Europe's recent cold spell has managed to freeze the canals all over the Netherlands. While it has been less cold in the north and a warmup may come before there can be an Elfstedentocht, there are many skating tours . This weekend, Jan 9 - 11, a variety of tours will be held with distances from 5km to 100km (see http://www.knsb.nl website, and then click on the button for "toertochten op natuurijs", which means 'tour on natural ice" tab, or the "toerschaatsen" tab (skating tour). The website is inundated with demand right now as skating fever has gripped the Dutch. A midweek tour with a marathon distance of 40km near the village of Kortenhoef attracted 20,000 skaters with some 250 members of the newsmedia. A check of www.videos.nieuws.nl/binnenland shows the news media has already done a fair amount of skating stories and now has managed to do a feature about people falling on the ice and getting injured. Local media everywhere do similar things--in the US the features on safe winter driving tips and sending the local reporter to the grocery store to show depleted bread shelves never fail to amuse, as if that 6 inches of snow is going to entrap your household and make your neighborhood into the Donner Party.
Editor - Jim
This blog weighs in on topics such as long-distance skating, the Illinois canals, cycling, and a variety of related (and occasionally not-so-related) topics. I'd like to correspond with others interested in skating the Hennepin and I&M canals.