long gravel race. 2. Intervals You can improve your gravel fitness by doing intervals - short, hard sessions where you ride at a specific pace or heart rate to improve your cycling performance. For example, you might do really hard, maximum effort intervals for two minutes in the winter and then more gravel-racing-specific intervals of eight to 15 minutes closer to your event. Intervals are a great way to improve your body’s capacity to work hard, but they require more recovery time. So we do them sparingly to target weaknesses and race-specific needs. 3. Strength Training Gravel racing can really take a toll on your body. Consistent strength training can prepare you for more and better training as well as keep you strong for the uneven gravel and dirt roads and paths we race on. I’d suggest two, even three days a week of full-body strength training for 30 to 45 minutes. You might do your strength training on the same day as an interval session or use it as a cross-training day. I always start new athletes off with this Back and Booty routine to build the muscles of their back and glutes to prepare them for heavier lifting. 4. Yoga for Mobility When we ride our bicycles, we are in a pretty limited range of motion. We’re hunched over, trying to keep our upper bodies mostly still while using our legs to push. Clearly, this is not optimal human movement! Yoga can move us in all different directions, create better mobility in our hips and shoulders, and build up our joint strength. Mobility in our joints allows us to move better, which creates more strength and stability as we ride. 5. Recovery When we ride, strength train, or even do yoga, we cause damage to our bodies. Only during recovery does our body rebuild itself stronger and more ready to take on challenges. Getting good sleep, seven to nine hours a night, and good nutrition are ways to get 99 percent of your recovery dialed in. Focusing on good sleep and eating habits will help you reach your gravel racing goals. Training plus experience About Coach Paul Warloski Paul Warloski is a Level 2 USA-Cycling Coach, a certified yoga instructor, and a certified personal trainer. He supports everyday endurance athletes at Simple Endurance Coaching, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He's been racing gravel, road, mountain bike, and cyclocross for decades, so he brings both experience and training knowledge to help you to your best gravel race performances in 2024. He'll be racing the Big Rivers Gravel Series in Illinois, the Hungry Bear in Cable, likely the Coon Fork 40 in Eau Claire, and other gravel races this year. To learn more, or for a free 30-minute Virtual Coffee to talk about your training and your goals, visit Simple Endurance Coaching.

  • Ride Planning & Live Route Collaboration: Reviewing the MapMagic Mapping App

    MapMagic is a powerful and collaborative route planning tool for discovering, creating, and organizing routes all over the world. We've been testing MapMagic during our winter adventure planning and have a review ready to share. To learn more and start mapping with a free account, visit MapMagic. This review is part of a sponsored partnership with MapMagic. Initial Thoughts About MapMagic During winter months, mapping becomes a major hobby of mine. I would categorize my interest in mapping two ways: discovery and collecting. A huge interest of mine is discovering new places to ride such as gravel routes, fat bike adventures, and bikepacking planning. I want to aggregate as many sources of information to come up with great places to bike. I've been playing around MapMagic for the last several weeks and really love how intuitive it is. About a year ago I was curious about another mapping app and after spending a few hours I quickly realized that it would take a prohibitive amount of time getting used to the interface. MapMagic was easy to learn without tutorials and user forms which got me right into using the 50+ layers to uncover places to ride. I really liked that the Strava global heatmap is one of the layers and that you can filter it out to just cycling heatmaps since it's the #1 app for cycling. The other big way I use mapping apps is collecting ideas for future rides. MapMagic gives you several ways to organize and pull in saved routes. While mapping, you can add as many different routes as you'd like, along with color coding. But you can also divide individual routes into segments for multi-day adventures. It's nice to have a few different ways to organize routes both for separating the information as well as creating a way to customize the visualization of your plans. Using MapMagic to Plan Multi-Day Bikepacking Adventures Planning a great new bikepacking route is challenging. The perfect route hits some really great highlights while also getting off the beaten path. Because you're out for several days, you want your map dialed in with a daily plan, clearly marked points-of-interest, and backup route options in case things go murky. Multiple Segments & Layered Routes As mentioned there are a few ways to organize a multi-day route and which one you choose depends on your own style. You can layer multiple routes or you turn a single route into multiple segments. Each segment is independently customizable and exportable for planning, organizing, and sharing. 205 POI Types with Color-Customization I've often been frustrated with the lack of POI options on other map apps. Planning a multi-day trip usually includes wanting to mark camping, cabins, groceries, waterfalls, train stations, drinks, shelters, water sources, and a LOT more. Ride With GPS, for example, has 39 POI options where MapMagic has 205. Then you can also color code with 8 color options. Sure, you could just use a generic 'info' POI whenever you want to mark something that isn't an available option in Ride With GPS but to me, how the information on a map is visualized matters a lot and MapMagic gives the most options of any app I'ved used. Live Group Collaboration for Trips with Friends This is by far the coolest feature and I haven't seen any other map apps that can do this. I've had many fruitless route planning experiences where friends share map screenshots or endless route links back and forth. Live group collaboration completely removes that and puts everybody in the same live map conversation at the same time. Everyone can see each other's mouse movements while you're discussing plans and anybody can make edits to the route and it's instantly reflected on the shared map. The learning curve is extremely low and it quickly becomes like discussing the bikepacking version of a live Google Doc. Our 4 Favorite Features of MapMagic The simple interface combined with some really powerful features make this a great tool for casual ride planning as well as in-depth and highly detailed route creation. After playing around it for a while, here are our favorite things. 1. 50+ map layers This opens up a lot of customization options and is just a lot of fun to explore. 2. Massive amount of POI types I like to add a lot of detail to my maps. The 205 POIs with 8 color choices is a great feature for planning and visualization. 3. Live collaboration I love mapping sessions and I love group adventures and this really makes a big difference with group planning. 4. Simple and beautiful interface Map Magic feels great and isn't a burden to learn a new app. The features make it worth it and it's a simple curve to get up to speed. MapMagic Conclusion MapMagic is a user-friendly mapping tool with over 50 layers, making it easy to discover and plan cycling routes. Its standout features include multi-day trip organization, a vast list of 205 POI types, and live group collaboration for real-time planning with friends. MapMagic's simplicity and powerful features make it an excellent choice for both casual and detailed ride planning. To learn more and start mapping, visit MapMagic.

