Category Archives: Training

Event Soon! – Liv Spring Ladies Ride

Let’s dust off winter and kick off spring season with a ladies’ group ride celebrating the warmer days and the bike season ahead! We will meet at the Start Haus and then head together to Nevada City to explore the new and wildly popular Hoot trail. The Hoot trail is a short, smooth, windy, single-track, 1.3 mile descent, followed by a short climb back up on the road. We will plan to do two laps. Those who want to ride more are welcome to stay. This is a fun ride for everyone meant to bring ladies who bike together for a no-pressure day to ride and make new friends who ride. We’ll freshen up on our cornering skills so that we can make the most of this trail.

Where & When:
Meet up at Start Haus 9AM. From there we’ll shuttle and/or carpool to Nevada City. Coffee and pastries available at Start Haus before the trip.

This event is open to women riders at all levels. See you then!

UPDATE: DirtGypsy Adventures will be providing a free shuttle service for the first 14 people to sign up in the shop! That’s 14 bodies and 14 bikes! (Come on in, give us a call at 530-582-5781, or email to

*** Welcome to our Liv Signature Series – a selection of seasonally-inspired rides and community events. Taking place all around the US, Liv Signature Events are designed to celebrate cycling and inspire women to discover new possibilities through welcoming and fun bike rides and informational clinics. Liv Cycling USA #HowWeLiv #LivSpringRevival ***

Get The Best Out of Skiing with the Right Boot Fit

Last week we talked about the value of custom footbeds – but that’s just one component of a custom boot fit.

Custom-fit ski boots are the biggest improvement any skier can make through equipment – it gives precise yet comfortable control over the ski while reducing fatigue and even helping with circulation and cold feet.

Too many skiers have boots that are too big or loose, the liners packed out and their feet swimming inside, making for an unpredictable, uncomfortable and fatiguing day on the slope. On the other side of the spectrum, some think the price of performance is discomfort, with boots too tight and not properly fitted, often resulting in serious pain.

True custom ski boot fitting is what Start Haus’s reputation was built on. Google us and you’ll find articles in Skiing Magazine about our boot fitter’s work. And what our boot fitters can do goes well beyond the typical liner warm up in an easy-bake oven – our experts form the plastic of the boot itself to your feet.

That fitting goes beyond comfort – punching and grinding plastic to accommodate the unique shape of your feet – to canting and alignment, which aligns the center of your knee to the center of the boot for superior biomechanics.

Our boot fitters can also alter the performance characteristics of the boot through changing flex, stance and adding on items like Booster Straps.

After that, manipulating the liner of the boot lets our fitter further fine-tune the boot, or they can be replaced with a variety of custom liners made from different materials to uniquely suite your needs.

All that work adds up to a ski boot that’s not only customized to your foot and to your body, but to how you ski. The impact this can have on your experience on the hill can’t be understated. To set up an appointment, give us a call today.

Where to Bike All Year

Mountain Biking All Year: You Know You Want To

Ski to Ride.  Wait... Ride to Ski?

Ski to Ride. Wait… Ride to Ski?

Living and playing in Tahoe is all about getting outside. You don’t need fat tires to mountain bike this winter – sweet, tacky singletrack in the foothills is just 45 minutes away. Or head east and get a good ride in, all-you-can-eat sushi, then tackle your Reno errands. For extreme “cross-training” you can double down – ski in the morning and then bike until sunset. Start Haus in Truckee has the gear and expert bike mechanics to help you get out there. Grab your friends and your cooler and head down the hill for the day. Or take advantage of off-season lodging rates and take your posse to ride in the Santa Cruz or Marin.

Nevada City, CA

Just a 45 minute drive west of Truckee you’ll find warmer temps and great trails. You can access three of the trails easily by parking near the Harmony Ridge Market on Hwy 20 and hopping on the Pioneer Trail. The Pioneer Trail is 15.5 miles of flowy trails with rollers and some optional lines with berms and kickers. It’s an intermediate trail you could bring a kid or a beginner on and they’d do fine: the grade is gradual but there are some short technical root patches. Pioneer runs parallel to Hwy 20 and is marked with directional and forestry logo signs. There is also trailhead parking at White Cloud, Equestrian overlook, Skillman, and the Alpha Omega Vista. You can add on a descent from the Pioneer Trail by taking Scotts Flat Lake Trail, starting across the street and east from Harmony Ridge Market. Scotts Flat Lake Trail takes you down to the lake with perfect flow – twisty banked turns, tabletop kickers, and log and rock ride options. The 5.1 miles of singletrack trail is smooth with very few technical sections, but watch out – riders and hikers ascend it for an out and back, or you can follow Scotts Flat Road back up to Hwy 20 for a more gradual loop. Many also combine a Pioneer or Scott’s Flat ride with a lap or three of the Hoot Trail. The Hoot Trail lives up to its name: it has insanely fun and flowy banked switchbacks and optional jumps. But it doesn’t last long, only 1.3 miles of the 4 mile loop is singletrack, the rest is getting there (turn left 1/2 mile east of Harmony Ridge Market on the Pioneer Trail) and then a fire road climb back to the market.


