Tag Archives: #FindYourNextAdventure

A safety list for bike touring around the world

from Fat Bike Tours                                                                                                                                          

A bike is the top form of transit around the world and for good reason: they’re relatively inexpensive to acquire and maintain; they don’t pollute, and they keep their users healthy. You don’t even need to own one! Bike share programs are on the rise globally, making them accessible to everyone.

World travelers benefit from not needing to worry about renting a vehicle or having an international driver’s license and insurance. Instead, they can focus on a more immersive, full-contact experience of their destination.

This increased exposure does require that riders be careful, taking precautions to remain safe in their surroundings. Below you’ll find recommendations on what to bring with you so you can make the most of your ride, as well as some regional-specific tips to help make your trip easy and fulfilling – no matter where you travel.

Personal Safety Gear and Bike Accessories to Carry With You

Between scenic paths in the countryside and jam-packed urban streets, you’ll likely experience a wide range of environments on your bike. Smart cyclists make sure they can get by, even when seemingly stranded in the middle of nowhere. Here are some items you want to make sure you bring:

  • ID – Whether you’re making a quick trip to the corner store or riding on a remote mountain trail, you want to make sure you have a way to identify yourself. Even though you don’t need a license to ride a bike, you are still subject to traffic laws and ticketing – including bicycle DWIs in some areas. The safest choice of ID to carry with you internationally is your passport. Be very protective of it, and familiarize yourself with common passport scams. It is good practice to carry a photocopy of your passport in case it gets stolen.
  • Credit card, traveler’s checks, or other forms of secure payment – Carrying cash is generally considered to be a poor choice since it makes you an easy target for theft with little you can do to protect yourself should something happen. Many tout credit cards as being the safest form of payment to carry, since most have zero-liability policies in case they get lost or stolen. Many cards don’t charge a foreign transaction fee when used abroad. Traveler’s checks – which are now packaged as prepaid credit cards, sometimes even with chip-and-PIN features – can be replaced within 24 hours if they are lost or stolen.
  • Bike helmet – If you are renting/borrowing a bike, check with your provider to see if you can rent a helmet. Many cities around the world are now requiring bikers to wear a helmet, so you should check the laws in your destination. Even if it’s not the law, you should still wear protection since you will be riding on completely unfamiliar terrain as well as likely distracted by the novel sights. If you cannot borrow a helmet, make sure you either pack one in your luggage or else buy one when you get to your destination.
  • Cell phone – In case of an emergency, you’ll want to have your cell phone on you. Before you set out, save the number for the local police and emergency services. Make sure your phone is fully charged; consider bringing a back-up battery or even a charger.
  • Camera – Many phones come with a built-in camera, so make sure it’s functional or else bring one. Not only will you want to take pictures to remember your trip, but in case something happens – such as you encounter a strange plant or animal, or get into some sort of accident – you’ll want to have a way to document it for later reference. Bonus points if you can capture video (hello, GoPro!). That said, always ask before you take a picture of local people.
  • Translation device – Ask Siri or Cortana for help translating on your iPhone or Android phone, consult with any number of translation apps available online, use Google Translate, or refer to a designated translation device (and make sure it’s fully charged!). Make sure you have a way to speak to the local natives in case something happens.
  • Water bottle or canteen – This might not be absolutely necessary on a quick city trip, but it’s definitely essential for nature rides of any length. Newer stainless steel models keep your water cold for as long as a day while still being lightweight.
  • First aid kit – Even a skinned knee can quickly turn nasty if not tended to quickly! Some of the most common bike injuries are minor cuts and scrapes, as well as bug bites or rashes. Always carry bandages, ibuprofen, duct tape, Benadryl (for strings and allergic reactions), and safety pins with you in your first aid kit, just in case. A common injury on mountain bike rides is a broken clavicle, which you can identify when you feel pain upon touching a lump that appeared on your collarbone after a fall; if this happens to you, move your bike to safety, then fasten your shirt over your elbow using a safety pin, bending your elbow at a right angle. Use your phone to get help before you aggravate the injury further. Whatever the injury, make sure the first thing you do is pull off the road to get to safety.
  • For cyclists as well as cars, here is more information on road safety, thanks to our friends at http://teens4safety.com/

 Bike Safety Rules By Region Around the World

Fat Bike Tours provides safe, fun and unforgettable bicycle experiences through superior customer service that creates memories and smiles that last a lifetime. Learn more about their tours and company here.  

Here in the bike pic, a cyclist finds winter bike riding can be fun when commuting in the Anoka, County Area of the Twin Cities Metro.

Bike Pic Dec. 27, winter bike riding fun in Minnesota’s bold north

Here in the bike pic, a cyclist finds winter fat bike riding fun when commuting in the Anoka County Area. To see more about the year-round bicycling opportunities in the Twin City Gateway check out our HaveFunBiking At-a-glance article.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event, you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way, and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

About HaveFunBiking

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride. Please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the following photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure

Here on her mountain bike is a MN High School Cycling League team member practicing in Lebanon Park, in Eagan, MN.

