SkiBike Tour 2012-13 - Notre Dame De Bellecombe SnowBike Race

Posted: Thursday, 7 February 2013 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , , ,

Tonight was the first ever SnowBike race night to be held at Notre Dame de Bellecombe. I was invited along and was glad to attend, thinking that attendance would be low and I could add my support, although nothing could be further from the truth as I was to find out later. I was told it was to be a single marque Brenter only race, something that didn't bother me, I learnt on Brenter and have been back on them a couple of times since.

Arriving at around 3 in the afternoon, I registered for the race at James Sport, owned by skibike enthusiast James Mollier Camus. I got myself a lift pass and located Ric Platt from SkiBike Ltd. who had arranged for me to get a Brenter. I was assigned my skibike and footskis and went up the hill to refresh my skibob technique. I put in a few runs and slowly the technique began to come back to me although to be honest I think I was doing a lot more skiing with my feet than skibike riding.

Ric tracked me down after an hour and explained that there weren't enough hire skibikes to go round and could I do the race on my own. I didn't need any encouragement, but I retained the foot skis and hard boots for the drag uplift, the plan being to ditch the footskis for the race, I collected my race vest and headed up the hill.
We were allowed to view the slalom course 30 minutes prior to the start of the race, I was pleased to see that it was in soft snow and not the usual boiler plate much loved by racing types. That bit done we had to wait above the start gate in our running order for the race to begin.
It was a magical moment, sat high up on a floodlit hill in the soft snow waiting for the start of the race, the pa announcements from the village below drifting up whilst snowflakes softly descended all around us like a veil.

So how did I do?

So how did I do? If you want a quick summary - pretty dismal.

I made my first run in 1 minute 13 seconds, the only person slower was ESF instructor James Mollier Camus who had crashed out, recovered and still made it down only 5 seconds slower. On my second run I crashed monumentally after the first gate when I could no longer hold the pedals in my slippery hard boots.

I have only had the opportunity to bench mark myself in this way against other riders twice. Once again it has served a valuable purpose, as I have have learnt two things:

1. I am an irredeemably uncompetitive rider, perhaps it's time to quit racing?
2. Riding a freestyle/pegger skibike with hard ski boots is bad news.

Riding a freestyle/pegger skibike with hard ski boots is bad news

My thanks go to the sponsors and organisers of the SnowBike Race Night at Notre Dame de Bellecombe, it was brilliantly well organised. There was some seriously good kit being given to all riders, no-one went home empty handed. I hope that this will be a regular event, although I might duck out of future engagements and stick to falling down ice waterfalls, which I seem to be better skilled at.

Skilled lady skibikers