Ever wondered what it is like to ride your fat bike on pitch black trails in sub-zero temps after a long day at work? I promise – it’s much more fun than it sounds!
Chris is continuing our Tuesday Night tradition with a Fat Bike ride at 5:30 every…you guessed it…Tuesday Night. The first outing will be coming up on December 12th and will leave from the shop, traveling over to the Hospital Trails. Rides won’t be limited to the Hospital, though.
“We plan to explore other area trails after a few weeks depending on grooming and trail conditions,” Chris explains, “Most rides will be around an hour long. Our goal is to have a fun, accessible ride for multiple ability levels. Night fat biking can be daunting, but with a group it can be safer and more fun.”
That being said, it’s still going to be dark…and cold. “As with any winter nighttime outdoor activity, you must be prepared. There are a few things you’ll need that will make your night ride much more enjoyable,” Chris reassures.
First, outfitting You. You’ll need extra warm gloves, socks, and footwear. Lobsters are a good glove choice – they tend to be warmer since your fingers are together, but still have more dexterity than a mitten because of the split. The Toko Thermo Split or (a bit lighter choice) the Touring Lobster from LillSport are two great ones. If you run really cold, Chris finds mittens to be the ticket. Test ’em on your bike before you head out, though, to make sure you have good braking and shifting control. If your paws are still icy, get pogies (AKA bar mitts). Efficient insulation will help your feet stay comfortable, so go for medium weight socks with wool like the Fits Medium Nordic Crew or the Fits Medium Ski OTC. Avoid super thick socks that leave no air space in your boots. Some folks wear fat bike boots like the Ragnarok or Wolvhammer from 45Nrth – both, by the way, on sale right now. No space-age fat bike boots? Warm winter boots will work well, too!
As far as clothing, layering is still a good choice, but you’ll want to dress a bit more warmly than you might for skiing. A midweight jacket and pants with base layers, and maybe even a midlayer is a great start. Another warmer jacket is also helpful to bring along in case you get chilled.
In place of a hat, Joel likes to use 2 neck gaiters. “The Buff usually fits better under your helmet than a hat. Then you can add another for your neck to stay completely covered.” Chris prefers an old-school Balaclava.
Joel adds, “Bring dry clothing for after the ride, too. And some money for tacos on the way home!” Of course, tacos are delicious but are not required for a successful night bike ride; however, dry clothing to change into is a must for the drive home.
Next, outfitting the bike. A helmet and a handlebar light or two handlebar lights are ideal, not only so you can see the trail, but so you have a backup light in case of run down batteries. Niterider brand is a leader in all kinds of bike lights and attachments.
If you want to come to our ride, check out New Moon’s Facebook page; we’ll post the route ahead of time so you can see what the plan is. We have rental fat bikes if you need one and even e-fat bikes…but that’s another article.
So, whether you decide to join us on Tuesdays or bike on your own at night or during the day, fat biking is a way to spend even more time on the trails…I mean, who needs nordic skiing when you’ve got a fat bike? Just kidding! Either way let’s hope Santa brings us tons of snow this ski season. Happy trails!