The following is a true story, only the names have been changed, to protect the guilty.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Nordic Skates

Last winter while out riding, I met a guy wearing a set of nordic skates. Vandy and I were in the middle of our route to ride the entire Minnehaha Creek, the guy we met was is the same spot of his route heading the opposite direction. I had never seen or heard of such a thing, but right then I knew I had to had a pair of them.
I chose to use some really heavy  backcountry Raid X bindings only because they where lying around unmounted to any of my other skis. I may switch over to an old skate binding and boot if I have time before it snows. 

  The only problem is it was the middle of winter and all the lakes wear covered in snow and the conditions of the creek change almost daily. To really get the benefit of them you have to go when the ice first Now!  It's been the perfect weather for them here in the twin cities, cold and no snow. Last weekend I picked up a pair of them at the Midwest Mountaineering Expo in Minneapolis at a small discount. I had been planning this for a while,eyeing my loose change jar, and imagining a pair of skates in place of an empty jar on top of my work bench. Upon cashing in,there was enough money in the jar to get the skates and offset the cost of a new lightweight PFD that I will use for win.
Lynn has boots that match the binding so she gave it a try as well

    Fortunatly the weather had been cooperating all week and the ice was ready for my first preview of nordic skating on Friday afternoon. It was awesome, the skates are super fast. My skating tecnique is a little rusty, I could barely keep up with the whole act of pushing with my legs and poling. Once up to speed it's nothing to just double pole and hall ass across the lake. All I need now is to plan some sort of adventure,route, or loop on these things, but it will have to be soon, as conditions can change rapidly around here.


  1. Reminds me of my days living up north before moving here to the jungle. First weekend the lakes froze over we were all out on our skates racing around on the lakes. Problem was...every once in awhile some unfortunate soul would go through the ice, dislocate a shoulder, or damn near drown. We always had the sauna roaring just in case someone needed to get warmed up quickly. Fun times indeed :)

  2. sauna...That would be the best part

  3. I bought my nordic skates from New Moon Ski shop about 2001. They are very popular in Europe where they have 200 km and 24 hour races.

    However, around MSP, they are almost unknown. When I first went to the Roseville Oval, the speed skaters would look cross-eyed at me. Same looks when I took them into hockey shops to get the edges sharpened.

    Every few years, there is a 50 km race around Bemidji toward the end of February.

    Check out some videos on Youtube of Scandinavians doing their adventures on large frozen lakes. In case they fall in, the wear backpacks full of dry cothes in dry sacks. They also take ice claws inside their chest pockets in case they fall in.

    Looking forward to see what adventures you cook up.

    1. The race in Bemidji sounds great. PS I still have your phone # , I really didn't get out on the packraft much this summer, sorry we couldn't get together for any adventures but I will keep you in the loop when I do. Right now it's snowing and looks like it may ruin chances for a nordic skate adventure

    2. There are so many adventures, but too little time.

      Please forgive me for missing your October Fatbike roundup. Maybe next year?