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AERODESIGN TAKES MOUNTAIN BIKES TO MOUNTAIN


Mountain biking is an increasingly popular sport. As happens with skiing, the most avid mountain bikers want to ride down the tallest peaks, without enduring the effort of getting up there themselves. Enter the helicopter, and its ability to take bikers and their rides to mountaintops easily and effortlessly.


Yet, helicopters aren’t specifically built to transport mountain bikes, which is why helicopter basket manufacturer Aero Design (www.aerodesign.ca) has stepped up with a unique solution: Aero Design Quick-Release Bicycle Racks. These racks allow a helicopter operator to safely carry three bicycles per side aloft, their riders, and enough fuel to support multiple hops in a day. The external racks employ the same quick-release mounts that are used on all four sizes of Aero Design cargo baskets. The racks can be attached/detached to the helicopter in less than a minute, and have enough capacity to accommodate bikes with wheels 26 inches to 29 inches in diameter, and tires as wide as 4 inches. The creation of Aero Design Quick-Release Bicycle Racks “was a multi-industry driven project both from helicopter operators and the mountain biking community,” said Jason Rekve, Aero Design’s president and general manager. As mountain biking became more popular,


operators


began offering heli-biking, but the limitations due to lack of proper equipment held it back as operators would sling net loads of bikes or daisy chain them together, which ultimately caused damage.


“For our version, we wanted something that worked well with our existing cargo basket quick-release system and had the same kind of ease of use for removal and install of the bikes, as well as be adjustable without tools, and able to carry the largest variation of bikes, be lightweight, and pleasing to look at,” Rekve continued. “We were at Version 5 before we finally had a concept we knew would live up to our standards.”


Today, Aero Design’s Quick-Release Bicycle Racks are helping heli-bikers reach new heights–literally. “Honestly, the positive reaction to this project has come from across industries and from around the world,” said Rekve. “We have helicopter operators, private operators, and heli-ski companies utilizing them in their regular off-season, and even a bike manufacturer using the racks.”


76 Nov/Dec 2018


Photo: Retallack Lodge, British Columbia


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