The first Saturday in December is designated as Global Fat Bike Day, a day when people from all over the world get out for a ride on their fat bikes. GFBD is a day for all the like-minded enthusiasts to get together for a fun ride, and events are shared around the world through photos, videos, and stories. Generally, any bike with tires 4″ or wider falls under the category of a Fat Bike. These wide, low pressure tires are usually run at 5-8 psi, depending on the trail conditions. High flotation tires allow the bikes to float over soft terrain like sand and snow, the large footprint gripping all but the slipperiest terrain.
Check out this video from the ride!
This year, Global Fat Bike Day coincided with the first big snowstorm of the season down here in Carson City! Braving the slippery roads, a small group of us met at the Clear Creek Trailhead near Jacks Valley. It had already been snowing for a while, with about an inch of fresh cold crunchy snow covering the ground. It was the best kind of snow for riding, offering plenty of traction for our fat tires.
The dry snow had trouble sticking to our clothing, making it easier to stay dry and comfortable for the climb up the mountain. The gentle grade up the Clear Creek Trail helped keep us from overexerting ourselves up the climb, especially for those of us not breaking fresh trail! It was time to put it in low gear, sit back, and enjoy the snow crunching under the knobbies.
The snow started getting deeper about five miles up the trail. The higher we climbed, the harder it snowed. We stopped to discuss how far we’d try to go. Knob Point, less than a mile ahead, would be a good turnaround spot. Moments after resuming riding, big gusty winds started to blow the snow out of the trees and into our faces. You had turn away to keep from getting blasted. Our outerwear was starting to get pretty wet by this point too. Mine felt frozen and stiff. Some riders pressed on to Knob Point, and the rest of us decided we’d had enough. It’s not like the view at Knob Point would be spectacular in this whiteout anyway!
About a mile down trail, the storm finally broke and the sun came out. The snow on my helmet and jacket rapidly began to melt. My frozen fingertips began to tingle with warmth. The storm had mostly covered our tracks from the ascent, but the trail was still easy to follow at a fast speed. Traction was still phenomenal, inspiring confidence in the twisty turns. A snowy roller coaster.
Riders regrouped back at the trailhead to a lot of laughter and “Whoo Hoos”! We were able to get in nearly 12 miles of fun riding, all on amazing snow. Days like this day are why you ride a fat bike!