My wife and I used to downhill ski from time to time – I absolutely love it, but skiing got a little pricey on a single income… and with kids, finding the time was more than a little impractical. The skis went into the attic. I like to think maybe that has a chance at coming back at some point, though. Ski hills abound in lower Michigan and the skiing is amazing up north (in the norther lower peninsula and in the upper peninsula we have real mountains).
More in line with a “staying fit” type of sport, we’ve got cross country skiing, which I like but haven’t done in decades. I’ve found a lot of excuses to not bother, but this would be an excellent hobby to pick up for some winter playtime. Still, by the time you figure a full setup for my wife and I, you’re looking at some real money. On the other hand, cross-country skiing would be an awesome compliment to cycling. Along those same lines is ice skating or hockey. I’m proficient but skating went the way of skiing for me and I got the impression my wife never cared for it.
Then there’s the indoor winter sports like bowling… now, one could argue we can’t really call bowling a “fitness” hobby – but you wouldn’t be bowling with me if you can’t. I get my money’s worth. I can fit seven or eight games into a two hour session and actually pay attention to what I’m doing. Bowling is not a cheap sport, per se, and it leaves a lot to be desired for the non-dominant side of the body (the dominant arm and opposite leg get the bulk of the work), but hey, it’s winter. If you’re not a “love to be in the cold” outdoorsy type, bowling is an excellent sport for passing time in the winter – especially if you get yourself onto a league.
Of course, one can’t forget indoor cycling – whether at the Lexus Velodrome in Detroit, on a trainer in the living room… but the best, God help me for mentioning this (Brent), the winter fat biking in Michigan is simply stellar. You can get to a mountain bike trail anywhere in the lower peninsula, especially down by the population center in southeast Michigan, in less than a 30-minute drive (usually you’ll have two or three to choose from in a 30-mile radius. While I don’t partake in the fat biking, I have a growing number of friends who rip through the trails every chance they get.
In short, winter in Michigan is really quite spectacular. We get snow and cold, sure, but there are a lot of uses for it if you lead an active lifestyle. Listing the things I’ve taken part in over the years doesn’t really even scratch the surface of all there is to do in Michigan over the winter.