Accessing the backcountry via helicopter may be the ultimate playboy move, but doing it with a mountain bike? Now that's skill.
And that's exactly what's about to happen. Aero Design — which makes baskets for rescue and ski gear for helicopters — just released a set of bike racks capable of transporting six bikes on its landing rails (three to a side).
This a big deal because prior attempts required operators to break down the bikes and store them in the bird, thereby reducing the amount of folks you could ferry, increasing the fare. Now you can fit six comfortably, and the quick mounts ensure you’ll be in the saddle in minutes.
As of now they’re mostly in Canada, but they’re very close to getting FAA, which means U.S. ski resorts will have them hopefully by this summer. But if you can’t wait, here are six locations to give it a, ahem, whirl.
1. Blackcomb Helicopters (Whistler, BC Canada): They offer two types of rides: the expert is straight down hill and the advanced ride requires a bit more pedaling.
2. Retallick Lodge (Nelson, BC, Canada): These are set trails, some of which are maintained.
3. High Terrain Helicopters (Nelson, BC, Canada): They run trips up to Valhalla Mountain.
4. Icebike Adventures (Iceland): These guys go all over Iceland and do some insane, multi-day trips.
5. Glacier Helicopters (Revelstoke, BC, Canada): They access the trails around Revelstoke National Park and the local ski resorts.
6. Heli-Alps (Verbier, Zermatt, Switzerland): This helicopter company just purchased the racks and can ferry you around the mountains in Verbier, Zermatt.