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Snowbiking in Colorado

Snowbiking at Copper MountainBunch of snowbikers having funDown the mountain on a snowbike at Copper Mountain

Snowbike frameI love skiing and it is by far one of my favorite outdoor activities, but I couldn't resist giving up the skis and trying the latest rage of bombing down the mountain, bouncing off the bumps, and enjoying the powder on a snowbike. A what? What the heck is a snowbike? I envisioned a mountain bike with snowtires, tires with studs, or chains. But that's not the case - a snowbike is a highly engineered piece of equipment that Europeans have been enjoying for years. Basically, you take what looks like a kid's modified mountain bike frame, extend the seat, and replace the front and back tires with short skis. And then you step into even shorter skis, about 16 inches long, with your normal ski boot, plop your butt on the seat and you're off - easy as riding a bike. Until you realize as you're bombing down the hill, there are no brakes! So just like skiing you fall or you turn and slow down by leaning into the mountain and digging the edges in! Wow, what a blast!.

When you rent a snowbike from Front Range, the instructor will ski with you until you feel comfortable skiing on your own. On each run, the instructor will give you some some tips and techniques and as soon as you (and he) feel comfortable they'll take you straight down the hill, through the trees, into the powder, or over the moguls. It didn't take long (one or two runs) for Scott and I to feel like we could control the bike and short skis and get off the green groomers and really enjoy snowbiking. And at the end of each run, I wasn't panting or nursing burning thighs, or sore knees and ankles! All of the pain of skiing was gone. I could save my Advil for another day!

Getting ready for another run with Scott

We tried it for a half day because my daughters wanted to give it a try - I think a part of trying it was they wanted to make a few runs with Alan (the owner of Front Range Snowbikes and our instructor and guide for the day), who they thought was adorable! Don't tell their husbands. After getting over the fear of getting on and off the chairlift, they quickly mastered the technique and loved this unique experience of snowbiking on Copper Mountain. Thanks Alan for all your help and lessons - we had a blast..

Snowbikes on the top of the mountainWhat I loved about snowbiking, in addition to a new way to enjoying the mountain, is it eliminates the burning thighs and eases the burden on the knees and is suitable for us older folks with less energy and tired old bodies - you're hardly breathing hard after a fast run down the mountain or through the moguls. Plus it gives you the same thrill and enjoyment as skiing - you can enjoy the groomers or challenge the bumps, cruise through the powder, or twist and turn through the trees. Boarders and advanced skiers will love this new experience. If you gave up skiing because of old age or knee or back problems, snowbikes will allow you to get back on the mountain - they put much less strain on the knee, ankle, and hip joints than skiing or snowboarding. For first timers, snowbiking is much easier than learning how to ski or snowboard - and you fall a lot less and it's much easier to get back up! Even if you love to ski, take the burden off you tired legs for a day and try snowbiking - you'll love it. Give Front Range Snowbikes a call. Oh, and if you're single, what a great way to meet chicks or guys - everybody watches you and comes up and asks you questions about snowbiking and is it easy and fun.

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