Today’s training was pretty good fun. I was asked by the Norwegians to plan some interval courses at Sjusjøen, so spent several hours fixing up the competition map making it legible and easier to understand the SkiO network.
Still tired from the weekend in my arms, I opted to use my fatbike, but keep the intensity moderate rather than pushing too hard. Riding a fatbike around such winding trails is great fun, especially now the snow has compacted down. The things that terrify me while on ski’s (corners, berms made by others in the corners, steep descents) all become far more controlled and fun while on the bike. I don’t need to worry about crashing at each corner, whether I can stop if I meet someone, or even whether I will make it down the hill alive. With hard snow I can lean the bike into the berms, feeling the tyres bite the snow, and with oncoming skiers I am in a far better position to slow down to avoid a crash (which is never a possibility on skis).
It’s always important to be wary, the snow gives unexpectedly, and I met with a small crash today in a sharp corner. Just myself, some snow and tree in a lonely corner of the map!
After some more snow overnight, it was very hard to determine scooter base path from skier shortcut in the corners. All too often I found myself axel deep in soft snow, and putting a foot down only results in one leg hip deep in snow, with the other looped over the top tube still clipped in on the other side! It’s probably comical to see …
Each of the intervals were quite different, 6 in total. So the athletes spread out through the terrain nicely, making it nice to be training and perfect for concentration. Today’s training was just great fun, and with just a few other athletes to share the forest with.
I hope more MTBO athletes can start to take up FatbikeO! Some competitions would be epic fun, not to mention the excellent strength and winter MTBO training it provides 🙂 Joining in with SkiO training is a great way to get a small but very dense technical network.
The next month promises to be exciting! In one week, HJ and I will spend our first Xmas in England together with my family. I am staying for longer to race the Merida Brass Monkey final round on 4th Jan, before heading to Brandbu for more Fatbike SkiO and then the unofficial NM in Fatbike at Lygna Ski Center! Before England we have some SkiO competitions in Sweden. I think I will take part in the sprint, middle and night races, but maybe not all the long, or by Fatbike if I can. I was pretty tired in the Sjusjøen middle race and unable to ski with the aggression I had the day before, so I will try to limit my competitions in Norway to what I can cope with.
Finally, here is a picture of my bike on Saturday morning. I had taken a ‘milder’ ride on Friday night and clearly the bike was a little damp from the snow. I left it outside on the veranda and by morning the whole bike was made of barbed ice! I am sure the photographers out there will hate that I took this with a iPhone and ‘edited’ with Instagram, but I think the effect is pretty cool.