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‘No excuse for not skiing,’ even in the summer

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC hosted a roller-skiing session in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Dublin XC founding members Lindsey Masterson, left, and Holly Macy roller-ski in Harrisville on Sunday. Staff photo by Ben Conant



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, July 24, 2017

Flying down the Monadnock region’s roads — no brakes! — comes the pack. Training never has to stop for Dublin XC’s Nordic skiers, who enjoy an elite snowmaking system that extends the winter by weeks on either end of the snow season, and in the summer, roller skiing.

“We’re all a little competitive, that’s why we’re out here, right? To get better?” said Dublin XC founding member Holly Macy Sunday morning, as a group of seasoned roller-skiers — and some new to the sport — gathered in Harrisville. Shorter than a standard cross-country ski, and equipped with a wheel on each end, the roller-skis allow riders to mimic a Nordic skiing stride as they traverse the region’s back roads. Dublin XC’s juniors coach Kathy Maddock met the group of ten or so at the old Chesham train depot in Harrisville, leading them in a variety of drills and offered advice on their technique.

“They’re going to start skiing in November or December a better skier than they ended in March and that all happened in the offseason,” Maddock said. “So that’s a great thing to be able to be working on your skills when there isn’t any snow.”

There are plenty of other ways for avid skiers to stay in shape over the summer, like biking and trail running, but the “specificity” of roller-skiing is what Maddock and the others are after, she said.

“I could be in phenomenal shape and able to run up Mount Monadnock eight times, but if I haven’t been training the core muscles and the arms, then they won’t be good when I hit the snow in winter,” Maddock said.

Whether you’re an avid Nordic racer who participates in the group’s competitive series through the winter, or just someone who enjoys getting out and breaking some fresh tracks, improving your technique and fitness can make your experience more fun, Maddock said.

“It’s all about having fun and being able to maintain it,” she said. “If your technique is poor enough or you don’t have the specific muscles and after 20 minutes you’re just hammered, then that’s no fun. But if you can go out with a bunch of people and ski around on a Sunday morning for a couple hours and not feel as though you’ve killed yourself, then that’s great.”

Of course, the pavement is a little less forgiving than a snow track. Everyone falls on their first day, they say, and even experienced roller-skiers take it easy on the downhills. The skis have speed reducers, but not a true brake, so stopping often means making a wide u-turn.

“I'm very conservative on pavement,” Maddock said.

Dublin XC’s goal is to build a community of Monadock-area Nordic skiers who can pursue the sport — in all its forms — year-round. The roller-skiing sessions will continue through the summer. For more information, visit dublinxc.com or look them up on Facebook.

“There's no excuse for not skiing,” Maddock said.