2016 Birkie

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Glacier Glide
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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby Glacier Glide » Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:52 pm

I am breaking down this year and having BNS wax my skis. I think I have the "cold" Birke pretty dialed in, but I do not have a full compliment of waxes at the warmer end of the world and BNS is doing the full Monty this year all the way up to topcoat and structure. I usually work off of their recommendations so I decided to take the plunge. It is a little scary because I get somewhat anal on waxing. On the upside there is a lot less crap I have to haul through the travel process, on the downside a sudden change in weather could be a bummer. Good luck all.
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Burgesse
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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby Burgesse » Thu Feb 18, 2016 8:48 am

Yes, I am glad I am skating on Saturday. NOAA shows warmer weather each time I check. Low now predicted at +34F and that's my 8:55 AM start temp.
Recall that fun ski some years back when it got warm - I enjoyed that. Since I have never started before wave 3 and thus almost always ski in chopped up snow, I have been relying on an old pair of 195cm Madshus "Hypersonic 3x3" skis, long enough and soft enough that I like to think I am floating along. :roll:
I am a bit surprised that Fastwax still recommends the "Salmon" (F22-38) rather than warmest "Bronze" (F30-50) for glide but Dan evidently likes harder waxes.

Good luck, esp. to classic skiers.

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby bmullin » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:39 pm

I did some ski testing today. My two sets of skis, plus a loaner set from a friend. Not a huge quiver, but I was able to pick the best set of the three. I'm pretty happy with them. They were all waxed the same, just different flexes and grinds.

Tonight, I got them all greased up. I'm optimistic I've got some good to great skis for Saturday.

About all that is left to do now is get myself to the start on time!

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby blckdmnd » Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:49 pm

Birkie website on trail conditions guesses that the conditions will be fast. They also have left open the possibility they will not be able to groom quite like they want.

Either way I am looking forward to a new twist compared to the last few years. I have the skis dialed in, and it's looking like t shirt weather! Looks to be a good day to set a PR :supz:

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby JeffOYB » Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:58 pm

For 40+ deg skating back in the day I recall using a lot of black moly under and Ski-Go 242 on top. Is that approach helpful today? Is that 242 stuff still used at all? I recall it was teflon and silicone or something. Or is pure fluoro on top of plain warm wax the ticket? (I also remember Ski-Go C280 for old snow around 25degF -- maybe these were only viable just before fluoro was discovered.)
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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby SpecialGreen » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:05 pm

I had read FastWax recommendations to cover klister with anti-icing; I went with Swix Uni klister, and a covered with a Toko wipe-on glide wax. It was great for about the first fourth of the race. Snow in the tracks was translucent, as though it was considering turning to slush, but just hadn't made up its mind yet. Glide was better than powder, but not as fast as icy "luge run" tracks, or frozen courderoy. I was gliding a bit better than most, and kick was acceptable. After about 12k, I started feeling the klister dragging. I wasn't too surprised, since that wipe-on glider doesn't last long (if anybody has tips for a 50k anti-icing technique, that would be helpful).

Then I got heavy icing on one ski (looking back, I remember pulling a Gu packet off that ski, which I think may have been the culprit... but at the time, it didn't occur to me). I scraped the ice as best as I could with fingernails, and dabbed some Oslo Violet over it, thinking it would encapsulate the grains of ice. Whether it was the scraping or the Violet, this actually seemed to work.

Then I got another Gu packet stuck on at another aid station! Dang, that stuff is annoying. By this time, it had occured to me that Gu = ice. I pulled it off', and licked the kickwax clean, then dried it on my jersey.

There were several bouts of freezing sleet, but not enough to soak my jersey. Then, about the last 15k of the race, the wax started to kick enough for me to stride up most inclines again. Or maybe I had finally figured-out how to kick without much grip.

Temps were uncomfortably warm: I had a normal podiumwear suit, and no base layer. But my boots were soaked with sweat, and I had sweat running off my head. I think a pair of knickers (without the calf socks) would have been perfect.

