Posts Tagged ‘fat biking’

When I first saw a fat bike, I thought wtf? A year later I rode one in a parking lot and thought about the possibilities. Then I bought one and haven’t picked up my skate skis since. Well, I have moved then around a bit, but that doesn’t count. I rode that bike though the winter and decided to race it in my first multi-day bike race, the 300 mile AZT300. Then I rode my Blacksheep custom Singlespeed fatbike in every race that year. I was addicted. After a fusion of 2 Cervical disks, I decided it would be best to leave the rigid SS community. Summers are spent on one of my full suspension bikes and winters are reserved for my fat bike. It’s a lonely time when the ground is still dry and the temps are cold. I really prefer the ground to be covered in snow before I put the fat tires out. Plus it just feels weird now. I’m blessed to have, IMO, one of the best fat biking areas around at the Pole Mountain / Happy Jack trail system.

I think often about how Fat Biking has changed how I look at the Wyoming winters. I used to sit on an indoor trainer, now I hit the trails as much as possible.

It’s strange now that I have 2 ‘I dislike to ride’ seasons. One after October-ish and another when the temps warm and the snow is soft.

For now, I’m happy to be riding on cold snow. I’ll hit the dirt north of Tucson next month at 24HOP (not racing this year) but will be back on snow again the next week.

Indoor training with Zwift may or may not be needed depending on trail conditions before racing in May. I can only hope the snow continues.

After an incredible winter of snow biking, a 24 hour race where my duo partner and I placed 5th, and my first go at the Togwotee Winter classic where I finished 3rd in a 3 way battle for 2nd, I got hit with the flu. Now a month later and 5 rides under my belt I’m heading down to New Mexico for a 12 hour race in Ruidoso. I have friends that tell me even off the couch with no riding I’m still a machine. While I appreciate it, I’m not getting younger and 30 years of Wiley experience can only go so far. Age group over Open categories is starting to look pretty good. 50+ look out 

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Sandwiched between Fort Collins and Cheyenne, these two open spaces share interconnecting trails. It’s not technical riding in the slightest but the sandy washes, long climbs, fast twisty descents and sheer beauty of the Big Hole make it an underground destination for endurance riders looking for a solid +5 hours of riding. There are shorter loops but I prefer mine @ ~40 miles and +4000′ of climbing.

Red Mountain Open Space

Soapstone Prairie

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Wow, what a difference good gear makes when riding in cold temperatures.  I’ve long suffered from Raynauds in the cold which makes it all the worse. Embracing the spirit of winter fat biking and with good reviews on the web for warmth while still being able to clip into my regular CB Candys I ordered a pair of 45North Wolvhammers.

Wolvhammer boots

Wolvhammer boots

Full retail, no discounts to be found $324.  They better work.  And they did, my second ride in them was for over 4 hours in temps not exceeding 11°F.  I will say they were cold by then but lasted hours beyond what I thought was possible.  Money well spent.

Another winter investment that is ESSENTIAL are pogies.  Marketed by numerous small vendors, mine are the Dogwood Designs standard versions.  I got my pair last year and it was the first step in venturing outdoors in sub freezing temps. The standards are warm enough that I only wear a lightweight liner glove and sometimes even that is too warm in +25°F.  I love these things and so do my fingers.

Now that SE Wyoming has had it’s first Artic air of the year and snow with it, I find myself riding more than I thought possible.  No more indoor trainer miles for me, even when it’s crazy windy (that’s +40mph to you non Wyoming riders).  The trees on the trails hide all that blowy wind and with my gear I find it quite enjoyable.

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Bring on the snow and the cold(well not too cold)

This has to have been the best Thanksgiving weekend in recent memory as far as weather goes. Temps and winds were “comfortable” and I got more riding in than I thought I would.  Snow is packed on the summit west of me making the ride on the fat bike fun.  The lower elevations are clear and mostly dry.  Just around the corner snow, much colder temps, and the dreaded wind are visible.  Dressing like the Michelin Man is almost upon us.  It was a great warm spell while it lasted.  Next stop SNOW!

Dogs had fun on Thursday

LilyNikki

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2 hour Summit ride near dusk with Coach T

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T on a 29er,  waiting on the Speshy Fatboy

T on a 29er, waiting on the Speshy Fatboy

 Soapstone Prairie / Red Mountain, last day of the season.  The Happy Jack Cycling crew got in one last ride

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Red Mtn and Dan K wishing he had something other than a 19tooth cog

Red Mtn open spaceDan K wishing he had something other than a 19tooth cog

 

It’s been 4 months since we last met.  I was glad to see you go.
But like every year you find your way back to me.
I didn’t ask you to come back, in fact I was hoping not to see you again.
You have been slowly sneaking back into my life.  Showing me what I have been missing without you.
In my mind I have missed nothing.

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Summer days spent riding in the open not worrying about being blown sideways or slowly grinding headlong into your invisible hand pushing me back. It was very enjoyable while you were gone.

But now you are back, here to haunt me til winter’s end and possibly half of springtime.
I was not looking to fight you, but you leave me with few options.
I will not run from you, though I may seek refuge in the trees, I do not fear you (well maybe just a little)

invisible wind
I know we will do many a battle over the next 6 months.  And eventually they will come to an end and you will leave me in peace like you always do, only to return again and again.