XCFeedsFinding Rhythm

FasterSkier FasterSkierApril 13, 2010

I was skiing this morning at 7. My back was a little stiff from the 2.5 hours of trail riding on my cross bike on Sunday and the trail run I did last night. But the snow was perfect and the temperature about 30 with a light snow falling. At first I struggled to find balance and rhythm with the stiff back and the early hour, but as I warmed up things began to come together. This not being a race, and with nobody else around (I had the entire Mt Bachelor Nordic trail system to myself) I noticed and enjoyed the woods, the trail’s turns and twists, ups and downs. I was able to tune into the terrain and sense adaptations I needed to make to ski efficiently. I have heard people talk about how difficult this area, and other areas are to ski because they don‘t have any “rhythm”. But I believe that they have a rhythm and as a user of the trail I have an opportunity to find it and apply the technique needed for that time and place. br /br /There are certainly lots of ups and downs at Mt Bachelor, not a lot of flat to rolling terrain. So that means that the skier has to switch gears, just like driving a stick shift on a mountain road. Shifting smoothly and with the right timing lets the car and driver adapt to the layout of the road. I think of V1 as first gear, V2 as second gear, V2-Alternate as third gear, Open field skate as high gear. The tuck is overdrive. So, as I come down a long hill and approach the flat and transition at the bottom I sense the speed of the skis slowing down and it is time to shift to V2-Alternate (third gear). This allows me to keep the momentum generated by gravity and keep the speed and glide going. When I feel the speed again slow a bit as the terrain starts up the next hill I shift to V2, again seeking to capture the forward momentum from the flat. Now the uphill slope increases and it is time to shift again to V1 before I have bogged down trying to V2 up the steeper slope. I can do either a long strong V1 or if the slope increases and is not too long, pick it up with a quicker hop-step V1. Now as the crest of the hill approaches and I feel the speed picking up, it is a shift to the long-strong V1 and then up to V2 to cruise along the gentle grade.br /br /I am tuning into the terrain change and my speed change and sensing when to shift. Like any mountain road with turns and ups and downs, I cannot drive the whole thing in one gear. I watch the tachometer, the speed, the radius of the turns, take into consideration the road surface and shift into the right gear to do the job. It is the rhythm of the road I feel. br /br /By skiing this way this morning I felt better and better. I noticed little terrain changes and opportunities to shift smoothly. I learned the terrain just a little better than before, even though I have skied these trails dozens of times. br /Maybe I should ski by myself more often. br /br /Have a good one,br /Bertdiv class=”blogger-post-footer”img width=’1′ height=’1′ src=’https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/6589659500745667109-8223788105103526901?l=www.webskis.com%2Fwebskisblog.html’ alt=” //div

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