Local’s Guide to Gunnison Valley Fat Biking

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Where would we expect the first Fat Biking World Championships (thanks, Borealis!) other than the mountain valley that, along with Marin County, birthed mountain biking? It’s coming right up, January 27-31, 2016.

Fat Bike Worlds

Fat Bike Worlds is a competitive event but the events surrounding the main event offer as much fun riding and relaxing, and groovy listening, as any winter event anywhere.

  • Enter the North Village relay on Thursday, January 28, with some friends and enjoy some laps in the sun!
  • Check out the Fat Bike panels on Friday, January 29, and learn how federal land managers and other mountain valleys are coping with and spreading the gospels of the joy of fat biking!
  • Wear yourself out in the Worlds on Saturday, January 30, and get some really cool schwag. Then listen to Lez Zeppelin, in from NYC for the event and one of the hottest show bands in America!
  • Warren Miller will be filming us letting it rip on the Crested Butte Mountain terrain park, nursing hangovers though we may be, on Sunday, January 31. For those concerned about big air, there will also be some sweet corduroy available.
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Where to fat bike in Crested Butte and the Gunnison Valley:

  • The ski area will groom the North Village trails and the path to the top of Snodgrass on a regular basis this season.
  • The ski area has designated Fat Bike routes available pre and post skiing. Check out the uphill policy for details.
  • The Gothic Valley, Washington Gulch, Slate River, and Cement Creek should all ride well all winter.
  • Ride up Kebler Pass to Lily Lake for an exceptional loop. Watch out for snowmobiles– ride single file.
  • Gunnison’s Hartman Rocks, with a little help from Gunnison Trails, is a great bet for terrific fat biking.
  • Everyone’s best bet for an update on fat biking conditions is to stop by the Crested Butte/Mt Crested Butte Chamber. The Chamber has the dope!
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More Fat Bike Intel

What’s it like fat biking in fresh powder?

Fat Bike Etiquette:

FB is a new sport, so we’re not so sure ourselves! But just to be safe…

  • Yield to hikers
  • Play nice with Nordic Skiers. That includes buying a pass if you’re fat biking on the Crested Butte Nordic Center’s trails.
  • Tip your cap to snowmobilers. Our local club has been super-welcoming to the sport of fat biking and packs the trails much better than we could!
  • Keep a flask of 86 proof liquor with you at all times and feel free to share.
  • Along with that flask, bring some water on outings more than an hour. We all need as much water in the winter as we do in the summer, though we may not feel it.
  • Ride a soft tire so you don’t chew up a trail and ruin if for others
  • If you’re going to go way out there, ride with a buddy and let someone know where you’re headed
  • When you’ve emptied your flask, don’t throw it in a snowbank. Refill it!

What to do if you run in to a mountain lion:

  • Well, it happened last winter. Keep your bike between you and it. Do not act like a deer!

What to do if you run into a bear:

  • Keep your bike between you and it. Do not act like a berry bush.

What to do if you miss a dinner with your in-laws because you were having too much fun fat biking:

  • Keep your bike between you and your wife.
  • Speak calmly and do not look her in the eyes. Direct eye contact may be seen as aggressive and challenging behavior.
  • Slowly back away.

What’s the future of fat biking?

We think it’s here to stay. It’s fun. It’s easy. It’s safe. We don’t have to figure the right wax and we sure don’t have to fuss with klister.

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We also think we’ll be seeing more people riding fatties in the summer. They work great on dirt and rock and provide a super-cushy ride. Look for fat bikes to represent about 25% of all mountain bikes sold in the next five years.

Don’t be the last kid on your block to get on to fat biking! Visit our local bike shops to pick up a bike for a day. Nearly all of them have fat bike rentals.

 

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