Winter Fat Biking

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For 2019, Walden Cross Country and Walden Mountain Bike Club (WMBC) have partnered to offer winter fat biking at the Naughton Trail Centre on some single track snowshoe trails and on some skate trails. The arrangement is still in a trial phase, so feedback from all trail users is welcome throughout the season.  The two Clubs are testing this arrangement with Fat Bikers to see if it is workable.  A large component of the test this year is for fat bikers to show how courteous they can be to other trails users (Snowshoers and Skiers) and how difficult it is to manage interactions between the the three groups of trail users.

 

BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT:
CHECK THE WEBSITE for fat bike trail conditions to ensure they are open. Just because ski trails are open, does not mean bike trails are too. Soft conditions and/or Ski Club events supersede riding. Cold weather will create a firm trail and this is key to making fat biking a low impact sport on ski trails.

 

FEES:

Option 1 – Fat Biking on Snowshoe Trails (aka Groomed Single Tracks):
The WMBC is grooming some of the snowshoe trails so they should be rideable almost all the time with the exception of after snowstorms and in mild weather.

  • Buy a $7 snowshoe day pass at the Chalet
  • Buy a $45 snowshoe membership
  • Buy a $137 ski membership (so you can ski too!)

Option 2 – Fat Biking on Skate Trails:
When the skate trails are firm enough to be ridden, the Ski Club will post in their website that the skate trails are ride-able.  The trail that are open to riding will be identified.

  • Buy a $7 snowshoe day pass at the Chalet
  • Buy a $45 snowshoe membership
  • Buy a $137 ski membership (so you can ski too!)

 

WHAT ARE FAT BIKES?

You can only ride your fatbikes on the trails so leave your mountain bike at home. Fatbikes have special frames to accommodate tires 3.7″ and wider. Tire pressure is also very low and 5-10 psi, providing a large contact patch on the snow, good traction and prevention of tires sinking into the trail.

 

WHERE CAN I RIDE?

At the Naughton Trail Centre, the trails will be marked to indicate which trails are open and closed to Fat Biking. 

There is a lower and upper snowshoe trail that will be groomed regularly to maintain good riding conditions.  The lower green loop has an intermediate skill rating. The upper loop (a combination of the pink, red and lime green trails) has a very difficult rating.

Skate trails that will be considered for fat biking include the 1 & 3 km loops, upper loop and eastern loop (the 5 km loop). Before you pack-up and leave for the trails, check with the WCC website and at the Chalet to find out which trails are open for riding.

 

FAT BIKING ETIQUETTE:

  • At Naughton, you must be a Walden Cross Country seasons pass holder or day pass holder.
  • Ride only on trails assigned for biking.
  • Yield to all other users when riding.
  • Slow down and look up-trail and yield to oncoming skiers when crossing a ski trail. Skiers don’t have brakes but you do!
  • When meeting a Snowshoer on the trail, step off your bike and allow them to pass
  • Ride with a bear bell or regular bike bell to let other know you are approaching
  • Ride only on trails assigned for biking; check at the Chalet on which trail are open.
  • Minimum tire tread width is 3.7”.  Fat Bikes Only – No Mountain Bikes
  • Keep tire pressure low – 3-8 psig
  • Allow the trail to set up (harden) for a few hours after grooming and before riding.
  • Do not ride in or close to the classic ski tracks
  • Do not use the ski trail as a group meeting area
  • Ride on the firmest part of the skate track and away from the edges.
  • On the Skate Trails, leave room for skiers to pass (don’t ride side-by-side with all of your buddies blocking the full trail).
  • Dogs are not allowed on the trails.
  • When is it too soft to ride?
    • As a general rule, if you have to get off and push your bike, the snow is too soft and you shouldn’t be on the trails. If you leave a rut, it’s too soft.
    • If you are leaving a trough that is deeper than an inch or are having a hard time riding in a straight line, your tire pressure is too high or it is probably too soft to be on the trails.
    • Be a good trail citizen and if for some reason, you leave ruts that will impact skiing negatively, please leave the trail.  Also, please let the Chalet desk know so we can let others know.