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Off-season/warm-weather/not-skiing activities

ceestan

Certified Ski Diva
I'm taking tomorrow off for what should be my last day of skiing for the season. I'm so sad! I'm trying to turn my sadness into something productive and try to discover an activity that makes me even half as happy as skiing does.

What I currently do: Hot yoga, Peloton, occasional bike commuting, even more occasional road cycling. I have a carbon fiber Cannondale road bike that gets tragically little use because I'm honestly just scared of cars. I got hit by a car while bike commuting in 2017, traumatically injured my ankle (broke my fibula in a very bad way), have had 4 surgeries on it since then: initial surgery to fix bone and install hardware, 1 to remove some of the hardware, 1 scope to clear out scar tissue and joint impingement, and a final (hopefully!) surgery to correct a tendon that healed abnormally.

What I can't really do: Run! (see above re: my poor arthritic ankle) I use to LOVE hiking and backpacking, but I really can't do much of that since my ankle injury. I took adult beginner swim lessons last summer, and I'm still bad at that, and honestly didn't enjoy it all that much (pool water kind of grosses me out).

What I'm considering: Mountain biking. Tried it once over 10 years ago, and decided it wasn't for me. But I'm revisiting, since I do enjoy cycling, just hate the cars, and I love the mountains. I can't help but notice that so many skiers also mountain bike during the warmer months. Must be something to that.

What other activities should I consider? What do you enjoy during the warmer months? Do you mountain bike? Any advice for someone starting out in MTB? Especially someone guarding an old ankle injury/is afraid of crashing. I am signed up for an Intro to MTB course in a few weeks. I figure that's a decent start.
 

geargrrl

Angel Diva
Glad to hear you are taking a skills course. There is a whole skill set for mountain bike that is not just riding a bike. I am retired coach; taught MTB for 10 years. Please start on flat pedals even if you are used to clipless. You can always switch once you have some skills and confidence. Wear some knee and elbow pads, and don't bike beyond beyond your skill level. Just all the cool kids are doing something doesn't mean you need to. If you can find a local women's group that is a really great way to get into it.

I mostly ride gravel now. I leave in 4 days for 3 months biking in Europe. :-)
 

ceestan

Certified Ski Diva
Glad to hear you are taking a skills course. There is a whole skill set for mountain bike that is not just riding a bike. I am retired coach; taught MTB for 10 years. Please start on flat pedals even if you are used to clipless. You can always switch once you have some skills and confidence. Wear some knee and elbow pads, and don't bike beyond beyond your skill level. Just all the cool kids are doing something doesn't mean you need to. If you can find a local women's group that is a really great way to get into it.

I mostly ride gravel now. I leave in 4 days for 3 months biking in Europe. :-)
Thank you!! This is super helpful. I am used to clipless, but definitely planning to start on flat pedals.

Enjoy your European bike trip! That sounds like a great way to past the time while skiing is over.
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Prior to my injury I used to spend a lot of time hiking which I loved and hopefully will get back into next summer, I was also supposed to be learning how to surf this past summer but again the injury put that on hold as well along with paddle boarding.
That left me with kayaking which I was able to do and as we have numerous lakes around us I spent a lot of time paddling around.
I've never been interested in mountain biking even though we have loads of trails close by and its incredible popular and I have loads of friends who do it.
The other activity that is popular where I live is bouldering ... again we have a world class bouldering area close by. My hubby is a climber although he dosent climb as much as he used to and I did ponder the idea of taking it up this past summer ... maybe next year.

I guess a lot of what you can take up as an off season activity is dependent on where you live and what opportunities are available reasonably close by.
Good luck in your search for an off season passion !! xx
 

AJM

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Hubby also plays a LOT of tennis in the off season, its always a trade off as there's sometimes an overlap between tennis and skiing .... skiing generally wins :laughter:
 

geargrrl

Angel Diva
Thank you!! This is super helpful. I am used to clipless, but definitely planning to start on flat pedals.

Enjoy your European bike trip! That sounds like a great way to past the time while skiing is over.
i meant to say, "proper mountain bike flat pedals with flat pedal mtb shoes, not sneakers or hikers". It really makes a difference.
 

