Monday, November 7, 2016

2017 MI BC Ski Series Schedule!

Presenting the 2017 Michigan Backcountry Ski Series Schedule!

The MI BC Ski Series has been around for over 10 years and includes some of the finest cross-country skiing anywhere. All free of charge. Zero boring terrain.

Challenge your fitness and skills at the Potto Raid; enjoy the scenery, socializing and hill sprints at the Stinchfield Loppet; or come to a ski party unlike any other at Fire'n'Ice.

We present your Mt Biking of skiing, and we welcome you join the fun.


Potto Raid: full tour/race of the expert class 18-mile Potto Mt Bike Trail. 10am, Sunday, Jan 15 (no-snow date 1/22).

Fire'n'Ice: social ski party & teams relay race, all skill-levels (instruction option an hour before). Huron Meadows, 10am, Saturday, Feb 4.

Stinchfield Loppet: no-drop scenic tour of big hills with optional uphill jams with an on-trail picnic followed by a parking lot party. Stinchfield Woods, 10am, Sunday, Feb 19.

Brighton Rec Back 2 Back: a social lap of a 5-mile trail followed by a race lap followed by a parking lot party. Brighton Rec, 10am, Sunday, March 5.

Jordan Jam: ski the unskiable trail, many hours, much skills. Deadman's Hill, 9am, March 11 or 18.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Video: How to do XC Ski Trail Skiing

Here's a video showing a wide range of skills that come in handy when skiing anywhere there's snow.

The Mt-Bike of Skis! --Today's Great New Gear

Some folks think that top-shelf XC ski gear is fragile and expensive. You don't want to scratch the bases. And you need pricey, toxic fluoro waxes. Well, that's just for one exotic kind of skiing: groomed race-course "roadie" type skiing. This kind of skiing hasn't changed much in decades.

By contrast, the much-bigger part of the Nordic ski world of "anywhere there's snow" has seen huge advances in quality and function in recent years. But none of this has been promoted in the USA.

The biggest territory for skiing is anywhere there's snow. Fields, trails, frozen waterways, ski areas. It's all good. But in much of the USA there aren't very many XC ski areas or groomed courses compared to all the acreage of forest and field. There's a lot of undeveloped country out there for our snowplay. (Especially in downstate Michigan!)

The Ski Picnic Revolution: How to Make Progress?

My goal is to step up the social diversity and viability of XC skiing. Right now there's a divide between real life social modes and the Ski Mode. 

Real people like to have fun and party and enjoy tasty snacks and bevs. Skiers like to ski and do workouts. Skiers are in decline. I figure to grow skiing we gotta play up the fun. But I'm striking out.

I've been hauling a full picnic around with me at my social ski outings this season. I lay it out on a picnic table near a bonfire. But that's as far as it gets. People haven't been hitting it.

Stan had his big Fire'n'Ice Ski Party Relay recently where everybody was rockin' the bonfire snacks hard. The fun people show up. About 30 or 40 of em so far, even in sketchy conditions. That party works great! I think we need to spread that kind of fun as much as possible.

How to XC Ski -- You'll Be Amazed to Find Out!

I've been studying XC skiing in all its forms for decades -- studying, enjoying, reveling-in, playing-with.

These here are my teaching notes for CLASSIC SKIING -- striding -- regular XC. I posted something similar for ski-skating. Indeed, I'm only replacing the skate-specific stuff. A lot of this applies to both styles. And even to other skiing like telemark and alpine.

So as you might've noticed Classic skiing is the typical, traditional, all-round type of skiing that you can do anywhere. It might be called Striding or Touring. For ski-skating you need a wide machine-groomed course. So wide that it's not really a trail anymore. Yet you can also do skating anywhere the snow is firm -- so whenever the snow melts and freezes a few times you can get a strong enough crust on top that would let you skate-ski anywhere. Then you know what to do!

Why is Snowsport Fun? -> *Glide *Rhythm *Payoff

This is my mantra. And I'm not kidding. I think it deserves traction. I'm a missionary of snow fun! 

So why is skiing fun? Why do we play in the snow?

I say that IT'S ALL THE SAME! All skiing is one!

I wanna be the Dr. Bronner of skiing!

Snowboarding, downhill skiing, cross country... you name it. Snowshoeing even! Ice-skating! ...Heck, most everything. It's all fun for the same reasons!

No reason for any of these sports to squabble or try to outdo each other.

Why do one instead of another? As far as I can tell the only reason to pick one kind of snowsport over another is that we should be doing the kind that is CLOSEST and most sustainable.

Ski the one that brung ya.

Look out your door. ...Ski that way.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

How to Skate Ski -- What You Learn Will Shock You!

I've been studying XC skiing in all its forms for decades.

This here is my teaching method for SKATE SKIING. (I have a similar article for CLASSIC stride skiing.)

My big point about skating is that it's no more or less work than stride skiing. I often hear and read about skating that it's "a lot more work!" It's not. It has a longer power-phase so you can put more power into skating if you like, to get more speed. But you can also do it at whatever effort level you like. It's up to you. Like any skiing, if you don't know what you're doing you'll waste energy and work more than you need to.