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==========February 21-25, 2007


    The 5th Annual Purgatory SkiBike Festival was held on the last full week of February at Durango Mountain Resort, in southwest Colorado. Over 100 riders from the United States, Canada, England, and Austria journeyed to the San Juan's to commune with fellow bikers. Unlike last year, the snow gods  blessed us with plenty of the white stuff, to enhance our sliding pleasure.

       Upon arrival, the first impression was that half of the central courtyard was missing, replaced by a giant crane. Many of the service buildings at the base had been demolished, to make way for replacements and condominiums. Apparently, the world needs more million dollar condos?

       Skibike exhibitors included reps from: Brenter, Bikeboard, Koski, Lenzsport, Stalmach and Triage (sleds). SkibikeFun, a New Mexico based multi-line retailer, was also present. They represent: Crighton, Hanson, Sledgehammer, Snowscoot, Venom and others.

        Repeat visitors from other lands included: Former World Champion and skibike manufacturer Jacek Stalmach from Austria and FISB representative Kevin Rochfort from Great Britain. North American Brenter distributor Brian Stolle again made the commute from Canada.

       Competition events were staged over the weekend for those wishing to test their skills (see pictorial below). This year, we had use of two new gate courses set up on the Upper Hates run. A tight, technical Slalom and a longer, faster Giant Slalom were offered. The MultiCross course was not available this time around, here's hoping for a return next season.

       Steamworks Brewery of Durango was again the beer sponsor for the event providing free after- hours refreshment to all skibikers at Purgy's. A much appreciated perk after a long, hard day of slidin!

They also provided a nice event poster, featuring an exemplary photo by photographer Kevin Rochfort.

       Fred Petersen and Mike Sparkman hosted a dinner/movie party at the Elk Point Community Center adjacent to the ski area Saturday night. We all chowed down on pizza, watched skibiking movies, and shared a few lies. There was also a display of vintage skibikes and memorabilia.      

        This year many of us bunked at the excellent Silverpick Lodge, about a mile down the road from  Purgatory. Mandy Miller made the arrangements, and we had skibikers-exclusive possession of the facility Fri-Sun. Of course, in typical biker style, we raped, pillaged, and generally destroyed the joint...

       The closing ceremony was held outside Purgy's bar late Sunday afternoon, with race metals being distributed in the falling snow, the snow gods bidding us a fond farewell.

       Another one bites the dust...er snow... We shall meet again! Presumably, on February 20-24, 2008. I would like to express my earnest appreciation to Event Director Roy Meiworm and Durango Mountain Resort for hosting this event for 5 glorious years!      ~Rod Ratzlaff



Competition Eventswp5a78b4e6.gif


The Koski clan

Photo: Jeff Butcher


A look back to the beginning of it all...

Photo: "Thru The Lens" Mountain Photos


Photo: Roy Meiworm

Ridin' the chair...


Photo: Jeff  Butcher

Here comes da sheriff...

Photos(L&R): Roy Meiworm

The latest in skibike seat design >


> And the designer: Fred Petersen


Photo: Jeff  Butcher


Photo: Jeff  Butcher

Sales display: Brenter


Photo: Roy Meiworm

Sales display: Triage/Lenzsport/Koski/Others


Photo: Roy Meiworm

Sales display: Stalmach

Photos(4): Jeff  Butcher

Hangin' out at the local bar(s)...


Photo: Jeff  Butcher

The Saturday night dinner/movie party >


Photo: Jeff  Butcher

> with vintage bikes and memorabilia on display


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

Beware: Biker Gang!


Photo: Roy Meiworm

The face of concentration..


Photo: Roy Meiworm

The Giant Slalom course

Class Winners


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

Jacek Stalmach


Photo: Roy Meiworm

Chris Marriott


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

Ron Mickelberry


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

Debbie Wyckoff


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

Mandy Miller


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

Generally the fastest "Pegger", Matt Hanson riding a bike of his own manufacture


Photo: Roy Meiworm

Ron Mickelberry demonstrates his distinctive start technique...


Photo: Kevin Rochfort

James Coleman, Sipapu (NM) resort manager


Bart Stoneback takes the long way around a gate...

Photo: Kevin Rochfort


Photo: Roy Meiworm

Hurry up  and wait...

Contests: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Combination

Complete results are listed below

Participant Review...


The Awards Ceremony

All Photos: Roy Meiworm

* The various class podium finishers, some of whom appeared multiple times, are all pictured except for Javen Bernakevitch, Willaim Fausel, Patrick Neelan and Nadine Stefan for whom photos are not available. Photo names relate left to right. See the results listed below for full details.  



