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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    north woods of Wisconsin

    Joanie's winter fat bike park

    Since riding fat bikes in the snow is still a fairly new thing in the bike world and something done on a regular basis only in true snow country (where snow accumulates all though the winter), not many folks get a chance to try it. Today, then, thought I would take you along for a ride on one of the fat bikes in my very own MTB and fat bike park, built on our property, winter style.

    The overall miles in my park is now close to three miles if you connected all the sections, together. In the winter, though, I only keep a little less than two miles open buy either shoveling or using a snow blower or both. Trust me, it is an enormous physical undertaking to keep up with the falling snow for the sake of keeping trails open and ready to ride, but the rewards for me are even greater. Believe me when I say, there is nothing else in the biking world to compare to riding in the snow covered northern forest in the dead of winter. It's technically demanding, always challenging and not without its dangers, but it is also an achingly beautiful and rewarding experience. I love it in a way that's hard to put into words.

    Our snow base is now somewhere between one and two feet, depending on the section of trail and exposure to the wind and sun. In open areas where drifting occurs, you can see that my trails now resemble canyons and we have lots more snow and winter to come.

    Here's a section of the trail with a bridge that we built over what is swampy lowlands in the summer. All filled in with snow and ice, now.

    When snow conditions are right, I'm often able to go for a ride out on the ice on our 77 acre lake. That is an experience all its own, too. On some sub-zero days, I can ride the ice and listen to it moan and groan beneath me. Other than neighbor who might be ice-fishing, I nearly always have the lake to myself. Very easy to imagine, then, that I am riding 50 miles back in the wilderness.

    When snow conditions are not right on the lake for the bikes, there's always XC skiing. The stuff of winter dreams.

    Here I am at the top of a quarter mile down hill run, though the pic doesn't show just how steep it really is. On a good day in the summer, I can max out at over 18 mph, twisting and turning and dodging, perilously, as I drop down the trail. In the winter, with the trail being covered and packed with snow and ice, I'm a bit more cautious, though.

    My husband is not up to the skill level needed to do this kind of trail riding, but I'm never alone when I ride. Star, our Border Collie never lets me ride, alone. Could't ask for a better pal on the trail (and she knows the trail system as well as I do.)

    For riding in the winter, I use a variety of fat bikes setup with different tires to best match the snow and trail conditions, very much as a XC skier chooses the right skis and wax on a given day. Most of my fat bikes are Norco, a Canadian brand. They truly excel for riding in my winter playground.

    Come on up for a ride. Joanie's bike park is always open.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 02-05-2018 at 02:50 PM.



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