Cycling to Ski or Get On Your Bike!
Directly ski season finishes many of the ski instructors in Les Gets or Morzine switch seamlessly to cycling. Of course biking has many attractions in its’ own right and for skiers it is an excellent way to maintain fitness out of season because:
- Cyclists, like skiers and snowboarders need strong legs
- It is great for cardio-vascular fitness. Snowsports require a mixture of aerobic & anaerobic fitness because they are power sports but also most skiers will put in a full day on the slopes. Good cardio fitness is a big help in acclimatising to high altitudes too.
- Both cycling and skiing/snowboarding require good balance – have you ever tried riding a bike very slowly?
Like many ski resorts the lifts in Les Gets and Morzine are open in summer to make the slopes accessible to mountain bikers. This adrenaline packed bike sport shares many of the exhilarating and technical aspects of skiing but it does come with a health warning – falling off a bike can hurt a LOT more than taking a tumble on skis!
So if you are thinking of taking up cycling to help your ski fitness you are probably best getting your mileage on road, or sticking to the slightly tamer aspects of off roading, usually termed cross country biking. Falling aside, cycling unlike skiing, is a no impact sport and therefore relatively kind to the joints.
Do include some hill work in your mileage if you can. The uphill sections are great leg strengtheners and the downhill sections provide the same freefall experienced when you ski a slope, often a difficult sensation to simulate or explain to beginners.
The great thing about biking is that just about anyone can do it, at their own level. A decent bike needn’t cost the earth and it is very easy to fit this sport into your everyday life. There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, so invest in a lightweight, high visibility waterproof and a hard hat. Oh, and some good comfy cycling shorts – these days you can buy some pretty trendy ones, you don’t need to look as though you are wearing a lycra nappy! But if you are one of life’s fair weather sports men & women, check out the spinning classes at your local gym.