I have to admit that the conditions limited the "fun factor:" it felt like a late-March ski, without the sunshine, and with some sleet thrown-in. But I would've hated to have missed it, just the same.

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby UPrSKr » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:23 am

[quoteFor 40+ deg skating back in the day I recall using a lot of black moly under and Ski-Go 242 on top. Is that approach helpful today? Is that 242 stuff still used at all? I recall it was teflon and silicone or something. Or is pure fluoro on top of plain warm wax the ticket? (I also remember Ski-Go C280 for old snow around 25degF -- maybe these were only viable just before fluoro was discovered.)][/quote]

Back in the day I used 242 a lot in lieu of the more expensive fluor powders. Ideally it would be covered with C22 powder, but I was too cheap back then to use powders. I started using powders later when it become obvious that it was necessary to use them in certain conditions to have fast skis. The C280 was also an awesome wax, especially when it was very cold. I had good luck with C280 down to -13F or so, especially when the snow was a little older and broken down from skiers and grooming, and that stuff kept getting faster the more you skied on it and brushed it, up to around 100km before needing rewaxing. SkiGo no longer offers C280, it has been replaced by other cold wax options. The 242 is now called HF yellow and is usually covered by C22 powder and C22 liquid. That is what I used this year at the Birkie on 187cm Fischer Speedmax C-specials (yellow base) with 2mm+.75mm rills. They were my fastest skis on Friday and were even better on Saturday, but they weren't quite as fast as some other skis and preparations. I was happy to ski a conservative race in a little over 2:36, and didn't really crack a sweat until after 00. After that I picked up the pace because I had to pee, and put the hammer down after b$## hill and put those rills to good use. Sadly, I may have fallen off the wagon as far as ski wax spending goes. I heard that the ultra expensive Gallium Gigaspeed liquid fluor was really awesome, and used by many of the top skiers. I want some!

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby Blah » Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:15 am

Rex 245 was insanely fast on Saturday morning at OO. I don't think any of the top skiers were on Gallium as it would have worn off very quickly. The top skiers that I waxed together with my boss were running 245 or Briko. 1,3,4,5 in the men's race

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby MN Hoser » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:50 pm

Briko ____?

I'm curious if you're willing to mention what other products you tested and what was working or not. Track looked pretty hard.

My athletes (grin) were on Skigo C22 (over Holm Yellow over a graphite) and a couple runs of the Holmenkol tool. No topcoat.

I can only get about 3 pair of that C22 vial...

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby Blah » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:39 pm

I went with Rex for my guys from the US,. It was the fastest on Saturday morning when I tested. My boss from France and I tested together on Friday and at that time Maplus was the fastest, FYI it was #2 for me on Saturday.
Maplus makes a ton of pow that are not on their website but they are available for sale. He used 841s mixed with 842s melted together with Toko Helix 2.0 Yellow.
It makes an almost gummy mess that is a pain to brush out.

Other Pows that were good - Start FHF5, Toko 2.0 yellow/red mixed melted with Helix yellow, Holmenkol wet

That being said the Rex 245 and Maplus were MUCH faster

Blocks - Holmenkol wet was the fastest for us. HWK 9Mo50 was also very good

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby Blah » Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:41 pm

Forgot to add that he waxed everything on Friday night but he fully waxed each athlete 2 pairs of skis so that they could just test skis in the morning vs wax. I was worried that the conditions would be different, which they were, so I waited to put on top coats.

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby UPrSKr » Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:51 pm

It makes an almost gummy mess that is a pain to brush out.


Wow, thanks for sharing that.

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby bmullin » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:39 am

Looks like we lost Jay's "winning" Birkie story in the DB snaffu. Hopefully he can repost it or summarize it and give an update.

In the mean time I finally got around to finishing my race report. Executive summary: PR by time and place, but still disappointed having gone in with high expectations.

http://www.cyclova.com/2016/02/mullins-2016-birkie-report.html

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby MN Hoser » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:38 pm

Ben, another entertaining read. For wax, I'd recommend you widen your horizons WRT pure flouros. A few good ones: Start 75, HK mid08 (race powder mid), Swix 8x (new snow), Skigo C22 (old snow). Joe's will have a sale coming up you might want to watch.

