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Catrin
12-04-2011, 03:57 PM
A mountain bike friend of mine who is also off the trail for now has offered to let me try out her cross-country skis this winter in northern Indiana to see what I think of it. I am interested...but unsure how good an idea it is. This isn't down-hill of course, "just" cross-country.

How hard is this on the knees? I've a cranky knee that doesn't allow me to run due to an unstable patella ("runners knee"). Is this a real concern? I've been trying to research this but haven't been able to find what I am looking for. I know we have a lot of members who do this so figured I should ask here :)

Crankin
12-04-2011, 04:15 PM
I think that it probably has the same stresses as cycling or hiking, depending on how much climbing and descending you do. My knees never hurt when I ski.
Just to warn you, Catrin, there is "downhill" in x country skiing. Of course, it's minimal on beginner trails. But when I started, over 20 years ago, I never got off of the beginner trails, and it was boring. After I started cycling, I became more adventurous and it wasn't really a big deal. The climbing is like climbing in cycling; you can do it slowly, it can be challenging, but it's a real accomplishment when you are done. I am much more adventurous with descending on skinny skis as opposed to on my bike. Again, I am not a speed demon, but I've done some tough stuff.
Can you tell that I love this sport?

Catrin
12-04-2011, 05:24 PM
Thanks Crankin, and that makes sense about the downhill...it isn't as if cross-country mountain biking doesn't have descents :) I had to laugh when my friend kept telling me how flat cross-country skiing is! It is good to know that you haven't had knee pain doing this.

My neck may be a limiting factor this weekend with new activities that require balancing. If these injections work and the pain/neurological decreases then I will likely try it since mountain biking season is pretty much shot now. Snow shoes might also be interesting...but for either sport I would likely have to drive to northern Indiana to do them with any regularity.

SheFly
12-12-2011, 09:35 AM
Catrin - when you say x-country skiing, are you referring to classic style? If yes, I agree with Crankin that you likely won't have knee issues above and beyond those found with cycling/hiking (though the descents can be tougher on the knees).

If, however, you are referring to skate skiing, I would comment that the torsional strain on the knee is greater than classical skiing, and I do get achy knees after a full day of skating.

SheFly

Catrin
12-12-2011, 09:42 AM
Catrin - when you say x-country skiing, are you referring to classic style? If yes, I agree with Crankin that you likely won't have knee issues above and beyond those found with cycling/hiking (though the descents can be tougher on the knees).

If, however, you are referring to skate skiing, I would comment that the torsional strain on the knee is greater than classical skiing, and I do get achy knees after a full day of skating.

SheFly

I honestly do not know the difference between the two, and it may not happen. One of my mtb friends really would like me to try it and so far all I have committed to is that I will consider it. I will ask her which she means, thanks!

SheFly
12-12-2011, 11:59 AM
OK I tried looking up a definition for you, but everything was too complicated :).

Classical skiing is typically two parallel tracks and the motion is kind of like shuffling forward (it's really striding if you're doing it right, shuffling if you're me ;)), but the skis are pointed straight in front of you.

Skate skiing is a side motion with each leg - it mimics skating on ice skates. It's the side torsion that can mess with the knee - especially if your technique is off.

Does that help differentiate? Sorry to confuse the issue.

SheFly

Kathi
12-12-2011, 07:58 PM
Here's the differences between classic skiing and skate skiing from Nordic Ski Colorado. www.NordicSkiColorado

"Cross-country skiing has two styles that require slightly different equipment but basically feature an attachment of the boot to the ski at the toe, leaving the back heel free to lift during the push-off.

Classic Style (AKA Traditional or Diagonal) uses a straight-ahead glide to propel the skier forward along a groomed track with dual grooves that help guide the skis and keep them inline. Classic skis are a little longer and softer, and the boots are more like shoes.

Skate Skiing Style (AKA Freestyle) uses the inner edges of the ski much like ice skates to push off and glide along a flat groomed surface, leaving a V-shaped track. Skate skiers use longer poles than those used for Classic Style, as well as shorter, stiffer skis and taller, stiffer boots".



Classic and skate skis do not have metal edges like touring skis. Tour skiing means going out and making your own tracks, or following someone elses tracks. Metal edges protect the skis from roots and are easier to turn. The boots remind me of hiking boots.

Does your friends ski boots fit you or will you have to borrow or buy boots? Unlike Alpine bindings that will fit any brand of boot XC boots must match the binding system so you will need to know what binding system she is using if you have to find boots.

Although I learned to ski on groomed runs at my local Alpine ski area I prefer skiing at a Nordic Center on machine groomed trails, it's a lot easier. If touring is your goal and your friends gear doesn't work out, rent gear from a Nordic center and take a couple of lessons to learn the basics like stopping, climbing, turning and getting up from a fall. With a little practice you'll have the confidence to make your own tracks. Remember even tiny bumps of a hill can be very scary if you don't have the skills to go up or down them. You use the same skills on touring skis as you do on classic skis.

XC skiing is a great sport, easy on the joints, uses lots of muscles and not expensive. I burn a lot more calories in an hour than I do in several hours on my bike or when I Alpine ski.

Crankin
12-13-2011, 02:03 PM
Well, in New England, it is popular to have classic skis with metal edges, because of the conditions (ice) and steep up and downs. Perhaps they would be called touring skis elsewhere? My skis are definitely not back country skis and I still have soft style boots, because the last pair of hard/hiking type ski boots i tried, cut my feet up terribly.
I saw a new model of my skis that is supposedly perfect for a combination of back country/groomed trails, i.e. skinny enough to fit in the tracks. I would love to get a second pair, as last year when I went to Franconia, the trails were tracked, but the groomed side area next to the tracks was really skinny and not big enough for me to snowplow when descending. Does this make sense? I can't really descend with one foot in the tracks and one out, though I tried. I fell more than I ever have! If I had had skis with even better metal edges, I could have handled the skinny, sorta groomed area, which was definitely more back country than let's say Bretton Woods. Plus, the climbing on these trails was really challenging. One of the trails we went up was a Black Diamond trail for an Alpine area :eek:. Yes, I climbed it. We saw 3 skiers coming down in the beginning, but it's a mostly unused trail, thankfully.
Hey, I have 2 bikes. I want two pairs of skis.

