SkiBike Tour 2012-13 - Paul's First Skibike Lesson

Posted: Friday, 15 February 2013 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

It was forecast to rain this morning, so I was surprised to wake to heavy snow falling outside my window. The mountain tops were shrouded in the clouds, so it looked like visibility was going to be a problem, but there was going to be plenty of fresh snow to exploit. Paul has been keen to have a go at skibiking and has only a few precious days left before he returns to London. Furthermore, warm, dry and sunny weather is forecast for the next few days. In short, today was going to be the best opportunity for Paul to try skibiking in the 2013 season.

We headed to Les Carroz, it is only about 20 minutes from Cluses, is skibike friendly, has a good sized telecabin and lots of gentle blue graded runs through wooded areas.

We assembled my two Marin based DIY skibikes, I showed Paul how they can be carried conveniently and safely "over the shoulder", then we got our lift tickets and headed uphill. Outside the telecabin top station there is a short steep hill that is always busy with passing traffic. I suggested to Paul that we should walk about half the way down so that he wouldn't have to do anything too tricky to start.

Once out of the danger zone, I demonstrated how a beginner can traverse a hill, stop, lift the skibike around to face the other way and traverse back in the reverse direction. Further down, where the gradient was more gentle, I was able to show how you can make a skidded turn, using the "throw a leg out" method to aid balance.

Paul seemed to take it all in his stride and I was rather envious of his ability to remain so tidy and determined to keep his feet on the pegs whenever possible.

Paul Kinnon - tidy skibiking

We practised the "hockey stop" technique in order to stop in an emergency. After that it was just a question of playing a bit of "follow the leader" and getting some more experience.

Paul took a break in the afternoon as he found skibiking to be somewhat more physical than he had been expecting. This gave me the chance to head over the hill and play on the awesome deep fresh snow above Les Molliets.

Picking my way either around or over the moguls, all the while avoiding the nervous beginner skiers and sundry other hazards, it suddenly dawned on me... I have my skibike mojo back, Huzzah!