My one-man, bike-ski-bike duathlon
What to do, what to do? With enough snow on the ground in late March to keep skiing but wanting to transition to spring by ramping up the biking, I couldn’t decide how to get my exercise fix. Then the thought occurred to me, as it has occasionally, that I could do both. I just needed to figure out how to carry my skis, poles and boots on the bike.
I assumed I’d have to rig a backpack to haul all the above. Until I Googled “carrying skis on bike” and clicked on “images.” That showed me several bikes with skis strapped to the top tubes, which looked difficult to replicate and potentially dangerous. After much scrolling, I came upon a photo of a much less complicated solution: pulling a Burley packed with all the necessary Nordic gear.
Even though my kids, now 7 and 8 1/2, started riding their own bikes years ago, we still had a pull-behind chariot gathering dust in the garage. So I pulled it out and scooped out the dirty and neglected toys left in it.
I quickly realized the Burley’s attachment mechanism was not meant to fit the rear dropout of my fat bike, my go-to ride throughout this past winter. So I pulled my cyclocross bike off it’s hooks and fitted it with the Burley easily. Then it was just a matter of oiling the chain, pmping up the tires on both vehicles and making sure the strapped together skis and poles were not so far forward they poked me in the back of my left thigh. I just dropped my ski boots, extra gloves, hat and my bike chain on the floor of the Burley and I was off.
Of course this whole experiment required documentation. And how better to log this one-man, bike-ski-bike duathlon than with my new GoPro video camera, purchased just weeks ago at the paddlesports extravaganza Canoecopia. I’ve only taken the GoPro out on a handful of occasions and I’ve found the helmet mount attracts attention. That it did on my two errands, to Middleton’s city hall and post office, before I could truly get on my way to the ski trails at the Pleasant View Golf Course.
The 6.2-mile ride there couldn’t have gone more smoothly. But the transition to my skate skis took awhile on account of my forgetting to bring the head strap for the camera. Although I was the only other skier on site, I wasn’t about to call further attention to myself by wearing my bike helmet and camera while skiing. So after dropping the camera in the snow (thank goodness for its waterproof case), I managed to secure it to my chest using the straps from my backpack.
With that I recorded one of longest skate skiing outings to date. At four times normal speed, extensive editing and added music to drown out my heaving and frequent rest stops, the resulting video (no longer available via YouTube, mysteriously) made me look semicompetent on the icy-in-spots but recently rolled trail. The video did not include my boring errands or the time I spent locking and unlocking my rig.
In a little over two hours, I biked a total of 11.3 miles, to and from the golf course, and skied 5.15 miles in between. But the video came in under three minutes.