While it’s technically no longer winter, I checked another item off my Winter Goodness Bucket List this weekend. It’s winter to me as long as it’s still snowing. So you know, I have a few more months in the high country. Sweet!
My friend and I rented fat bikes from University Bicycles (one of my favorite shops in Boulder), tossed them in our truck, and drove up to Brainard Lake for a few hours to noodle around and enjoy the spring-like weather.
Everyone who has spent time on a fat bike has told me that it’s hard. It’s fun. But it’s hard. I suppose anytime you try to traverse snow without edges would be difficult. I was told to prepare for lots and lots of falling, tired legs and lungs, and extreme uncomfortable bouncing. All of that was exceptionally accurate.
But damn, it was fun.
Starting from the winter parking lot, we hopped on the Waldrop Trail, then followed the Snowshoe Trail to make it to the lake. Maybe a difficult singletrack for our first time on a fat bike wasn’t the best way to get used to the bike, but it sure was awesome. Ever since the snow started falling, I’ve missed being on my bike. A fat bike was the perfect way to enjoy the singletrack experience we all love so much while not having to wait for the trails to dry out in the Front Range.
Each turn and downhill section of the Waldrop trail absolutely scared me while simultaneously made me giddy. I struggled to find the traction I’m used to on a mountain bike, but I honestly didn’t care. I was prepared to eat it at any moment with a smile on my face.
As expected, I ate it. And it was awesome.
Except I didn’t fall while actually riding—maybe I was riding too cautiously. I fell when I put my foot on the ground just a bit off the packed trail. Down my foot sunk and over I went. I toppled over as if I was clipped in. Softer landing but just as embarrassing.
There are a ton of differences between fat biking and mountain biking and it’s definitely not for everyone. I loved being able to explore a snow-covered trail in a new way sans snowshoes, micro-spikes, or ski edges. While I’m not thinking of renting again or buying a fat bike anytime soon, it was a blast and I’d surely try it again.