Personal Story...

Chapter 1


   In 1966 I was working as a lift operator at Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. Another employee, Steve Havig, who made the snow at night, showed me a one page article in February 1966 in Popular Mechanics Magazine on how to strip a bicycle and adapt skis to where the wheels were. Steve knew I could weld and wanted me to help him build a skibike. After looking at the article for a few minutes, I started laughing and told Steve if he wanted a skibike he would have to build it himself. What I didn't know was that Steve had everything he needed to build the bike in his car.  So, that night between checks on the snow guns, Steve built the bike in the ski area shop.

    When I came to work the next morning, Steve proudly showed me his new skibike. After about two runs on the beginners slope, which was serviced by a j-bar lift, I was hooked. The next week I scrounged together the material and constructed my first skibike.

   The next month Steve and I took our bikes to Trollhaugen Ski Area, in Wisconsin, and raced each other at their spring carnival. A writer, Ben Kern, who wrote a weekly ski column for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, was at Trollhaugen and interviewed Steve and me. Ben asked me if my fathers name was Sidney. When I said it was, he told that my father had taught him how to ski. The next week two pictures from the spring carnival appeared in the Minneapolis newspaper.  >see clipping below

   The next winter a press release from the newly formed American Skibob Association appeared in the St. Paul newspaper. The ASA was started in Denver by Lee McDonald. It was from Lee that I learned the machine was called a skibob in Europe, foot-skis were used, and there was a race circuit in several European countries. Lee and the ASA held several national championship skibob races at Arapahoe Basin, Colorado in the late 60's.


To be continued...  when we can persuade Fred to continue writing...




A copy of the 1966 Popular Mechanics article on the bicycle to skibike conversion can be seen at:

http://www.ski-bike.org/history2.html  (bottom of page)     


For more information on the early history of skibiking in America:


Fred Petersen

Transcendental Biker......


One of the most widely known figures on the skibike scene, Fred has been one of the great advocates of the sport throughout the last four decades. It would be difficult to find a more dedicated individual, he currently travels full time with a truck full of bikes throughout the winter season across North America, spreading the gospel of skibobbing. This is the beginning of his story...   ~R.R.