SkiBike Tour 2014-15 - Good News & Bad News

Posted: Saturday, 17 January 2015 by Mark Kinnon in Labels: , , ,

So there's good news and there's bad news...

I will start with the bad news....

To the best of my knowledge, this is proving to be the worst ski season since the Blog started in 2010. This Christmas many slopes had no snow at all at and it wasn't just the low altitude ski stations that were affected. Even in famous resorts like Morzine, the lifts remained shut and guests were sent by bus to neighbouring Avoriaz, at which few slopes were open and tickets were rationed to avoid over crowding, I can only guess how hellish that must have been.

Then on New Years Eve snow arrived in such quantity that many were stranded on change-over day for hours on end, with motorways and access roads grid locked. The huge dump promptly melted in the subsequent heat wave, leaving pistes bare or icy and off-piste non existent.

An awful lot of fresh snow is now needed in order to build a firm, cold base before the strengthening sunlight drives warmer temperatures in February. If this doesn't happen, the season will be a total write-off. At the time of writing it looks like mother nature is providing a much needed top up, but will it be enough? For these reasons I am delaying the start of my 2014-15 tour, which really annoys me, as I was particularly looking forward to rides with both novice riders and the usual suspects.

So now to the good news....

Wayne has written a couple of cracking new skibike design articles and I have finally got round to producing one myself on modifying the Alpine Skibikes conversion kit to give more stable and progressive handling. These topics remain one of the most popular according to the statistics and I will be publishing them to fill in the gaps caused by the lack of touring posts.

Alpine Skibikes conversion kit - modified for better control

A lot of new members have joined the group, including a few from the UK with planned holiday trips. There has been renewed interest in Scotland as a skibiking destination, perhaps due to the poor snow cover in regular European resorts. I will need to update the situation regarding skibike access, as I suspect things have moved on since my last visit back in 2010.

Two exciting indoor skibiking developments are in the pipeline.

I have been contacted by a UK centre that wants to make skibikes and snowscoots much more of a mainstream activity, needless to say, once all the health & safety and liability issues have been ironed out.
I have also discovered a local company that has been running weekend trips to Bottrop, Germany from London in the UK. Working with them would really open up the possibility of many more "Introduction to Skibiking" outings in 2015. This would be a fantastic opportunity for skibike virgins  to finally take the plunge and break their skibiking duck.

"Introduction to Skibiking" outings in 2015 - could be on the cards

Also for 2015, we have a shiny new European Skibike Association with a bias towards modern era freestyle skibike riding, this is a radical departure from the stuffy, traditional skibob clubs and associations. I expressed a little too much enthusiasm about this prospect and have been drafted in as a board member, mostly to look after the web site. Some cooperation between the European skibike manufacturers would really add to the momentum, so far only SledgeHammer Skibikes are involved, BullSkate, Firem VS and Avalanche Skibikes, please take note.

This website is all about the gathering together of like minded individuals to ride the slopes of both Europe and America. I am hoping there will be record breaking snowfall in the forthcoming weeks and I will have the opportunity to get in some quality riding in late February.
Till then, keep the faith.


  1. I should overhaul the circumstance with respect to skibike access, as I think things have proceeded onward since my last visit in 2010.

    Alma Wittrock