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Thread: The XC Skiing thread

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    Default The XC Skiing thread

    OK, let's stop hijacking other legitimate cycling threads with jibber-jabber about cross country skiing. I've been loving XC skiing this year, and I know others have too. Here are some questions to get the ball rolling.

    What kinds of skiing are people doing? Skate or classic?

    Anyone here pro at skiing? Anyone here ski before they started riding?

    Does XC skiing actually preserve cycling form? (maybe not so OT after all)

    How are conditions by you?

    Waxless or waxable?

    We don't have to answer these, but it really does seem like many of us are keen on chatting about xc skiing.

    So let's go skiing.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    nordic is a great sport.
    when snow is good its off the charts beautiful.

    i skate and classical. have skied for 40 yrs.
    both my kids started when they were about 3 and either can kick my ass now.

    fitness is fitness. imo.
    this winter we have had mega tons of snow. i cant ski cause my shouldr is whack right now/ eeeesh.
    all i can do at the moment is snowshoe... not the same... its outdoors anyway.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I was on the ski team in high school (northern Michigan) back in the late 80s, early 90s.

    I used these bad boys for skating: (lusted after the Gunde Svan model)



    and had some bass boat sparkly blue low tops for classical.


    We don't have enough consistent snow here in SE Mich for skiiing, so I snowshoe now on the adjacent golfcourse. That's even pretty hit or miss.

    My technique is probably total garbage after so many years off. Plus, I was probably still 20-30 lbs lighter (5'9", maybe 140 ish) during my semi-competitive days (and I was never super serious about it).
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Except for a few years while I was in college I have lived in an area that has real winter and I've skied all that time. I started skate skiing about 25 years ago and have enjoyed it ever since.

    I don't know that skiing benefits cycling form but it certainly benefits overall fitness and makes getting fit on the bike in the spring much more pleasant and easy.

    One thing I like about skiing is how technique based it is. Because balance is affected in a big way by your technique it's really obvious when your technique is weak and you are inefficient. In cycling it's easier to mask poor form and fool yourself into thinking you are better than you are. This can't be done while skiing............. or you need to be so delusional as to think that walking around with skis on is good!

    I hope to get out this afternoon as the skate conditions here are very good right now.

    cool topic.

    Dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Yes, I practice the 12 Gunde Step(s). I believe Caleb is a bad ass skier, and I think CX in NH straps on the boards a bit, when he isn't nordic skating.

    Skiing has been a big part of my life since 1998, long drives up into the Mt Hood/Rainier/Santiam Wilderness, and now in VT the snow comes to us! It's one of the best ways to chase the winter blahs away. Indoor cycling is OK every now and then but with the right clothes and attitude, I'd rather slide around on the snow any day. Bring on the storms!
    Start slow, then taper off.

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I have been skiing over the past four years and more consistently the last 2. We get a lot of wind so the local trails drift often and are groomed occasionally. Sometimes it is bushwhacking but at least it is outside. I bought waxables last year and have been learning what works best in the kick zone. I also recently picked up a set of skate skis but no boots yet and will have to travel to find anything other than flat spots on a frozen lake.

    The olympics are definitely NOT in my future but an hour or two kicks my butt and beats the heck out of going to the local YMCA for the elliptical machine. It also makes shoveling the drieway a lot more tolerable knowing that I will get to ski fresh tracks when I am done.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I get out a few times a year just for exercise. I'm on basic waxless traditional skis. Its a great time and good exercise. Conditions now are ice crust ontop of snow, so its a bit tricky. If I wasn't such a fan of downhill skiing, I'd put more into my XC experience.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I started XC skiing long before a bike was anything more than a way to get escape the parental Zone Of Influence. A Finnish immigrant neighbor set up a shop and trail network on his farm as one of the first nordic ski importers in the US, and would occasionally scandalize the neighborhood with the wood-fired sauna activities next to the barn spilling into plain view from the road. I think he single-handedly saved half our small town (the half that wasn't scandalized) from mid-winter depression. If you're gonna live where there's a winter, you gotta embrace it. I got good enough to race on McGill's nordic team, and completed a Coureur de Bois d'Or at the Canadian Ski Marathon- 100 miles of woods and farmland from the outskirts of Montreal to Ottawa in two days,semi-self supported with a 15kg pack and sleeping overnight in the snow, wake up before dawn and do it again. Sort of of like a Gran Fondo, not really a race, but harder than any bike race I've ever done. Now in DC area, winter is more tolerated than enjoyed, although I just got back from a few days near Boulder. Going from sea level to skate-ski above 8,000 ft was humbling, got completely cooked after a couple hours and had to switch to classical. Here's a couple of cell phone pics on a dark squally afternoon last week in Estes Park.



