Biking is now a year-round sport because of fat bikes. Rebecca Rusch and I rode together in Sun Valley in the snow just a few years ago. It’s great fun, quite cold, and if you’re into goals and performance I recommend the Snowball Special Fat Bike Race.
Snowball Special Background
Here’s the background: the “Snowball Special” was the name of the Union Pacific Railroad’s ski train. It carried skiers from stops in Southern California to beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho, from 1958 to 1972.
Sun Valley’s offered lodging-lift ticket-travel packages for the snow-bound commuters from LA.
The vacation party began once the wheels started rolling. A jazz band played and passengers danced from the departure to the arrival in Ketchum.
And even though this rail ended with mountain bound ski bunnies, silver mining initially brought it to the Wood River Valley in the 1880’s, with the tracks reaching Ketchum in 1883 to great celebration.
The local residents have welcomed the railroad with fireworks, baseball game, bands and horse and foot races. This route was essential to the area economy. Millions of dollars of silver were transported.
The summer bike trail and winter Nordic ski tracks were created on the historic trail bed of this once extremely festive train. Every year, Nordic ski races are held on these tracks.
And for a third year, Rusch Relations, the Fat Bike Advocacy Group, and the Wood River Bike Coalition are excited to add to that tradition with the Snowball Special Fat Bike Race.
Snowball Special Fat Bike Race will be taking place on Saturday, February 23rd.
You’ll ride on the beautiful Sun Valley Nordic Trails, including the White Clouds and Boundary Creek trails. Bikes must be fat bikes with 3.5″ or wider tires.