From Wheel Family Fun to Nordic Tracks — Doing the seasonal shift 2019
There’s no denying it — summer’s over, fall is here and winter’s not far behind. Time to change the mindset from staying cool to staying warm, and from riding to gliding. Time to find your winter gear and get in shape for skiing.
Where‘s my winter stuff? If you’re a biking/skiing family, multiply the effort by the number of members in your family. Putting away bikes and other summer gear while pulling out all the winter equipment for a family of four requires planning, organization and effort.
Get ready for a new season and say goodbye to the old by following the 3P process: putting away, planning and preparation.
Putting away: Before jumping into winter, take care of last season’s equipment. Clean the bikes, lube the chains, fix anything broken or frayed. Check tires, adjust brakes and gears. Make a list of anything needing attention, fixing or replacing when bike riding season returns. Find a dry place to store everything.
Planning: Make a list of things to do before ski season: 1) Get the early season deal on your ski passes. 2) Check equipment, especially the kids’ for condition and fit. Make a list of what you need to repair or replace. 3) Locate ski clothing and accessories for everyone. Add to your list of what to replace or wash. 4) If you wax your family’s skis, make sure you have plenty of wax for all conditions and your brushes are in good shape.
Preparation: List in hand, head for ski swaps, tent sales and consignment shops to see what bargains you can find. If you’re looking for cross- country gear or snowshoes, don’t miss Jackson Ski Touring Foundation’s Annual Nordic Ski Swap at JSTF’s center on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Volunteers will help you find the right sizes and equipment for your needs. New this year — There’s also a JSTF yard sale going on the same day and time. Buy space for $25 and sell your non-ski items or buy someone else’s stuff.
If you’re in the market for downhill equipment, make sure you go to the 49th Eastern Slopes Ski Club’s (ESSC) ski swap on Friday, Nov. 8 (3-8 p.m.), and Saturday, November 9 (9 a.m.-1 p.m.), at the North Conway Community Center.
Check out the newest ski gear at Great Glen Trails Skier’s Open House on Friday, Nov. 22, from 4-8 p.m.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, visit Bear Notch Ski Touring and Snowshoe Center’s Thanksgiving weekend open house to get season passes and check out their equipment sales.
Look for discounted equipment at ski and rental shops at the centers or mountains. They frequently sell-off last year’s skis, boots, and poles and older rental equipment.
Getting in shape for skiing: Whether you’re a downhiller or cross-country skier, you’ll need a combination of skills to ski well and avoid injury. Douglas Garfield in his book, “The New Steady Ski for Nordic Athletes,” says balance, stabilization and strength are vital to Nordic skiing. Key elements to work on pre-season are cardiovascular fitness, balance, strength, and coordination of arms, legs and core.
Work on those skills on your own or in a class or specialized “ski” specific exercise. You may opt for one or the other or a combination.
Individual exercise — Exercise you can do on your own, when and where you can. Do yoga or Pilates in your living room to work on balance and core strength. Go for a run, fast walk, bike or hike to build up strength and cardiovascular fitness. Swim indoors at White Mountain Aquatic Center, Eastern Slope Inn or the Mill at Purity Springs. Rollerblade/roller ski on the Mountain Division Trail to concentrate on coordination and power. Use a Nordic Track (if you still have one) to mimic ski movements. Be disciplined, do exercises often and don’t just focus on one skill. Mix it up.
Group exercise — Sign up for classes at the local fitness and yoga centers, go dancing, join a swim class, run with a group. There are exercise classes at all times of the day, every day of the week, so you can go before work or after or on your days off. There are Zumba, yoga, tennis, spinning, Pilates, strengthening, weight loss workouts and more. Classes are reasonably priced and taught by experienced teachers. The advantage is you’re not alone. Socialize and sweat with others. Once you pay your money, you’ll be committed to going.
Specialized “ski-specific” training: Some people choose classes specifically designed to improve skiing fitness to get a jump on the season by being mentally and physically programmed for time on snow.
Here are some local options:
Pre-season Nordic ski conditioning: At the North Conway Community Center, Jackson Ski Touring Director Ellen Chandler leads this class. Adults, Monday, 6:30 p.m. or Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m., drop-in- $12 a class. Youth program, Monday, 4:30 p.m., free. Classes focus on plyometric conditioning, balance and agility, plus a core strengthening.
Great Glen Trails’ Nordic warm-up: Three Tuesdays in December — 3, 10 and 17 — from 10-11:30 a.m. Activities: Skiing without poles, games on skis, balance drills, specific strength, slaloming and figure eights, single technique concentrations, ski video viewing, stretching. Call Great Glen Trails at (603) 466-2333 or email Sue Wemyss for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter’s coming, so get your gear, mind and body ready to enjoy the snow.
Monday, Oct. 28, MWV Ski Jumping Dine to Donate at Joseph’s Spaghetti Shed in Glen, 4:30 p.m. Help raise funds for valley kids to participate in Kennett High School’s ski jumping program.
Preseason passes discount — JSTF from now until Nov. 30.
Preseason Nordic ski conditioning: Taught at North Conway Community Center, led by Jackson Ski Touring Director, Ellen Chandler. Adults, Monday, 6:30 p.m. or Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. Youth program, Monday, 4:30 p.m. free. Cost for adults: $12 to drop-in, youth are free.
Saturday, Nov. 2, Jackson Ski Touring Foundation’s volunteer days, starting at 9:30 a.m. Come help clear the trails, stack wood and help JSTF get ready for the ski season.
Friday, Nov. 8, Everest: ’91 to’19, 6:30 p.m., Theatre in the Woods, Intervale. Three local climbers, Rick Wilcox, Thom Pollard and Mark Synott will talk about their Mount Everest climbs from 1991 to 2019. Event is sponsored by Ragged Mountain Equipment, Synott Mountain Guides and Backyard Concepts. Proceeds go to Mountain Rescue Service. Tickets are $20.
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8-9, Eastern Slope Ski Club’s 49th Annual Ski Swap, Friday, 3-8 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., North Conway Community Center. It’s a great place to sell or buy ski gear for the whole family. It benefits the ESSSC’s ski program for valley students.
Saturday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Jackson Ski Touring’s Annual Ski Swap, JSTF Lodge, Jackson. Buy or sell used cross-country equipment — skis, poles, boots, snowshoes and cross-country clothing. Come early and find a bargain.
Saturday, Nov. 9, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Jackson Ski Touring’s first annual yard sale. Purchase space for $25, and sell your used non-ski items and make a profit. Come shop early to buy.
Friday, Nov. 22, Great Glen Trails skiers’ open house, 4-8 p.m. Check out new gear and clothing, get your winter ski pass, demo fat bikes from 3-6 p.m., enjoy free pizza, beer and door prizes.
Sally McMurdo is a cross-country ski instructor at Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. For almost four decades, she has explored New England's groomed and ungroomed trails on all kinds of skis.