Due to the lack of snow for most of this winter in Colorado, our fat bikes have been sadly collecting dust in our garage. Every time I would drive in to the garage, I would see my neglected, forlorn fat bike. It was making me nuts that I couldn’t ride it. Finally, the snow started flying and we were recently able to get up to the mountains to do some snow riding.
We had our sights set on the trails at Devils Thumb Ranch. We usually prefer snowy single track but the one tricky thing about fat biking is the trail conditions have to be just right to really be able to ride. Powdery, unpacked snow on trails means you will be plowing your bike through snow, and most likely falling off a lot into deep snow. Not that this isn’t fun but you shouldn’t expect to go too many miles under these conditions. Hint: The best single track trail conditions are after snowshoers have packed things nicely down and then it is just an amazing way to recreate. Since we had just gotten a fair amount of snow, we decided the maintained trails at Devils Thumb would be the best for perfect biking conditions combined with beautiful views. These trails didn’t disappoint. We got to really ride our bikes instead of use them as snow plows.
Here are some views of the giggly fun we had at DTR. We got in about 9 miles and my legs were toast, we are at 8,500 feet so I’ll take it! If you love to bike, and you love to get out on trails in the winter, fat biking is a great way to combine both of these pursuits. It’s a serious form of aerobic exercise, combined with laughs and mountain views. The great thing about riding the snow is that, most of the time, when you fall you are falling on soft white stuff. Obviously, if it’s icy or rocky you might want to check your speed 🙂
If you ever get the chance to rent, or buy one, I couldn’t recommend it more. You will smile, laugh, and get a great workout in all at the same time. My bike is the Salsa Mukluk with 4.6″ tires purchased from Golden Bike Shop in Golden, CO.
Bummed I missed this one! I need to get a new bike rack to fit the fatty!
So bummed too 🙁 It was perfect trail conditions and a bluebird day. Get that rack 🙂
Much as I hate the cold, this sounds amazing! I’ve been to Devil’s Thumb once, but it was early fall and we mainly hiked. Gorgeous place, and it sounds like a pretty scenic way to get some exercise!
Hey Lex! Meet Lexi! Do you like to Mountain Bike? I do but am very tentative on the bike. I have a Fat Bike for snow biking, but use it in the summer too. I feel so much more stable on it. You could ride the Ho-Chi-Minh trail at Memorial Park if you have not already!
We need to ride again soon!!
So great to find both of you here! I have a hybrid bike that allows me to ride in the parks and on the streets but still be hardy enough for a reasonable trail. I keep trying to find that Ho-Chi-Minh trail! I think my husband has located it, but it confuses us for some reason! I’ll have to look again this weekend.
I have never ridden it myself! The only thing I did outside in Houston was run, run, run. LMK if you check it out!
Hi Lex … great name by the way 🙂 Even though it looks cold it was actually a perfect day, and, to your point about the workout, you definitely work up quite a sweat on these bikes. They’re not the lightest and the width of the tires means there’s a lot of friction so pedaling up hill is an amazing work out!!! I love Devil’s Thumb. It’s pup friendly and we book the individual cabins so you really get an “off the grid” feel. The trails there are so much fun any time of year. Thanks for checking this post out. We really appreciate it.
Ha – I thought the same thing about the names! I actually go by Lexie most of the time, and everyone always spells it your way, so we are even more similar than you thought! 🙂
We definitely want to hit Devil’s Thumb again. We loooved the whole vibe of the place and the drive there was fantastic. I have never ridden a fat bike but we’ve seen them a lot out west. Oddly, the first one we saw was in Fargo, ND, and we stood there like geeks checking it out! I’ll have to try one someday.
They are sooo much fun!
Now Pam is lucky enough to know two Lexi’s 🙂 Most people don’t even have one … two is truly lucky. That is so funny because everyone I meet wants to spell it your way … so ironic 🙂 Pam and I’ve spent a fair amount of time at DTR. Even though it’s only an hour from Denver, DTR always makes me feel like we’re off the grid and recharged. So relaxing and yet lots to do as well. Good times. Let us know next time you find yourself there, we
can come up and hike!!
Have just discovered your blog through your latest WP challenge posting. The biking in the snow looks great and the scenery amazing. The closest I got was mountain biking to work in snow about 15 years ago! Not quite the same. So I’ll have to follow you to keep up with your adventurous posts, it’s right up my street so to speak but a long long way from the south east coast of the U.K.
Selina! Thanks for jumping on the bus with us!!! So glad to have you! We are looking forward to following you as well!
Oh that’s great. Thank you.
Thank you so much Selina for having a look at The Life Bus!! Mountain biking in snow certainly sounds tricky! We’re excited to read about all different kinds of adventures and experiences people have exploring their world. I”m looking forward to learning more about possible new adventures for me in the UK through your blog. Glad you’re on board with us 🙂
My lungs don’t do well in cold weather, but I can see how if you were a bicyclist this would be exciting. We took advantage of the sunny Sunday here in Virginia and took a hike. In one section there is an adjacent trail that mountain bikers often use. They were flying and seemed to be having a grand time. 🙂
Yes, it definitely takes some getting used to up there. The hike sounds lovely! There are definitely some fast MT bikers out there. Pretty amazing to watch!
I totally get it Amy, the cold is definitely not for everyone. Outside of the DC area I’ve never actually spent any time in VA. This is a bummer because I have heard really great things about it, I think most recently I heard that Richmond is really undergoing a revitalization. Hiking is one my all time other favorite activities, as is mountain biking. That trail you were on sounds great, you can do both and I love that the trails are adjacent. Sometimes those fast mountain bikers can be obnoxious when we have to share the trails. Keep on keepin’ on 🙂
Landscapes are gorgeous! In Finland we have fat bikes also, but not so popular. Normally people bike in winter using “normal” bikes.
Winter biking 2
They go to work, shopping etc. with them.
OMG! Those tires look sooooo skinny to be riding on snow! I would have a fear the tires would slip out from underneath me. LOL. Thanks so much for sharing this with us!!
I’ve done mountain bike trails, but this would be so much more of a workout, I expect. You’re right, the falls will be softer which is good, because I’ve had my share of bruises.
You MUST put this on your bucket list!! I use my fat bike on dry dirt because of a history of broken ribs. It was traumatizing. Lol
It is a monster work out because the tires are so wide that there is a lot of surface friction and the bikes are heavier. It is amazing, however, how slowly you can go and still stay upright … because of the tire width 🙂 I love this, you think you’re going to fall off and you’re almost at a stand still. One more pedal stroke and you’re moving. If the snow is really deep on the sides of the trail, sometimes it’s hilarious trying to dig yourself out of the snow drift. Where do you mountain bike?
Various trails around Sydney. Not as often as I used to sadly.
Sydney trails sound like they would be amazing!!