Fundraisers and membership drives planned for two new clubs
Two of the regions ski clubs are seeking a reboot, and we dont mean slapping on a new pair of Salomons.
The newly-named Vasa Ski Club and the North Coast Snowsports Club are both planning fundraisers and/or membership drives this week in an attempt to get skiing back on track in the Grand Traverse/Leelanau/Manistee area.
After many years of minimal activity, new and existing members of the Traverse Nordic Ski Club have reestablished our cross country ski club, said Todd Vigland in a letter to members of the new VASA Ski Club. The club hopes to rebuild its membership, generate interest in cross-country skiing, offer group skiing and instruction, and regain prominence in statewide races.
Meanwhile, the Leelanau Ski Club has joined forces with the Northwestern Alpine Ski Academy (formerly the Manistee Ski Club) to form the North Coast Snowsports Club. The new clubs goal is to combine resources in order to continue affordable top level ski and snowboard education to all area children.
Heres the lowdown on this weeks activities:
North Coast Snowsports Club:
A Fundraiser Gala To Benefit Area Youth Snowsports Instruction Programs will be held Saturday, September 19 from 7-10 p.m. at Crystal Mountain Resort in the Crystal Center.
Volunteer Mark Cantrell says the event will include hors doeuvres and a cash bar with live music by Blind Dog Hank, along with a silent and Chinese auction. Our live auction will include a weeks stay at a Steamboat Springs condo in Colorado, he says.
A $15 donation is suggested for the event, with free childcare and pizza and movies for kids. Tickets will be available at the door; but organizers recommend calling (231) 632-7056 to register your number of adult tickets and for any childcare needs.
The VASA Ski Club:
There will be a kick-off event from
5-6:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 18 at Timber Ridge outside Traverse City. Learn more about the new club and register for the upcoming season. There will also be a VASA pre-season clinic featuring US Nordic Ski Team member, Lindsey Dehlin at 7 p.m.
Ski workshops will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. - noon at Timber Ridge with a charge of $5. There will also be a Roller Ski Technique Clinic starting at 9 a.m. that day, with a fee of $50 adults, $20 students.
For details on the club kick-off or ski events, call 938-4400, or go to www.vasa.org.
Cyclocross comes to Northern Michigan in a new three-race series
By Erin Crowell
People like to see carnage.
Its the reason we love NASCAR and why the Plexiglas shakes when hockey players throw down their gloves.
Its also why cyclocross racing has maintained its popularity, believes Jeff Koch, one of the sports local participants.
The sport has seen a resurgence on the east and west coasts of the United States and will come to Northern Michigan at the inaugural Frost Cross Cyclocross Race Series, held at two Traverse City locations, September 19, October 10 and November 8.
Cyclocross is a hybrid of mountain biking and a criterium a timed race on a short bike course of dirt, asphalt, mud and pavement with a few road barriers thrown in. Cyclists must dismount and carry their bikes over the two-foot-high wood barriers.
Theres a lot of crashing, people get dirty, says Koch, an Elk Rapids resident and Arizona State Cyclocross Champion of the mid-90s.
Cyclocross is also a spectator-friendly sport, another contributing factor to the sports increasing popularity.
Unlike most bike races, people can watch almost the entire race from one vantage point, says Rick Morris, the Frost Cross Series director.
For those participating, cyclocross is a transition between road and mountain biking. Although there are specially designed bikes for the sport, participants may use any sturdy bike with knobby tires including a mountain bike for the one-and-a-half to two-mile course.
Twin Bays Racing
The Frost Cross is the premier event of Twin Bays Racing, a new race organization founded by Mike Tarnow and Pete LaPlaca.
LaPlaca, who is president of the North American Vasa, wanted to introduce the area to what he believes to be one of the fastest-growing segments in cycling.
Weve got a very active community, a lot of great bike shops and riders, he says. There are quite a few cyclists in our area that travel down to places like Grand Rapids to compete (in cyclocross).
Last October, LaPlaca helped his son layout the course of the National Cyclocross Championships in Bend, Oregon. It was at this well-organized race, in one of Americas biking Meccas that LaPlaca decided to bring cyclocross home.
The Twin Bays Racing partners met with Morris, a cyclocross veteran of 20 years, and came up with the three-race series, that culminates with the Ice Cross Race happening November 8 at Timber Ridge Resort in Traverse City. The event will be held the day after the Iceman Cometh, a 27-mile mountain bike race from Kalkaska to Traverse City that brings over 4,000 riders to the area.
Its typical to do four (bike) races in one weekend, says LaPlaca. Were hoping to attract the Iceman crowd and keep those riders in the area, longer.
The Frost Cross Race Series will feature two training races prior to the post-Iceman event, allowing inexperienced riders try it out first.
This will give people an opportunity to get their feet wet, Morris says. They can learn how to do the barriers and run the course. But you gotta be prepared to get dirty.
Cyclists are invited to attend the first of the two training races: The Fall Stinger, held this Saturday, on the grounds behind the Grand Traverse Commons. The Fall Fest Twilight Race will be held at Timber Ridge Resort, October 10, in relation to the Fall Fest Fundraiser for the Father Fred Foundation. Riders are encouraged to bring a canned good for this event.
For more information on the Frost Cross Cyclocross Race Series, go to twinbaysracing.com or call 231-941-7050. See what other riders are saying at http://tccyclocross.blogspot.com.