Skibike History - The 1990's
The early nineties saw all the efforts of the previous fifteen years of design and innovation in skibike development come together. In 1990, Kevan combined all the experience he had acquired experimenting with earlier models and built one of the finest skibikes ever made.
This skibike was lightweight and strong and proved to have superiour handling capabilities either carving turns on hardpack slopes or floating in powder snow. The geometry of this skibike gave it an exceptionally stable ride and quick responsive handling. This is the skibike that won the North American Championships in 1991.
Shaped spring steel mounts were used for both the front and rear skis which made the attachment points strong and resistant to flexing. The other advantage of this method was that the skis were kept absolutely perpendicular to the frame, a prerequisite for smooth handling.
Because of the stiffer front ski, this skibike was highly responsive and required good technique, especially in deep powder snow where the front ski would point like a hound-dog on a scent towards pockets of deep snow on steep slopes, usually blocked at the other end by a wall of mountain flora, with only one exit barely large enough to squeeze through. This is also one of the reasons why skibikers, always wear helmets.
The high performance responsiveness of this skibike makes it exciting to ride, but is also one of the reasons why the more forgiving classic skibike design is still so popular. The softer front ski of the classic design makes it a little more forgiving in deep powder snow, since it's easier to keep your speed checked.
North American Skibike Championships In the spring of 1991, the North American SkiBike Championships were held at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. The race attracted about twenty-five competitors from Alberta, British Columbia and the North-Western United States. In a close finish, the race was won by Ian Watson of Calgary, Alberta.
Kevan's creativity didn't end there. He has continued to experiment and build innovative designs, including a microsized bike he built for his son in 1990. This miniature machine is a scaled down version of the larger skibike models and has proven to be quite popular with the kids.
Since then, skibiking has continued to flourish in Alberta and other provinces and in the United States, and continues to attract skiers interested in trying out something new. It has however, largely remained a niche sport enjoyed by a small group of dedicated enthusists, all of whom remain grateful to the many ski areas who continue to encourage and promote this exciting sport.