Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Squeaky Wheel

The old saying that the Squeaky Wheel Gets the Oil is so true and here's why. I have been skiing every chance I can get. Skate is still a mess, but I keep trying. I have bugged so many people about it!! But the more I ask the more techniques and things I keep learning and the better I become.

And in a way eventually so do others. By this I mean I pass on what I learn to those struggling worse than me or are just new. And the same thing goes for waxing Classic skis. Grip waxing that is. I have been out on my Classic skis now 4 times and not once did I get the kick wax right. And I bugged a small group of guys I know who know wax and I learned a lot in a short period of time. I also currently dont own any waxes so I can only borrow what is available to me at the moment.

Skate skiing has a huge learning curve and some serious adaptations for cyclists muscles. Classic is a beautiful kick and glide where the devil is in the details. I see almost everyone shuffling or walking along. They seem happy to do it too so thats great. But when you start to feel the compression in the kick leg and kick hard, your back ski coming almost completely off the snow and you glide really far on your glide ski-man that feels good.But like I said, details, details, details. One very fast local skier said expect 3 or 4 seasons (Cleveland's short seasons especially) before you can really feel comfortable on your skis. But and this is really the only point I wanted to make here is that ski waxing is nothing short of black magic. Sure in the end it can be as simple as snow temperature and pick the wax, but to get the maximum kick AND glide properties to race at your best is truly an art form in itself. As coach Tom of Hilltoppers says for training days if you get the wax wrong, well you get a good workout double polling more too.

I am not exactly comfortable being the Squeaky Wheel mind you. I feel bad bugging people (not that youd guess from how much my lips flap about, blah?, Blah?, Blah???) I really do. It knots my stomach up thinking about all the questions I have and who I have to bug to get the answers. But I guess I dislike not knowing stuff a whole lot worse than being a bother to everyone. In fact I am sure of that fact. That's why its a fact jack.

But like I said before, at least once I learn stuff I become a resource for those who know even less than I do. And sometimes I even become quite knowledgeable myself (on rare occasions). But not on this skiing and waxing thing.

This Saturday is the popular Nordic Flurry XC races at Chapin Forest (Pine Lodge Ski center on Hobart). Come out and watch if youve got time and then rent some skis and give it a go. Or do what I did last year, rent some skis and do the race!! I did the 5k classic. I had a blast. And come and cheer my Bunny skiers to the finish and my daughter too around 11am!!

I went this morning to do the race course at race pace and though I improved my time by exactly 2 minutes with 3 silly falls (maybe discuss those later) and not enough kick grip, I hope on race day to knock off two or three more minutes!! Its a lot, but I am learning a lot every time I ski and especially every time I Squeak.

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