Catrin
12-13-2011, 02:10 PM
Crankin, isn't the right number of skis n+1, just like bikes?

:D

Thanks for all of the information everyone, it is appreciate. With my neck injury I am leery to try it this year. I figure it would be like mountain biking, more likely to fall and I can't afford risking snapping my head back again. Snow shoes sound safer, but we haven't had any snow yet. I am hoping for warmer than average winter. Bring on the rain rather than snow :) I know, baaad Catrin ;)

Kathi
12-13-2011, 07:58 PM
Snow shoeing will be perfect for you. You can go anywhere on showshoes, little risk of falling, no lessons involved and it's a smaller investment. I use hiking poles with snow baskets. If you can't find them locally REI.com is a good online source. It's also a good source for XC ski gear if you decide to go that route. Wait for the sales after Christmas before you buy.

I prefer a women's specific snowshoe, they're more streamlined than unisex.

ridebikeme
12-14-2011, 04:40 AM
Snowshoeing is definitely a great sport! Although I think that nordic skiing would benefit someone who rides a mtn bike more... it's more aerobic AND works both your upper and lower part of your body.... just like mtn bikes. Although any activity over the winter will help come spring.:D

I agree with Crankin, I think we definitely need more than one pair of ski's!:rolleyes: Salomon has a great ski with edges(X Adventure 59) and of course the new Fischer Silent Spider, both ski's are about the same weight and both will fit into tracks. Although I just bought a ski; I'd love to have one of the above ski's as well... maybe next year!

Another great place to look for ski's is Akers-ski.com... have been around for more than 50 years and have a great deal of knowledge to go with that experience! Great deals on closeouts etc....

One last tidbit, waiting until after Xmas may find you with some great deals, but you'll also not as much to choose from as well.... which can mean that you won't be able to find what you are looking for. A "true" ski shop/company will have more selection AND have inventory that you can choose from anytime of the year.


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
12-14-2011, 05:09 AM
The new Fischers are the ones I want, but I am not sure how different they are from the Spiders I already have... mine have metal edges in the front and the back of the ski. I've had these for 2 years. They are much shorter than my previous skis, which took some getting used to. The old ones had the metal edges along the whole side.
I second the opinion to get snow shoes, but I find that unless I am doing some serious climbing, on big hiking trails, I just don't get the same kind of "sweat" going when i snow shoe. I can x country ski on flat trails and be really working hard, but snow shoeing on flat trails, tends to be like a fast walk for me. There's nothing wrong with that, but for me, the energy expenditure is quite different. I like snow shoeing, because I have trails in my neighborhood and I can do it out the door, or in the many conservation land trails around here. I also like the fact that in some of the x country ski areas we go to, we ski in the morning and then snow shoe in the afternoon, which seems to be a good combination for me. If I stop for lunch when I ski and then go back out, I am toast and my skills degrade quickly. Often, I end up skiing until 1-2, with snacks and have a late lunch, because I have learned the hard way! If I stop and eat lunch at noon and then snow shoe, I am fine (though tired).

Catrin
12-14-2011, 10:19 AM
Snow shoeing will be perfect for you. You can go anywhere on showshoes, little risk of falling, no lessons involved and it's a smaller investment. I use hiking poles with snow baskets. If you can't find them locally REI.com is a good online source. It's also a good source for XC ski gear if you decide to go that route. Wait for the sales after Christmas before you buy.

I prefer a women's specific snowshoe, they're more streamlined than unisex.

I won't purchase any this year. Thankfully there is a very large nature park across the street from my apartment that rents snow shoes at quite a low rate so I can really try it out this winter to see what I think. I do appreciate all of the comments, they have been very helpful!

Trek-chick
12-15-2011, 09:50 AM
I have wanted snow shoes for a while now but, have been told that we just do not get enough snow here in SE Michigan. I have been to the U.P. and they definitely have enough snow there....it just seems like I am always waiting for a good base snow, to even XC ski around here:(

I'm not saying we do not get snow, just not enough for me to drop the money on snowshoes right now. I just do not think I would get enough use out of them where I live.

We always seem to travel up North for skiing anyway (XC and Downhill)

Seeing as you are farther south, I thought I would mention it. Definitely a good idea to rent before buying anyway.

Catrin
12-15-2011, 10:02 AM
I have wanted snow shoes for a while now but, have been told that we just do not get enough snow here in SE Michigan. I have been to the U.P. and they definitely have enough snow there....it just seems like I am always waiting for a good base snow, to even XC ski around here:(

I'm not saying we do not get snow, just not enough for me to drop the money on snowshoes right now. I just do not think I would get enough use out of them where I live.

We always seem to travel up North for skiing anyway (XC and Downhill)

Seeing as you are farther south, I thought I would mention it. Definitely a good idea to rent before buying anyway.

That is the same thing I was thinking. I've also a friend who travels up to the area where they get lake effect snow who has suggested I can stay with her...which is a nice idea. I am not going to buy anything for a new sport this winter though. Personally, I wouldn't mind a mild winter this time...but will rent when I get a chance to do so.

