Ski Biking – An Old-time Silent Sport Returns to Door County?

In a press release on winter trail safety, the Wisconsin DNR casually dropped a term that made our heads turn: ski bike.

“[Trails coordinator Brigit] Brown said she has recently received reports of ski bikes – a bicycle with a ski in the front and a wheel in the back – operating on DNR trails.”

Hmm. Ski bike. That’s a new one. We did a quick Google search, and here’s what we found:

People have been ski-biking the Alps since the 1850s, and in 1939 the bikes featured in the movie Ski Birds. They became popular in the U.S. in the 1960s and ’70s and have taken on names, like “snowbike,” “skibike” and “skibob.”

Click here to see great vintage pictures of ski-biking celebrities and designs of original ski bikes.

There are a few styles of ski bikes. Sometimes they’re made with three skis – two in the back to stand on, one in the front connected to handlebars; two skis – one in the front and one in the back; two skis in the front and a wheel in the back; or one ski in the front and a wheel in the back. The styles without wheels must be for downhill resorts.

Watch this video from 1956, which recommends ski-bikers have “rubber backbones” and “superman biceps,” or this one from 1962, to get a better understanding of downhill ski biking.

Something like this is probably best suited for Door County trails, but we still haven’t seen one out there.

Have you? If you see someone on the trails with a ski bike, or decide to try doing it yourself, send us a picture via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Post published first on the Door County Visitor Bureau’s Silent Sports Insider blog>>