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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Skibiking: Something New to Try

When we moved to this place in Northern New Mexico, being close to ski areas really didn't make one bit of a difference to us because we are not skiers. Skiing just wasn't something either of us could do without worrying that another knee or foot surgery lurked in the shadows, waiting to strike yet again.

But this writer is the little girl who regularly escaped from her nap time through the bedroom window as a toddler, her mom answering a ringing telephone to, "She's here again." "There" was the gas station down the block on the corner, where I was fascinated by the goings on there. They had to nail my bedroom window so it would only open a little bit. Nap time was the only rest my mom had.

This is the 3 year old girl whose daddy found her on the roof. Dad: "What are you doing up there?" Bridget: "Inspecting bird shit." Dad said, "Jump!" as he raised his arms to catch me. And jump I did.

I was a parents' nightmare, ready for an adventure wherever I could find one, and if there wasn't excitement right there, well, I could always make my own.

Just ask my elementary teachers.

But those are stories for another time. This is what I did yesterday, but I had no photographer to document "my first time," so here's Paul, instead.

Actually, The Beatles made me do it: in their movie Help, there was a scene where the boys were ski bobbing, another name for riding down a mountain on a bike outfitted with skis. That kind of stuck with me.

Last year I started searching to see if this sport was still around. Europe, for sure, would have it, because Switzerland is where they filmed the skibobbing scene.

So I found Sipapu Ski Resort, just over the mountains from our place, and they offered ski-bike rentals and lessons. I couldn't take the lessons last year because I hurt my hand, but I was determined to give it a try this season.

So yesterday I went on my own (Tom: "I'm not crazy!"), rented a bike and had my first lesson.

After a few practice runs on the never-ever-skied before students' slope, teacher Mike and I hopped on the ski lift, carrying our bikes on our laps, up the mountain. I was terrified because the bike had a leash attached to my foot and Mike warned me that if I let go of the bike, I should immediately raise my arms, lean backward and hold onto the back of the ski lift chair with both arms so the bike's weight wouldn't pull me off the lift. But the ride was peaceful and I exited the lift, bike sliding in the snow and me running alongside, with no crashes. I love this small ski area, Sipapu, because the lift operator at the end could see I was a learner and his hand was ready to stop the lift if anything happened.

Throughout our run down the mountain, Mike gave me pointers, showed me ways to turn, stop and slow down the bike's progress using the skis, my feet and digging in my heels. I had some spills, but unlike Paul's bike, pictured above, my bike was kind of a lowrider, so I didn't have far to fall. We slowly made it down the run and he asked me if I wanted to go up again.  I'd learned enough for one day and felt faint and hungry, so I had some more water from the communal Igloo water cooler and a bratwurst from the snack bar and drove home.

Little did I know that the faintyhungry feeling was the beginning of a stomach virus and all that entails. Around 8 pm I knew what was coming, so a meticulous cleaning of the toilet was in order.  I prayed to the porcelein god for most of the night.

So 24 hours later I am weak but have graduated to drinking herbal teas and maybe eating a banana. Coupled with the burning thigh muscles from my ski-biking lesson, I am a hot mess. And now so is Tom, but he was smart and hasn't eaten anything today.

 I will definitely go ski-biking again. But I will bring my own water and some hand sanitizer just to be on the safe side.


  1. I've always wanted to try this! Thanks for sharing your adventures. I hope you feel better very soon and can go back for more fun on the slopes.

  2. How adventurous you are! My sympathy on your stomach ailment... I had it in early January... hit me sideways all one night, laid me low the next, then passed on to my hubby for a day. I lost a couple of pounds from it, however, so it wasn't a totally bad thing... just kidding! Have fun on the ski bike!

  3. OMG girl! Didn't you say you were retired? (Actually, I'm jealous)

  4. Hope you're feeling better. Missed you a Modern Quilting yesterday - but we did elect you President of the guild. Linda


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