Wing, wheel and dog. What to do in Ulyanovsk in winter

How can Ulyanovsk residents spend the winter brightly, so that it will be remembered not by boring home evenings, but by interesting adventures? Just discover new unusual winter sports.

Today, in addition to the good old skis, skates and sledges, we have at our disposal a lot of various entertainments that are designed to cheer you up in the “harsh winter season”. Some of them take place on specially equipped sites. But there are those who are able to organize even in their own yard. The main thing is your desire and passion.

Skiing with a dog

If you add a dog to the skis, you get a skijorg. It’s not exactly a new winter sport. Indeed, in the old days, dog sledding was an element of the Aboriginal way of life. During the absence of transport in the remote northern villages of Kamchatka and Chukotka, local residents could only survive thanks to dogs – go hunting, travel long distances. Today, there are very few camps that have preserved the ancient way of life. But there are numerous bases for tourists, where everyone can feel like a musher and ride with the breeze on a team.

“Now in Russia there are competitions in three official disciplines: this is skijoring – the discipline of sledding, the towing race in cynological sports and the towing of a skier – a sports discipline in service dog breeding,” says Nikita Zhilnikov, trainer of the Ulyanovsk region cynological sports team. – By the way, the Ulyanovsk team is in good standing in the country both in the towing race and in skijoring. From 2017 to 2019, the Ulyanovsk region team was the first in the towing race at the Russian Championship – in the relay and in the team event.

Almost all more or less large breeds participate in amateur competitions. According to Nikita Zhilnikov, it is not huskies that are most suitable for towing, but shepherd dogs, riding mestizos or kurtshars – cops, which are now increasingly used as sled dogs. At the same time, it takes at least a year to prepare a dog for skijoring and towing.

– We joke that taking care of a dog is like taking care of a Formula 1 car. Because it is care, vaccinations, feeding. Moreover, the athlete should pay even more attention to the dog’s nutrition than to his own, says Nikita Zhilnikov.

EXPENSES: from 200 thousand rubles. At least 50 thousand is the purchase of a dog, and then the cost of maintaining it as an athlete. Plus for a person professional skis, sticks and equipment.

On skis and wings

Snowkiting is a sport that was talked about in the Ulyanovsk region 10 years ago. It differs from others in that the skier or snowboarder holds a kite in his hands, which helps him move on smooth snow-covered surfaces. For kitesurfers, the weather is of particular importance, since on a calm day they simply will not be able to move. And there are no problems with the wind in the Ulyanovsk region.

True, the kiters themselves, despite the availability of conditions, are not as numerous in the Ulyanovsk region as they could be. Firstly, kiting, and especially snowkiting, is a very traumatic sport.

– But if you liked it, if you are ready to continue kiting, then the risk of injury is covered by the sensations that you get, by the adrenaline that is in your blood, – says kiter Daria Ivanchikova.

To get acquainted with kiting live, the expert advises under the supervision of an experienced, certified instructor. You can try your hand at kite piloting in Togliatti. Start your skiing and snowboarding adventure on horizontal, flat surfaces, but with good, controllable speeds. The cost of learning to kite in the snow is 1,500 rubles per hour, including equipment rental.

EXPENSES: about 200 thousand rubles. One wing alone costs about 40 thousand. And besides him, you still need a control bar, a trapezoid – a structure with which the kite lines are attached to the body. Both are at least 10 thousand rubles, at a big discount. And, of course, skis or snowboards plus the appropriate equipment.

For advanced kiters, equipment rental will cost an average of 1,500 rubles for two hours. In Togliatti you can find a wide selection of rental kites from 3.5 sq. m to 17 sq. m, different shapes (freestyle, freeride), waist and seated harnesses, snowboards, skis, boots.

Ice and two pedals

In order to assemble an iron horse to conquer the expanses of snow, you need not so much, says Yuri Volkov from Ulyanovsk. He does not part with a bicycle either in summer or in winter.

– I have been cycling in winter for more than 30 years. I started back when there were no special tires or frames. I rode the most ordinary bikes, – Yuri smiles. – Now, of course, there are more opportunities for comfortable winter cycling. Start with the smallest slides and of course don’t forget your helmet.

Yuri Volkov gives two main recommendations for those who decide on winter cycling. First, be sure to use studded tires. You can, of course, try on a regular one, but then the risk of falling will be much higher. Recommendation #2: steel frame. Yuri explains this by the fact that steel withstands frost better than, say, aluminum.

By the way, if only a few people ride bicycles in Ulyanovsk in winter, competitions in this sport are held in other cities. In Irkutsk – on the ice of Lake Baikal, in Vladivostok – on the ice of the Pacific Ocean, in St. Petersburg – along the rivers and canals.

EXPENSES: a bicycle with a steel frame – 11 thousand rubles, the same amount – studded tires. We add here the “turtle” protection, a helmet and winter clothes and we get an amount of about 40 thousand rubles.

Ice and motor

Do you think that speeding up on the ice on the map and not losing control is not an easy task and is available only to professionals? Not at all, beginners can also try themselves as a race car pilot. Despite being extreme, ice karting is considered relatively safe. The power of the karts is 12 horsepower, and this is enough for an adult large man to accelerate the car to 100 km / h.

This year, a winter track was flooded at the karting track in the Zasviyazhsky district, where training sessions and unofficial competitions are held. Why unofficial? Because in our climate there is not enough resource for full-fledged events.

– Winter karting is an official sport. But there are few competitions in Russia on it, and mainly beyond the Urals. Frosts come early there, and some lakes freeze to the bottom. This is very important, because in one competitive day, sports cards cut the ice by 15 – 20 centimeters, – explains the judge of the highest All-Russian category in motor sports Pavel Mironov.

But even without competition, winter karting is great for practicing coordination on the track. Frozen rivers can also potentially serve as a route for ice karting. But here you need to take into account the thickness of the ice. At the end of last year in the Ulyanovsk region, the story of a Togliatti kart driver who went with his car under the ice, riding on the river near Dimitrovgrad, made a sensation. Luckily for him, the river was shallow and everything ended with a wet suit and equipment.

COSTS: The frame and engine for a new sports kart will cost at least 300 thousand rubles. This is without rubber. One set of tires – about 20 thousand more. And it is enough for one full training day. Add here a helmet for 40 thousand and other ammunition – protection, overalls, underwear, gloves. The total amount will be about 500 thousand rubles. But, as Pavel Mironov rightly says, professional sports are never cheap.


In the center of hippotherapy “Luchik” you can try yourself in equestrian skijoring. In this sport, the rider controls the horse, and the skier or snowboarder clings to it with the help of special reins.


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