Kevin Rochfort


Chris Marriott, Bart Stoneback, Craig Carroll


Jacek Stalmach


Ron Mickelberry, Maynard Schweigert, Rod Ratzlaff


Mandy Miller, Debbie Wyckoff, Mattie Wyckoff


Mix free beer and geezers and this is the result...




  [Men]: 1. Jacek Stalmach 00:43.84 (Stalmach)


  [Men]: 1. Chris Marriott 00:46.80 (Flachsmann) 2. Bart Stoneback 00:53.34 (Brenter) 3. William Fausel 00:55.04 (Stalmach) 4. Matt Hanson 00:55.27 (Hanson) 5. Rusty Davis 00:55.64 ((***)  6. Mike Sparkman 00:56.12 (Brenter) 7. Craig Carroll 00:56.49 (Brenter) 8. Devin Lenz 0:57.01 (Lenz) 9. Scott Knapp 00:57.79 (Stalmach) 10. Wes Poole 00:59.27 (Koski) 11. Billy Innis 01:08.42 12 (Lenz) 12. Keaton Hendrikson 01:08.84 (Koski)

  [Senior Men] 1. Ron Mickelberry 00:53.04 (K2) 2. Maynard Schweigert 00:59.30 (Stalmach) 3. Rod Ratzlaff 00:59.99 (Velocity) 4. Patrick Neelan 01:00.07 (Stalmach) 5. Marbin Wanner 01:00.87 (***) 6. Clark Stoneback 01:02.97 (Brenter) 7. Jeff Butcher 01:03.49 (Koski) 8. Bill Walston 01:07.37 (Brenter)

 [Women]: 1. Debbie Wyckoff 01:00.36 (Stalmach) 2. Mandy Miller 01:02.15 (Flachsmann) 3. Mattie Wycleoff 01:04.79 (Stalmach) 4. Emily Poole 01:14.39 (Koski)

Giant Slalom:


  [Men]: 1. Jacek Stalmach 00:55.85 (Stalmach) 2. Javen Bernakevitch 01:10.49 (Brenter)

  [Women]: 1. Nadine Stefan 01:19.88 (Brenter)


  [Men]: 1. Chris Marriott 00:58.49 (Flachsmann) 2. Bart Stoneback 01:06.37 (Brenter) 3. Craig Carroll 01:07.81 (Brenter) 4. Wes Poole 01:07.91 (Koski) 5. William Fausel 01:09.10 (Stalmach) 6. Robert Clad 01:10.32 (***) 7. Matt Stoumen 01:10.42 (Koski) 8. Scott Knapp 01:11.57 (Stalmach) 9. Mike Sparkman 01:13.02 (Brenter) 10. Keaton Hendrikson 01:21.45 (Koski) 11. David Baker 01:22.21 (***) 12. Kenny Gensel 01:31.41 (Hanson)

  [Senior Men] 1. Ron Mickelberry 01:06.65 (K2) 2. Maynard Schweigert 01:10.99 (Stalmach) 3. Patrick Neelan 01:13.62 (Stalmach) 4. Jeff Butcher 01:13.80 (Koski) 5. Marbin Wanner 01:17.54  6. Clark Stoneback 01:19.08 (Brenter) 7. Rod Ratzlaff  *DQ (Velocity)

  [Women]: 1. Mandy Miller 01:12.86 (Flachsmann) 2. Debbie Wyckoff 01:15.69 (Stalmach) 3. Mattie Wycleoff  01:20.97 (Stalmach) 4. Emily Poole 01:21.33 (Koski) 5. Donna Sparkman 01:46.23 (Brenter)



  [Men]: 1. Jacek Stalmach 01:39.69 (Stalmach)


  [Men]: 1. Chris Marriott 01:45.29 (Flachsmann) 2. Bart Stoneback 01:59.71 (Brenter) 3. William Fausel 02:04.14 (Stalmach) 4. Craig Carroll 02:04.30 (Brenter) 5. Wes Poole 02:07.18 (Koski) 6. Mike Sparkman 02:09.14 (Brenter) 7. Scott Knapp 02:09.36 (Stalmach) 8. Keaton Hendrikson 02:30.29 (Koski)  

   [Senior Men] 1. Ron Mickelberry 01:59.69 (K2) 2. Maynard Schweigert 02:10.29 (Stalmach) 3.  Patrick Neelan 02:13.69 (Stalmach) 4. Jeff Butcher 02:17.29 (Koski) 5. Marbin Wanner 02:18.41 (***) 6. Clark Stoneback 02:22.05 (Brenter)

  [Women]: 1. Mandy Miller 02:15.01 (Flachsmann) 2. Debbie Wyckoff 02:16.05 (Stalmach) 3. Mattie Wycleoff 02:25.76 (Stalmach) 4. Emily Poole 02:35.72 (Koski)



CONTESTS: Slalom: Best of 2 runs (Timed) Giant Slalom: Best of 2 runs (Timed)

Combination: Sum-total timing of the Slalom and Giant Slalom

     Thinking of going to the Annual Purgatory Ski Bike Festival? Don’t hesitate, JUST GO!! I was fortunate enough to attend the Durango, Purgatory 5th annual Ski Bike Festival and had a great time!