Crankin
12-15-2011, 04:58 PM
I mostly have to travel north for x country skiing, too. I can snowshoe out the door after a snowstorm, but the x country ski area near my house gets trashed after about half a day, with all of the people coming out here from Boston. The place I like to go to, is only an hour or so away, just over the NH border.

solobiker
12-25-2011, 03:46 PM
DH and I got in close to 15 miles of back-country touring today. Beautiful day for it. This trail has quite a bit of climbing invovled which makes it fun...although sometimes survival ski on the downhills.:D We usually carry Day packs each to hold down jackets, wind jackets, food, water, extra gloves..etc. Makes for a great workout.

Crankin
12-26-2011, 01:45 PM
:mad:
No snow anywhere within 100s of miles.

solobiker
12-26-2011, 05:43 PM
That is a big time bummer. We have already been out 4x. The Front Range has most of the snow right now which is great for us. We have great skiing within 1 hr of where we live and the trails are not heavily used at all..espec the further in we go. :D Hope you get some snow soon!!

limewave
01-19-2012, 11:56 AM
I went out for a peaceful 8k of cross country (classic style) skiing today on my lunch. I'm starting to really love xc skiing. I have gone 3x over the last week. I took the kids with me over the weekend, towing DS in a sled attached to a lumbar pack. We will probably all go again this weekend.

I wish I could find an instructor to learn competitive xc skiing. Right now I just kind of shuffle along at a good rate. I would love to learn how to ski proper.

ridebikeme
01-19-2012, 01:14 PM
I agree with you Limewave, I absolutely LOOOOVe nordic skiing! I'm not sure whether you have any touring centers near you, but some do offer lessons... it might be worthwhile to check. If you happen not to have any luck there, then there are lots of videos out there that might help.

I got out today as well... only had a short amount of time, so got about 4 miles in. It was cool to start, but it was a PERFECT weather day!!!

Good luck in your search, if you don't have any luck with either of my suggestions, PM me. I work at a nordic shop (winter job) and maybe I can point you in a differect direction.

http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
01-19-2012, 04:25 PM
I may actually get to ski on Sunday! Snow is coming!!!!
I am beyond nuts with waiting. And it's EMS demo day at Windblown. Hoping they have a nice pair of Silent Spider 62s in my size to try.

ridebikeme
01-19-2012, 04:40 PM
Crankin, have fun trying the Silent Spiders! I know that we have certainly sold a lot of them. The great thing about them is their versatility, I've mounted lots of different types of bindings on them,.... touring, tele, and many backcountry bindings It will be interesting to hear your opinion of them. Another ski that is similar is the Salomon X Adventure 59, it's more of a traditonal length ski as opposed to the Fischer. But a GREAT ski for long distance back country or touring... umm perhaps next year.:D

Crankin
01-19-2012, 04:58 PM
Yea, I have the "older" version of the Spiders, with the metal edges on just the fronts and backs. I was dying for shorter skis and got them at the end of the season 3 years ago, so I've had 2 seasons, plus a couple of skis the year I got them. Last year, I went to Franconia with some friends, and did some skiing that while was sort of tracked, but with no real groomed area outside the tracks for descending. I just don't have the control to descend in tracks on really steep downhills, so I want skis where I can be in the snow, if I have to, even if it's not flattened and groomed. The conditions were definitely more "back country" and I would like to do more of this. I also still have the softer touring boots, as I tried some "hard" more back country boots a few years ago and they just cut up my feet and hurt all around. I'm ready to try again.
I am really a better skier than cyclist, but I get so little practice, as the season is so short. I'm not that fast, but I can climb well and I actually like descending on skis, as opposed on my bike!

ridebikeme
01-20-2012, 05:15 AM
Crankin, have fun at the demo! Besides, with the new snow how can you NOT have fun" :) Backcountry boots have come along way in the past couple of years, so here's to you finding some that fit your foot!! Let me know what you think of the ski's...

limewave
01-20-2012, 05:24 AM
Some of you ladies seem very knowledgeable. Perhaps you can give me some basic ski maintenance tips. I used to be race down hill competitively and have a lot of experience with sharpening and waxing my skiis--had to do that before every race!

I have the Salomon Elite 6 which says it is a "waxless" grip ski. I've had these skis for 2 years and have never waxed them or sharpened or done anything. Is there anything I should do to better maintain them?

Catrin--if you ever come up far enough north, I'd be happy to meet you here (http://www.msports.org/) for a ski--or a luge or a skate!

ridebikeme
01-20-2012, 07:12 AM
Limewave,

I'm very aware of the Elite 6 ski's... very nice! In terms of maintenance, obviously there are no edges to sharpen, but you can wax them. Although they are in a "no wax" category, I would still recommend that you at least wax tips/tales. Not only will you get more glide out of the ski, but you'll also protect the bases if snow cover isn't adequate. There are times that rocks may get frozen in the snow from groomers, and with no wax on the ski(same as your alpine ski's) once you go over them, there's a chance that not only will you scratch the base but you could potentially tear a whole in it. With wax, the ski''s generally slide over the rock or whatever it may be. At the end of the season, I would put a fairly heavy wax on the ski's so they don't dry out over the summer. Lastly, if you own a thin wax, you can also put that over the scales of the ski's... they'll glide a bit better and of course it will wear off fairly quickly because of the scales.

I also wanted to ask you whether you knew anything about the Ada bike shop near Grand Rapids? Thanks for your help !

Have a great weekend skiing!!!


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

lph
01-20-2012, 07:22 AM
XC ski season i full swing here :) This weekend we're getting enough snow to make the woods in my backyard skiable - w00t!

Does anyone else here use a Kuzmin, uh, "scrape"? Unsure of the right term. It's become very popular here. Instead of gliding your skis you scrape off a very thin layer, down to fresh sole. The glide is excellent, and most people think it's as good as using glider and a lot less fuss. I do it maybe a couple of times a season, so it's not going to wear out my skis anytime fast.

limewave
01-20-2012, 07:43 AM
Limewave,

I also wanted to ask you whether you knew anything about the Ada bike shop near Grand Rapids? Thanks for your help !

