Disregarding the calendar entirely AND the mental health of Pacific Northwest residents Mother Nature is STILL soaking us with rain. It’s nonstop actually and means there’s plenty of snowpack in the North Cascades. That’s not good news for road or gravel, but is for fatbikes!
A few weeks ago, we visited the Methow on their busiest weekend, Presidents Day, and rode fat bikes in the snow. It’s the high volume, low-pressure tires that permit such shenanigans. The tires are kinda like snowshoes for a bike and where the term “fat,” gets applied.
Fat tires open up new possibilities and in the years since the niche first emerged from Alaska, the product has only gotten better. Manufacturers have pretty much decided on a width (4.8″ wide), lightened up the bikes, and tightened the geo so they ride less like monster trucks, and instead like a regular old mountain bike with moto tires.
You can still get a touring version, sure, but also models like the Trek Farley for performance and getting from a to b on most terrain quickly.
— byron@bikehugger (@bikehugger) February 20, 2017
So, to be clear, fatbiking in the snow is like any other snowsport. Your fun is entirely dependent on the conditions. It can be crusty and perfect or greasy and frustrating. There are only 5 grooming days left to the Methow Winter season, so get on it. And, I totally recommend you do.
The conditions on our ride changed by the hour, but we didn’t let that bother us too much, cause there’s always good beer in town and the Old Schoolhouse Brewery is into riding trails as much as we are.
As I shared last year, about this time, find a fatbike to rent at Methow Cycle Sport or North Cascade Cycle Werks for about $30.00 a day. We stayed with friends, but there are plenty of rooms to rent, hotels, and a tourism board.
Most importantly, is the extensive trail system that they keep adding too. There are now up to 20 miles of groomed fat bike trails at Pearrygin Lake State Park managed by the State Park and Methow Fatbike.
That’s much progress from when we rode like bandits on cross-country skiing trails. Now we run out of daylight before finishing the trails.
Oh and the other thing, we’re not riding by ourselves anymore. The trails were full that day. Probably will be when you visit there too.