Hi friends, tonight (1/5/2017) at 6PM for our 3rd Adventure & Tech Social I'm going to talk about bringing skis on your bike and how much fun (and challenging) it can be to combine long distance winter bike camping with marathon ski racing. But mostly, it will be a chance to share some stories (mostly true and not always horrific) about adventures of winter bike camping.
The tech portion will be largely incorporated into the adventure stories, and very participatory, i.e., this is a time for anyone who shows up (and I'm sure dozens of you will because what else is there to do on such a cold, cold evening?) to discuss where they might be at in terms of winter biking and share their own stories of what they have discovered to work (or not work). Of course, we will reveal the latest in clothing and accessories (like studded tires and the best lights for winter), but it will be more of a discussion rather than a lecture format.
My own background: I became a year 'round cyclist at age 12 as a paper boy in Stillwater, MN using a balloon tire cruiser bike with large steel baskets to carry the newspapers. Later I used sheet metal screws to make my own studded tires. Before biking to the Birkie, I had a lot of experience biking from St. Paul to Wirth Park, and found my best times for the City of Lakes Loppet always came after getting there by bike. Then about 8 years ago I created a rack to more easily carry my skis and poles, and started to ride to races like the Mora Vasaloppet, (which I have now done so many times the local residents look for me). And also began to truly enjoy winter bike camping (but not so much fun when you crash through the ice on the Knife River, trying to find the perfect camping spot where you won't be discovered by the authorities)
The last two times I skied the Birkie I biked up there -- leaving on a Thursday from my farm in Cushing, exactly 100 miles to the start line at Telemark! No, it's not the best way to get a PR, but being able to camp close to the start line is always a thrill, and I get to wake up a little later than most other racers! And how else does a mediocre skier like myself make it into Faster Skier?
Again, this is a time for sharing. Crazy stuff, perhaps, but also fun. As always, we will have snacks and some fizzy water.