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Rollerski season!

Wed, Jul  25, 2012 - By Bert Hinkley

I don't know what is up with climate change, but a lot of you had very little winter, and here in Bend it seems to go on and on. We finally stopped skiing at the Nordic Center at Mt Bachelor a few weeks ago. From the middle of May to the 23rd of June there were over 300 athletes from all over the USA and a few Canadians taking advantage of the snow and grooming. Most of my post-season (pre-season?) ski training has been on the bike, in my kayak or running on local trails. Come the end of July, I usually start rollerskiing. This early summer is a great time to start building that base and getting ready to absorb greater intensity later on in the summer.

For those of you who are about to start hitting the paved roads it is a good idea to check out the condition of your rollerskis. You should check that the wheels spin freely in the bearings, that the axle nuts are tight and that your wheels are not too worn out. It is also good to make sure the binding screws are tight. Take a look at your ski pole tips and be sure they are sharp. Look at your bike helmet and be sure it is not cracked or dented. Most testing agencies recommend that bike helmets be replaced every three years at least. If there has been one fall where the helmet saved your head from the pavement, it is time for a new helmet. Check out the www.webcyclery.com  page for a look at our helmet offerings. I will be sporting my Giro Atmos this summer on the bike and the rollerskis.

Pro-Ski rollerskis , made in Sweden, are upgrading a classic C2 type training tool with a flexible spring steel shaft. The flexible shaft feels more like a classic snow ski and absorbs road vibration. Here is what Thobias Fredriksson has to say:

"The New PRO-SKI C2 Flex is the best classic roller ski I have trained on. It is characterized by stability and is very easy to handle, and it is precisely those qualities that are important when you will run the sprint training on roller skis.

- Thobias Fredrikssonp
   World Championship gold Sprint individual, Olympic gold team sprint

We have this training tool in stock. My time on them shows that they offer a smoother ride over rough pavement than the stiffer aluminum shaft of the regular C2 classic model. The shaft comes predrilled and this makes mounting the bindings a breeze. A number of the top level athletes who were here training last month stopped in and picked up new pairs of Roadline Tech classic rollerskis. This is the model with the narrow ratcheted wheel on the front. They require more balance and encourage better technique. The C2 is a bit more "use friendly" for some of us.

Another product that could help with hot summer training days is the Alpina summer rollerski boots. They are lighter and move air around the foot for moisture management. Alpina USA is not bringing any more of these into the country at this time. We have a limited inventory of the Alpina ECL classic and the Alpina ESK skate boot. We are discounting these boots now offering the classic boot for $220 and the skate boot for $290. Sizes available for the classic are 37, 40, 41, 43, 44. The skate boots in stock are 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43.

Swix is supplying us with a somewhat new rollerski ferrule. We have the new model in 10mm size that fits most (not all) poles. It is made with a stiffer plastic and the pole goes deeper into the ferrule. This means less chance of flexing on a hot day. It is also just a bit shorter than the older style which means the poles will be the same height as in the winter.

We want all our friends to be safe (as safe as possible) on rollerskis. We roll on fairly hilly terrain and many times I want to go down hills slowly. My skis don't have brakes and so I depend on skills and technique and planning to control speed. It is possible to use a "snowplow" to creep slowly down hills. I wrote a blog entry about that skill, which can be seen at  http://webskis.com/berts-blog/?m=201107.

If you need new wheels, give us a call or order on the website, www.webskis.com. Wheels are priced as single wheels, so remember to order as many as you need. Coaches and clubs should call the shop if you have questions about team pricing. If you decide to buy a new pair of boots or rollerskis, we will add in some samples of Solda ski wax that will at least equal the cost of shipping.

We also carry Hammer products for staying hydrated and energized before, during and after workouts. I like the Recoverite powder after long bike rides or trail runs. You can see these products and shop from your living room by checking http://webcyclery.com/webcyclery-foodnutrition-c-1_1276.php.  

Here we go into the fun time summer time. Whether you are rolling or riding, we can help you move well. If you find yourself headed to Bend, Oregon, we would love to have you stop in and say hello.

Happy July and have a good one,