Fat Bike Calendar for 2015
Shredding Trails on Two Wheels: Winter Fat Biking Gets a Grip in Vermont
Montpelier, VT--Frankenbike. Mutant. The two-wheeled equivalent of a monster truck. Those descriptions and more have been applied to Vermonters’ hottest new way to enjoy the cold: Fat Bikes.
"We’ve seen exponential growth in Fat Bike riders coming to Vermont from all over the East Coast,” said Tim Tierney, Executive Director of Kingdom Trails in East Burke. “A few years ago, only a few companies made Fat Bikes. Today it would be hard to find a manufacturer who doesn't. That growth really demonstrates that folks love to pedal and Fat Bikes appeal to a large and growing number of people. It's easy to get hooked.”
With their extra-large tires, wide rims and unorthodox dimensions, Fat Bikes are specifically designed to traverse snowy trails—and any terrain that would mire ordinary bicycles. Extra tire tread adds grip and prevents the wheel from sinking into soft surfaces such as sand and snow. Fat Bikes require lower tire pressure than regular mountain bikes—10-15 psi or even lower. That significant squish reduces the need for suspension and allows the tire to “float” over surfaces rather than dig in.
Vermont’s vibrant biking culture has plenty of room for this new addition to the trails, and Fat Bike events are popping up throughout the state. On December 7, the Catamount Outdoor Family Center hosted the first annual Global Fat Bike Day, the official kick off of the Le Grand Fat Tour. Fat Bike enthusiasts enjoyed demos, races and a scavenger hunt.
The Le Grand Fat Tour is a six event series that spans the Quebec-Vermont border. The tour continues from now until March with events in Stowe and East Burke in Vermont; and Coaticook, Bromont, and Oka in Quebec:
January 17 Le VeloNeige de Coaticook, Coaticook, Quebec
January 31 Le Jour de la Marmotte, Bromont, Quebec
February 15 Oka Festival, Oka, Quebec
February 28 Winterbike, East Burke, VT
“Fat Biking has been exploding in the northeast!” said Ryan Thibault of Mountain Bike Vermont, one of the organizers of the Le Grand Fat tour. “Our Winterbike event now attracts over 300 participants, many of whom are Canadian, so we decided to partner with our Qeubecois friends and create a series that spans the border. Our goal is to introduce new riders to the fun of winter cycling while highlighting trail networks that have embraced the sport. This year we've received overwhelming support from the riding community and businesses eager to get involved.”
For people who are curious about the strange-looking bikes, the Resolve to Revolve Fat Bike Demo Day will be held January 1 at Kingdom Trails in East Burke. The truly committed can find weekly rides with the Fat Wednesday evening group at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston, starting January 7.
In February, the Fat festivities continue with Ride, Glide & Rawhide; a Valentine’s Day race at Kingdom Trails that celebrates several winter disciplines. On February 22, Fat Bikes will make their debut at the 70th edition of the Stowe Derby. One hundred Fat Bike riders will navigate Stowe’s hillside terrain and sprint down the scenic rec path before crossing the finish line at the center of Stowe village.
For more information, interviews, or photos please contact Laura Peterson at the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. Laura.Peterson@state.vt.us, 802 522-7323.