Fat biking is still a new hobby to the mountain communities and is a great exercise activity for individuals taking a day off from the slopes! The oversized tires and frames provide excellent traction and additional weight to ride across snow packed, slippery trails.
For those unfamiliar with the increasingly popular sport, fat bikes originated in Fairbanks, Alaska when Simon Rakower welded two rims together and added two additional bicycle tires. This inevitably increased traction and provided a floating sensation while maneuvering through snow packed trails.
The balloon tires caught on and popularity spread rapidly across the lower 48, creating high demands among outdoor winter enthusiasts. Many different careers and hobbies have served to benefit from these bike modifications and they are now being used regularly by park rangers, biologists and even outdoor hunters.
Both Wilderness Sports and Breck Bike Guides began carrying fat bike rentals last year and provided trail guidance to prospective riders. Popularity in fat biking was slow to catch on in the ski resort areas as world class snow conditions have drawn more visitors to the slopes.
A new addition for the fat biking community will take place this year at the Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge. The town is pleased to announce that fat bikes are now allowed on the groomed Nordic trails, including the green Silver Star trail and surrounding snowshoe trails. Riding is permitted on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of each week!
The Nordic Center carries a line of 26-inch Borealis fat bikes that can be rented by the hour, based on availability. A season pass or the purchase of a single day pass is also required to access the Nordic Center terrain. The mellow terrain is great for beginners and allows riders to become more comfortable on the snow covered trails
“It was really to accommodate a new user group,” Gold Run manager Marika Page said. “There weren’t many places in the community where fat bikers could ride, and this provides a place where people are welcome and have access to those good, packed-out trails.”
The U.S. government has been slow to jump on the fat biking trend and the sport is still banned on all Forest Service land. The Nordic Center cautions bikers to be aware of their surroundings, while always yielding to cross country skiers. So far, there have been no issues with merging the new sport within this property!