So, here's my report (which I had saved):

Background
---------------
I've had a history of PVCs (premature ventricular contractions). It started after racing the Chequamegon (a 40 mile mt. bike race) without really being in shape. Well, if you call 3000 road miles without racing being out of shape. Then it happened DURING the Mora Vasaloppet (when I was in shape), and then often enough that I saw a cardiac electrophysiologist in 2009. Since then I’ve had an open “ticket” to go in and have an EKG hoping to collect high heart rate data during an arrhythmic event.
My assumption was the high HR arrhythmia over the years was the same PVCs seen at low heart rates, (which was collected with a holter monitor that I wore for a month.) PVCs are pretty benign but I think they lower the efficiency of the heart is enough to make a significant difference when racing. In another twist, last year I started beta blocker eye drops, which has had nice the side effect of lowering (basically eliminating) the PVCs, but they're worse than PVCs for racing because they significantly lower your max heart rate. For the Birkie, I was hoping to wean myself off the beta blockers without the PVCs taking over when the gun went off (due to adrenaline) at race time….again, assuming it was PVCs at race time.

Birkie Week
----------------
Wed (when still on the eye drops) I headed out for a short workout where I planned to do some short intervals to stay loose for the race. When I started skiing, my heart was racing and I assumed it was due to PVCs. "Sh1t. great timing." I skied a while and according to my Garmin, my heart rate dropped into a normal rhythm, so I dropped the hammer and started an interval hoping to lock the heart into normal rhythm. Well, that was a mistake. In 30 seconds I ran out of wind and my heart rate just wouldn't slow down. I finally gave up after 30 min of skiing and headed home. For a number of hours, my chest hurt.

Thr, the heart was still off doing its funky drummer deal. I did a little skiing to check out skis, and a ton or packing which involves hauling gear up and down stairs. We drove to Hayward, had dinner with friends, and opened up a friend's cabin, which meant shoveling 18 inches of wet snow. Fortunately, two MDs own the cabin (a father-son).

By Friday morning the stethoscope was out and Stu (father) was telling me I'm in afib. Peter made a call to Rhett and Rhett called Matt, a local cardiologist, and in a few minutes, I had an appointment with a cardiologist in Hayward. This is quite a feat in a small town. A few hours later, I had an EKG in my hand and a diagnosis of a-fib and "don't race." Followed up later with the house doc (Stu) saying "don't drink alcohol or coffee." Awww man.


Mon
------
At 8:20 am, I gave the heart institute a call and said that I’m just sitting around, so it they have a cancellation, I can be in quick. “Can you be here in ten minutes?”

So, I had consult, EKG, blood work and an Echo. I got put on blood thinners and next week I’ll have another echo where they put the contraption down your throat (checks for blood clots), and then if that’s clear, I’ll get shocked.

Made up Results
----------------------
When I look at the results, one name stands out, John at 89th, since I beat John by two minutes at the Pre-Birkie. Also, I had two pair of skis that were testing great (in the wet snow) and my legs felt fantastic during race week. As I go through other names from the Pre-Birkie, results are all over the place which shows John had a good race. I think skis were a big factor in the results, and then some guys didn’t have good day. For example, Tom said the first 20 km were fine, but he died after that. He was tired.

Pre-Birkie, Name, Birkie
16 Blake Hillerson 192
17 Erik Haaversen (no result)
18 Nathan Lillie 119
19 Jason Mozol 266 (wave 2)
20 Jason Schisler 198 (Wave 1)
21 Frank Dierking 84
22 Me
23 Daniel Gjertson 161
24 Ben Nemeth (no result)
25 Steve Sonnesyn 160 (wave 1)
26 John Schneider 89
27 Rod Raymond 145
28 Chris Haverson (no result)
29 Ben Mogren 118


Jay

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Re: 2016 Birkie

Postby jt10000 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:55 pm

Take care of yourself Jay!
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