Start Haus master mechanic Gregg Stone on the Hoot Trail

If you’re looking for a long advanced/technical ride, park at the trailhead by Poorman Creek to ride The South Yuba Trail. This trail offers legit, narrow and rocky singletrack winding through thick forest. It’s about 9 miles long and includes steep and rocky grades. There is another portion of The South Yuba Trail from Edwards Crossing to Purdon Crossing that is 4.4 miles of steep, narrow, and technical, offering great views of the South Yuba’s steep canyon.

Auburn, CA


Heather Benson rides the Confluence Trail

About an hour west of Truckee you’ll find a lot more great trails in Auburn. For the popular intermediate rated Foresthill Divide trail, park in the Western Parking Area of Auburn State Recreation Area. Stay to the right at the “T” in the trail for a 4.5 mile singletrack ascent (with a couple of downhills thrown in for fun) that loops back down. Or take a left at the “T” to go directly to the Connector Trail, fast, narrow singletrack that connects with the Culvert Trail – a full out downhill race track with high berms and jumps. The Culvert is meant for advanced riders: be prepared to catch a lot of air. The Connector is also a 7.5 mile link with the Confluence Trail. Although the Confluence starts with fire road, the trail quickly narrows to singletrack. The trail can be narrow in places and with breathtaking views high above the American River. This trail and the Clementine Loop aren’t for beginners or anyone afraid of heights.

Peavine, Reno

About 45 minutes drive east of Truckee is a network of 22.6 miles of 95% singletrack trails in Keystone Canyon Non-Motorized Recreation Area in North Reno, Nevada. You can park at Rancho San Rafael and take the fun, flowy 2.6 mile Rancho Connector Trail to connect with 10 other trails, including The Halo Trail and Crispy Bacon Trail loop with stunning views and a fun descent with some rock obstacles. These are great intermediate trails, but check the wind forecast – if it’s a little bit windy in Reno it will be way too windy at Peavine. Go somewhere else. Also avoid moisture – if it has rained in the past week, don’t go. The soil in Keystone Canyon is red clay. If the mud makes contact with your bike, it will not only ruin your ride; it will ruin your bike. Seriously. If it’s dry otherwise and you see a mud puddle – ride around it. Back to the good – great singletrack and great change-up from forest. You’re 45 minutes from Tahoe and you can experience awesome desert scape and Reno city views. Then grab Pho and still have time to impress your partner by coming home with all of your Home Depot and Costco shopping taken care of.

These are just a few of the nearby trails that are accessible this winter. For more info and to map out your connections, try community supported and also


Dust Off Those Boots and Get a Re-Fit!

At Start Haus, our boot fitters work year-round because our clients race all over the world, but you don’t have to be a pro to benefit from expert boot fitting. Now is the time to drag your boots out from storage and make sure they haven’t become a mouse’s home (this actually happens) and decide if your old boots and liners are up for another epic season.

Don't try and heat mold your own boots!

Don’t try and heat mold your own boots!

If you love skiing, you know that properly fitting boots is one of the best indicators of whether you’ll have a great day on the mountain. Not only does a good and properly fitting boot increase your performance, it ensures that you can shred all day without foot pain. Too often people buy ski boots at big national sports stores or at a sales shop with seasonal workers and end up with a size too big because they buy what feels good off the shelf, not accounting for proper molding of the liners or customizations of the shell. If your boots are too big, your foot will shift, putting painful pressure on your toes and shins.

Taking care of a hot spot

Taking care of a hot spot

Boot fitting is personal. Everyone’s feet and skiing styles are different. Experienced boot fitters can help guide you to the best boot for your needs. And boot fitting is a technical art, requiring expert measurement and molding. So don’t be fumbling trying to put together your equipment on the first powder day like the locals in the line wrapping outside the door at Stone’s Tires. Come into Start Haus and talk to our boot fitting team and get stoked for ski season!


Summer Prep for Race Training

Every year around late July and early August we get our annual influx of ski racers heading to the whiter pastures of the Andes and Southern Alps. Others are heading up to the summer camps of Mount Hood. This presents a good opportunity to take a look at your gear and see if it’s still up to the task. Have you outgrown your boots? How many holes are acceptable in race gloves? How about socks? What are the condition of my ski boots and skis?

