Sunday, December 23, 2012

Control Day

Today's skijor outing was an exercise in "operating under control" - a tough exercise for the Siberians!
Zorro doing his favorite activity at our midpoint break - chomping down on snow cones!
Why an "operating under control" day - well two reasons:
  1. Our intended route went through a few ups and downs in elevation - the total elevation climbed was 1700 feet spread over 3 different inclines and declines.
  2. The trail had been recently packed by a snowmobile and was very icy and slick.
We like to joke that Max & Zorro's "maximum speed" is their desired "active speed". Think about the implications of that - if you let them hit 20+ MPH, then they want to continually hit 20+. But, if you keep them under wraps in the 10-12 MPH max range, then they tend to continue operating in that range. Once I saw the trail conditions (packed & slick), I knew I would have to work to keep the Siberian speeds under control when we hit the steep & icy elevation declines in our route. That meant I could not let them feel 20 MPH - I had to keep them happy trotting in the 10 MPH range on the flat and downhill sections. Thus the phrase "operating under control" day :-)

We did hit a top speed of 16 MPH (oops); but, in all, it was a very successful day keeping the skijoring vehicle under control on sketchy downhill conditions. Good Boys!
Most of the trail looked like this today - hard packed by snowmobiles and very icy & slick
conditions for the skis.
A narrower downhill section of trail, approaching a tight right turn. Note Max & Zorro trotting
happily in the icy & slick snowmobile track. I, on the other hand, have my skis in the narrow
section of powder on the shoulder of the trail. Keeping myself in powder on downhill grades is
the only way to keep the downhill speeds under control. If I put my skis on the icy
snowmobile track, then there would be NO slowing down and the Siberians would launch!
We did find a few sections of trail untouched by the snowmobiles; but not very many...
Total stats for today's outing: 8.4 miles, 1700 feet of elevation gain and a top speed of 16 MPH.

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