Spring has Sprung…or at least that’s what is sez on the calendar. Spring means different things to different climates and regions. Spring means mud season in Wisconsin and that means that most established and monitored mountain bike trail systems are closed until the frost comes out of the ground. The gelatinous mud stew that accumulates on top of the frozen ground is a fragile resource that eventually turns into hard packed trail tread if left undisturbed. We spoke to Hansi Johnson (midwest IMBA representative) and asked him to share some guidance for fat-bikers during spring thaw and this is what he shared.
I’m not sure what I would say to folks riding a Fat Bike, would vary at all, from what applies to a standard Mountain Bike. They are both mountain bikes, so the same rules apply regardless of tire width or PSI. If the trail surface is soft and thawing stay off it and even in later season, if its muddy, the same rule applies. There is no science or proof that a wider, fatter tire does less damage than a typical MTB tire. Mud is mud, tires are tires and if your riding when its wet or muddy your screwing up the trails for the future and for your fellow riders. Not to mention your putting more stress on the folks that are building and maintaining the trails.
I think that folks should remember that the typical land manager (and most other user groups) is not savvy to the size of an off road rider’s tires. A bike that goes off the pavement is a mountain bike to them, fat or skinny. So if they see a rider on a muddy trail, and they see damage, they see people being unkind to the resource and all riders pay that price.
I plan on getting my off-road fat-bike fix by riding the beach, during spring thaw. The beach offers a safe and sandy haven for fat-bikes that can’t be beat! With the exponential increase of fat-bike popularity, we’ll all be better off, in the long run, if we use some common sense and try to follow IMBA’s best practices.
http://www.laplandextremechallenge.com/ – Plan Ahead
http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=d28dcccdc9740f646c58e5508&id=e1e515cc1f – A desert named after Homer
http://www.tonilund.fi/2014/03/return-winter.html – A return of winter to Finland and more great pix from Toni.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gasmith/sets/72157642613292814/ – Were you at the Fatbike Birkie? Here is Sven’s Photoset on Flickr!
http://salsacycles.com/culture/a_flatlander_takes_on_jayps_backyard_fat_pursuit_part_one – Part one of a guest blog at Salsa by Christopher Tassava about JayP’s Backyard Fat Pursuit.
http://salsacycles.com/culture/flatlander_at_the_fat_pursuit_part_two – Part two of a guest blog at Salsa by Christopher Tassava about JayP’s Backyard Fat Pursuit.