Skiing in the Dead of Summer
June 25, 2014
Pippa Middleton does it. Her brother James does it. Training with roller-skis, the non-snow equivalent of cross-country skiing, is a lot of fun and a good all-round workout. It can also be good preparation for the real thing come winter.
Roller-skis have wheels at the ends of the ski. The techniques are similar to those used in cross-country skiing on snow. Many cross-country skiers who want to keep training when there’s no white stuff around, and who miss the buzz of their favorite sport, switch to roller-skis out of season.
Originally created as a summer training alternative, roller skiing has now grown into a competitive sport in its own right.
Roller-skiing is low impact, easy on the joints and gives you a whole-body workout. It has all the benefits of cross-country skiing on snow, which is one of the best aerobic workouts you can have, burning gazillions of calories per hour. You will need a pair of roller-skis and a pair of poles to propel you along—plus protective clothing such as gloves, helmet and possibly knee and elbow pads. And a smooth stretch of tarmac.
This last bit may be tricky though. While there are special roller-skiing tracks in Poland, most of them are in the south of the country in winter resorts such as Duszniki Zdrój, Szklarska Poręba and Zakopane. In Warsaw, the best place to go roller-skiing is the area around the National Stadium. A professional track is still unavailable, unlike in many other European cities.
This could change as Warsaw residents prepare to vote this year on how to spend some of the public funds available as part of their district budgets—in a procedure known as participatory budgeting. Proposals include two projects friendly to roller-skiers as well as rollerbladers and inline skaters. One calls for the construction of a full-fledged track in Warsaw’s Ursynów district (Park Kultury in the Powsin neighborhood) and the other proposes a similar facility in the Wesoła area on the eastern outskirts of the city. If the projects get the go-ahead from citizens, construction will start next year.
The voting begins June 20 and ends June 30. Every resident of Warsaw, regardless of their registered address, is eligible to vote. Details at www.twojbudzet.um.warszawa.pl