Ski group

We spent many hours this past weekend enjoying the beautiful weather (record-tying warmth) on the last day of January.  We almost made it the entire month without a day above freezing!  On Saturday it was in the 40’s and excellent conditions to stand outside on frozen lakes enjoying the winter festivities.  What are the festivities – City of Lakes Loppet

What is a Loppet? According to Cross-Country Canada:

It is a great gathering of skiers who ski on a specifically groomed trail either classic (diagonal stride) or free (skating technique) of various distances.

Basically a big party with skiing at the center! This was our first time enjoying it.  We saw skijoring, kids cross-country skiing, sprint skiing, 33k freestyle skiing, and an ice bike race.

Skijoring is when you have a dog pulling you along.  The best teams looked really cool and some of the later ones looked like a lot of work (when the dog didn’t want to help!).  I obviously took a lot of pictures, some events were easier/ more enjoyable to watch.

Ice Bike Spiral

The Ice Bike Race was pretty sweet.  They plowed about a 3 foot wide trail on the lagoon between Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.  The race was criterium style – riding for 30 minutes with one last lap thrown in at the end.  It was not an easy course, with plenty of tight turns including a hair-pin and a “spiral of death.” Basically you spiral in and then have to spiral back out.  It was intense to watch them manuevar and their amazing handling skills all on ice.  They rode mountain bikes and I didn’t really see anyone fall down.  One guy pretty much led the entire 30 minutes but during the last lap – right before the spiral of death about 50 meters to the finish, his rear tire got a flat and he ended up finished third.

All of this is so new to us, which made it pretty fun to experience.  Got to make the most out of what you are given!

You can see more pictures here.

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