It's time to think about roller-skiing ... actually it's not, but people are asking about it :)
Technique, Technique, Technique
There are two important things to consider about roller skiing:
1) they can really help your technique
2) they can really screw up your technique
Hopefully that clears things up!
If you do a lot of roller skiing over the summer, you will really ingrain the state of your technique -- whatever that may be. So, if you are roller-skiing this summer, be sure to constanty work on your technique to make sure every stride is a good stride. (I'm thinking of changing our club slogan to "Dominating the world one good stride at a time!)
What to use
There are a few brands that I know a bit about:
- top of the line, somewhat expensive, only available through Finn Sisu in Minneapolis
- best value ... made in Minnesota
- their older styles are not recommended for the newly paved route at Birds HIll Park. I used V2's for years and they worked quite well. For some reason when the new ashphalt was put down on the bird's hill park loop, they tend to catch every little piece of gravel or ashphalt chip and give yo an abrupt stop. Everyone I know who had V2's has had this problem
- their newer "aero" models with an inflatable tire have been better, but I have heard some problems with longevity of the tires.
Pursuit has a deal of 10% off for orders of 5 or more. Let me know if you would like to participate in a group order
Where to roller-ski
First thing to know is your poles (with special carbide tips put on them) will only dig-in on asphalt and not cement.
Birds Hill Park is number 1 ... check out the review here: http://fasterskier.com/article/the-results-are-in-the-greatest-rollerskiing-road-in-the-world/
Assiniboine Park and surrounding trails are OK, but moments of broken up pavement here and there.
St.Vital Park used to be great, but the pavement has really detoriated
Bishop Grandin Trail near Waverly. There is a very nice 2k stretch with some rolling hills.
Lots of bike trails have come up in the city over the last few years. Once the section near Bishop Grandin and Kenaston is finished (this year?). You'll be able to do about a 25K city loop on roller skis (with some stopping at lights and a few residential roads to connect things).
Any other thoughts on roller-skiing ... let's hear you in the comments section. Also, if you are looking to sell used roller skis, post that in the comments section as well.