Help the MN High School Cycling League with their fall events as a volunteer

Help our youth grow with cycling a part of their childhood, volunteer at one of the Minnesota High School Cycling League events this fall. The Minnesota League is a volunteer-based organization and can always use more help!

Why volunteer? The MN High School Cycling League is a volunteer-based organization and can always use more help!

Without volunteers the League cannot hold the races for the kids. For each of the following races, they need about 130-160 people for each. They value all those who give of their time and energy to help the participating student-athletes succeed.

2018 Minnesota High School Race schedule needs your help:

Race 1 – Aug 25 Austin Spam Trail
Race 2 – Sep 9 – Lake Rebecca
Race 3 – Sep 16 – Game Haven
Race 4 – Sep 30 – Detroit Mountain
Race 5 – Oct 7 – Welch Village
Race 6 – Oct 14 – Spirit Mountain
Race 7 – Oct 27/28 – Mt Kato (State Championship)

Get Ready for Season 5! | 2015 Mt Kato, MS Boys Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

Get Ready for Season 2018! | 2015 Mt Kato, MS Boys Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

What you can do as a volunteer to help!

As part of the Race Day Crew, help out with scoring, hand out water, course marshal on the race course, be a crossing guard or choose the popular “sweep” position. All of these positions are important!

Meet the racers parents, members of the H.S League staff, and have fun at the same time.

If you have a family member racing, volunteer to help when they are not racing. Be a part of the excitement and still be able to watch someone you know race!

Tip: As a course marshal or a crossing guard, you are able to get right on the race course where there is exceptional viewing of the course!

SIGN UP TODAY!

Learn about the needed race day volunteer positions and how to register on the Leagues  online registration site called Sign Up!

Eleanor Dolan (7005), Mpls Southside MS G7 | Mt Kato 2015, Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

Eleanor Dolan, Mpls Southside MS G7 | Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

About the Minnesota High School Cycling League

The Minnesota High School Cycling League was organized in 2012 to provide competitive mountain biking programs for students in grades 9 to 12. With the cooperation of local race organizers, their partners, and their sponsors they are able to provide a high quality mountain racing experience. They believe that mountain biking is the ‘T-Ball’ of cycling and several League alumni athletes are now racing on professional teams at events like the Tour of California and the Sea Otter Classic. Due to the rapid growth and participation, the MN League has expanded to now allow middle school aged students to race. Minnesota High School Cycling League

Bike Pic July 31, a fun animated water water stop

Here on the Norsk Tur Bike Route of the La Crosse Area Bicycle Festival this biker dude finds a fun animated piece of art to fill his water bottles. This water fountain is found on both the 50 and 100 mile loop, in Coon Valley, WI.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day  

Now, rolling into our 11th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search for more fun photos worth a grin, share your stories so more can find their next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Submit your photos

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 900 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

See our blog

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please see our medias to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

Minnesota River bottoms, Bloomington’s natural trail network

John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

It was the summer of 1849, the first Bloomington Ferry began operations next to the Minnesota River bottoms. It carried people from the Bloomington shores to Shakopee. Exactly 40 years later, the first Bloomington Ferry Bridge was opened. Following that, versions of that bridge carried people, carriages, and motorists across the river for over 100 years. The current pedestrian bridge is a beautiful arch, spanning the Minnesota River and connecting Bloomigton to the Highway 101 trail to Shakopee. The Bridge is also the starting point for The Minnesota River Bottoms trail. The River Bottoms are some of the metro areas last natural trails, popular for mountain biking, hiking, fishing and bird watching.

Minnesota River Bottoms

Bikes on the Bloomington Ferry Bridge, near the trail head of the Minnesota River Bottoms

What are the Minnesota river bottoms

The Minnesota River bottoms are worn in by the riders, hikers, and runners who frequent them

The “River Bottoms” to locals, is a trail network stretching from the south west corner of Bloomington, all the way to the trails of Fort Snelling State Park. These trails are worn in by the riders and runners who frequent them. While under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, they are not maintained by any government entity. Due to the fact that the “River Bottoms” aren’t maintained by any organization, the trails often take on a “path of least resistance” or direction. It is not uncommon for new trails to spring up after heavy rains and high river flooding. While riding, expect exclusively dirt trails with some log crossings, sand sections, and occasional overgrowth. Warning, pay particular attention for the Urtica Dioica plants, or stinging nettles, growing on infrequently used trails from June through August.

Wildlife of the Minnesota River Bottoms

Bikers, birdwatchers and hikers can enjoy the wildlife sightings along the banks of the Minnesota River.

Bikers, birdwatchers and hikers can enjoy the wildlife sightings along the banks of the Minnesota River.

The River Bottoms are great for all types of recreation. It’s not uncommon to see hikers, bird watchers and people fishing along the banks of the Minnesota river. I have enjoyed sharing with my son the sights of Bald eagles and Beavers who make the watershed their home. Additionally, being a natural area, the River Bottoms are home to countless animals.

