It is 4:15 pm, I am on the chairlift and unfortunately it’s going to be my last lift of the day! I had a good day on the slopes however I must admit I still want to enjoy the La Plagne ski area more… So what can I do? I know, a Moonbike session with Oxygene at 6.15pm. Perfect, I have enough time to grab a hot chocolate, take my skis back and swap my ski boots for snow boots, and then I’m off to the meeting point. I keep my ski jacket and trousers on, as I’ve been told to dress up warm, and my helmet is firmly on my head with goggles at the ready. It’s all perfectly timed and I arrive at the Moonbike meeting point at the bottom of the Stade in Plagne Centre 5 minutes beforehand.
They have a Moonbike meeting point in Belle Plagne too. They are super easy to find as it’s all marked with Oxygene signs and flags.
Getting to grips with the Moonbike
The ski area is closed, it is snowing and dark and the snowfront is lit by the headlights of 8 Moonbikes waiting for our arrival. At first glance they seem to be a mix between an electric bike and a motorbike. I join Axel and Kamel, the two guides, who explain to us how the device works. We start slowly on the snowfront of Plagne Centre for around fifteen minutes. This gives us time to familiarise ourselves with the Moonbikes and for our Oxygene guides to assess our level.
To start with I sit on it, letting my feet drop to either side. I press lightly on the accelerator, it’s very sensitive and a little pressure is enough to propel the Moonbike forward. The feeling of moving over the snow is very pleasant indeed! It is very quiet and I let myself get carried away by the machine. Then comes the moment when you have to turn and things got a little trickier… The secret to turning is to lean with the device towards the ground while accelerating, a bit like on a motorcycle.
At first I had some apprehension of going too fast and leaning too much towards the ground, I was afraid of falling. But after a few unsuccessful tries, and thanks to the encouragement of the wonderful and very patient guides Axel and Kamel, I finally got to grips with the correct position to adopt… and I managed to make a few perfect turns on the flat.
It’s time to embark!
After making sure everyone was happy and had understood how to handle these silent machines, we split into 2 groups depending on our level. Some people were more confident than others. By having 2 groups this allowed everyone to move at their own pace, whilst still having fun!
So we set off on the slopes of La Plagne, lit only by our Moonbike headlights. We start with a steep climb, the only objective here is not to stop! We follow our instructor closely, however he is constantly making sure we are all behind him. If, for some reason, we had a problem, he was there ready to help at the drop of a hat.
We explored the area with our little electric machines, making the least possible noise. It’s incredible and I loved the tranquility of the place and this unique feeling of sliding. We were in control of our speed, our trajectory, and our vehicle. We took advantage of the mountains surrounding us.
The route is marked by snowmobile tracks and our instructor makes us slalom between them just for fun. I stay focused and apply myself to each turn as practiced at the beginning of the session. I remember to lean well to each side and I’m so focused that my arms begin to ache a bit. My problem was I wanted to do so well I was holding a little too tight onto my handlebars. As I get more and more comfortable though, my arms start to relax. I put my feet on the ‘electric’ gas and the turns become easier.
The snow continues to fall and the visibility is a little reduced, however our Moonbike outing is still amazing. I feel good and question if we will be able to enjoy the fresh powder… Indeed. After a few loops on the dedicated Moonbike track, our instructor suggests that we take advantage of this wonderful fresh snow, and it’s a pleasure to glide through. I could quite simply be floating on the moon.
All good things must come to an end…
I didn’t see the time go by, our hour-long ride is now coming to an end, it’s time for us to get back down to the meeting point. On the descent back, you just have to let yourself go. Just control your speed with the accelerator, there is no need to even touch the brakes! A Moonbike can go up to 42km / h, so we take advantage of a last little burst of speed for maximum thrills. I was trying to catch up with the person in front of me, but it didn’t work!
Do you want to try a Moonbike adventure?
The Moonbike activity takes place in La Plagne, Plagne Centre or Belle Plagne, every day. There are 4 different time slots to choose from: 5 p.m., 6.15 p.m., 7.30 p.m. and 8.45 p.m. It is aimed at anyone over 16 years old and you can enjoy Moonbiking in any weather, even the bad weather is good. Please note, the route is adapted according to weather conditions and avalanche risk. This off-ski activity, among all those we offer, is ideal with family, friends, as a couple or even going solo, and it can be a great gift to offer to a loved one!