On the Hill: Gary Lunsky
Gary Lunsky has been the man behind the machine for 11 years at the Frisco Nordic Center, making sure every inch of the classic track is cut properly, and each foot of the skate skiing lane is groomed to perfection.But those who enjoy the top condition of the center’s approximately 50 kilometers of trails shouldn’t credit Lunsky. Instead the praise should go to longtime Nordic center concessionaires Gene and Therese Dayton, he said.”They are just the most dedicated people you’ve ever met in your entire life, and they’re the reason that we have this equipment,” Lunsky said. “They don’t even need to have this quality of equipment, but they want to have the best product they possibly can out there. … Once you have the right equipment, it’s pretty much cake.”
Lunsky works every day during the Nordic center’s season, adding up to about 160 consecutive days between November and March.The daily grooming tasks take Lunsky, who is the Nordic center’s only groomer, between four-and-a-half and six-and-a-half hours at the helm of the specialized snowcat he drives.Lunsky moved to Summit County 20 years ago for the downhill skiing, but several seasons later priorities changed for the lifelong hockey player who grew up outside of Detroit.”Someone said, ‘You know you can skate in the woods?’ Once I found out about that, I never downhilled again,” he said.
This season, he racked up 92 days on his skate and Nordic skis, in order to cross-train for his true passion, cycling.Lunsky typically rides year-round in Summit County and doesn’t even bother skiing, but the harsh winter this year forced him off his wheels and onto his skis until Feb. 11, when he got back on the bike.Once a road bike competitor racing around the country at the top level, Lunsky now says he rides for the physical fitness benefits and a pure love of the sport.
“I was already training about 35,000 miles a year on a bicycle and I realized I was just a middle-of-the-pack guy with the top guys … you know – I was getting old, I was 32 – I’m not going to be Lance Armstrong, I’m not going to make my living out of cycling.”Lunsky may not pay the bills winning races, but he has made a name for himself in Summit County as one of the best, if not the best, bike mechanic around.He was voted best bike mechanic in the Summit Daily News readers’ poll in 2004 and 2005 when he worked at Wilderness Sports. This summer, Lunsky will operate a mobile mechanic service called The Bike Doctor. The doctor can be reached at (970) 389-7391.
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