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PSIA Vail Spring Fling - Doing the Strength Based Teaching Clinic ON A SKIBIKE!!!!!

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Last fall I injured my foot and knee so no snowboarding at all this season.   I'm peg skibike instructor only this season.


It's forced me to up my game and try new teaching techniques on the fly.  I've stolen alot from other disciplines.  It's somewhere between skiing and snowboarding.


For example:


I had five people sign up for the three hour beginner skibike lesson one Saturday about three weeks ago.


One husband/wife couple  - downhill mountain bikers, a little experience snowboarding and skiing - now hate snowboarding and skiing

One brother/sister  - never been downhilling or any snowsport experience

One guy say 50ish - former motorcyclist but was in wreck 15 years ago.  Declared paraplegic and told would never walk again.  He showed up barely able to walk and weaving horribly using a cane.  He said he used to have great balance.  He tried a sit-ski the day before and didn't like it.


I have NO adaptive training.  I told the gentleman as much but told him I'd try if he was willing.  He wanted to try.  He was 6'4" and probably around 220 lb.  I was scared.


Everyone else in the lesson didn't mind so I didn't mind.  I got everyone to introduce themselves, where they were from, and why they signed up for a skibike lesson. 


First challenge - the lift.  I rode up with with my adaptive client.  I had to ask the lifties for a full stop at the bottom and the top so he could weave down the ramp (and I mean WEAVE) using his cane and push the bike.  He insisted on no other special treatment.  NSCD uses these procedures all the time on the same lifts.


The other clients quickly rallied around him and shouted encouragement.  He struggled on the flats (due to height, weight, and fresh deep powder) and I had to adjust my progressions. 


Once we got to the steeper terrain (solid Winter Park intermediate trail) he applied all that he learned on the flats.    And rode the bike like a total badass even while holding his cane above the handlebars.  He even coached another client on their hockey stops while I was coaching a client.


His stated goal at the beginning of the lesson was he wanted 'to be able to ride on the slopes with his kids.  He hadn't been able to do it in 15 years since his wreck'.


We went to the pass office and I got him his skibike license.  Everyone in the class shook his hand.   He immediately went and reserved/rented a bike for the next day.  He mentioned that he wanted to learn moguls in a few days.


The guys in the rental shop asked me how he did.  They heard he was a total badass on the bike.   They were cheering.   These are normally very reserved and grumpy guys.



I'm taking the Strength Based Teaching clinic at Vail Spring Fling.   I have to do it on a skibike.   Maybe some of your clients need this as an option for snowsliding?    I'm willing to share my experiences teaching the peg skibike (not skibob) to fellow clinic attendees.    I'm registered and have official permission from PSIA-RM and the clinic leader to use a skibike.


Are you up to the challenge?   Join me for this clinic.   It's being lead by Leon Littlebird.


Edited by daysailer1 - 3/6/14 at 8:21am
post #2 of 3

Cool story. Is there a certification for skibikes?


Are you leading a skibike session, or are you joining a ski coaching group but riding your skibike?


Should I be be concerned about someone coming up behind me on a skibike? How much control is there on them?

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm not leading the clinic - Leon Littlebird is.   I've talked with him a number of times when he has been over at Winter Park.    Usually likes other instructors to bring up teaching successes.    I have to ride the bike due to some injuries I got last fall.  I don't want this clinic cancelled due to lack of participants.   I need the clinic credits for my certification.  I called the PSIA-RM office to get permission to do the clinic on a skibike and emailed Leon to get permission.  This particular clinic is open to skiers and snowboarders.  Leon is familiar with skibikes so it wasn't too hard of a sell.  He also likes to include different disciplines.


There is currently no certification for skibikes.   The American Skibike Assoc is trying to change that.   This is one very small step in that direction.   I'm trying to create awareness amongst PSIA-RM members and create recognition for it as a separate discipline.    There are two new skibike rental places in Colorado this season.  One in Frisco in Summit County and the other in Vail.  They are currently taught at Winter Park, Steamboat, Durango, Crested Butte, Tellluride, and a few other joints.


Are you concerned about people who come up behind you who are on skis?  It really is the same thing.   They have the same control as skiing if one takes lessons from the start.   I am worried about the homebuilt ones.   They never take lessons and can have sketchy rides.  Most homebuilt are not allowed in Colorado.  I've seen skiers have much less control though.  I've seen skiers run into trees and other instructors.

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