When Dave of BikeBoards reached out to me I never considered riding my bike on the snow. We are so spoiled with amazing riding all year long here on Vancouver Island, and snow bikes always seemed like useless products when I could have way more fun on the snow with a snowboard or skis. However, when I had a look at the BikeBoards they sparked my interest. Not made for simply riding your bike in the snow, they have practical uses as well. Plus, carving around on them is way too much fun!
Gearing up for my first day on the BikeBoards.
Like any new sport, there's a learning curve, but I quickly got a hang of it once I figured out how to get an edge.
We had a blast filming this video. The idea was to go on a long ride, starting off in the snow and working our way down to the dirt, accessing areas we normally couldn’t without skis on a bike. It was tricky linking everything together but we succeeded! One of the rad things about Vancouver Island is we can mountain bike, ski, and surf all in the same day. It’s an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise here. So why not try hitting snow and dirt on the mountain bike in the same day?
Starting off in the snow and navigating our way down to the dirt.
Dave’s stoke levels and approachability made me really want to work with him and try this product out. His story is intriguing:
“I originally started BikeBoards with the vision to do long back-country endurance events for myself and not have my tires sink in the snow. I wanted to invent something that could simply fit onto my tires with a pressure fit. Then it would be easier to push further into the back-country and ride my bike without sinking, no matter what the conditions were. Through a long process of working with my partners, we came up with what we have today called BikeBoards. With a quick adjustment of the jaw-pins and choosing the correct preset hole for your tire, you're off and riding. The best part is that you can drift or shred through powder and just enjoy surfing with your bike. Of course, when you're on hard-pack you have to learn to get an edge.” –Dave Bach
My initial reactions to the boards on my bike was lots of laughs. We were trying to film down a section of hard pack snow and I hadn’t actually tried them yet. I quickly realized that it is a completely different way of riding, and you need to develop the skills to get an edge and carve. Once I figured out how to carve better it opened up possibilities, but filming in Spring conditions made our project extra difficult. We didn’t have ideal powdery snow where BikeBoards thrive and learning to get an edge was pretty challenging. After a couple hours on the boards I started to get the hang of it. On icy snow, it’s a challenging ride, but once you get some powdery stuff it’s more care-free and a total blast!
Once I got a taste of powdery snow it made me realize what is possible on these boards. We never had the proper conditions to hit jumps or rail turns with both boards on, but I’m eager to try in the powder next snow season.
For Dave, he wanted to take the BikeBoards up the mountains to ride. Or take just one and ride some snowy trails. It was about going places that no other bike could go and create the adventures he wanted. He eventually wants to offer BikeBoard tours with companies that can fly you in with your own bike and drop you off at the top of the mountain.
Dave said, “One of my biggest goals is to ride in Patagonia and film the project as that would be a true snow adventure! Gotta go big and always seek adventure! Looking back, seeing your tracks down the slope, and realizing the freedom of making that happen is awesome! I see so many tires struggle in soft snow, or people let more air out to get better traction, but I wanted to do more. It comes down to what you want to do and where you want to go. With the BikeBoards we just create adventures for all bikes, and even help groom the trails by packing down the snow for other bikes.
"I think if we look back at how all types of winter sports were created, you would see the struggles they all had. For me it's fun to keep pushing the limits of winter biking and hope one day the resorts or adventure companies will see the vision we have for all bikes and give us a chance to ride and enjoy the snow. Snow biking has been growing for all types of bikes over the years, not just for the big tire bikes, but any bike you love to ride, so get outside and just ride!” –Dave Bach
Rider: Mark Matthews
Film/photo: Cade Stewart
Music: Gizmo Varillas - Freedom For A Change