by Danita Ritter, WomenMTB
Winter has always been one of my favorite seasons to get out and enjoy the snow. I spent many years skiing and snowboarding but once I had a family the increasing cost to play on the mountain had me looking for alternative ways to have fun and that I could also include my whole family. In 2015 I rented a fat bike for 3 days and I was hooked. The following year we bought fat bikes for myself, my husband and son. We spent the winter exploring the groomed trails in the area. My daughter who was 5 at the time did not like the fact that she had to stay home while we were out having fun so she asked for a fat bike last year for Christmas. We are now a fat biking family!
I have spent a lot of time exploring the local trails and have found trails for all levels of riding. One of my all time favorite trail systems is Round Valley in Park City. You have to option of riding wide groomed XC Ski trails or narrow groomed single track. Round Valley is the perfect place for kids or beginners since there aren’t a lot of sustained climbs. Some of my other favorite places to ride are Road to WOS, Millcreek, Corner Canyon and American Fork Canyon. If you really want solitude, throw a light on your bike and go for a night ride.
Knowing how to dress can be a little tricky when riding in the winter. You will certainly work up a good sweat when climbing so I always layer. Start with a moisture wicking base layer and a water repellent top layer. I always like to bring along a puffy jacket that can be stored easily. Most of the time I am taking layers off as I climb and putting them back on for the descent. As for pants, I love my Pearl Izumi thermal barrier pants. They are water and wind resistant with brushed fleece on the inside. The most challenging areas to keep warm are your hands and feet. I wear Salomon Toundra winter hiking boots with a thin wool sock and never have issues with cold toes. The secret for warm hands are adding handlebar mitts to your bike. I can get away with wearing thin running gloves or regular mountain bike gloves and adding hand warmers inside the bar mitts. I have found that winter gloves and mittens are just too bulky. Buff’s are also great for keeping your face and neck warm and can easily be taken off or on.
It seems like a lot of work, but honestly, it’s such a great twist on not one, but two, of my favorite sports—snow sports and biking! Come out and join us for one of our upcoming fat bike rides through our WomenMTB clubs. We promise you’ll have fun AND meet new friends to ride with!
Bingham Cyclery also has an upcoming ride happening in Ogden this weekend. Find details here and come join us!