.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

Northern Training vs. City Training
By:  Lee Hawkings   (2009/10/05)

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Moving to Ottawa has been a huge adjustment for me. Not only have I had to adjust to living on my own, cooking for myself and staying organized in university, Iíve also had to adjust to a totally new training environment. Gone is the vast trail network stretching into the wilderness from my back yard but now I have access to the unparalleled roller skiing venue of Gatineau Park.


Definitely the thing I miss most about training at home is the hundreds of kilometers of trail stretching pretty much every direction from my house. I love being able to run out the back door and into the forest. I have a dog at home and its awesome just being able to run with your puppy through the woods. Zoning out and running along the narrow twisting single track and wide open bluffs along the river-bank is a feeling I definitely miss now that Iím living in the city.


My Backyard!

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My dog Mindo


Yukon River 5 minutes from my house / Swimming hole brrrr!

On the flipside we have the roller skiing in Ottawa (aka the city): the Gatineau Parkway. It is amazing to be able to go out and actually have a fun and relaxing training session on roller skis. Roller skiing at home has become something I try to avoid as much as I can. Thereís just something slightly nerve wracking and boring about skiing on the shoulder of the Alaska Highway while semi trucks and motor homes scream past you at 100km/h.

The first time I skied on the parkway from P8 I literally thought I had died and gone to heaven. Other than the fact that it was 8am on a Saturday morning everything about the experience was perfect. There were hundred of skiers and bikers (cool people), it was sunny and fresh (cool weather), and best of all there were no cars and a beautiful road that we could hog.

Iím having a great time so far in Ottawa and Iím excited to do some more roller skiing. From what I have heard the first time it snows the parkway closes for the winter. I personally wouldnít mind the snow sooner than later, even if it melts. It might mean I could have the most perfect roller ski session ever (not at 8am)!

 
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