XCFeedsRollerskiing is Not Safe

FasterSkier FasterSkierJuly 24, 2009

a onblur=”try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}” href=”http://www.webskis.com/uploaded_images/rietler-slalom-780490.JPG”img style=”float:left; margin:0 10px 10px 0;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 320px; height: 180px;” src=”http://www.webskis.com/uploaded_images/rietler-slalom-780199.JPG” border=”0″ alt=”” //abr /Life is not safe. We go through it making decisions and taking risks. As we gain wisdom we calculate the consequences of taking the risks. With differing levels of skill and judgment we carry out our decisions.br /br /Rollerskiing is not safe. From the point of view of avoiding serious accidents, sitting on the couch is safe. But for me, sitting on the couch is not an acceptable way to go through life.br /br / I admit that I am a risk taker. I paddle whitewater in a kayak. I ski downhill fast. I XC ski at 6:45 in the morning at Mt Bachelor when it is not quite light yet. I ride my bike to work in traffic every day, even in the winter (I have very nifty studded snow tires for the bike). Two years ago my wife and I quit our jobs (after 30 years), sold our house, got in the VW and headed west. We were told that was pretty risky. Maybe so, but we calculated the value of taking the risk, had confidence in our skills and went for it.br / br /What does this have to do with rollerskiing, you may ask. Well, it has to do with developing skills, calculating risk and using judgment. Our own brains are probably the single most important tools when it comes to safety on rollerskis. We decide when and where to rollerski. We decide whether or not to wear a helmet, gloves and bright colored clothing. We decide which side of the road to roll on (this addressed in an earlier post). We decide whether or not to carry water. Experience teaches us lessons and not just our own experience. We learn from others who are more skilled or possess more wisdom. I know that I, even at my advanced age, continue to learn and even gain skills. I would like to share a few ideas here and hope that they are of value to others or prompt thought and discussion.br /br /LOCATIONbr /I always choose a place to rollerski that has a VERY LOW amount of traffic. I am lucky to have 3 or 4 different roads that fit that description. They are either out of town in rural Central Oregon, or in very quiet neighborhoods after the dinner hour, or housing developments that put in their roads just before the economy tanked. My first sessions of the season are usually in big, flat, smooth, empty parking lots. I also, when I’m on roads, take into consideration the angle of the sun and visibility of the motorized road users. br /br /SKILLSbr /Rollerskiing is, in my opinion, way harder than snow skiing. Good skills are critical to safety and success. Here are a few drills that I like to use to start my season and some I use to start each rollerski session.br /br /DOUBLE POLING: I put on my boots, helmet, gloves and snap down the lever on the NNN bindings. After putting on the pole straps I simply keep my feet about hip width apart, bend my knees with my weight on the whole foot and push myself forward with the poles. I do maybe 5 -7 minutes of gentle double poling on the flat before taking any strides or skating. br /br /STEP TURNS: Here I start as in double poling, gain a small amount of speed and from a balanced position, begin to step turn in a circle. I shift my weight onto a foot that is flat and lift the other foot, moving it laterally away from the weighted foot. I then transfer my weight onto the foot that just moved and with my center of mass now over the “new” foot I lift the first foot and bring it parallel with the other rollerski. Repeat this move while moving very slowly and come full circle to be facing in the same direction as when you started. Push off with the poles a couple times and initiate a step turn circle in the opposite direction. This drill can be done as long as needed until you can make smooth, balanced step turns in a full circle. When all this feels good, I then begin the figure 8s. I do one full circle to the left and then go right away into a full circle to the right. br /br /SNOWPLOW: This is not actually a snowplow move that you could do on snow skis. On snow, the skis will slip sideways at an angle to the direction of travel. On roller skis this won’t happen (although I once encountered unexpected ice on the road and did a real snow plow and stayed upright, Yikes!!). Get the feel by standing still and placing the skis wider than your hips. I am 5’10” and for me that is about 3 feet. The skis should be parallel to each other. Now lower the hips by bending the knees. Keep the weight on the whole foot and press against the bottom of your feet. The skis will be slightly on edge and you will be pushing as if you were trying to spread them sideways. The friction between the wheels and the pavement will prevent this, and will cause the skis to slow down. When you get the feel of the position while standing, try it while moving slowly on the flat. Gradually increase the speed of the trials until you can do the “snowplow” while moving down hill. If the skis want to come together