Written by: Greg Maino, www.juskuz.com, Instagram: @igmaino, Facebook: @igmaino
VIDEO by: Brennan Guerriere
This past fall I purchased a fatbike. It was a bit of a commitment for me, as I’m one of those people who really struggled to understand what the big deal was with biking in the winter. Typically, winter for me is a time to do all of the things you can’t do during the warmer months… ski, snowshoe, ice climb, etc… And, fatbiking just seemed like a heavy, slow, cold, and less exciting version of riding in the summer.
That said, with the pandemic still going strong I needed to find a new winter activity that was more convenient as my typical winter pastimes required travel and/or sharing space with more people than I’d prefer. Fortunately, there were a number of fatbike trail systems located nearby, and some interestiLaw Island my primary reason for getting a fatbike was so I could continue getting out for short overnights. I started getting into bikepacking a couple of years ago and have really enjoyed the freedom it has provided. A fatbike has allowed me to continue getting out despite the change of seasons, and I’ve enjoyed a number of overnights since the beginning of January.
My last trip was to Law Island, a 9-acre natural area conserved in 1994 by the Lake Champlain Land Trust. This island is located just a short distance off the Colchester Causeway which can be accessed from the Burlington Bike Path and is just 10 lovely miles from downtown Burlington. All season long we had been watching the ice and waiting for the right weather window, and when the stars aligned three friends and myself grabbed our bikes and our camping gear and got after it.
We met in Burlington’s Old North End and rode backroads and side streets until we could get off the pavement at the Intervale Center, a 360 acre farm and trail system that is part of the Burlington Wildways Trail System. From the Intervale we rode trails through a number of other parks, before a short jaunt on the road to get to the Burlington Bike Path. One on the bike path we enjoyed some easy miles out to the causeway. Once on the causeway we made our way across the frozen lake to the island and setup camp, enjoying a great night before heading back to town the next morning.
Our route was ~30 miles roundtrip starting from the south end of Burlington, and was mostly trails and bike paths. It’s incredible that we can enjoy a trip like this right from our doorsteps, and I feel very fortunate to call Burlington home and to have discovered fat biking.