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Bike or Ski? You could do both...

by Craig Holgate

Fat Bikes are seeing unprecedented growth this year and with winter just around the corner, some area ski trails will not be just for skis. Giants Ridge has announced they will allow Fat Bikes out on their groomed cross country ski trails, as long as the rider has a trail pass and meets their bike specifications. (see below) Mt. Itasca in Coleraine is also rumored to be allowing bikes on their Nordic trails, however no official announcement is on their website as of yet. 

While I don't own a bike of this type, I know several people who do and they are quite excited for the winter season. I plan to stick to the skis, since I've proven bikes and snow for me usually don't go real well!

Giants Ridge's Fat Bike Policy

Giants Ridge welcomes fat bikes, and a proper trail pass is required. (Note: The Giants Ridge Rental Shop does not rent fat bikes.)

Fat Bike Etiquette:

Fat bikers are the new users on the trails and should be extra polite and courteous. Here are a few tips to always keep in mind when riding fat.

Do not ride on the groomed trail if:

  • You are leaving a tire rut deeper than one inch
  • You are having a hard time riding in a straight line
  • Your bike's tires are narrower than 3.7"
  • Your bike's tire pressure is greater than 10 psi

General Fat Biker Nordic Trail Etiquette:

  • Bikes yield to all other users. Skiers don't have brakes, you do!
  • Fat bike lane - Ride on the most firm part of the track.
  • Leave room for skiers to pass.
  • Do NOT ride in the classic ski tracks.
  • Stay to the right side of the trail around corners and look for oncoming traffic.
  • Allow the track time to set-up after grooming and before riding.
  • Don't ride any old mountain bike out there - Purpose built Fat bikes only!
  • Spread the word about Fat biking, make it fun, keep it safe.
  • Be an ambassador for the sport - stay polite, educate other bikers, discourage bad behavior, follow the rules, and we'll all have a good time this winter.