Getting it on in the off season
The leaves are down and the quiet time of year has arrived. But inside all of us is that weird off-season buzz. Is the entire valley holding its breath, waiting for snow, waiting for skiing and waiting for snowboarding?Not even close.As is usual for our hyperactive community, we’re still doing many of the things that keep us happy, busy, and looking beautiful during the summertime. But in the off-season we have a lot more space to do it, and many of us have a lot more time, too.”There seems to be a faction of people who don’t seem to even start riding their bikes until fall,” says Bruce Kelly of Pedal Power on Highway 6 in Eagle Vail. “And the fall offers some things that the rest of the year doesn’t offer.”Geared up in leg warmers, arm-warmers, headbands, skullcaps and booties, local mountain bikers will be hitting the trails until the snow begins to stick. Then they’ll be healthy and in shape when ski season comes.”Cycling isn’t going to work the exact same muscle groups as skiing, but it’s certainly not hurting you,” says Kelly. “It’s a good thing to do year-round because, in most instances, it’s low impact you’re bones and joints aren’t taking the pounding.”The twice-yearly pilgrimages to warmer climates reach their apogee in the autumn, when bikers head to Fruita, Moab, and New Mexico to ride slickrock and canyon country that’s way too hot to ride in the summer.Buff rock buffsAs the bikers ride distant desert trails, they’re bound to see more climbers on the sidewall. Rather than fry on the vertical pan of a summertime desert cliff, climbers like to hit sandstone routes during the cool autumn.”There’s definitely a lot of rock climbing going on,” says Chad Langdon of Mountain Quest Sports in Edwards. “The weather’s been good and there’s a lot of newbies getting into it.”Heading into a climbing shop this time of year takes a certain amount of agility all the latest shipments of wintertime gear are beginning to pour in. Skis, boards, hats and fleece are intermingling with mesh caps and climbing chalk.But the key to autumn gear, says Langdon, is a breathable, quick-dry first layer for the hot part of the day. That way you’re not damp when evening chills come along.”We’ve got a Prana yoga and rock climbing shirt that dries quick, and it’s probably one of our best-selling shirts,” Langdon says.YogaDid somebody say yoga?The ancient discovery of the spiritual link between body, mind, and spirit was hardly done in the name of skiing, but Justin Allison of Om Zone Yoga in Edwards says yoga is a good way to keep skiers and riders aligned and strong.”To me, yoga will make you stronger than a weight-lifting program,” Allison says. “It’s not a bulk muscle, it’s a strength that comes from inside.”That strength translates to all portions of life, says Allison, including skiing or snowboarding.”There’s a popular phrase going around: ‘be in your core.’ Well, that’s what yoga is – being in your core and expanding out from your core in celebration.”The celebration of skiing, riding, telemarking, sledding, ice skating, and every other winter sport is coming soon. But there’s only one sport that won’t keep you in shape during this time of year: kayaking.Kayakers should be wary of how they store their gear this time of year, however. Langdon suggests that kayakers spray their dry-top gaskets with 303 to keep them from drying up and cracking. And boats should be stored away from dripping roof ledges otherwise you’re boat will fill with about 300 pounds of ice when the freeze comes.
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