     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Steevo View Post
    I get out a few times a year just for exercise. I'm on basic waxless traditional skis. Its a great time and good exercise. Conditions now are ice crust on top of snow, so its a bit tricky. If I wasn't such a fan of downhill skiing, I'd put more into my XC experience.
    Try a little banana (yellow) kick wax under your feet on the scales for crust, don't over-do it, just a 12-18" strip under your foot depending on the temperature, you can melt a thin layer of harder wax on top if the soft powder underneath the crust is sticking to the yellow. It will help with your kick if you're not getting through the crust. I try to avoid klister wax (in a tube) unless nothing else is working- it's as evil as tubular glue, but it does work in corn and crust, and you can use it on waxless scaled bottoms if you're slipping- a couple of thin layers rubbed in is better than a single thicker layer. But really, just get a set of waxable skis for your next set, you'll be much happier. Waxless is the equivalent of a hybrid bike- sure it goes but not nearly as efficient or fun.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesand View Post
    I believe Caleb is a bad ass skier
    That would be cool if it were true, but it's not. I'm total pack fodder so keep that in mind any time I open my mouth about skiing. I've never in my life really been on the pointy end of the field so it's pretty much a joke for me to talk about racing.

    I do have a technical question: On Sunday I was out skiing with some buddies in dirty snow and my skis started slowing down more rapidly than theirs. When we took our skis off my bases were really dirty, but theirs were both relatively clean. It turns out they had applied a molybdenum "wax" under their paraffin of the day. I haven't used moly in the past, but I'm thinking I should give it a go in dirty snow conditions. Has anyone else tried it? Any tips or suggestions?
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Well I finally got a lesson in classic this weekend. Glad I did that because I don't think I would have picked up the proper motions on my own. I had to drive two hours north to get some skiing in but I'll definitely be doing it a few more times this winter (unless we get another nice snow in downstate NY). Also, I still do not understand how I am to go downhill with any modicum of control. Anyone care to give me some tips? I seem to be doing fine then all of a sudden my skis sort of go in random directions, catching imperfections in the snow surface, and I go down.

    On the bright side, I picked up four different types of klister.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Thought I'd revive this thread since it's getting to be that time of the season.

    I snapped this pic while I was out this past spring and waiting to be out there again...hopefully soon.

    Alpine_Ski_Club.jpg
    --VeloRyan--

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I learned to XC ski in the '70's on wooden skis, complete with ironing on the wax etc. Got my first and last set of "modern" skis in about 1984 or so. I never had those new-fangled skate skis or boots. Last time I skied, either DH or XC, was 1988. I haven't even seen snow for 13 years. My DH skis are long gone, but my XC skis are still leaning up in the corner of my parents garage, for some reason. I miss skiing a lot.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Big storm over the weekend = 10k groomed today. I skated for about 50 min after work and my glutes were happy to run out of daylight. What a great way to suffer.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    What a timely bump...

    I've never XC skied anything, any way. I'm going to be spending a month in Yosemite, and would love to learn. Badger pass looks like it has lots and lots of options, and I understand none of them. It seems like there are lanes for classic, skate and off-piste, and while I know what those mean... I'm really lost. Lessons are definitely going to happen, but should I try each discipline to see what I like, or just stick to one for this winter? What do I need to look for as far as clothes are concerned? I guess I'm just looking for any information on where to start... Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I raced x-c when I lived in Canada and, sniper on ski's too. Nothing to brag about (really, just laugh at me) shooting wise. I sucked largely (maybe) due to lack of time at the firing range. To date the hardest sport I competed in.