Have a great weekend skiing!!!

http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Thanks for the maintenance tips! I will be sure to wax them now.

And, yes, I am VERY familiar with the Ada bike shop. :) I used to go to their winter indoor spin every week. And have done an occasional group ride with them.

ridebikeme
01-20-2012, 09:31 AM
Thanks for the info! What else can you tell me about them? Feel free to PM me if you're more comfortable... should have done that myself.:D

SheFly
01-20-2012, 09:53 AM
Got out for the first skate of the season this week, albeit on man-made snow. There was only 2 km open, and about 500 people on it, but it was nice to be out doing something different!

ridebikeme - how's the snow up there? We're heeading to Bethel next weekend and looking to do some skating...

SheFly

ridebikeme
01-20-2012, 02:31 PM
Shefly, as of now the snow is pretty decent... we received about 6" last night. Obviously it's not your typical winter with snow fall, but this last storm has really helped. The weather forecast for Monday looks as though it might rain, but I'm hoping that they are wrong. If you're looking to nordic ski while you're here, the best area is probably Black Mtn . Obviously they made snow for Nationals and the new snowfall has only helped them out. I'm sure that the Bethel Inn, Carters are probably ok as well, just not as much snow. Not sure whether Sunday River has opened the Outdoor Ctr or not; I would tend to think that they have. Definitely keep an eye out on the weather though!! Have a good weekend!


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

ridebikeme
01-20-2012, 02:36 PM
LPH, I'm not sure whether I'm following you about the "kuzmin". Could you explain it in more detail? It seems that the people who race here may put different textures in their base(s) or have multiple ski's. And although you obviously scrape wax off your ski's after you wax, I'm not sure that I am following you. Are you saying that you scrape down enough to be on the base material alone?

I worked today, and while I'm mounting ski's etc... I kept thinking about your email about this... didn't have time to email you before I left. :)


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

lph
01-21-2012, 12:28 AM
I tried to find a link but it was a bit wonky. Anyway, the "scrape" (dammit, can't remember the word, works more like the thing you peel thin shavings off a piece of wood with, bevel?) is just a square piece of metal with four sharpened edges. Invented by Russian skier Leonid Kuzmin. He made 3, for cold, "medium" and warm temps, and they give slightly different textures in the base. The theory is that you scrape off the worn outer layer down to fresh base every now and then, but do not apply glider wax. You have to fix your skis in a clamp, then scrape the entire length with firm pressure, to avoid nicks or cuts. You apply kick wax as normal under the kick zone.

I doubt that really elite skiers use it, but the "Kuzmin scrape" has become very popular among both competitive and recreational skiers here, anyone interested enough to mess around with melting in different glider waxes in the first place. We just have the "medium" one, and so far the glide seems good.

And hey, it's a gizmo :cool:

Crankin
01-21-2012, 04:33 AM
This is why I have waxless skis. I put the Swix glide stuff on every couple of times, especially if it's warmer out, but I would not be able to stand doing this kind of maintenance every time I ski.

lph
01-21-2012, 11:05 AM
Maybe I was unclear - this is a lot less work than applying glider every few times, as you only scrape your skis once or twice a season, and it's a lot less messy. I haven't scraped my skis since sometime last winter, and we had way better glide today than our two ski enthusiast friends who use traditional glider wax. :cool:

Kick wax does have to be applied almost every time, unless the temperature range is the same as last time you were out. But that takes me less than a minute. The time it takes to pack my hipbelt and fit in all the little extras so I don't freeze to death waiting for the bus home is what frustrates me!

ridebikeme
01-21-2012, 12:01 PM
LPH, thanks for taking the time to explain. NO, I haven't heard of anyone doing this, but perhaps I have missed it??

At present, I too, have no wax ski's. Although I will say that my next investment will be either backcountry ski's OR a wax ski. I've certainly waxed many snowboards over the years, although I know that is a bit different. I'd be interested in finding out where I can buy one of these? Any suggestions??

Got out for a quick ski today, Shanna(my chocolate lab) and I did about 4 miles. With the new snow, it was definitely slower and we needed to break trail for about a mile. Cold out today but was AWESOME to be out!!!:rolleyes:

Crankin, how was the demo?



http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
01-21-2012, 02:05 PM
Demo is tomorrow. I did a quick late afternoon snowshoe on my local conservation land trails I can access from my neighborhood.

Crankin
01-22-2012, 04:05 PM
I went skiing!
The conditions at Windblown were outstanding. But, because of the EMS demo day, the parking lot was the most crowed I have ever seen. We had to park waaay at the top, where the different vendors had their booths set up, and pay for our passes there, instead of the lodge. I glanced at the Fischer booth and it was mobbed, so I made the decision to just talk to the guy later.
We skied down to the lodge, as I had to pee really badly! That went well, until I went down a little cut through trail that wasn't groomed and I started getting shaky knees, and I slowed down. DH skied right into me.
After that, we headed out on all of our favorite trails. For some reason, I felt slow and my stomach was not feeling well. But, I only had one "knee touch" on a climb, and did well on the descents. It was gloriously sunny and I could have worn a lighter mid layer. Didn't even keep track of the miles, probably not a ton, but I skied for 2+ hrs. We went to the lodge and had the outstanding home made apple-squash soup and the half a soynut butter sandwich I brought.

We decided to end it there, as I really didn't want to overdo my first ski. We skied back to the car and I talked to the Fischer rep. He showed me the new Silent Spider ski, and we compared the bottoms and edges to my Spiders, which are only 2 years old. He said the only way to compare is to ski with one of each on different feet. The small sized demos were out, and I was tired, so I made the decision that I really don't need new skis. My skis worked perfectly today and being slow was not their fault!
I need to not drink coffee before skiing; one cup of tea is better.

