In the Midwest, where I grew up, all trail-oriented athletes agree there are two seasons: Birkie training and Chequemegon Fat Tire 40 training. When one ends, the other begins. The Sunday after the Birkie is day one of cycling season. Same goes the day after the Chequemegon. Off comes the storage wax, boots are inspected for wear, and wax kits are restocked. XC season is here!
Jump forward to my adult life, living in Steamboat, I still have two seasons: Birkie training and Chequemegon training. I still focus my entire year of fitness and performance on these two iconic events—conveniently six months apart—a perfect fit for an athlete who likes to use periodization and training blocks.
Some call this cross-training. I call it a lot more fun than dryland drills and roller skis for Nordic prep in the summer (or sitting on an indoor trainer for cycling fitness in the winter). In fact, I have only been on roller skis once in my life, and I don’t own an indoor bike trainer. I’m not into Navy Seal workouts or weight lifting. I simply do not have time to do it all, so I maximize the time I have by focusing on these two complimentary sports to span a full 12 months of outdoor fitness. I do each sport as weather, trails and conditions dictate.
More reasons to pair cycling and Nordic skiing:
- Both rely on the aerobic system, balance, power and skill—making them a powerhouse duo for a full-body workout.
- They are easy on the body’s joints and tissues, so recovery is quick and results can be seen fast.
- No off-season and no boredom or staleness, just a nice balance of outdoor fun and year-round fitness.
Now that summer is almost here, it’s time to get back on the bike. Since a trip to Northwestern Wisconsin is probably not part of your summer plans, give yourself a training goal by signing up for the Tour de Steamboat.
The Tour De Steamboat
Now, in its 12th year the Tour de Steamboat is run by an all-volunteer staff. As a result, registration fees go straight to providing a top-notch riding experience and to supporting four great local non-profits: REPS, Partners Mentoring Youth, Routt County Riders and Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
This non-competitive event is open to cyclists of all ages and abilities, and we encourage participants to ride at their own pace and enjoy the scenery and history of Routt County. This year, the Tour has four route distances: 26, 46, 66 and 116 miles. So there’s truly something for every rider—even families!
The Tour de Steamboat post-ride BBQ and beer garden provides the perfect end to a phenomenal day of cycling. New this year, five local breweries—Mountain Tap Brewery, Storm Peak Brewing Company, Butcherknife Brewing Company, Yampa Valley Brewing Company and Mahogany Ridge Brewery—are providing their craft beer for the post-ride party!
Learn more, register, and buy tickets to win a custom Kent Eriksen bike or an active Adventure Package at www.tourdesteamboat.com.
Katie Lindquist is a Master competitor at the elite level in Nordic skiing, road biking and mountain biking. She is a former World Champion 24 hour solo racer, RAAM finisher, and Elite level cycling and Nordic ski coach.