The Glory of Multi-Sport Days
Abundant sunshine and warm days allow ample time for a morning skin followed by an afternoon bike ride.
April and May bring various sports together for the ultimate outdoor experience
If you’re like most Vermonters, chances are you enjoy a number of outdoor pursuits. That’s the beauty of the Green Mountains – endless year-round opportunities. Despite spring’s reluctant arrival, it won’t be long before the temperatures begin to normalize and t-shirt sightings become more frequent. This is perhaps the best time of the year, as just about every sport is accessible for the next few weeks.
Of course, many resorts are still spinning their lifts, but some have already shut down mountain operations, leaving ample snow for those who are willing to put in the effort and earn their turns. Combine a snow-covered, vacant ski hill with drying lower-elevation trails and dirt roads, and you have yourself a recipe for numerous multi-sport days. Plus, let’s not forget about our friends on the water. Anglers rejoiced at the opening of trout season last weekend, and I’ve already heard rumors of brave souls getting their feet wet on paddle boards in Lake Champlain. You can truly do it all in Vermont right now.
So, what exactly does a multi-sport day look like? It’s really quite simple: get outside and hike, bike, run, ski, climb, fish, float, paddle, etc… As long as you’ve participated in two or more sports, you’ve successfully completed a multi-sport day. This can be achieved during any month of the year, but April and May present the unique scenario when one can skin up the mountain for a post-breakfast ski tour, glide down the slope, eat a snack on the way home, and then hop on a bike for a gravel grind or mountain bike ride (conditions permitting) in the warm afternoon sunlight. A trail run can easily be added to the front or back end of your day for a triathlon of sorts, and if you have access to a canoe/kayak/paddle board, you’ve got yourself a 4-pack.
The most important part of any multi-sport day is good company. You could certainly go it alone, but if you’re planning a full day of outdoor activities, it’s a good idea to invite your friends. After all, who’s going to motivate you late in the day when your legs begin to fail? And that brings up another key element – fun! Multi-sport days aren’t meant to crush your soul. Instead, they should be planned to accommodate your own ability level in each sport of choice. There’s no need to make this a suffer-fest.
A successful multi-sport day is effectively a race with the sunset, and the finish line is a cold beverage shared with your comrades after cramming as many activities as possible into a passion-filled 24-hour period. We should enjoy these seemingly selfish endeavors, for our busy adult lives have deprived us of such endless adventures.
*Days like this coincide with mud season in Vermont. Be sure to obey your local trail postings. You can check out the Green Mountain Club’s recommended early-season hikes, or you can visit the Vermont Mountain Bike Association’s website to find singletrack trail conditions in your area. If there aren’t any trails open near you, head out for a dirt road run or a gravel grind ride!