DebW
01-22-2012, 05:46 PM
I had a nice and very local ski yesterday. Started 1 mile from my house on the Reformatory Branch rail trail in Bedford, MA. Skied about a mile out the trail with a friend, then we headed off the trail onto some other paths through the woods. Followed a creek for awhile and ended up at the local farm, where we visited the sheep and goats in the petting area, browsed the farm store, and looked over Santa's Village. Then did some bushwacking on the way back, following blue blazes through the woods that weren't really a trail. It was beautiful to be out. I'd done some hard backcountry skiing in NH the weekend before, and a day of telemarking at Wachusett last Thursday, so yesterday was just a relaxing jaunt to enjoy the fresh snow.

Kubla
01-22-2012, 06:51 PM
We started our season with an hour of getting our ski legs back. We're beginners at this sport, but we love it. Fortunately, my neighbor lets us use her open back yard, then we can cut some trails through the woods to make it more interesting.

Would have loved to stay out longer, but reminded myself that I need to be able to move tomorrow. I'll be sitting at my desk most of the day, which would stiffen up the joints even more.

ridebikeme
01-23-2012, 04:42 AM
I got out yesterday as well. I took my 11 yo nephew and a couple of four legged friends and we had a great time! Hoping to get out today as well...

Crankin, I think in terms of demoing ski's that the best scenerio is to test them on the same types of trails and same conditions. Differences in strength from one leg to the other, different leg lengths, past injuires can have a huge impact on demoing ski's when using one old ski and one new. But it sounds as though you made a wise decision with the ski's that you have.Sounds like you had a great day... it's amazing how a little bit of snow makes everyone happy!:rolleyes:


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

SheFly
01-23-2012, 07:54 AM
DebW - you're living in Bedford now? I know all of those trails off the Reformatory Branch - great for MTB! ;)

We rode bikes on Saturday (yes, in the snow), but did get out to Weston to ski yesterday. That was my second time there this season. Cover was a bit thin, but everything was open. We went later in the day to avoid the crowds, but we also missed the sunny part of the day that way.

Heading up to Maine for some skiing this weekend. Fingers crossed that the rain holds off up there.

SheFly

ridebikeme
01-23-2012, 09:48 AM
Ahhh it's great to hear that all of you were out on your ski's over the weekend. I just came back from taking my favorite companion(shanna, chocolate lab) out for a short ski. It was beautiful out yesterday, but I have to say with the warm temps and possobily rain this week... well hopefully the snow holds out. It certainly is very thin:( I still have not even had the new ski's out yet...




http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

limewave
01-24-2012, 08:39 AM
I was able to take DD XC skiing again. It took us about 2 hours to go 2k . . . but we did sections over and over again--the hills. And we stopped at the Luge (http://youtu.be/Yu_6-u5_Idk) for awhile to watch the brave souls make their run. You can ski right up to the course and lean over so that your face is just 2 feet above theirs as they slide by! You could reach out and give them a high-five! Although, I would never recommend that. Taking your hand off the sled is a good way to break an arm. It was entertaining to see the different expressions of the Lugers.

ridebikeme
01-26-2012, 09:28 AM
Although I knew that it would be very icey today, I thought Shanna ( my chocolate lab) and I would head out anyway. The weather forecast doesn't look very good tomorrow, so with snow levels so low... umm let's go anyway. It was indeed very icey, but here's to hoping that the weather is all snow tomorrow and none of the other liquid variety.:eek:


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

SheFly
01-26-2012, 10:43 AM
Although I knew that it would be very icey today, I thought Shanna ( my chocolate lab) and I would head out anyway. The weather forecast doesn't look very good tomorrow, so with snow levels so low... umm let's go anyway. It was indeed very icey, but here's to hoping that the weather is all snow tomorrow and none of the other liquid variety.:eek:


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Keep me posted - we're heading up looking for winter...

SheFly

ridebikeme
01-26-2012, 12:27 PM
Here's to hoping that we do receive ALL snow and NO snow/rain mix. I was on a snowmobile trail today,and although it had just been groomed there were LOTS of rocks/boulders visible.:( Hopefully they'll be a thing of the past tomorrow....




http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
01-26-2012, 04:07 PM
I guess I'll be riding outside this weekend, after the rain tomorrow :mad:.
I can't travel this weekend, but maybe next weekend is looking good if there's snow up north.

ridebikeme
01-27-2012, 03:52 AM
We've received about 6" so far, with projections to receive another 1-2 more before changing over to a rain/snow mix. Hopefully this forecast will be wrong, although the warm temps may squash my "wishes." For those of you in NE, it has already statred to change over in Gorham NH... perhaps they'll keep it?:rolleyes:


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

limewave
01-27-2012, 06:38 AM
I guess I'll be riding outside this weekend, after the rain tomorrow :mad:.
I can't travel this weekend, but maybe next weekend is looking good if there's snow up north.

I am doing a night ride tonight. Cannot believe this weather. A part of me really wishes for snow, but another part is not minding the mild weather either.

ridebikeme
01-27-2012, 07:20 AM
Ahhh I love night rides! Unfortunately I seemed to have lost my group of people that used to ride as well.:confused:

Just came back from a short ski; it was great ! For some reason, I love to break trail, although I know that isn't the norm.:eek:

Have a great weekend and enjoy your riding!!


