This winter was the first year I took skiing seriously. I’ve owned skis since December 2008, but up until this winter I had only used them twice. Living in Southern Michigan with no car isn’t a great way to get into skiing. Poor skiing conditions plus no transportation to get to good conditions meant I had to stick to riding the bike through the winter. In 2010 I moved back to Madison, WI. Since there was good skiing right in town I was able to get to the trails easier. To get to the trails I would either carpool, take the bus, or ride my bike (yes, ride my bike) to the trails.
Learning to skate ski was really frustrating for me. It was really hard to basically start all over with a new endurance sport when I was already so focused on another one. Luckily, a lot of the fitness from cycling carried over to skiing, but in a lot of ways my cycling-centric exercise routine hampered my ability to pick up proper skiing technique. When I first started my technique was so bad that I couldn’t even get my heart rate up- if that makes any sense. It also didn’t help, as I found out mid winter, to have skis that were sprung for someone 190-200 lbs when I weigh less 160 lbs in the off season. It suddenly became clear why I was having such a hard time picking up skate skiing. The proper equipment helps. Luckily I was able to borrow some skis that were sprung for my weight. It made such a huge difference. Next year I’ll have to invest in some new skis.