Loaded up the ski bike, my cheap Epic Pass, and drove to Vail Ski Resort yesterday. I then met up with Devin, Aaron, and Todd at Lionshead. It was the perfect day - a fresh dumping of snow and a clear blue sky day.
|Lenz Sport Launch skibike posse at Vail. Picture courtesy of Todd|
While riding around we were approached by lots of people on the hill. All were curious about the bikes and wanted to know where they could rent them, take lessons, buy one, or how did they stop. Everyone was friendly and there were no negative comments at all.
It's safe to say that everyone was watching us where ever we rode - including all the instructors. While riding under the chairlift that services a teaching area, it was obvious every instructor on the lift was watching us ride.
Quite a few instructors on the hill complimented my bike when I stopped near them. Todd got stopped by a few of his Ski Patrol buddies. Kevin stopped Todd and produced the memorable quote for the day "Todd, where did you get that and what's it called?" When they asked where to get one, I pointed down the trail to Devin and said "there's the builder".
We rode down to Devin where he answered more questions and offered to do a demo day just for Ski Patrol. Seems most patrollers there are downhillers too. As Todd had just learned to ride, he could explain what riding the bikes were like. We had just ridden down the bumps and crud of China Bowl so he could give a first timers viewpoint.
Speaking of China Bowl, that was pure awesomeness riding terrain. I had a blast in the soft moguls. We didn't have to answer the question "can you ride those in the moguls?" there. We were doing it.
During the day we also rode over to Gold Peak to take in the Dual Slalom Course races. Devin was sponsoring Jamas Stiber in the men's race and I kinda wanted to see if we could enter the skibikes into the event.
Once at the race area, alot of the riders flocked to see the bikes. A few had been on them and even they suggested we try to get the race officials to let us enter. As I wrote in an earlier post, I had been told that we couldn't but nothing helps like showing up and being there.
After a quick conference, they decided that we could do demo races after the official competition was over. Everyone had to wear helmets and sign liability waivers and that was it. The race officials were extremely welcoming and friendly. Such an awesome welcome to the Vail competition scene.
Devin raced against his nephew Aaron and I and Todd lent our skibikes to people Devin knew. Devin and Aaron raced first and hit the soft rutted course hard around the gates and flew big over the jump. Aaron crashed around one gate so Devin went for the win. Everyone cheered.
Looks like there could be some pegger specific events next year. Maybe some jumping or a boardercross BMX type course. If there's a demand, they'll let us in. Start practicing everyone and let the Vail Valley Foundation know that you're interested in entering.
After hitting China Bowl a few times, it was time to start heading back over to Lionshead. The sun was low in the sky and the lifts were closing. Devin and Aaron hit up some of Todd's favorite tree runs on the way down. We also hit up the kids adventure course that's mid-mountain. It has alot of wide banked turns that reminded me of a boardercross course. Again, awesomeness.
In all it was a really fun day. We got to ride Vail and were accepted as fellow snow sliders. Thanks to Todd for guiding us around the hill all day. Skibikers are welcome at Vail.
Congrats to Petr Hanak of Winter Park for the 1st place finish in the dual slalom race. Read more about it in the Vail Daily.
Video of the Winter Mountain Games from VitalMTB
Vail Winter Mountain Games 2013 - More Mountain Bike Videos
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