I went three years without touching ski to snow - the longest period of the time since the four of five years that passed between my birth and the first time I laid eyes on the endless expanse of white that I'd learn to love as a winter wonderland.
But alas, winter has come, El Niño has announced its overdue arrival and the snow has returned. Unlike for most Americans, the question "do you ski or snowboard?" elicits a different response, I'm a lifelong cross country skier. Based on my family's tendency for endurance sports and our overall gluttony for punishment, it should come as no surprise that 90%+ of my ski days are spent with one of the most physically demanding sports in the world.
There are plenty of parallels with cycling of course. Earn your speed, eat copiously, fitness meets fun and the prevailing fact that xc skiing goes at the right pace to see a lot in a day, without the world flying by too fast.
I'll be skiing a lot this winter to escape the rain and the wet roads, and racing a bit most likely. What is Hell Niño down in the warmer bay area is Very Well Niño up in Tahoe.