Update: Rollerskis, MSPP

[Update]: whether because the new RS skate boots are better boots than the old Combi boots or just that they’re new and not as broken down, stability on the rollerskis was much improved today.

Caught up in the moment

In a fit of aspirational fitness, I went ahead and bought some rollerskis after all. Rationalizing that I could save some money by repurposing a couple of unused and off-size ski poles and my old Combi ski boots, I ordered a pair of Pursuit Fork Flex skis. Because my gear is split between Classic skis/boots using Salomon Prolink, while my skate gear is based on Salomon Pilot, I checked that the binding holes for Pilot and Prolink are the same before ordering, just in case I change over to Prolink.

I found a suitable spot for ‘rollerskier ed’ training in the form of a level and smooth paved area bounded by grass, and started with no-poles loops and figure-8s. As I suspected, my ankles proved to be the weak point, but it wasn’t as bad as when I last tried rollerskis in the mid-eighties.

Some bullet-point notes and impressions from the brief opportunities I’ve had to try them out:

  • I didn’t feel that the old Combi boots provided enough support/stability around the forefoot. Fortunately I found a deal on some Salomon RS Skate boots. Pilot in this case, to maintain compatibility with the skis. Another $240 invested- but hey!- I’m going to get better at skate skiing, right?
  • Initial impression was that rollerskis are more prone to tipping side-to-side than snow skis, so my ankles need to flex more and my weight shift has to be more precise. This will either turn out to be good for training or a literal PITA.
  • It felt kind of awkward to gear up with elbow and knee pads, especially for simple loops around a parking area, but they’ve gotten a bit of use already.
  • Glad I saved those wrist guards from rollerblading- being a packrat sometimes pays off.

Big upgrade at Minnewaska

Just in time for winter, a brand-new 5,400 square-foot visitor center has just opened with indoor restrooms.

The new center is located at the northern end of the lake on what used to be a sloping meadow leading to the porta-potties. There’s expanded parking up at the top, but the same winding road for access.

During the summer, this park is a favorite for downstaters and people living in the mid-Hudson valley. This year it experienced a surge in visits compared to the prior year- and that was before the visitor’s center opened. The way the news reports and press releases read, there’s every reason to believe it will be open year-round. With a long-deserved facility upgrade, expect the parking lot to fill up early in ski season.

Governor’s press release

Hibernation season

No skiing

In the off-season, only the very occasional post gets published. Here’s one that caught my attention:

Intense and nice athletes

Most people who cross-country ski bike in summer, and I found this item in FasterSkier interesting. I knew the life of a soigneur in a pro bike racing team was pretty terrible, but didn’t realize the extent to which they were s**t on by the athletes. That just seems counterproductive, although I have heard it is the culture of bike racing.

That’s why it was good to see the author’s experience with the US ski team was something refreshing and a good deal cheerier:

Despite the fatigue, a respiratory infection that was eventually passed to all of the athletes, a couple of days with sideways blowing snow… the team just seemed to roll with the punches, make lemonade, and keep on keepin’ on.

‘A PT in Norway’ by Ned Dowling, FasterSkier April 13 2020

It’s nice to think that the elite athletes of your favorite sport don’t just roll it all downhill. Just one more reason for cross-country skiing to be my favorite sport.

Till the next interesting tidbit, or the fall, whichever comes first. Thanks for reading.

Sleeping bear