      I flew into Durango arriving on a Wednesday evening. While on the phone trying to make arrangements for a ride to Silverpick Lodge Mandy Miller shows up to give me a lift. Thanks Mandy. Was a nice drive and had a great conversation with you. She had made arrangements for about 50 snow bikers to stay at the Silverpick Lodge. What a great place! Thanks Mandy!! Great idea! They have a bar, restaurant, game room, laundry, great views, great service, comfortable rooms. I can go on and on about the Silverpick Lodge, but check it out for yourself: (www.silverpicklodge.com). Thanks to Chris Wing (the owner) and his staff for their hospitality.

       On Thursday morning I arrived at Durango Mountain Resort around at 8:30am with great anticipation to ride! I met the Brenter guys, Chris Marriot and the crew. Nice bunch of guys. Met Jacek Stalmach (former world champion from Austria), Maynard Schweigert, Bob & Sherl Rau, Roy Meiworm (Purgatory Lift Operations Manager), Rod Ratzlaff (American Ski Bike Assoc President), the Lenzsport crew, Matt Hanson, the two Sheriff’s deputies with sirens on their bikes, etc…the list goes on and on….. In fact I can now say I have never met a snow biker I didn’t like and mean it. Of course I already know all the Koski guys, I ride a Koski myself and Don and I are friends. There was a rumor that Rod Ratzlaff wouldn’t make it due to pneumonia? Glad it turned out to be just that, a rumor. It was great to finally meet you Rod.

       I was like a kid in a candy store. I ride at Sierra Tahoe and usually ride by myself. Not a lot of snow bikers there, but, Purgatory’s 5th Annual Ski Bike Festival, Colorado! Snow bikers everywhere! I was in my element. If you ride a snow bike you have to come to the Festival!

      I couldn’t wait to get on the lift for my first ride. Plenty of snow and ready to go. I adventured around for a few hours getting to know the trails. Met and rode with some great people the first day. Rode with Kevin Rochfort from England, Ron Mickelberry, Chris Marriot, Mandy Miller, the Koski boys and more! After 4pm the beer was free at Purgy’s to all snow bikers! Can’t beat that! Had a fantastic first day on the slopes riding and meeting snow bikers from everywhere.

      At the end of the day, a quick change, and I headed to the bar (just around the corner from my room) for a beer and some food. Had a few beers, some food, some laughs and good company. But I was tired from the previous day so I turned in early to get a good nights sleep.

       Friday was even better than Thursday. More and more snow bikers were showing up and the Silverpick Lodge was filling up. I just couldn’t get enough of Purgatory! Long runs and beautiful views. Checking out all the manufacturers’ bikes. I was in Snow Bikers Heaven!

       Saturday was the slalom competition. Little icy on the first couple of  poles. In fact I fell on the second turn and ended up being the first snow biker to fall. Damn! Haha, anyway I fell within the gate and got back on my bike to finish my first run. My second was better. Sure wish they would have allowed us to practice the course though.

       Sunday was the giant slalom competition. I was looking forward to the multicross but it was cancelled this year. The giant slalom was fun though. Faster than the slalom. I like going fast. The big air event was also cancelled. I heard mention that Durango Mountain Resort will try and host all the events next year, slalom, giant slalom, multicross and big air. Looking forward to it.

      In the afternoon on Sunday we all got together for the snow bikers group photo! No way was I going to miss that! Right after the photo all of  us who were there (about 50) took off on a Chinese Fire Drill. Now if I remember right, a Chinese Fire Drill would have been all of us in a row right behind each other. It turned out we all split up about 5 wide and 10 deep going down the mountain absolutely dominating the slope! I wish I had a picture from the chair with all of us tearing up the mountain. That would have been an amazing shot!

      The competition was fun, but meeting all the snow bikers, checking out the different rides and riding down some great slopes was really the highlight of the trip. It was amazing! I am going to try and make it every year! I had a great time! I thank Don Koski for nagging me to go. It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

      Thanks to all the snow bikers for being so friendly, fun, and making my trip so memorable! The beers after hours, the pizza party and films, and the awesome trails on the mountain! I had a fantastic time with some fantastic people enjoying a fantastic sport! Snow Bikers Rule! Hope to see you next year! If your ever in Tahoe, look me up.


Have a Great Ride!


-- Jeff Butcher










Photos: Kevin Rochfort / Animation: Jeff  Butcher

Chris Marriott demonstrates his "body skiing" method...