    I also participated in the Canadian Ski Marathon (160km/2 days) 3x but regular class. I had no interest carrying kit and sleeping outside.

    Classic was the rule of the day and god, waxed only. Spent hours doing that.

    Have not skied since I moved to the USA many moons ago. Started riding/racing bicycles 2 years after I moved to the USA.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Quote Originally Posted by spopepro View Post
    What a timely bump...

    I've never XC skied anything, any way. I'm going to be spending a month in Yosemite, and would love to learn. Badger pass looks like it has lots and lots of options, and I understand none of them. It seems like there are lanes for classic, skate and off-piste, and while I know what those mean... I'm really lost. Lessons are definitely going to happen, but should I try each discipline to see what I like, or just stick to one for this winter? What do I need to look for as far as clothes are concerned? I guess I'm just looking for any information on where to start... Thanks!
    Best place to start would be talking up the folks at the Nordic center. XC on groomed terrain is radically different from off piste: road biking vs mountain. Classic kick and glide is fairly similar to running and probably the easiest to pick up, whether on or off piste. Skating is maybe harder from a technique perspective but the speed is addictive. The off piste Nordic stuff is more like hiking in the snow unless you get into more aggressive backcountry skiing with downhill skis (and the full array of BC gear including avalanche beacon, probe, shovel and HUGE amounts of knowledge).

    Clothing: off piste would be closer to downhill ski or winter hiking apparel. On piste, whether classic or skate, can be winter cycling kit. You will be sweating regardless of the temperature. I'll bet a dollar you find yourself overdressed.

    Have fun.
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    I need to get Laura a pair of skis for nordic, groomed and ungroomed(?). So I ask the enlightened to pass on some info to me so I can make an intelligent purchase.

    I heard I want a 3/4 edge so you can stop.

    So what are good brands and styles to look at? How do you pick a size?

    -Joe

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    If you're really worried about her being faster than you, buy her really long waxed skis and pass on the kick wax while going heavy on the glide wax. You might be able to keep up with her at that point.
    As for a ski, the difference between groomed and non is huge. Groomed tracks are super fast and relatively easy to stay on (there are slots for your skis to sit in) whereas the ungroomed stuff around you will test your ability to dodge rocks and sticks while trying to figure out how to turn downhill. Does she have downhill experience or is she a novice to skiing? Do you have a boot/binding system that you're already using? It's dumb to get metal edges if you're using the skinny SNS or NNN bindings. What's the terrain like where you'll be off track? Golf courses are quite different than the side of a mountain.

    I'd find a really good shop and give them your trust and your money.


    Quote Originally Posted by xjoex View Post
    I need to get Laura a pair of skis for nordic, groomed and ungroomed(?). So I ask the enlightened to pass on some info to me so I can make an intelligent purchase.

    I heard I want a 3/4 edge so you can stop.

    So what are good brands and styles to look at? How do you pick a size?

    -Joe
     

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    Default Re: The XC Skiing thread

    Thanks for the tips. The only bummer about chatting up the nordic center is that by the time I'm up there... provisions become hard to come by, so I'm trying to plan a bit beforehand. It sounds like I should really stick to the groomed trails this time out. It kind of feels like a bummer, since there is one groomed trail (granted, it's 10 miles long), but it's probably smart. It's just that those other trails look so tempting...

    skiMap.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by ned View Post
    Best place to start would be talking up the folks at the Nordic center. XC on groomed terrain is radically different from off piste: road biking vs mountain. Classic kick and glide is fairly similar to running and probably the easiest to pick up, whether on or off piste. Skating is maybe harder from a technique perspective but the speed is addictive. The off piste Nordic stuff is more like hiking in the snow unless you get into more aggressive backcountry skiing with downhill skis (and the full array of BC gear including avalanche beacon, probe, shovel and HUGE amounts of knowledge).

    Clothing: off piste would be closer to downhill ski or winter hiking apparel. On piste, whether classic or skate, can be winter cycling kit. You will be sweating regardless of the temperature. I'll bet a dollar you find yourself overdressed.

    Have fun.
     

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