Skidreamer

Certified Ski Diva
I run, and ride horses. The latter, not so much as I've just retired my middle aged guy. Don't know why really, he is perfect, but he has worked hard for me for 10 years and deserves his retirement. I guess we ticked off enough of my bucket list, together. It wasn't his bucket list, he got dragged along with no choice. Maybe another horse on the horizon after our Australian winter. But for now, skiing starts to beckon here. My husband loves his cycling, whether road, mountain, or motorbike (yum yum sexy Ducati.) We did our summer trip over Xmas/New Year to Tasmania, went to some of the mountain biking meccas here in Australia, like Derby. I don't know, I just feel like it's all dangerous - horses, biking, motorbikes, skiing. I feel like my running is the safest of all of our crazy sporting passions. I am looking at doing a week long hike in Austria in the European summer, 2024. Surely that can't be too dangerous?!
 

ceestan

Certified Ski Diva
MTB update! I took that beginner lesson through REI. I really wasn't sure what to expect but I ended up having a GREAT time. Had a smile on my face the entire time. They took us out on full suspension bikes with dropper posts and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed riding that style of bike, especially with someone showing me how to use it properly. And NO CARS, in nature -- amazing!

I ended up buying my own bike two weeks later -- an Ibis Ripley. Ibis is a smaller bike brand out of Santa Cruz, CA that was not on my radar, but my local shop steered me toward. The design of the frame makes the standover height more manageable for vertically-challenged people like me. :smile:

I have been having a great time on it. Have already done another clinic with a MTB coach, ridden my first blues, had my first crash! I was going over a big root, I had my dropper post all the way up because I had just been climbing. When I went over the root, the seat bucked me off and yeeted me off the side of the trail into some soft dirt and ferns. I was actually laughing at how pleasant a crash it was. Have definitely had worse ski crashes that hurt more. Now I might be due for a painful one :(

I sold my road bike last week and not looking back!
 

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SallyCat

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Just jumping in to say that if you live in an area that has dirt/gravel back roads, gravel biking is really fun and the risk of getting hit feels a lot lower, since the cars are going slow to begin with.
 

jthree

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
MTB update! I took that beginner lesson through REI. I really wasn't sure what to expect but I ended up having a GREAT time. Had a smile on my face the entire time. They took us out on full suspension bikes with dropper posts and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed riding that style of bike, especially with someone showing me how to use it properly. And NO CARS, in nature -- amazing!

I ended up buying my own bike two weeks later -- an Ibis Ripley. Ibis is a smaller bike brand out of Santa Cruz, CA that was not on my radar, but my local shop steered me toward. The design of the frame makes the standover height more manageable for vertically-challenged people like me. :smile:

I have been having a great time on it. Have already done another clinic with a MTB coach, ridden my first blues, had my first crash! I was going over a big root, I had my dropper post all the way up because I had just been climbing. When I went over the root, the seat bucked me off and yeeted me off the side of the trail into some soft dirt and ferns. I was actually laughing at how pleasant a crash it was. Have definitely had worse ski crashes that hurt more. Now I might be due for a painful one :(

I sold my road bike last week and not looking back!
@ceestan I’m considering the Ripley. I’m SO short the stand over on the XS is a little high on me but it’s close. I’m hoping to demo it in the next few days.
 

ceestan

Certified Ski Diva
@ceestan I’m considering the Ripley. I’m SO short the stand over on the XS is a little high on me but it’s close. I’m hoping to demo it in the next few days.
It's a great bike! Here is the Blister review if you haven't read it yet: https://blisterreview.com/gear-reviews/2021-ibis-ripley-af

You might also look at the Marin Rift Zone. It does look like the standover is a hair higher than the Ripley though (678 mm vs. 676 mm). I couldn't believe how many manufacturers are starting their XS bikes at 705+ mm. That is too high! And I'm not even a particularly short short-person.
 

santacruz skier

Angel Diva

echo_VT

Angel Diva
@ceestan so great you have caught the MTB bug! If you live near a body of water, that is a very favorite pastime here, specifically kayaking and canoeing. That said, I used to live near oceans and bodies of water dumping out to oceans and I really like kiteboarding and wakeboarding. When it’s hot out, water sports are a lifesaver and just the best.

I was a bike commuter for years and I hear you. People in cars can be so thoughtless. It’s hard when the infrastructure isn’t there and the mindset is “I own the road bc I have the bigger vehicle”

keep us posted on your MTB adventures!
 

MissySki

Angel Diva
I was a bike commuter for years and I hear you. People in cars can be so thoughtless. It’s hard when the infrastructure isn’t there and the mindset is “I own the road bc I have the bigger vehicle”
Many jerks in cars, but I have to say that it goes both ways. I found it terrifying to drive around Cambridge when I worked there pre-Covid. Bicycles would literally come shooting out of everywhere and it would be REALLY hard to see them at times even when slowly crawling around in traffic turning at intersections. I think it’s really important to remember that cars have blindspots and to ensure it’s really obvious where you are and what you’re doing when on a bike. The ever changing “infrastructure” can make it difficult and confusing for drivers too.
 

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