Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures, and a Sumi Nokian Extreme

5:32 PM

I officially gave up on Nordic skiing this week.  After last Sunday’s ski, where I barely made it an hour in dry, sandy snow on top of a layer of ice, I finally have had enough.  I love to ski.  Last year, I spent more time on the skis than I did on the bike until March.  If I keep trying to get training hours by skiing around and around the 2.5 kilometer loops that are available this year, however, I will end up hating it.  So I will slap a good base layer of wax on the skis, and put them away in the hopes of better conditions next year.

Now what?  Today at brunch, a plan was hatched.  It is too cold to go out on the road for me (my feet and hands simply cannot keep up with highs in the teens and twenties), but I have ridden the mountain bike in the twenties.  The ice has kept us off the trails for over a month now, but when faced with these desperate times, studded tires have now been dropped into our shopping cart.

We went for the Sumi Nokian Extreme studded tire – this fat 2.1 tire comes equipped with 294 steel studs featuring carbide pins that will hopefully keep my front tire nicely connected to the ground in any icy spots I encounter in tomorrow’s race. 

That’s right: tomorrow’s race.  When you are sick (a nice, stuffy head cold that is making me feel like my head isn’t quite attached to my body), and tired (of the crappy weather that looks to continue for the next week or so) why not shock yourself out of the doldrums with a new experience?  In this instance, my new experience will be a winter mountain bike race (The Cold Beer Challenge at Hillside Park).  They say the course is about 30% ice, and since I am a total noob when it comes to mountain biking (went on my first ride about 10 months ago), I figure that 30% will take up about 80% of my race, even with the studded tire!  More to come on the race report and tire review (if I survive the experience)...

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