Covid-19 Information and Current Operations

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Gravel biking is a great way to still ride while the trails are closed. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

As mountain bikers, getting through the ups and downs of the Vermont fifth season aka "mud season" can be challenging. One week, trails are dry and open - and the next week, they are closed due to rain (or even snow).

To get through this difficult time, we have come up with 5 things you can do instead of biking on the trails.

Keep up-to-date on trail status, find your Vermont Mountain Bike Association chapter and learn more about mud season at: vmba.org).

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Expert Tips By Michelle Peters

Measuring a customer's feet is the first step of the run shoe fit process at Skirack. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

A properly fitting running shoe influences three factors in your running and walking experience: injury reduction, comfort, and performance.

Having a shoe that is fit by a trained shoe fitter that has evaluated the way your ankle and arch moves can help determine the appropriate shoe category for your foot. The shoe category is correlated with the level of support in a shoe and is broken down into neutral, guidance, support, and motion control. Too much or too little support could potentially lead to injury or discomfort.

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Exploring Vermont via bike. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

The Popularity of Bikes

Are you feeling cooped up and ready to get outside during 2021? You’re not alone! The past year of travel restrictions and unprecedented challenges have changed all of our lives. One silver lining is that more people have taken up new outdoor hobbies as a way to get out of the house, get back into shape, or safely socialize while relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.

Bicycles have always been a great way to get out in the fresh air, and in the summer of 2020, their popularity skyrocketed. Everyone desired the utility, freedom, and ability to explore that a bicycle provides. As a direct result of their newfound popularity, every type of bike, from kids bikes to electric bikes, have been in demand like never before.

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Comments | Posted in News Bicycling Expert Tips Electric Bikes By Cooper Willsey

Electric bikes used to have a specific market - people who needed assistance in order to ride. But the market is quickly changing to everyone. Photo Credit: Specialized Bicycles.

What is an electric bike?

As electric motor technology progresses, so does the diversity of how it can be applied in two-wheeled machines. The “electric bike” umbrella encompasses a vast array of battery-powered cycles, but they are certainly not all created equal.

The term e-bike in the cycling world refers to pedal-assist bikes. This type of bike requires you to at least do some of the work. As you pedal, the motor will engage and add power to the rear wheel. The bike can achieve this in a few different ways that I’ll discuss shortly, but more sophisticated systems will actually work in harmony with the rider, basing the amount of power the motor puts out on how hard the rider is pushing the pedals. The way I like to think about a pedal-assist electric bike is that it’s just like I’m riding a regular bicycle, but with the fantastic illusion that I’ve magically gained the superhuman fitness of a Tour De France rider overnight. This feeling can be shared by anyone.

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5 Reasons to Cross Country Ski

Feb 4, 2021 11:04:31 AM

Cooper skiing at Sleepy Hollow Ski Center, Vermont. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Cross country, also known as Nordic, skiing is a fantastic sport to pass what can be a dreary, cold, and long winter. Instead of waiting patiently on the spin bike or treadmill dreaming of those sunny spring days that could be months away, just grab a pair of skis, poles and boots and hit the snowy woods, mountains, and valleys!

Cross country skiing has is a surefire way to improve your cardio fitness as well as full-body physical strength, as well as increase your mental resilience during activity. The stimulation of full-body coordination and elevated heart rate will also help increase your mood, promote healthy metabolism, and give yourself an appreciation of winter, nature, and your body that you may not have had before.

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Comments | Posted in News Cross Country Skiing Expert Tips By Ben Lustgarten

Selecting the right pair of snowshoes can depend on where you want to go or do. Photo Credit: Clarke Shedd.

Outdoor sports has become more popular than ever this year. Whether you are a runner, hiker, walker, biker, skier, snowboarder, or snowshoer I'm sure you've seen a lot more people out, enjoying what nature has to offer. Just like bikes, snowshoes has recently seen a huge increase in demand. Getting outside is important, but it is also key to have the right gear. It is important to know a couple things when you are selecting snowshoes. I am going to walk through what to be on the lookout for and how a snowshoe will best suit your needs.

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Don't Slip! Wear Winter Traction!

Different winter activities, including but not limited to, hiking, running, and even walking, require different equipment. Making sure you have the appropriate traction is an important step to staying safe outside in the winter.

It can be overwhelming with all the options out there - luckily, I’m here to guide you in the right direction!

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Alpine Touring Gear Overview

Dec 2, 2020 11:07:54 AM

(1) Dawn patrol hike up snowmobile track before the lifts start running on an eight-inch powder day. Photo Credit: Soren Feola. (2) Touring allows for some late ski days, including May in Bolton when this photo of Caroline was taken.

So you’ve decided to get into alpine touring this winter? Not only will this allow you to skip the lift lines and earn your turns, but also gives you an opportunity to explore the Vermont outdoors! Due to COVID-19 limitations at ski resorts, alpine touring can also help limit crowding.

We know it can be a bit daunting to find the right equipment to get out there, and the options of what to buy seems endless, but we are here to help! There are three categories to this blog post: first-time touring, frequent touring, and the elite alpinists out there. Although this will in no way be an exhaustive list, we hope this will be a good jumping off point! Just note that we have seen an increase in demand for alpine touring gear this season. Supply can be limited as well as shipment delays. Some gear recommended below might be out of stock, but please check in with us to see if we expect more or can find another option for you.

As a reminder, any time you are heading into the backcountry, educate yourself first, bring a trusted friend who is also knowledgeable, get the right avalanche gear (and know how to use it). Avalanches do occur in Vermont. If you are new to touring, check out ski resorts as a first step to get used to touring. Not all ski resorts allow uphill travel, so head to their website first and learn and follow the rules.

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1 Comments | Posted in Product Features and Reviews Expert Tips Downhill Skiing Backcountry By Soren Feola and Caroline Dunbar

Doug Stewart fits a downhill ski boot. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

Ask any veteran skier if their ski boots are important, or if they affect their skiing, I would not be surprised if most said “yeah, of course.” As someone who has spent my entire life on skis and the last few decades helping people ski better, I’m here to make sure you understand just how important your boots are to your ski day.

Based on this idea, I repeatedly tell customers, your boots are 10 times more important than your skis. This also applies to cross country skiing and snowboarding. Our goal is to get you in the right gear the first time around.

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Exploring Vermont via bike. Photo Credit: Zach Walbridge.

With COVID-19 safety guidelines and travel restrictions, winter is looking very different this year in Vermont. Since not many people can travel and are staying home, there's been a huge uptick in people venturing outside and discovering what their backyard has to offer. Outdoor activity is a great way to get exercise, de-stress and spend time with your household. More people getting outside is great news! However, the influx is a concern because of the strain on natural resources. Services such as ski resorts and search and rescue will also be effected. With this resource guide, our goal is to provide some ideas to getting you outside in a new way, while offering other options for people to check out, in order to spread people out in any given area.

Since we already know that ski resort offerings such as lodging and chair capacity will be limited this season, it might not be the year to hit the resorts every weekend like you are used to (click here to read up on the guidelines). It will, however be a great opportunity to try a new winter activity such as cross country skiing, backcountry touring, snowshoeing and winter hiking.

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