  • Stacee Goedtel's US Fat Bike Open Recap: Fast & Hilly at Ariens Nordic Center

    The 2024 US Fat Bike Open, part of the SnowCrown series, was recently held at a new venue, Ariens Nordic Center. The race day brought sunshine and blue skies to the fast and hilly course. Stacee Goedtel took second place in the Women's Advanced Category and shares her story of racing, dropping a chain, and making it to the podium. To learn more, visit the Snow Crown series. Words by Stacee Goedtel. Photos by Mitchell Vincent (Website & Instagram) Ariens Nordic Center hosted the US Fat Bike Open for the first time this year. Approaching this course race morning left me in awe. Despite the weather’s ups and downs this season Arien’s was able to create a pristine course for fat bikers from all around. With snow making and grooming capabilities we were presented with a 2.7 mile lap and a wide open fast hilly course for this year’s US Open. The temperature was about 15-17 degrees Fahrenheit with a decent breeze on race day. Just getting out in the cold in your race attire takes discipline. This year I signed up for the advanced women’s category. Got on the bike for a short 10 minutes prior to race start time to stay warm. My goal going into race day first and foremost is always to have fun. Second goal was to grab a podium spot hopefully alongside some of my Broken Spoke Racing teammates. I was happy to hear they increased our category to a five lap race. The longer the better in my mind. As it began it wasn’t long before we were climbing up wide steep double track hills diving into sharp turns with a mix of tracks and slippery fresh powder. It wasn’t long before the heat of racing set in and I found myself hastily wanting to shed as many layers as I could under the bright sun. After the first lap I took off my gloves, unzipped my jacket and settled into the rest of the race working with teammate Brandi McVeigh to stay in the front of the pack. For each race category at this venue the field of riders tend to spread out due to the fast course and somewhat technical turns and hills. By the end of the second lap unfortunately I dropped my chain and had to replace it while going up a hill. I ran the rest of the hill and hopped back on the bike separated from the front rider. I began passing racers from different categories. We exchanged words of encouragement while pushing up more elevation and diving into sketchy turns. I was able to secure second place in the women’s advanced category along with Brandi McVeigh in first and Jamie Zarda in third. Both my fellow Broken Spoke riders! My goal has always been to be competitive in the advanced category, so I am thrilled with a podium at this event this year. Even better to have so many people in the Broken Spoke community to race with and spectate. Highlights outside of my race consisted of a few things. Those who are participating in their first season of fat biking take the top of that list! This race had very different conditions compared to the first race in the Snow Crown Series giving our new fat bikers a completely different taste of winter riding. Their reactions to the difference was exciting. Next would be watching Josh Lasley win a sprint battle for 4th against Aaron Stroebel in men’s advanced category. This was the best finish of the day. Watching Cayden Budd and Casey Hildebrant battle for the top of the podium in the elite men’s race always keeps people around. They stuck with each other each lap. Cayden taking first right at the end with Casey not far behind. Also a shout out to Jenny Youngwerth who took the top spot for the women’s elite category. The Snow Crown Series has had their work cut out for them planning their races with the weather changes. Having Ariens being a part of this was an amazing addition to help with the unpredictable weather. Thank you to both organizations for all your hard work.

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