SkiBike Tour 2011-12 - New Horizons

Posted: Sunday, 29 January 2012 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

Carl used a Brenter skibob in Canada but his experience of pegger / freestyle skibiking is limited to the hour we spent at the SnoDome in Milton Keynes. My own experience of pegger / freestyle skibiking is from the short space of time spent with Serge from Firem. Over breakfast we discussed what goals we would like to achieve this week. He wants to be able to ride standing on the pegs on any type of run or off piste comfortably. I want to be able to ride my skibike on the pegs confidently with the same level of control that I would using my footskis. My main fear has been that I will find myself in situations were the skibike will run away with me, if I can reign in the beast, fancy acrobatics can come later.

Having considered the options, I suggested we used the Grand Platiers cable car to access the Serpentine piste, a gently sweeping motorway run, perfect for practicing our hockey stops and turns in safety. The run covers almost 1000 metres of vertical descent, giving plenty of time to build rhythm before the next ascent.

Luckily, in spite of a few slow speed falls, I survived unscathed. Poor Carl however, appeared to have sprained a quadriceps tendon in a bad crash, so we headed back to base camp for a dose of Ibuprophen, a knee brace and lunch. On the way back a lady having seen the skibikes asked me "Are they fun", "Yes", I replied, "It is a little bit like skiing and a little bit like riding a bike"... "Oooh" she said "I don't like riding bikes"... I politely suggested it might not be her thing.

After lunch, he switched over to his snowboard and joined me on a run down the Tourmaline piste.
His leg held out but the weather didn't, patches of dense hill fog and light snow rolled in, reducing visibility down to 50 metres or so. This easy cruising blue became as intimidating as a black run in the flat light. Unable to see where the bumps were, I crashed out a few times in a single run. I returned the skibike to the flat and quickly switched over to ski boots and SnowBlades. As luck would have it, conditions had improved considerably and I spent the remainder of the afternoon doing some reconnaissance and cross-training. I was genuinely surprised how much my skiing has improved since last April, thanks to summer sessions in snow domes and on dry slopes.

Flaine - as seen from the SkiBike Base Camp