I Vote for the Fat Bike!


Photo: Christy Turner (Readers Digest – Our Canada Contest Winner)

Looks like winter is here to stay. We have been fortunate to have enjoyed riding our mountain bikes up to now without studded tires in both the Canmore and Banff areas. Now what……studded tires on the summer bike or studded tires on the fat bike? I vote for the fat bike!

Using your summer bike in the winter is hard on it. Cold weather, salt and gravel cause premature wear to moving parts and rubber seals. Fat biking is plain fun! The larger tires, slower riding pace and simplicity of the equipment makes it a perfect winter sport.
Fat bikers in Canmore and Banff keep the trails well packed. These trails are generally more easy going, which makes it enjoyable for everyone. For the first timer, rent a bike from ReBound Cycle located at the end of Main Street and ride from the store to The Three Sister’s Market Bistro for a treat.

This can be done by either following the Bow River Pathway or the single track Loki trail in the woods. Following the Pathway and returning on Loki will give you a chance to become accustomed to your bike before riding single track on the return trip. For the more experienced mountain biker, I would suggest heading to the Canmore Nordic Centre and renting a fat bike from Trail Sports and riding the EKG trail. The new warming hut is located halfway through the ride.

Louise and I purchased fat bikes in December of last year. They gave us another winter activity that was simple to do, right from the front door. We purchased night lights which added great excitement to our evenings. We even rode up the Sunshine Village one evening for drinks and snacks. Coming down in the dark was a blast!

There are many areas to explore outside Canmore. The High Rockies Trail on the Spray Lakes Road in Kananaskis. We park in the Driftwood lot to begin our adventure. The Tunnel Mountain trails in Banff are also excellent for fat biking. The Hoodoo parking lot across from the Tunnel Mountain Campground is a good departure point. The Lake Minnewanka Trail can also be ridden in winter. Check Bow Valley Fat-bike Riders on Facebook for conditions.

The first time, Louise and I rented bikes for an afternoon and were transformed. As mentioned, we then purchased two bikes the following week, added studded tires and some cold weather gear. We rode 3 days a week, mostly at night and made some new friends. I even took my bike out this past summer four or five times for fun.

I hope this blog encourages you to give fat biking a try!

Check out the cover photo of Our Canada Magazine(Reader’s Digest publication) for the December/January issue. Five Canmore girls in the Quarry Lake parking lot on a moonlit night. Very cool shot! Readersdigest.ca

Thanks for reading,
Blake Jolin
Real Estate Associate