February 21, 2013

Training for the Birkie by Bike

by Peter Herreid
Numerous Madisonians have been training all winter to race from Cable to Hayward, WI in the Birkebeiner Ski Marathon this Saturday. Many of Madison's competitive skiers also race road bikes. Spandex clothing stretches across both sports and seasons, as well. Fortunately, you don't need to race or don full-body spandex to bike or ski. 
I find cross-country skiing an enjoyable way to stay fit in the snowy months until the rail trails open again for long recreational rides. Training for the Birkie is an excuse to get out more often. When there is ample snow, the City of Madison grooms trails in several parks with varied terrain. However, it can be challenging to get to the trails without a car. 
I found slinging a ski bag over a shoulder one improvised, easy way to transport skis via bike 15 minutes down the Wingra Creek Path to Olin-Turville Park. Biking in ski boots is not a problem. The most challenging part was getting out of our snowy driveway. 
Turville Point offers a nice view of Madison's skyline. 
Panniers come in handy for stashing a layer of clothing while out skiing. 

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