Micayla Gatto’s Top 5 Winter Boredom-Relievers and Training Tools

Snow on the ground doesn’t have to mean hibernation. As a biker currently living in Northern Sweden, snow is inevitable, and sometimes you just can’t ride your bike. Below is a list of a few training activities that will still get you breathing that fresh mountain air!

Snowboard Micayla Gatto

Cross-Country Skiing: Think of XC skiing like cycling’s version of road riding. Once you get the hang of it, you can just zone out and go hard. Connect yourself to a HR monitor and the training possibilities are endless. XC skiing classic is great for long endurance-base training, and XC skate skiing is perfect for threshold style intervals, or sprints. If you can’t ski, don’t worry. Neither can I and I still manage to inflict serious cardio pain on myself whenever I go out. (Tip for non-skiers: Classic is quicker to learn and – I found – faster to get up to speed than skate-skiing).

Splitboarding/ski touring: As bikers we can feel pretty limited in the snow. Skiing in a resort can give you that adrenaline rush of riding, but doing laps of the chair all day does little for the bod. Enter touring: the equivalent of all-mountain riding. A great way to climb some mountains, shoot the shit with your pals on the way up, and scare yourself to death all the way back down. If you’re a skier, slack-country touring is a more mellow version, however snowboarders beware: anything flat is the enemy and you’ll be begging your skier friends for a pole.

Note: whenever skiing out of bounds or in the backcountry, always make sure you are fully educated and prepared with all avi gear. There are tons of courses to get you backcountry-ready. If you don’t know, don’t go.

Alpine skiing/snowboarding: Get the adrenaline going and feel alive again!!! The equivalent to DH park laps, you’ll improve your skills and push your limits. You can hit the park to improve your jumping skills and air-awareness, or work on your speed comfort on wide open pistes. Or you can shralp some tree runs and work on your reaction time and coordination/body awareness.

Gym: We beat our bodies up all season with racing, filming, crashing, and traveling. The winter is a great time to get your body re-balanced and focus on strengthening your weaknesses that develop naturally during the season. Investing in a proper strength and conditioning program is the best way you can spend your time in the gym. It might not seem that exciting, but you’ll be thanking yourself in the spring.

Spiked tires: And for all of you bike maniacs who just can’t stop riding: throw some studded tires on your bike and giv’er hell! Schwalbe makes a variety of spiked tires for everything from commuting on icey roads to bombing down your favourite single track in the snow.


So put the Christmas cookies down, layer on your best woolies and remember: there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes??.

Snowboard Micayla Gatto