SKI VEHICLE DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY
In the winter of 1990, Todd Bank moved to Portland, Oregon. After settling in, he decided to try downhill skiing for the first time. Mt. Hood—a popular ski destination—was only an hour away. "I did not have much fun," he now says while thinking back on the experience. "I was confident that, as a BMX Freestyle pioneer and retired road-bike racer, I would enjoy downhill skiing. The sport is very similar to bicycle riding—natural and fluid." Todd put some thought into it: he felt that there was a problem to be solved. When he got back to Los Angeles a year later, he began prototyping the "ski vehicle."
30 years later
Todd Bank’s technology-design work has been funded by Personal Electric Transports, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, I.B.E.W. Local 18, the United Nations Environmental Programme, I.C.L.E.I., and others. In 2004, Bank's Road Ski—a 3-wheel electric ski—won overall the Great American Tour de Sol,: 5-day electric vehicle race (637 mpge—miles per gallon of gas equivalent: National Laboratories). His Land Glider electric vehicle (fuel-cell powered) is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The California Automotive Museum in Sacramento displays his Super-Light Electric Motorcycle, and his battery-swap station system—a new standard in LEV refueling—is used daily throughout the countries of Taiwan, China, India, and Europe.
For fun, Todd rides his ski vehicles at ski resorts, and his road bike throughout the Santa Monica Mountains. He and his older brother, Devin, are featured in The Birth of BMX Freestyle Vol. 2 as pioneers of the sport.