We all have heard time and again that your boots are the most important article of gear- which is certainly true for ski racers. It’s hard to race when you’re hobbled in pain, or if your canting is catawampus. Summer camps are a great place to dial in gear and work on techniques or work on overcoming bad habits.

The following is a list of things we see and think are great items to be looking into at summer camps.

Ski Boots

If you’re in the same boots as the previous season approach the obvious questions first. Have you outgrown your boots? If yes obviously shop for some new ones, if not take a look at them and examine their condition. If you’ve been in your boots one entire race season odds are your liner is shot. If you’re anything like the vast majority of the racing population your toe and heel plates are also on the endangered species list.

To be brutally honest we really feel like at the Far West racing level race boots only last one year. Yes even at the U10 U12 level- perhaps especially at the U10 U12 level. The fact is those lucky kids spend and extraordinary amount of time in their boots, it’s fairly obvious by looking at them that their simply worn out. Remember, with the amount of days in them the liner is packed out and the material inside simply isn’t holding the foot the way it should. That being said, it makes total sense with a growing kid to wait until the last possible second to spring for a new pair of boots, which is generally somewhere around the month of November.

For the older kids summer is a great time to play with canting. Canting is planning the sole of the ski boot to match the natural stance of the athlete, particularly the relation of the center of the knee to the center of the ski boot. Some of the tell-tale signs that an athlete needs canting is that one turn is significantly better, i.e. left footers are always better than the right or vise versa. Another symptom would be excessive A-framing or cheating one knee over in the turn excessively. Coaches will often have a few methods to play with to determine if canting is necessary.


There are a few things one can do to prepare skis for the season. If you’re lucky enough to pick up a new pair of speed skis, hot boxing them is a great idea. A couple of cycles in the hotbox will ensure that the bases are super fast and ready to rip. Remember: the more you ski a speed ski in the faster they will be. If an athlete were so inclined she could play with changing edge angles the off-season would be the time to do it.

Coaches in the Lake Tahoe area do a great job of determining what edge angles they would like their athlete’s skis tuned to. Likewise, Tahoe coaches have a handle on what lifts they would like between the bindings and ski. For example max height or some variation of ramp angle is generally prescribed. If you were unsure of edge bevels or ramp angle, summer camps would be a great place to try some variations. ***Disclaimer*** Ski bindings are a major safety issue. Only certified experts should be working on ski bindings.

In summation the point is if you’re going to play with gear, the summer camps is one of the best times to do it rather than mid season when you’re doing your best to get on the podium. Most importantly summer ski camps should be fun! Don’t ever forget that while you may take racing seriously, it also one of the most fun things in the world to do! Yes train hard, but remember to make the most of it and have a ton of fun.

Start Haus Partners with Blizzard and More

Start Haus is pleased to announce a 2017 Speed Ski Leasing program!

Partnering with Blizzard (with more to come) our racers are now able to lease DH and SG skis for a fraction of the cost of owning a pair!  With so many racers needing a pair for just one or two events late in the season, the speed ski leasing program is the best way to grab a fresh and fast pair of SG or DH skis.

The following Blizzard skis are currently available for lease:

Down Hill Speed Skis in a 212cm and 218cm

Super G Speed Skis in a 185cm, 205cm, and 212cm.

Pricing starts at $125 for a day, $75 a day for 3-5 days, or $50 per day for a week lease.  These skis are ready to mount to your boot specs and tuned to your preferences. Contact us for more information!

Tuesday Evening Group Trail Ride – FREE DEMOS

Join us every Tuesday for a free guided group MTB ride!  We’ll offer tips, training, and more to help you better your biking experience.  Each Tuesday we’ll host a trail ride- free mountain bike demos available for the ride!

Tuesday’s All Summer- TRAIL RIDE– 6:00PM – FREE BIKE DEMOS

We’ll meet up at Start Haus at 6:00PM.  Get fitted and reserve your bike.  Then at 6PM we ride over to the trail.

More rides to come!  Check out our events page on FaceBook here.

Ready to Race: Waxing Race Skis & Waxcall – Video

As we gear up for another ski racing season, now is a great time to brush up on some of the basics – wax selection for race conditions and how to use the Start Haus #Waxcall when waxing your race skis.


First up, Jim walks us through all the waxes, overlays, additives & more, explaining what conditions each is for:

Next up, Jim shows you how to take a typical #Waxcall and use it when waxing your race skis:

Follow these tips, and stay up to date with our #Waxcalls throughout the winter so your skis are ready for the best performance in current snow conditions.

Find all the ski tuning tools and ski wax you need at Start Haus.

How To Video: Getting On & Off Your Paddleboard

In this week’s video, stand up paddlboard expert Jared shows us how to get started on your board, making standing up and getting off easier:

Practicing this technique will help you feel more stable and confident while paddlboarding. Questions? Call us, email us at or drop by the shop.