Here's a preliminary look at the trail, the weather and the wax:
In the weeks leading up to the Birkie, we can follow the basic weather pattern and trend rather than predict race day conditions. Calling the wax recommendation this early would be a wild guess, little more. We can, however, can make some general recommendations and get a pretty good idea of where things are headed.  
2017 New Moon Birkie Wax Service

Seriously, relax Birkie week. Let New Moon do the waxing.
We'll even prep your kick binder!

Chris reviews new classic ski options with skiers.
Loony at the Moon
A look at the greatest show on snow from our prespective.

Late February. Hayward, Wisconsin. The American Birkebeiner brings people from all over the world to our community to engage in the largest cross country celebration in North America.

North of town, a group of dedicated ski enthusiasts amass for what, arguably, might be the most grueling event during Birkie Week...It's not the race, or even a race...it's Birkie Week at New Moon.

We often joke that as employees at the Moon, we participate in our own Birkie before some of us go on to race the real Birkie on the weekend. You may be surprised at this, but we are not quite as busy on other days as we are Birkie Week, so we really have to gear up for the Greatest Show on Snow. It's at once the most tiring, energizing, and rewarding time of the year for us, and we have many tricks and hints that help us stay sane while we are working behind the scenes to make your time here in Hayward and Cable your favorite event of the year. Here is a peek at what our week looks like here at the Moon.
Birkie Week really starts in earnest for us as Kristy and Nancy get everything ready for the expo as well as the cash registers/stations here at the shop, and that means everything you can think of: tape, price guns, markers, ipads, cash drawers, paper, not to mention the schedule for the workers. For Kristy, a successful Birkie week at the Moon is similar to a successful race, it  includes,  "An early start, a lot of food stops, and a lot of rest."

Toko staff demystifying the wax report for skiers at the expo.
Next comes the store switchover so that our wax reps have the space to help customers and display the appropriate wax choices. Clothing gets rearranged and out of the way and tables and wax reset. Signs are posted. John the Dane usually heads that effort up. He loves the excitement of the Birkie and all its events, but thinks it's important to not lose touch of the bigger picture, "Too much is crazy, but don't let the hype rule you. It's all about balance...it's kind of fun!" 

Then, after hours, Chris loads up for the expo product, fixtures, banners, and everything the office has gathered. Early on Thursday morning, he, Kristy, and Judy head over to the high school and get all the tables and vendors squared away, organizing all the product and electronics as well as the helpers and often the displays. Chris has been at New Moon for Birkie Week for 20 years now. He calls it "Retail Birch Leggers Club" jokingly, "My Birkie finish line is midnight Friday once the expo is cleaned up and put to bed". Chris enjoys the perennial challenge of solving skiers' last-minute crises and problems. "Seeing the relief on people's' faces when they realize their Birkie weekend will be OK  is my reward," says Chris. He emphasizes trying not to panic over wax and equipment. "Go to the start relaxed, with a smile, and remember that this is supposed to be fun!" Recent back surgery has got Chris back on skis for the first time in over a decade and he looks forward to skiing the Birkie again in 2018.

While Chris and Kristy stay at the expo, Judy heads back to the shop, which has begun to get busy by this time, to join Julie on the sales floor downstairs while Judy K., Ian, Lexi, and Paige head up the cashier duties. Last year was Ian's first, and he wasn't intimidated at all with the pace. Because it was his first year at the shop and racing, the sense of camaraderie and fun at the shop carried over to Ian's race day. But for Paige, there are some unanswered questions. It will be her first Birkie week so she can't wait to get into town to watch some of the events she's been hearing so much about, and she is excited to meet all the customers she has been talking to on the phone for the past few months, but she isn't sure what to expect. "All the extra help here at the Shop makes any panic you might have go away," Ian reassures her, "People know it could be crazy, so they try to be patient if there is a wait for something. Busy days make it all the more fun."

There's a lot to organize down on the floor: answering questions, monitoring fitting rooms, and generally just staying out of people's ways while they browse. "Staying in one spot and not running all over behind people is a helpful tip," Judy says, "We can help someone in our 'zone' and point them toward the employee in the next area as they are heading that way. That way we can help multiple customers at the same time. Stay in the zone!"

Skiers hang on to
every word from John The Dane.
Upstairs with the equipment, Joel, John, Dusty, Bruce, and Chris all take turns helping customers find their perfect ski package as well as running back downstairs to the shop to mount bindings, attach grips and ferrules to poles, and fix equipment. We also have a few special guests including ski reps and New Moon founder, Steve Morales, working the ski floor. When asked what contributes the most to his success on Birkie week, Joel's strategy is, "Hydration (BTW, Joel, triple extra strength coffee doesn't count), warm-up exercises, hoppy beer, stinky cheese, and potluck." He's referring to the awesome feast contributed by us as well as (our favorite-hint, hint) customers who bring us treats like veggie trays, cupcakes, or the occasional bottle of whisky (consumed only after hours, of course)! The steady source of sustenance is helpful so we don't have to leave the shop to go get lunch or dinner, and, of course, so that we can snack all day long (food stops!)...running up and down those stairs all day takes a lot of calories!
Friday night late, Chris and Judy tear down the expo, then head out to the trail to take photos the next morning. Some of us head out to ski the race, then most of us head to the shop afterwards. Julie heads up a quick store switchover to make more room before the door opens on Saturday, and we spend the rest of the day talking to visitors who are more relaxed and skiers who regale us with their race stories, "I froze my cornea; I broke my poles at the start; I did a shot of Jaeger on Lake Hayward!" It is really the best, and although every one of us is  beat, we look forward to seeing all those familiar faces every year.

Sunday brings even more discounts and even happier shoppers. We say our goodbyes to our long distance customers until next year and get ready for the ultra-fun, end-of-year inventory.

Every step of the way, we have amazing friends of the shop who help us with everything! Counting product, steaming clothing, carrying boxes, hauling equipment-you name it, someone's got us covered, and we couldn't do it without them.
Birkie Week is just one more reminder of the amazing things that can be accomplished when people come together and help each other; an amazing spectacle of athletic prowess and perseverance combines with a community of generous, dedicated helpers to create something that thousands of people hold in their hearts all year long.    

Seeing you here, enjoying our trails as well as our friendship-you make New Moon's Birkie Week, and we hope we do our part to make your Birkie Week special, too! Take care this Birkie and remember the basics: friends, fun and a lot of food stops! Thanks again, folks...Think Snow!

Baselayer SALE!
Up to 40% Off!  

Save on Men's and Women's baselayer and xc ski apparel from Craft, Ice Breaker and others!

It's time for a new wax bench!
Legs sold separately.

Snow Conditions and 
Upcoming Events
Birkie Trail 2/8/17

Saturday February 18th Ashland, WI
10K Classic, Skate, and Snowshoe Races

Sunday February 19th Washburn, WI
10K and 20K Fat Bike Race

Thursday - Sunday February 23rd - 26th
Cable & Hayward WI
Many Events

Saturday March 10th - 12th Cable, WI
Demos, Races, and Guided Rides

Do your snow dances, everyone!

800-754-8685 | www.newmoonski.com