EDEN, Utah (ABC4) — This weekend, dozens of riders from across the country will compete in the first annual Nordic Valley Ski Bike Festival. The festival will be on Jan. 21, at 8 p.m. If you participate, it is $25 for a lift ticket. Otherwise, it is $50 to watch the Amateur and Type III, and $75 to watch the Open.

Regarding the festival, Nordic Valley Ski Resort announced, “We have created a racecourse in The Gardens (off Crockett), full of berms, tabletops, and jumps!” 

What is ski biking? The American Ski Bike Association describes them on its website as, “bicycle-like devices engineered with skis instead of wheels to use the force of gravity to descend the slopes.”

“I’m a little flamboyant,” Kierra Keller a ski-bike rider, said, “I like to look really cool so I was like, ‘Hey, let me try one of those.’ After, like, two runs, I was ripping blue runs down the mountain.” Keller is the only female rider for SkiByk. She told ABC4 that she hopes more women will join the sport. She was hooked after that first ride and bought herself a bike the very next day.  

Keller is one of the dozens of riders from across the country who made the trip to compete in the first annual Nordic Valley Ski Biker Cross.  

 “We’re kind of starting this thing up from scratch so it’s kind of tough to start something from scratch.” Devin Lenz, owner of Lenz Sport Bikes said, “[…] nobody knows what we’re doing, but now we’ll be able to showcase this,”

Lenz is one of the few manufacturers in the U.S. to build ski bikes. His brand also sponsors professional riders like Rob Nichols who travels the world competing. He said he hopes to see the sport explode in popularity.   

“We’re kind of segmented and fragmented throughout the country,” Nichols said, “There’s not a ton of us. We are a growing sport which is super awesome.”  

Nordic Valley Ski Resort may increase Ski Bike popularity within the Beehive State.

“We want to give people the freedom to ski so if they want to get on a ski bike, that’s their choice,” Nordic Valley Marketing Manager Abbey Scott stated. “They can get on a ski bike and ride one of our lifts.”  

Riders explained that when a ski resort allows them to ride at the resort it is a big deal because ski bike riding has seen some pushback.

“You know, snowboarders went through that,” Chris Schuler co-owner of SkiByk said. “I started snowboarding in ‘84. In ‘85, ‘86, ‘87, we went through the same thing.”

Shuler said that he believes as more people are exposed to ski biking, find out how safe it is, and learn how accessible it is for people of all ages, then the pushback will stop.  

According to the American Ski Bike Association, only about one-third of resorts across the country allow it. 

“We don’t want to be in the way.” Nichols said, “We just want to share the slopes.”  

Eleven resorts in Utah allow ski biking on their slopes. Nordic Valley took it to the next level by building a new track and hosting the festival annually. Riders said they hope locals will jump on board and fall in love with ski biking.

“It’s just a lot easier on your body,” Keller stated. “And I think that’s what makes it fun because you can have fun for longer.”