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Road Rules

Private Lessons
posted: 10/07/2002
by Jimmy Archer

The forest blows by at 30 miles per hour, the pitch drops left and then a hard right. You charge, eyes ahead, weight on the outside foot-if it weren't for the oncoming pickup truck, you could be carving it up at Heavenly.

If you've ever dropped into a blacktop switchback at full speed, you know that road riding is only one storm and 40 degrees away from skiing. It's the same love affair with gravity and inertia.

As you train on your road bike this fall, remember these parallels. (Fig. 1) Eyes ahead. Just like when you initiate a GS arc, look to the end of the turn. (Fig. 2) Drive your hands forward and bend at your elbows. This helps keep your weight well-positioned on the bike, and it's the same technique that will keep your high-speed arcs on snow stable and smooth. (Fig. 3) Hard pressure on the outside leg. You don't want your rear wheel washing out anymore than you want to lose your downhill edge, so stand on that outside pedal. Some folks even pull up the inside leg-an old-school trick for weighting the downhill ski.

Jimmy Archer is a pro triathlete with a degree in exercise physiology from the University of Colorado. He has skied for 17 years.

Quick Tip:
A common mistake for skiers and cyclists is hunching the back. Remember to relax. When you're loose, you're stable and agile.

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