Wednesday Workout: Skiing Fat-Bike Singletrack (Like Eli Brown)

Jake EllisDecember 28, 2016
Fat biking and skiing coexist, with Eli Brown skiing. (Photo: Jake Ellis)
Fat biking and skiing coexist, with Eli Brown skiing alongside his son Leland on the Vasa trail in Traverse City, Mich. (All photos: Jake Ellis)

If you are craving a challenging ski workout that will train your agility, boost your strength, and add variety to your skiing, you should look no further than your local fat-bike, singletrack ride.

Have you ever tried to keep up with the fat bikes? On their trail?

“Hardest workout out there!” said Eli Brown, a longtime U.S. Ski Team volunteer wax tech from Michigan, who is doing the majority of his skiing this season on singletrack.

Bikes and skis have different advantages in different conditions, but most often you’ll be desperately chasing your pedaling friends. This activity will burn off that second helping you had at Christmas dinner, and/or open up a caloric deficit for your New Year’s Eve indulgences.

Another bonus is that the different features of a fat-bike trail will increase your skiing dexterity. There will be berms, bumps and ruts that you won’t encounter on the typical ski trail. After a few singletrack skis, you’ll be a lot more likely to stay upright the next time you’re surprised by less-than-perfect trail conditions that would have taken you down before.

This is a fun activity that can help you make a breakthrough with your smiling technique; it’s a lot of fun.

The Workout: Join your local fat-bike singletrack ride, and try to keep up!

Warmup: 15-20 minutes. Get ready to go out hard!

Be careful to not smile TOO hard too early, save some for the finish 🙂

Cool down: Have a beer with your cycling buddies and recount the joyful tales of skiing singletrack with a group of fat bikers.

If you don’t have a local winter singletrack trail, or want to work up to it, you can get a lot of the same benefits from any off-piste (ungroomed) skiing. No-wax classic rock skis and poles with big baskets are a good start, and more advanced adrenaline junkies can try faster ski setups.

Jake Ellis

Eccentric collector of quality ski equipment, Jake Ellis should have been born in Norway or Japan, but Northern Michigan is third best! If you see him on the trails, LOOK OUT, he's out of control 90% of the time.

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