This Saturday marks the 2009 edition of the Canadian Birkie and the weather is looking interesting. After several days of above zero temperatures, a huge mass of arctic air has settled over Alberta. Good times... if you enjoy racing at borderline legal temperatures!
Depending on which forecast you believe conditions might be as follows:
The Weather Network: Cloudy, high -13, low -18
Environment Canada: Sunny, high -13, low -22
The Birkie's weather guy: Sunny, high -13, low -20
The bottom line? It's going to be cold... really cold. Not only that, but the temperature is going to change significantly throughout the race, especially for those doing the 55km.
What does it all mean? Luckily, Lorris and I specialize in waxing for cold conditions, so here are some initial thoughts.
1. Harden your bases. Despite a very small amount of the new snow, the conditions are highly transformed and highly abrasive. You need to get your bases hard enough to endure 55km of racing on that junk. Solda S30 is my favourite choice, but Ski*Go C380, or Swix LF3 would be reasonable alternatives.
2. Race wax - pick something cold. Even if the snow warms throughout the day it will maintain it's transformed and abrasive properties. Potentials include Solday F40 green, Solda F15 blue, Solda Techno Green, Swix LF4, or Ski*Go HF blue, depending on the humidity. Without testing, your safest bets are probably F15 Blue or LF4.
3. Topcoats - This part is nearly impossible to predict this far in advance. However, given how cold it is likely to be, possibilities include HP05 (if the snow is warming significantly), HP05/S30 mix (if the humidity is high but the snow is staying cold), or HP06 (if the temperatures stay warmer than predicted, the humidity is high, and the sky is solidly overcast).
1. Given the transformed snow and long distance race, a klister binder is probably in order. See application details here - klister article. Likely candidates are either green or blue klister.
2. Hardwax cover - possibilities include Guru black, MFW blue, Guru Haligier, Ski*Go universal, Magnar 2.5 or 3.5, or Swix extra blue.
Wow. That is a lot to digest and probably not that useful this far in advance. We are expecting that the trails will be newly renovated on either Thursday or Friday.
Lorris or I (or both of us) will be heading out to check out the trails on either Thursday or Friday morning, depending on grooming, and will update wax options at that time. You can find our most recent updates on the Fast Trax Website - Birkie page. I will attempt to update the Pro Team Website as frequently as possible as well.
In other Fast Trax Pro Team news, Madeleine and Graham leave for Europe tomorrow to take on the OPA nordic tour. The first race is in Germany on Saturday so stay tuned for the details.
Also, in other shop news, I must make it clear that Jack was not part of our lunch last Saturday. Although I have credible information from Les Parsons that Uncle Burgers contain some fragments of sirloin meat by-products and a few veggies, Jack stayed well clear. I think he had hemp hearts instead?
Finally, have you checked out the Johnny Klister website yet? If not, you need to immediately!!! I have no idea who is behind this website (if you know you should tell me), but it is for sure my favourite stop on the interweb. Well worth your time.