Last night I went for my first ever fat bike ride on snow with my Surly Pugsley. About 10 minutes into the car ride I blurted out, SHIT! and my friend driving stabbed at the breaks not knowing what I was yelling shit about. I had just realized after reminding myself multiple times to grab my winter boots I had done just that, forgot them in the garage. The night was off to a bad start already as the sneakers I had on were more suited for summer use than riding a fat bike in 30 degree temperatures in the dark. Seriously, who goes to the mountains in the dead of winter with shoes youd wear in the summer? That would be me. I even had a chance to choose between my Gore-tex sneakers and the ones I brought. Some times I worry about myself.
When we got to the trails at Crystal Springs the parking lot was frozen solid, great conditions for fat bikes. Things were looking up for my first ride. I got dressed and had no idea how much or how little to wear. Ive ridden in winter before but at lower elevation and on a mountain bike so I wasnt exactly sure how to dress. I went with the more is better approach, except my shoes of course. I filled my pockets with a water bottle, camera and some food and I was off. I followed behind my buddy who was skating (skiing that is) and he quickly yelled to me, Its so weird to have someone following me on a bike! I just laughed as I was thinking the same thing.
The snow was hard and I was flying along like I was on solid dirt. My feet were not too cold and neither was the rest of me so I was happy. After about two miles I had to split off due to trail restrictions and went my own way. During the break I stopped a moment to admire the clear skies and the stars. They were just popping! I followed snowmobile trails up toLostLakewhich was mostly all uphill and I quickly got too hot. Lucky for me my gloves have leashes so I was able to remove them. The hat was next to go and then the zippers on my jackets. I climbed about 2.5 miles and finally it was time to turn around. I was not ready to turn around as there were so many side trails to explore. I zipped up and put my gloves and hat back on, then turned downhill. I almost hit 30 mph on the way back down! I also froze too!
The rest of the ride was straight forward and I used the time to evaluate the nights ride. Here is a list of things I learned on my first ride:
- Large winter gloves and trigger shifters dont mix, switch to GripShift.
- Gloves were too warm for temperature.
- Bring ski goggles for descent No one likes freezing tears.
- Remember your winter boots!
- Contour cameras need lots of like to film at night.
- Wear a pack so I can switch gloves/clothes if need be.
- Large tires on really cold snow make weird noises and youll think its a cougar behind you.
- Snow riding on a fat bike is AWESOME!!!
Enjoy the small amount of footage I was able to take in this video. Sorry not much to see as I need more light.
Get out there!
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