closer you have too much “toe-in” and need to have the skis more parallel. I use this technique to descend hills that feel too steep to roll free on. You should never be afraid to take off the rollerskis and walk down a hill that you feel is too steep. Here the brain is the safety measure.br / br /NO POLES: As the rolleskier gains in confidence and skill in executing the drills mentioned, try them without poles. On skate skis or classic skis start moving forward and then execute the drills. Keep the hands in front, away from the body and above the waist. Keep the weight on the whole foot, knees bent, head up, eyes forward (the classic athletic position). All this is done on flat terrain. You should develop a smooth, quiet up and down motion. Bend knees and go slightly down to start the lateral step. As you transfer weight to the new foot, do so by rising up with the hips high and over the foot. br /br /ONE FOOT: Start skating or striding and try to glide along on one foot for as long as possible. It is pretty hard on rollerskis with narrow wheels, way harder than on snow skis. I start doing this drill with poles to help with balance. After a few sessions and improving balance, I try it without poles. All this really helps your brain and muscles to tune into balance. For me, this is one of the most valuable outcomes of rollerskiing, the improved balance. br /br /CURB HOPPING: This should only be tried after you have a pretty good sense of the balance on rollerskis and have a quiet venue with a smooth sidewalk that is about 8 inches above the surface of the pavement. If you have any concern about falling, it is probably a good idea to not only wear a helmet and gloves, but also elbow and knee pads. While standing on rollerskis start first from a stopped and balanced position parallel and close to the curb. Lift the foot closest to the curb and step up onto the curb/sidewalk. Now set the other foot back down on the pavement and repeat stepping up onto one foot and then back down onto the pavement. Turn around and try it on the other side. Then do the same drill, but this time set the first foot up and far enough onto the curb so that the second foot can be brought up to the sidewalk parallel to the first. Do this on both sides. When all this feels pretty good, begin from the same position, push with the poles to begin moving and carefully step up onto the curb and continue to glide. Go along a few meters and then step down to the pavement. Repeat the drill 4 times, turn around go back in the other direction. This is not only a balance drill, but it can also be a safety move in some circumstances. br /br /NO POLES AGAIN: Now that this is all beginning to feel more natural it is a great time to start to ski without poles. With my poles on and straps fastened on my wrists, I simply place my hands up in front of my chin and tuck my poles under my arms in a sort of high tuck position. Some people like to remove the poles and hold them in front as if carrying a tray with your favorite beverage. You could also slip the poles across the small of your back and reach around with your arms so they are in the crook of the elbow. Using a smooth, slight up and down motion, rollerski along concentrating on complete weight transfer. The terrain for this is flat or a gentle up hill. Not only is it good for balance, it is also good for specific leg strength. As you get comfortable with this, try going up slightly steeper hills.br / br /SLALOM: For this drill you will need some “gates” . These can be orange plastic cones, plastic water buckets, or anything that is visible, and will move if hit by a rollerskier. 7 – 8 gates are enough. Start on a flat, smooth surface and mark a starting point. This can be a couple of jackets. Set the gates out in a pattern where they are in a straight line and about 15 feet apart. Now ski out of the starting gate and go around one side of the first gate. Do a step turn just beyond the gate and get set up for the next gate. Once past that continue on until you get past the last gate. As your turning improves you can off-set the gates to increase the radius of the turn. You can also go through the course, make a big sweeping 180 turn and go back through to the start. Again, adding a degree of difficulty, you could look for a quiet parking lot with a slight incline and run these courses uphill. When in a group running uphill for time is pretty fun. An added challenge is to run the course downhill after you have mastered the uphill direction.br / br /That’s enough for now. These are just a few drills that you can use to improve your balance and agility on rollerskis. The development of balance and agility not only improves your workouts, they also increase your level of safety. Ski with a partner or two. Its more fun and safer. On the road stay in single file and double pole while being passed by motorized road users. br /br /Have a good one,br /br /Bertdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6589659500745667109-5675866823639039715?l=www.webskis.com%2Fwebskisblog.html’ alt=” //div

albuterol

.

buy naltrexone online buy chantix online

FasterSkier

FasterSkier

Related Posts

2nd!

2nd!

November 21, 2012
Gällivare

Gällivare

November 21, 2012