If you’d mentioned snow biking in Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets to us five years ago we’d have scoffed in to our tea. Why would anyone want to ride their mountain bike in the snow? Surely that’s a pastime reserved only for the craziest professionals and most hardcore riders. But over the past few years we’ve been eating our words; thanks to the steady progression of e-bike technology, snow biking is becoming more and more popular, accessible, and dare we say it, fun. And with both Les Gets and Avoriaz announcing the addition of more snow-bike trails this winter, plus ski school Evolution2 offering snow biking for the first time in Morzine, we thought we’d better find out what the craic is.
So to start off, what exactly is snow biking? Well, it’s pretty similar to mountain biking, but you do it in the snow, and unfortunately you can’t use the lifts. However, as previously mentioned there are a number of trails in Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Gets that are perfectly suited to and safe for snow bikes. Snow-specific bikes come equipped with extra wide tyres and often with an electric motor. Because the snow is softer and slipperier than the mountain bike trails you might be used to, the extra surface area of the tyres and grippy tread pattern help you stay upright at all times. The electric motor gives you some extra power because, after all, pedalling uphill on a road bike is tough, let alone up a snowy piste!
And what about learning to snow bike? Do you just up and go, is there a particular area where you’re allowed to do it, do you have to supply your own helmet? Well, asked Antoine at Evolution2 and he assured us that every time you hire a snow bike, you go with a guide. Your guide will explain how the bike works, show you the best techniques and then take you on a guided ride so you don’t have to worry about getting lost. And you you can do it in your ski helmet (also make sure you turn up in sensible footwear and bring your gloves – not mitts!). Furthermore, you won’t return from your ride an exhausted, sweaty mess. Your bike guide will take you on trails to suit your level, and because the bikes are electric, riding uphill isn’t too taxing. Likewise, on the way down, those massive tyres will keep you glued to the snow. You might slide around a little bit, but that’s all part of the fun.
Evolution2 operates in Morzine and Avoriaz and they offer a range of snow bike excursions to suit you, from one-hour taster sessions to evening expeditions, where you cycle through the snow to a secluded restaurant, eat a traditional meal and then ride back to resort.
And there you have it! Snow biking in a nutshell. Fun, not too difficult, and a great way to spend an afternoon if the snow’s rubbish. If you’ve never tried it before, this winter’s the perfect opportunity.
Evolution2 Morzine offer ski lessons, backcountry workshops, guided hiking and snow-shoeing, sledging and paragliding alongside snow biking, so if you’re feeling adventurous this winter, fine out more HERE.