Now that winter finally came to a burning end with temperatures rising to the mid-eighties here in North Dakota, it’s been extremely interesting learning how to gauge my exercise. Initially I aimed for a 100 mile century skateboard ride, and ultimately failed due to the harsh headwinds on my way home. I went out for a few other skating adventures, each time facing the reality that it was impractical to try and distance skateboard up in the north. The wind had the ability to turn a 10 mile skate into a 3 hour ordeal, and the struggle never seemed to be worth it at the end.
I was heartbroken, and seeing upcoming announcement’s for the 2018 Chief Ladiga Skate Challenge worried me because of how unprepared I was going to be without a reasonable way to train. I had opted out of 2018’s race due to funds to get to Georgia, a lack of training, and generally being apathetic towards skating because of my recent experiences. However, after weeks of hiking through the Badlands and cycling in Minnesota, I learned that cross training was the perfect way to get my abilities up to snuff – I was blessed to come into contact with a man who ran a bicycle co-op in Minnesota who not only built me a touring bicycle, but shipped it to me via Amtrak for no cost. Upon receiving the bike, I immediately concocted an idea to get good cross training, a cheaper way to get to the race, and a great way to restore my enthusiasm for distance sports: I was going to bicycle from North Dakota to Georgia.
By loading up the panniers with my gear and strapping my skateboarding belongings to the rear rack in conjunction with a small backpack to get water, I had nothing to worry about for weight (like I did with skating cross country), and I would achieve my goal faster than I would on the board and be able to make it to the race without issue. Working with a financial contribution from Michael Ian Cohen at Humanity Stoked, I was in good standing to make my way south to race.
This will be an “EFM” ride, or an “Every Fabulous Mile” ride, where I won’t be using any other transport other than my bicycle. I intend to average about 80-100+ miles a day, stealth camping and taking advantage of Warm Showers as I am able. I’ll open up a small channel on Facebook for donations if someone wants to help out with a meal, and post daily here on Skate Cross Country with updates and daily blogs. I look forward to seeing you on the road!!
Chief Ladiga is a 188-mile, 3-day race. Day 1 is 38 miles, day 2 is 56, and day 3 is 94 as it returns from Alabama to Georgia. I’ve competed twice so far, placing women’s first in 2016, women’s second in 2017, and aiming just to finish the race after a fun and solo trek here in 2018. I’m especially looking forward to seeing friends I didn’t get to race with at Ultraskate 2018, and get in some great time on the board away from the North Dakotan elements.