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

lph
01-31-2012, 10:06 AM
We have sno-ow :) :)

Stable, cold snow that has impacted and is nicely groomed. Even the ungroomed trails are now broken by the hordes of eager skiers out there. I'm getting into a nice rhythm of one afternoon/night ski a week, on my way back from work. I used to do this only in my backyard woods, but oh, those final hills kill me, so I've branched out. I now have to take a bus back home, but it goes every 15 minutes and takes 10-15 minutes home, so it's no hardship. And the terrain is so much easier! My favourite trail so far starts out with at least 4 km of gently rolling and flat terrain, which lets me get warmed up and stretched out, then some fun, easy downhills, then a lot of boring twisty uphills, but I least I get nice and warm. Then some very fun and bumpity up and downs, a tremendous roaring downhill, and then a long stretch of gently rolling terrain again, at which point I'm really chugging along.

Fun :)

Trek-chick
01-31-2012, 12:28 PM
I have basically written off skiing for this season:( kind of bummed but we just do not have any snow.

ridebikeme
01-31-2012, 02:49 PM
LPH, sounds like a great way to commute!! :) It's also great that you are able to get into a routine about going out.

I got out for a short ski today, a bit icey here, but the reality is that we have snow and I'm not complaining.:cool: And we're also receiving a bit of snow now...


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Wahine
02-04-2012, 07:05 PM
This morning I had to choose between a road ride with my DBF in a group ride he organized or skate skiing alone on the mountain. I decided to ski. It was glorious and I skated for a little over 2 hours and 15 miles (just shy of 25 km). I'm so glad I did. I needed the space and the freedom of gliding across the snow without any pressure of having people with me. The views of Mt. Hood were indescribeable.

Happy, happy.:D:D

ridebikeme
02-05-2012, 04:23 AM
Sounds like a wonderful day Wahine! It isn't very often that I choose to ski rather than ride, but knowing that the snow won't be here long well...

Have fun with building the rest of your new bike!! Velocity makes some great rims, have a couple of sets myself.:p


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

lph
02-05-2012, 07:41 AM
Wahine, I envy you your mountainview skiing! And your skate-groomed trails. I have lots of xc trails right off my back yard, but they're hilly, twisty wooded trails with no views at all. And just about all of them classic groomed. Which is fine, actually, because I suck at skating :D

Wahine
02-05-2012, 01:00 PM
We skated again today. Another bluebird day. :D:D:D

LPH - we are really lucky. Our Nordic center has about 20 to 25 km of trail that is groomed for both skating and classic. It's a hilly treed area, so there is a lot of fun ups and downs with turns in the trees but then you come to the opening at a meadow or pond and suddenly the Mountain is right in your face.

But we also have to drive 45 min to get to the snow. The flip side of that is that where we live, there is no snow on the ground for almost the entire year. So it's not unusual for DBF and I to ski in the morning then do an easy recovery road ride in the afternoon.

We are very, very fortunate.

DebW
02-05-2012, 07:27 PM
I was up at Lake Champlain this weekend, skiing on the snow-covered lake with views of Mt. Marcy in the Adirondaks under bright sunshine and even an incredible sunset. :)

ridebikeme
02-06-2012, 04:57 AM
Sounds like a beautiful day Deb! I've done some riding in that area, but have never skiied there.;)

Got out yesterday wih Shanna, (my chocolate lab) and we had a great day. A shortish loop, but one that wound through some trees and was quite nice. I'll definitely have to remember to get on this trail with my mtn bike... umm perhaps with the studded tires this week.:rolleyes:


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

ridebikeme
02-11-2012, 07:37 AM
Well, I have to admit that the snow cover is getting very thin. We've been able to ski all week, but now you definitely need to use your "rock" ski's. I'm assuming that by the time that I fully get ready to change over to riding outside each day that the weather will change once again.:p


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
02-11-2012, 01:48 PM
We are staying in Franconia for the weekend. No snow here, but we went to Bretton Woods today and the conditions were great. We skied to the AMC Highland Center and had lunch. They were a stop on the chocolate ski tour and we partook a little. We skied a little over 9 miles. I am exhausted.

Crankin
02-12-2012, 05:42 PM
Finished up the weekend with a 4 mile ski at Bear Notch Ski center. This is a family owned small x country center (about 65k of trails, but very bare facilities) that always has snow. It was between 8-11 degrees and brutally windy, but my friend had just bought new skis in the AM and wanted to try them out. After a brutal climb up a black trail, we had a nice gentle descent. Conditions were slicker than yesterday and a good deal of the trail was groomed, but not tracked, not the best for me. But, it was great.
Going to Craftsbury in 2 weeks.

ridebikeme
02-13-2012, 04:35 AM
WOW! it's hard to believe that Franconia and Bear Notch don't have a lot of snow:eek:. Although when I look out the window, I shouldn't be surprised at all! Glad to hear that you had a good time Crankin!!

All I know is that unless we get more sb now here soon, it won't be here for much longer.


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

lph
02-17-2012, 02:27 PM
Waaah, it's gonna rain tomorrow :( That could mean the end of good skiing conditions in my backyard woods, though it should last for some more weeks in the slightly higher parts.

