Ski not Skien

5 Dec

At least I didn't end up here

Norway has city name problems. There’s Larvik and Narvik, Kristiansand and Kristiansund, Skien and Ski. The latter is what got me today.

Even though it’s ridiculous that such things happen in snowy Norway, the few centimeters we got last night were screwing up train traffic. Departure tracks were changing every minute and I saw Ski and track 5 pop up on the board. Unfortunately it was actually Skien. Once I went through the first wrong station I realised my error and got off. Happily I was able to hop a bus and make it to the departure station for the Ski train in just a few minutes.

So I made it to Ski. Doubly.

Actually I stopped a few stations short of Ski, to ski on a golf course. In spite of the promising name, Ski is usually a lousy  place to ski. But my chosen stop had man-made snow. A lot of people go skiing to look at the trees. For me they’re nice but not essential. In fact if there were good conditions, I’d take a hideous industrial wasteland. Or a golf course. What matters is the skiing. And there I could use my skate skis without fear of maiming them. Moreover I could skate comfortably because the track was wide and smooth.

After my first time out skating last season I felt like I wanted to die. Despite all the rollerskiing I’d done in the months prior, my technique felt horrendously shitty and inefficient. This time I felt a little unstable but otherwise not bad. I managed an hour in the rolling terrain at 15km/hr, which I deemed acceptable at this point. My skate form will have to peak earlier than in previous years because I have the 76km Transjurassienne February 13th.

All and all a good start. I’ll see what happens with trail prep closer to home, but am tempted to go back tomorrow. By way of the right train.

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