Great rollerski video – Col d’Iseran

11 May
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Roll’X 3 x 100 Tour

21 Mar

Just got back from a ski weekend at Lygnasætre, 80km north of Oslo. The hotel was pleasant, and right next to the ski trails. Conditions Saturday were surprisingly good for skating. Today we went earlier before the snow softened up enough for the grooming machine to pass, so the trail was very hard and a bit challenging. Still, the 10 km loop trail was again fun.

But the season is coming to an end and my thoughts are naturally drifting back towards rollerskiing. The first big rollerski thing I’ve done already is sign up for the Roll’X 3x110km tour the 17-19 may. The event that attracts both inline skaters and rollerskiers will go from Mulhouse on the Swiss border in France to Mâcon in the French region of Burgundy.

There are a ton of rollerski events the same weekend in France, but the program of three nights with meals, acommodations and a full support team proved too much to resist.

Nevertheless it’s definitely worth mentioning the other choices. First the 106km rollerski challenge in Brittany and then the 100km Rollathlon race aling the banks of the Rhône River, in France but not far from Geneva.

But the idea of 330km in the company of friends and what looks like a great group of participants finally won me over.

The pace should be relatively fast because most, including myself, will be using fast wheels made in France by Roll’X, the organiser of the event in conjunction with Alliance Glisse Franche Comté rollerskating club.

Moreover, I’ve never been to that part of France and think that rollerskiing through it will be a great way to get to know it.

The winter of my discontent?

27 Feb

What I feared has come. After three excellent winters in a row, Oslo has finally got a bad one. We’ve had very little snow and now spring has come horribly early.

Even though the calendar says February, temperatures are now regularly climbing up toward the teens. Today skies are clear but a good bit of the little precipitation we’ve had has come as rain.

So now it’s already Easter conditions requiring sticky klister wax if you go classic. I’ve preferred to skate to avoid depression. The up side with that is you can climb fast on an icy track. Then, whatever technique you choose, you scream through the downhill. Just requires steely nerves because ice is not forgiving, particularly when you’re going fast.

But maybe the risk is bigger to my mood than to my body. Skiing keeps my mood on an even keel. Happily it’s still possible to ski right now in the Oslo forest. But I have to travel because conditions on my home trail are getting hopeless.

In years past that trail got prepared double-wide for skating. I would go before work on a new prepared trail and it was pure joy. I could hone the way I took every corner and every change in elevation. It was great technique practice and extremely pleasurable. This year the trail has only been prepped single-wide because there’s not enough snow. And now conditions are such that it’s not even worth skiing classic.

But no use being bitter about what you can’t change. Maybe there are other things in life than skiing. Maybe. Perhaps I should just hope for an early rollerski season. Less heartbreak there.

Still, maybe there’s hope. I spoke to a very kind conductor on the train to the closest remaining snow. She assured me that we would “get another winter” in week or two’s time. Let’s hope she’s better at foretelling weather than her employer is at predicting train arrival times.

How I suffered last Sunday

16 Feb
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2By8mO1lFA%5D

Transjurassienne. Minus 15 and strong headwind. Mercifully shortened from 76km to 70.

Alive and cold

3 Feb

Sorry bloggy-blog. I’ve been neglecting you lately. But rest assured I’m alive. And cold. When you’re cold you feel alive! And happy.

New ski imitations from Sindre Wiig Nordby

12 Jan
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh8dtEQ9m1g%5D

Winter techniques

17 Dec

A great thing about skiing is that it’s not just skiing. There are a whole host of related activities you need to master to be good. One, quite obvious one, is ski waxing. Both glide and grip. I feel like I’ve been doing that better lately. Yesterday, however, I failed miserably at grip waxing. I started out with violet wax and got no grip. Since most of my trip was downhill, I figured I’d just double pole and then put on some softer grip wax when I turned around to go back. Then, since I was slipping so bad when I tried to kick, I went straight for red wax. That was a bad choice and my skis instantly loaded up with with snow killing all my glide. As I struggled back to my start point I got passed by people. Not so usual for me.

Today I made a better choice. I focused on making the “wax pyramid” whose crest lies right in the middle of the curve of the ski in the kick zone. This structure along with the flavor of wax I had chosen worked well on my roughly 28km ski trip today. My skis slipped a tiny bit but glided extremely well.

The snow was light at the bottom of the hill but got progressively much better. I went with my old touring skis in the event there would be gravel at the start. But I took my good poles since the route had a lot of double-poling.

On the way back I got to hone another one of my skills. I love taking the bus to go ski. It makes me feel stronger than those who feel they need the comfort of a car. But when I’m lightly clothed and it’s cold, I need special bus techniques. With the current snow conditions I have to go far, with several bus changes. I therefore plan my route in advance with layovers in cafés and grocery stores. That way I can drink something hot and eat some energy while staying warm. The way home takes a little longer, but it’s bearable in spite of the cold.

As you say in Norwegian: alt skal læres. Everything will be learned.