It’s not often one can ski and bicycle in the same day. The abundance of great snow in Duluth has left the ski trails amply covered and still holding up well. And the recent warm weather has cleared the shoulders on the North Shore Scenic Drive enough for good cycling. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity.
First the ski, late morning. Spring skiing is tricky. Timing is everything – too early and the snow is hard and crusty, with deep frozen ruts made by yesterday’s skiers who were out when the snow was soft and pliable. Too late and the snow is like sticky mush, and very slow. I went out somewhere in between, which is the scariest. In the shadows, it was slick and fast. But as soon as my skis hit sun-warmed snow, they came to a screeching halt. My body wanted to keep going… It was a challenge, all right, but the warm air, bright sunshine, and still-abundant snow made it worth the effort. And to think it’s almost April!
In the afternoon, I headed out on my bike. Again, timing is important – waiting for the temperatures to warm to a reasonable level is critical. This afternoon the conditions were perfect – not a cloud in the sky, warm sunshine, and not an ounce of wind. Cycling up the North Shore was like sailing along. And the views were outstanding. The ice formations along the shoreline provided such interest and variety as I traveled along, and the rare calm water produced beautiful reflections of the shore. It felt great to be on my bike again.
Clearly this was transition day. The exhilaration of riding my bike was just what I needed to let go of winter, say goodbye to skiing for now, and embrace the next season’s activities. Hello bicycle – have I got plans for you!