When spring attacks

25 Mar

What’s in a name? When you think about it, spring’s name sounds violent. And, true to form, spring sprang on South-Eastern Norway with a vengeance. We faced unrelenting sun and hair dryer style winds from Monday to Thursday this week. That nearly inspired me to roll on the ground screaming “I’m melting!” à la The Wicked Witch of the West. But I held myself back with the thought I must maintain the distinction between ski-enthusiastic and psychotic, at least in the minds of my colleagues. But actually, since I just super-traitorously ditched my co-workers, I’m sure they all hate me now anyhow.

This weekend was supposed to be our yearly trip to the Trysil ski area. We usually do it in January. But this year it was decided the weather would be better in spring. While the others ski alpine, I take advantage of the network of wide trails well-suited for skating, meeting back up with colleagues for the evening party.

Today however, after an endless wait for the prep machine, whose passage I followed live on my phone, I found an ice cube like surface instead of a ski track when I finally headed out. That was actually the best case. In the worst I got the frozen imprint of the machine’s tread track.

Not seeing any hope in the mountains, I’ve now hopped a bus back to Oslo. Still, when I passed a place named Hernes, just outside the town of Elverum, I saw a perfectly prepared track that gave me hope for a little more pleasant skiing before all the snow goes.

My ski trip to the Jura Mountains of France this past February only comforts my belief that Oslo skiing can get good again before it ends. The trail prepper in the town of Giron, a man of extreme talent I desperately tried to lure to back Oslo, proved that sheet ice could be transformed into a thoroughly enjoyable skating surface.

And beyond that, there will be rollerski. In my first in months spinning class at the gym, the fantasy of gliding up Grefsenkollen on little polyurethane wheels was salvation from the soul-crushing boredom of stationary bike fake hill climbing.

The icing on the rollerski cake is the thought of the Cosnes-Sancerre race at the end of the season in mid October. I have been charged by the race organisers to recruit more Norwegian participants for the 20th anniversary edition of the wonderful, atypical and hopefully international race. Instead of mountains, the course goes through the gorgeous Loire River wine groing regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. For me, last year, it was a mind-blowing experience to smell new-fermenting wine as I raced on skate rollerskis up to the Medieval hilltop town of Sancerre. Moreover, my modest efforts in this race that attracts Rollerski World Cup racers were generously rewarded with three divine bottles. If that wouldn’t be enough to attract a field of more talented than me Norwegian participants, then the winners’ gift baskets of local specialities surely would be.

So, in sum, I’ve got a lot to look forward to, whatever the weather brings.

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2 Responses to “When spring attacks”

  1. HERVE March 29, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    Salut,
    C’est bien tu as lancé les démarches pour faire venir des NORVEGIENS à COSNE-SANCERRE, j’espère qu’elles seront fructueuses pour qu’ils en profitent et que ça fasse une bonne pub pour la course.

    A plus.
    Hervé

  2. fallwest March 30, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    Mais si je viens avec un paquet de Nordiques ça risque de réveiller les mauvais souvenirs ancestrales des drakkars remontant la Loire! Mais je vois que tu t’entraînes beaucoup. Ça c’est du bon augure! Que la population locale monte une défense formidable de la citadelle contre le Vikings!

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