It's that time of year again, where I refuse to let go of cycling yet ramp up rollerskiing efforts. I call it double dipping, where I go to the intensity well twice as many times per week than when I'm just riding. This has an accumulative effect on the body. After a couple weeks, you don't feel so well anymore. Rest days have all but disappeared recently.
Last weekend was particularly tough. I rode and rollerskied hard four days in a row leading up to the Wicked Ride of the East on Sunday. Of course, I hooked up with Steve Gauthier who felt quite snappy. That was exactly how I broke my ankle in May. Dougie trashed, Stevie fresh, let's go out ballistic and see if we can turn Dougie into minced meat. I might have learned a thing or two since May. Ending Sunday's ride with a crash was not in the plan. I've crashed each of the last four or five years during the Wicked Ride of the East. So I backed down. I ended up riding by myself (with 500+ other riders in the woods that day) for the first hour. Steve was on a Yeti 575 (almost 6" travel front and back) while I was perched on my Dean 26" hardtail. My Titus dualie was waiting on fork parts, and I still have the onion skin tires on my Superfly 29er. Yeah, I totally was in the minority in the equipment department. Almost nobody rides 26" hardtails anymore, although I did run into another rider on a Dean Ti hardtail just like mine. He's had his for 14 years.
Steve's enthusiasm eventually wore him down so I could keep up with him without risking life and limb on that grim terrain. This year's route contained only the "good stuff," thanks to feedback from riders that don't like any fireroad content. So my body got pummelled for over 2.5hrs on nothing but rocks and roots. Nary a hill to be found anywhere. Not really my riding style anymore. Perhaps if I bought a real trail bike sometime, I'd enjoy it more. Trails being built these days are matching the capability of bikes. 6" travel bikes have become the norm, so to keep riders entertained, terrain must scale proportionately.
This past Tuesday, I did one of my most punishing 1hr rollerski workouts yet this fall. What is my reward on Wednesday? Get schooled some more by Steve on new trails by work. Guess the trails were mostly new to him too, but we still had an equipment mismatch. Something tells me when I get back on my Titus dualie with fresh legs, Steve is still going to be doing the schooling.
I have this very simple rollerski loop I do near work. It is about 1.2km around and has some modest grade variations. Min to max elevation change is about 60 feet I think. One side is slightly up hill and makes for a great 40-50sec double pole interval. Around the back side, there's a 30-40 second hill at 5-7% grade that is perfect for a V2 interval. I usually do about 14-15 laps. These intervals are very short, stuff I never do on the bike, but it's the best I've got within five minutes drive from work and doesn't require speed reducers. 15 times around (30 total intervals) usually does a nice job leaving my body in shambles.
Steve joined me with rollerskis on Friday and stopped before I did to capture some video. I always cringe when I get video feedback on my form. It always sucks, but I have to say I'm starting to suck a little less. The clip below was taken on my 13th lap, so I was pretty much imploding at this point.
Whittier Rd Rollerski Loop from D. Jansen on Vimeo.
Any skiers care to critique technique? Hoping for an early winter again like last year when I was skiing by Thanksgiving. I'm also finally doing some things I haven't done in over 25 years: push-ups and sit-ups. When I first did sit-ups a few weeks ago, I had to stop after five! I was pretty sure something was starting to tear. Now I can do 34. Yeah, still a pittance, but a 600% increase from where I started. For push-ups, I can do 24 now. This is a 100% increase in a few weeks. That medicine ball I bought more than a year ago, well, maybe that will get some use soon too.