Rag Reviews the MonoTrac:
Status: For your
Target: Mono Trac (Ski Bike).
Assignment: Acquire and evaluate (only two pre-production
prototype models known to exist).
Assigned to: Dirt Rag's Special Operations
Team known only as: The Committee.
The Committee's Report:
2/1/00 Target Acquired: Arrived Pittsburgh,
PA via special courier. Hastily assembled skis to frame, and hauled
target to local woods (under cover of darkness)
for trial runs. Powder conditions proved suitable. Serious
downhill with abrupt transition was well within suspension capability.
Inherent stability and "bicycle-like" handling was impressive.
Watch out for roots buried under snow-ouch! (Shin guards recommended
for "backyard" use).
2/2/00 Ski's Tuned: The roots and rocks of
the local woods, combined with the reckless abandon of a few subsequently
removed Committee members, led to considerable damage to the skis.
At this time the skis are not in the final production models, alternatives
are being fully investigated. There is a delicate balance between
flexibility and durability. The flexibility of the ski and the increased
sidecut radius are the largest factors of edge grip. Soft skis conform
to the snow's surface, but lack durability. On groomed trails, soft
skis are plenty durable. If planning on adventuring into uncharted
territories, a back-up set is highly recommended. P-Tex detox was
successful for the Committee's Technical Advisor.
2/5/00 Winter X-Games, Mt. Snow, VT: Lift
access denied by lift operator. Used "media representative"
cover story, requested management intervention. Discussed with ski
patrol, to no availnervous about 50,000 spectators on the mountain.
Time For Plan B.
2/9/00 Plan B: Contacted operative (inside connection)
at Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, Laughlintown,
PA. The resort offered a great variety of
terrain, limited crowd, nice halfpipe and very reasonable lift
ticket price. Got needed clearance for unique evaluation. Proceeded to put target through it's paces, while dodging
a few onlookers. Rider impressions follow
Turning: lean hard, moto-flat-track style.
Keep outside elbow up, inside leg up and forward (just in case).
Great upper body workout: saw that handlebar as you feel for edge
control on the front ski.
Jumping: Scout the jump first (mid-jump peeking
may shift weight forward, producing head auger). If you place your
feet on the pegs, bend your knees and shift your butt rearward-no
problem. Three foot drops like buttah! Felt neutral in the air.
However, the front ski's airborne attitude was slightly "nose
down," which made us leery of getting too aggressive (a stronger
spring is in the works to fix this).
On the Lift: Put the Mono Trac in front of
you; pick it up and hold it as the chair scoops you up. Best to get
a chair with one less person than capacity, to make room for the
bike. Holding the bike for the duration was not too difficult.
Off the Lift: Hold bike in front of you
and walk briskly off the chair. The operator was also willing to
stop the chair for a moment, another option.
Overall: Plenty of smiles per hour. Once
you got a few runs under your belt and felt comfortable, you could
bomb straight down, then slide her into a turn to slow down.