we all know that "it's what you do in the dark months of winter that will make all the difference come july" and that sometimes the weather goes bad for 6 months at a time (especially here in the mountains of NW colorado).that is when "plan b" comes into effect, as deep snow and cold temperatures often conspire to make cycling all but impossible. you have to do something else in order to stave off the effects of "cabin fever" and develop some good base fitness in order to make a smooth transition to the cycling season and the efforts required.
here's a few of the fun things that we do as part of the winter training program:
snowshoes are an essential part of our winter arsenal. my grandfather gave me these (now) vintage L.L. Bean lead-filled "powder stompers" way back when i was about 13 or 14 years old. they have busted many miles of backcountry trail and have never failed to perform, even in the most brutal winter conditions. over the years, they have given me access to great snowboarding in the Flattops wilderness and other mountain ranges acrosss Colorado. the new-style shoes are great, mostly on groomed trail. but if you are going big in the backcountry, leave the trail-hiking pizza cartons at home and get yourself some of the oldy-but-goody ash & gut specials.
hot laps at area 19 make for some great aerobic workouts with some nice freshie-turns as a reward. notice the 'shoes strapped to my backpack.
Jen believes that if your free your heels, your mind will follow. and when you are following Jen on her tele skiis, you better move quickly. she is without a doubt one of the best tele skiiers i have ever seen, very smooth, confident and powerful on any terrain. this is one of my all time favorite images of Jen, taken in the backcountry of area 19.
she rips it on the skate skiis, too.
we have been doing some skate skiing on the Grand Mesa this season. the weather has been superb and there are many kilometers of groomed trails on which to enjoy the abundant fresh, deep snow.
skate skiing is brutal hard work, especially if your form is less than stellar, (like mine) and you're chasing all day at 3500 meters altitude. i had to stop for rest and refreshments more than i would have liked, but it's still january so i'm not too worried... yet.
and then there are the days when we just have to ride, no matter the conditions. Jen in the pow at Rustler's a couple of weeks ago.