Weather & the Nordic Spirit
December 15, 2012
Last year's low-snow winter has nothing to do with the static state of XC. XC doesn't stand alone -- it doesn't even need snow to be full-on! The Nordic mindset is holistic. It easily endures cycles of lo-sno/mo-sno by hopping over to any available fresh air fun with friends, solitude, picnics, what have you.
The crisis is the fact that so many otherwise active snow-country people aren't even aware of the rich rewards of local skiing. That's what's anti-Nordic. "It's not about the snow." Even when we have years with plenty of snow I hear most locals saying that we don't have "good" snow, or that they somehow can't afford an XC ski kit, the cheapest, simplest of durable goods.
An anti-Nordic, XC-killing mindset is behind all segregation: ski-racers who won't ski ungroomed trail or go for a picnic outing; ski-skaters who won't classic ski; roadies who won't ride a mile on gravel, much less mt-bike or 'cross; runners who won't bike; hikers who won't canoe.
One activity isn't better than another or even more suitable for you! A person isn't a 'biker' or 'skier' they're a person!
Why, if it's cold for a couple weeks but the snow hasn't arrived, I bet there will be ice. In that case, a Nordic person goes ice skating! Skate touring is big in coastal areas of Scandanavia. --Or anywhere there's ice. So when YOU see ice, use it! Learn the skills!
However, I can see that if one goes the full consumerist route with $5k for a mtbike and accessories, and as much for travel and fees, that they might not THINK they have room/budget for the rest of life. That can trap ya more than any lack of snow! But even then there's still no real excuse! A little this'n'that more won't kill ya.
In general it seems like folks should take advantage of the best of what their local scene has to offer when it has to offer it. A set of skis waiting; a canoe under the shed ready; wheels to take you anywhere. No complaining. All fun all the time. That's the Nordic spirit, the "friluftsliv." We don't need snow to have it in spades or to enjoy the varied goodness that every season brings.
Sure, we're eager for snow and we're doing the Snow Dance even now. In the meantime, every day is there to grab!