Most of all I'm feeling sorry for a friend of mine. She's doing this massive xc ski event tomorrow that circumnavigates most of Oslo. It's 90 km long and she's expecting to take nine hours - in wet snow and sleet :eek: I've never skied more than about half that in one day, so I'm madly impressed.

ridebikeme
02-24-2012, 09:29 AM
Well, not sure what the weather will hold for the weekend, but I did get on ski's today and a couple of times this week. The snow level is certainly getting thin, but I'm hoping the storm that is projected to hit here today brings more snow rather than rain;)


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

ridebikeme
02-25-2012, 04:22 AM
Well, like many parts of the country, we did receive snow!!!:D Although I'm only clearing the driveway, I would guess that we received 6-7". Needless to say, once the driveway is clear..... welll you know where I'll be;)



http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
02-26-2012, 04:48 AM
Snow is coming! There's an 18 inch base at Craftsbury, with more predicted for the day we arrive.
So glad we waited this year and planned our trip for next week, instead of January.

ridebikeme
02-26-2012, 07:54 AM
Sounds like a great time Crankin! I've been out twice since this last snow storm, adn have to admit that it's wonderful to see snow.:rolleyes:I'd forgotton what it is like to ski in snow rather than ice like we've had all year this year. YIPEE!!!



http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

ridebikeme
02-29-2012, 10:45 AM
While I know most of you are not 'thinking' about skiing; I have to tell you that with the new snow we received last weekend....well it's fabulous! My outing today was more like spring type of day by the time I was finishing, sun was out, snow was melting and it was one of those 'blue bird'days. A day certainly that I did not want to go back to the shop:D But with a trainer class tonight, it's time to also think of my bike and the fact that with more snow coming tonight.. it won't be anytime soon that I'll be riding outside.


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
03-01-2012, 02:31 PM
I am in Craftsbury and it's like I died and went to heaven. It was 28 degrees and lightly snowing all day. We skied 12K on fresh powder. The trails at the Outdoor Center are so wide and the black trails are not that hard. Tomorrow we are getting dropped off at the center and skiing back down to the inn, about 7.5K and then we will go to Greensboro and ski at Highland Lodge, which is now run by the outdoor center. Well, the trails are being groomed by them, as the lodge went out of business. Trails there are tough, but there is one very long and steep black descent that I will only do on perfect powder and tomorrow might be the day. I did it once, 4 years ago.

ridebikeme
03-01-2012, 06:27 PM
Sounds like a wonderful place to be Crankin... and of course your timing is perfect.:) Have a great weekend, hopefully the projection for Saturday is something that will change.:eek:

Got out today myself, and had a great time. As you mentioned fresh powder with snow coming down; I certainly couldn't ask for anything better. I'm hoping to get up to Kingfield next week and ski into one of the MAine Huts. I'll know more about it over the weekend. Ever been there?


http://chasecyclery.blogspot.com

Crankin
03-02-2012, 05:02 AM
Yes, I have been to Little Lyford Pond, run by AMC. But, it was in the summer. They have a supported hut to hit ski tour I would love to do. The only issue is using the outdoor bathrooms in the middle of the night at 5 below zero!

ridebikeme
03-02-2012, 11:07 AM
I have not been to any of the AMC huts, but have heard great things about them. I'm hoping that we'll make reservations over the weekend and everything will go smoothly:p

Got in a nother 7-8 miles out on trails today; it was wonderful! Got to see more of the trails that I normally ride on my mtn bike... I always enjoy seeing the area in all 4 seasons. They certainly look much different.

Hope you're having a great time, although with new snow, I'm sure your smile is as wide as mine.:D

Crankin
03-02-2012, 02:09 PM
Well, today was interesting. We drove to the Outdoor center and then skied on the Catamount Trail down back to our inn, about 5 miles. The innkeeper took DH back to get the car and we ate lunch. It was one of the most beautiful skis I have done. So then we drove to Highland Lodge trails in the next town. Apparently, a consortium of groups are keeping the trails groomed since the lodge closed. Well, some were groomed and tracked and some were groomed. We did a very long climb, in the deep woods and went to do the black diamond downhill we had done a few years ago. It was totally ungroomed :eek:. You really needed back country skis, but down I went. I tried to ski in the deep snow, not in my friends' tracks, but I kept sinking. I fell twice in the beginning, but managed to slowly get down without really being able to snow plow. I hope they eventually groom this trail, because unlike last time. I wouldn't be scared. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so we may end up shopping in St. Johnsbury.

Crankin
03-10-2012, 04:23 AM
A few views of skiing in Craftsbury and Greensboro, VT

ridebikeme
03-10-2012, 01:24 PM
Thanks for sharing your pics, Crankin! Have you been able to ski since your trip?

Just returned today from the Maine Hut trip... great time and definitely something I will do again. The hills were much larger than I thought, some were well over 1/2 mile long and fairly steep, especially for 'skinny skis'. Of course, a winter with very little snow made it more difficult. BUT, the staff was great and of course the food even better. :) We skied about 11 miles each day with a fair amount of hills, and some great scenery. The only thing that I will change is that I will definitely buy some ski's with edges, now to decide which ones. HA!

Crankin
03-11-2012, 09:41 AM
I think I'm done with skiing for the year.
Unless we have a big dump of powder locally. It could happen, but with temperatures predicted in the 50's, 60's, and 70's :eek: for the next 2 weeks, it doesn't look good. And weekends are getting busy, with local things that would preclude going up north.
DH did the spring work on the Kuotas yesterday and we put the trainers away. Although I've ridden my Guru through the winter, maybe 10 times, today feels like the start of the cycling season. Getting ready to head out on a ride in a few.
I can't believe you did that ski without edges. I've had metal edged touring skis for 7 years. My Spyders (the older version) have the metal edges at the front and backs of the skis and some other edge like material in the middle. Given that most of our skiing, in a normal snow year is at Windblown, which has perhaps the steepest terrain of any place I've skied (I can't even look at the black trails there, because I don't have the skill to descend them), I wouldn't even consider skis without metal edges. The friends we ski with love climbing, so we follow :).
I am probably going to get some entry level back country skis/boots for next year. Any recommendations? We most likely will go up to Lahouts up in Littleton, NH to get them, as I am done with REI and the "chain" feeling I get when I go there. It was just dumb luck that I bought the Spyders last time.

ridebikeme
03-11-2012, 10:09 AM
To give you a bit more info about the people at the Huts that we met, no one had ski's with edges! I did read all of the information about the Huts pretty thoroughly, and no mention or suggestion of ski's with edges. I also spoke with a couple of their staff before going, and again, something that most people don't have. I was also told by a couple of people that I know that the terrain was simply rolling... But that's probably the perception difference between very well seasoned skiers and myself. HA!However, it is something that I will buy and would definitely suggest to others. With so little snow fall this year, you can imagine how hard packed the trails were.

