You might have seen them this winter on your local trails; spandex clad aliens wearing ski gloves and winter boots, huffing and puffing on monstrous fat-tire bikes. The FAT BIKE is the most significant technological revolution in mountain biking in recent years and Prince George is experiencing a winter renaissance as riders rip up local trails. With hundreds of kilometres of accessible single-track and multi-use trails plus plenty of snow, it’s no surprise that this community is fast becoming a winter riding mecca.
Location, location, location
Prince George has, arguably, more accessible sanctioned and unsanctioned mountain bike and multi-use trails than any community in the province. In fact–within ten minutes of town– you can access single-track and multi-use trails at Forests for the World, UNBC Trails and the Cranbrook Hill Greenway. Advanced riders can test their skills at the Pidherny Recreation Trails. For those who like backcountry riding, head twenty minutes east to the Tabor Mountain Recreation Area. This multi-use area has four hundred kilometres of backcountry trails and numerous cabins–that are well used by the snow machine community–providing great winter riding.
Fat bikes are simply fun
Fat bikes are mountain bikes engineered to run four to five-inch wide tires at very low pressure (5-20 psi). These tires result in a thirty-inch wheel diameter that rolls easily over objects and difficult terrain. Coupled with a low geared 11-speed drivetrain: these bikes climb like mountain goats! Ice, packed/fresh snow (up to ten inches) and sand are game. More than that, they are simply fun to ride.
Fat bikes and the Prince George lifestyle
Winter fat biking has become another facet of Prince George’s fantastic outdoor lifestyle. More and more skiers, downhill mountain bikers, snowshoers, bike commuters and others are winter riding. Local bike shops such as Evolve Bikes, Ruckus Skis, Boards, Bikes and Cycle Logic sell a wide range of fat bikes including Salsa, Specialized, Scott and Kona. Talk to their knowledgeable bike techs for the right ride for you or an update on local trail conditions. Next time you see a fat biker on one of your local trails look for the big smile: it’s addictive.
About the Author
Troy Lee is a passionate explorer-blogger about northern British Columbia’s backroads, backcountry, trails and history. You can check out his blog at Ride the Wild: Exploring Northern BC by Bike.