Off-Season Training Program – “The Frankenscoop Shuffle”

My regular training routine has taken a temporary turn.
A winter storm left 22″ of snow in my driveway.

Normally I would just retreat to the gym in this situation. Resigned to workout indoors until the snow had melted enough to resume running or riding outdoors again.

As I considered this prospect I could still hear the words of my Grandfather, spoken 35 years ago on the family farm:
“You mean you actually pay someone so you can get exercise? Stay here on the farm and I’ll work you out for free”.

When  I was 29 years old, following another Utah snowstorm, I injured my back while shoveling snow.  Poor bio-mechanics, macho mentality, too many hours sitting at a desk while programming computers, and being 6′-8″ all contributed to this injury.  After several weeks of rehab the doctor prescribed an exercise program which eventually lead to this blog chronicling my last big challenge, the Tour Divide.

I have a shed full of various snow shovels, scoops, push plows, 2-stage snow blower, and an ATV with a plow/winch.  I guess I’m obsessed with finding the perfect snow removal device.  Being freakishly tall makes this search even more difficult.  It’s similar to my quest to find the perfect bicycle seat — but I digress.

Could I turn shoveling snow into an aerobic activity,  free of injury?  Shoveling is definitely strenuous but hardly aerobic from a cyclist’s perspective.

I then chose my favorite snow shovel from my collection and adapted it with these goals in mind:


The FrankenScoop - Made using a Snowboss snow shovel and attached Road Bars.

[wait for laughter to subside…]

The first trial exceeded all my expectations.  This was day-old snow—partially settled, and deep.  From the time-stamps on the photos, it took 1 hour and 30 minutes to clear the driveway and street entry.  Cool!  This is usually an entire morning project to accomplish.  Even after I was finished, I still felt great.  I was actually disappointed that my neighbors had already cleared their driveways the day before.   I had nothing left to shovel.

Later, my neighbor’s roof shed its entire snow load in one fell “SWOOMPH” — a 4-foot high compacted drift was instantly created on the path beside his house.  My neighbor then joked that I should tackle this drift with my “Franken-Scoop”.  So early next morning,  in the dark before he left for work, I attacked his drift with the same result as my own driveway the day before.  Who’s laughing now, Todd?

Working out has never been so fun.

Driveway cleared of snow using the FrankenScoop

Parked ATV... (The cover blew off just prior to the snowstorm)

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