Let’s set the “Wayback” machine for the year 2014, shall we Sherman?
Where are we going this week, Mr. Peabody?
The Pacific Northwest of the United States of America, specifically the Methow Valley to hear from a group of early adopters that call themselves the Northwest Fatbikers and our old friend Ward.
Here’s a video from our meet last Saturday in the Winthrop/Methow Valley Area. There were 19 of us, including locals, from all over the state.
Believe it or not, this is in the North Cascades. Snow cover in Washington State (as most of the west coast) is abnormally low this year. Still, the snow that got packed on early is hanging in there and was actually pretty good quality for fat biking. In fact, lots of otherwise cross country skiers are opting for fat bikes in this area right now. Normally, there would be several feet where we rode and a high number of skiers sharing the route. This year, there were only a couple skiers and they were staying at the hut we visited and said “maybe we should have considered fat bikes”.
The Methow Valley Sports Trail Association (I believe the 1st Nordic Skiing organization in the USA to officially allow fat bikers as “ticketed” users on some of they’re groomed routes) and the local bike/ski shop in Winthrop, Methow Cycle and Sport, hosted and guided our group and a few locals joined us as well. Though there will always be some opposition in traditional nordic “circles”, the folks in this area are working hard to welcome fat bikes/fat bikers into the area and find ways for different winter activities to coexist on many of the trails they manage.
Trail pass’ were $22 per day (same as XC skiers) and, even with the thin snow pack, it was a blast! Winthrop has a great little brewery (Old Schoolhouse Brewery), among other bistro’s and has the oldest legal saloon in the state (Three Finger’d Jack’s). Also accommodations ranging from the North Cascades Mountain Hostel at $25 a night (where a buddy & I stayed) to high dollar rooms at $200+.
Saturdays ride took us up the Gunn Ranch/Grizzly Hut route and later we rode laps on a local frozen lake that they also groom a track on. None of us were prepared for the hospitality of our host’s. They apparently heard we were coming, opened the shop early and they and a rep from MVSTA welcomed us, explained what they’re doing and planning fat bike wise, passed out free water bottles and then joined us on Sat.’s ride… I get a warm feeling just thinking about it.
We’ll be making this one an annual event for sure!
Here’s some links:
The bike shop has a large fleet of rental fat bikes of various brands and just recently became a Fatback dealer (they had a sweet green 190mm Fatback like yours on the floor marked “sold”). Also, MVSTA trail pass’ are available there as well as the Rocking Horse Bakery and a few other places around town. BTW, the Bakery is owned by a guy who has raced in previous iditasport race’s and he joined us on the ride as well.
Regret not shooting more video/images… was having to much fun!
Take care, and keep the round side down!
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