February 23, 2016
Is winter over yet? Not at the Adventure Cycling headquarters in Missoula, MT. I know you’ve waited with baited breath for my next winter riding blog post, so here it is: carrying skis by bike.
Here was the plan: In the spirit of rolling with winter, I’d decided to take a cross-country ski lesson with the Missoula Parks and Recreation.
Wait! This isn’t about biking, you say! No, it is.
I rented skis Friday night and borrowed my roommate’s car to get them home. But that evening, I discovered my roommate’s car wouldn’t be available Saturday morning, bummer, and I’d have to figure some other way to get my gear to where vans pick up ski students. I carried the rental skis and poles into my garage and configured a system to affix them to the top tube of my bike, using some Ortleib pannier shoulder straps and my cargo net. It wasn’t pretty, but it would do!
The next morning I woke up early, rechecked my attachments, navigated my extra-long bike out the door, and off I rode, taking the main streets to avoid the icy paths and side streets. I may have received a few sideways glances, but not many in this mountain town, and I arrived on time, ready to learn to ski!
After a thrilling ski adventure at the Lubrecht Forest — I only fell once! — I returned to my bike to discover fresh snow filling my helmet and covering the ground; its sharp crystals improving the grip on even the slickest roads and it’s buttery smoothness, quieting nordic ski trails. Gotta love that fresh powder, no matter your sport of choice! And that’s how I’m rolling with winter.
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team—Whitney, Mandy, Linda, Emma and Arlen—tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, helping you bring your cycling dreams to fruition. Check out our 2016 Guided Tours today!