AS for me, I will still continue to ski, but as you mentioned that may be very short lived. I've rode outside a good portion of the winter, so it sounds as though that may start to happen more on a regular basis.:rolleyes:

I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for in ski's... traditional length, non traditional length, full length edge etc.... I'd be glad to give some suggestions if you want to share a bit more info. I would suggest that if you are at all looking, I would highly recommend Akers Ski here in town. They have been in business for 53 years, all skiers and people that generally care about you and the type of sking that you want to do, no pressure tactics, no egos etc.. In a nutshell, great customer service! Their website is Akers-Ski.com or you can call 207-392-4582.

At this point, I'm looking at the Solomom X Adventure 59, fairly light, traditional length and 3/4 edge. Some other choices, are of course the Fischer Silent Spider 62, or Alpina Discovery. I'll wait until next year to definitely make a decision, who knows maybe there will be some new choices.

I agree with you, I've never been someone that was particularly interested in the 'chain' stores. Somehow I always felt more comfortable with the equipment and suggestions from people that work in the industry all the time.

Have a great spring, and keep those ski's handy... it's hard for me to believe that the snow is gone for the season.:rolleyes:

Crankin
03-11-2012, 06:10 PM
I am thinking about buying back country skis that can be used in the wood or on trails that have either deep snow or no tracks and minimal grooming. I've had 2 experiences that lead me to believe that my Spyders are exactly the best for these conditions. Last year we went to Franconia and skied on some very, very difficult trails. It was the climbing that bothered me, even though that was extremely strenuous. It was the descents. I can't descend without snowplowing and being able to turn my skis for the turns. The issue was the area next to the tracks (if there were any tracks) was barely groomed and very narrow. I wanted to ski here, but my skis kept catching in the piles of ungroomed snow, causing me to fall. Then there was my descent last week, where it was essentially an unplowed road that I had descended once when it was groomed. This was about a mile or maybe a little less of fast turns and very fun when groomed.
I like being in the woods, and would like to try more of this. I need shorter skis, no matter what. The Spyders are a huge improvement over the skis I had before, and if I get a second pair for back country, they need to be shorter, too. I know nothing about back country skis. Guess it's time to research.

ridebikeme
03-12-2012, 04:47 AM
Crankin, it does indeed sound as though your current Spiders might do the job. I'm not certain what the differnence is between the newer models and yours.

In the current models, the Spiders are a non tradional length of ski... so that should help in the areas where the trails are a bit narrow. We had issues with the trails not being wide enough to 'snowplow' and the differences in height on the trail...somehow a portion was groomed several days before and a smaller portion was not.(perhaps they only made one pass) Personally I'd rather have them not groom at all than the above situation... but I guess that's part of the challenge.:rolleyes: Your description of the hills with lots of turns sounds a bit like a portion of my trip this weekend, and it's something that I'd definitely like to do again and again etc...

Not knowing what the difference is between your ski's and the newer Spiders, I can tell you that the newer ski's have a 'Rocker Construction", which essestially means that the tips can splay out to make turning the ski's easier. It's something that the alpine industry used many years ago.

The other option in the newer backcountry ski's is whether you want to have No-wax ski's or ski's that you want to wax.

I've put some thought into the ski's that Akers had over the past season, and will wait until the newer models come out.. and then will make some sort of decision. I'm not sure whether I will go with a full 'backcountry'setup with boots and bindings as well. Fischer has a model of boot that might just fit that nordic/backcountry experience.( it's called the Offtrack BC Boot)

At any rate, it appears that we have time to think about all of this, I'd definietly be interested in your thoughts if you're willing to share.;)

Crankin
03-12-2012, 06:19 AM
Oy, I just re-read my post and there were a couple of grammar/typos that made me sound the opposite of what I meant. The climbing didn't bother me. Anyway, my Spyders don't have the full metal edges, compared to the new ones, but they do have some other supposed edge gripping material in the middle, with metal on the ends and front. Not sure about the rocker construction. They do have a lot of camber. The Fischer rep honestly told me there's not that much difference between what I have and the new ones.
Perhaps I just need to learn to ski better and deal with the narrow downhills, with no room to snowplow? I am not sure what to do in these situations! My friend told me to ski with one foot in the track and one out, but when I tried that, the turns killed me, and I fell.
As far as boots go, right now I have the soft, old fashioned kind because I tried the harder ones a few years ago, and they cut up my feet horribly. I know there's been a lot of changes in the past 6 years, so I am very willing to try something different. It would be great something I could wear with 2 different kinds of skis, but I know that means new bindings on the Spyders. That wold be fine.
And definitely no wax.

ridebikeme
03-12-2012, 09:58 AM
It's interesting to hear you say that the trails are sometimes not wide enough to 'snowplow'. That comment is exactly how I felt about the trails this weekend, and as I was sking reminded myself that I would more than likely want non tradional length ski's. Of course, the rest of that equation is something I'll figure out over the summer.

AS for boots, the Fischer boot that I mentioned earlier is not quite as stiff or bulky as some of the other backcountry boots. It might be just the boot to give more support, and stability on the trails that lend themselves that way.

It's great that the Fischer rep gave you honest/accurate information! Perhaps with a different boot and binding, it would give you a bigger 'footprint' on the ski's and solve some of the issues that we have talked about.

Well, I'm off to hop on my road bike and get outside. It's always a great day when you can ski and then go and hop on the bike.:D

Have a great rest of the week and I'd love to hear your ideas on ski's if something should pop up.