What to expect

There are a few popular entrances to the River Bottom trail, Lyndale Ave, Crest Ave, and Old Cedar Ave. These entrances offer ample parking and a clear trailhead. Once you start down the trail you will see that nothing is paved but worn-in enough to be firm under your tires. While a mountain bike is best for these trails, wider tires on Hybrids and adventure bikes navigate well. If you need to cross a stream, there are bridges or a ferry (at 9-mile creek) to get you around. Because the River Bottoms are so smooth, they are an ideal place to take kids mountain biking.

The Minnesota River bottoms are worn in by the riders, hikers, and runners who frequent them

You will find runners who frequent the natural settings of the Minnesota River bottoms

When to ride

Spring, summer, winter or fall the Minnesota River bottoms is a natural haven for cyclists

The best part of the River Bottoms is that it is one of the first places to dry out each spring. It is also one of the first places to freeze when winter rolls through. Avoid this trail in early spring as the trails thaw and after a strong rain. Other than that, these trails are sandy enough to drain quickly. One of the best things about the river bottoms is riding fatbikes. There in the winter, in fact, fat bikes can trace their development directly to the river bottom. When the snow falls, the river bottoms are a the perfect mixture of flat trail, bermed turns, and accessibility to create a near-perfect winter track.

Winters can get exciting in the Minnesota River bottoms with Penn Cycles Get Fat with Phat fat bike races in January.

We in the twin cities are lucky to have a place like the river bottoms to ride. The fact that it is left free to change and natural is unique in a metro area. To that point, there are user groups that are working against the eventual possibility of developing the river bottom area. Whatever your opinion is on development, get into the wilds of the River Bottoms and enjoy this local treasure.

If you are in the Twin Cities Gateway, north of Minneapolis this summer and near Blaine, here are a couple events you may want to consider jumping on your bike and riding too. The Blaine Festival is family fun!

The Blaine Festival and bicycle races are two fun events to bike too

If you are in the Twin Cities Gateway Area this summer, the Blaine Festival, north of Minneapolis, is only a week away. From June 27th to the 30th you will find several fun events over the weekend. While there you may want to consider jumping on a bike and riding the velodrome track at the National Sports Center.

The Blaine Festival is family fun!

You will find the parade and a whole lot more to bike too.

You will find the parade and a whole lot more to bike too.

un for the whole family, the 2019 Blaine Festival (June 27 – 30) is a community event now celebrating its 50th year. The fun kicks off on Friday at Noon, with a medallion hunt and festivities that runs through Sunday, at 6 p.m. for a weekend of fun.

Stack the Oreo cookies always gets grins, young and old.

Stacks of Oreo cookies always get grins from both young and old.

Pig races and a “Not So” ugly contest are just a few of the fun events

Events throughout the three-days include carnival rides, crafter/business fair, civic tent, petting zoo, magician, recreational activities, food, and live bands. Along with the traditional parade scheduled at Noon on Saturday event, other highlights include: pig races, a pedal tractor pull, an Oreo stacking contest and the “Not So” Ugly do contest!

Join the fun, the festival is located in Blaine at Aquatore Park (northwest of Highway 65 & 10). With free admission and parking, there is a wide variety of entertainment with something for everyone.

The Blaine Farmers Market

The Blaine Farmers Market is easy to get to by bike.

The Blaine Farmers Market is easy to get to by bike.

One of the many joys of summer is to savor the fresh fruits and vegetables from the garden. However, not all of us have the time and space to raise our favorite produce. That’s where farmers’ markets come into play and the Twin Cities Gateway (TCG)has you covered. Along with the Blaine Market, TCG offers six other farmers’ markets, on different days and locations to choose from.  A great place to pick up a couple of things you want for a healthy snack on that next bike outing.

In Blaine, each Wednesday in the city hall parking lot stop in at the farmers’ market, throughout the summer.

Visit the Blaine Market, from 3 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday’s at 10801 Town Square Drive NE, Blaine, MN 55449

Don’t forget two-wheel racing at the velodrome in Blaine

Every Thursday and some weekend offers you the option to participate or watch the racing at the National Sports Center Velodrome in Blaine  – see more here!

Need lodging for your visit to Blaine?

You can find a complete listing of lodging opportunities in Blaine and neighboring communities Twin Cities Gateway communities here.

Have Fun!

Pedaling along the Mississippi River Trail, north of Minneapolis, takes cyclists through the remarkable art community of Fridley. With the annual '49er Days, live theatre and a stunning gallery everyone will be inspired biking or hiking in Fridley.

The art of biking and festivals in friendly Fridley Minnesota

Pedaling along the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), north of Minneapolis takes cyclists through the remarkable art community of Fridley, with the annual ’49er Days,  June 14 -16. One of the nine communities in the Twin Cities Gateway the city offers a one of a kind experience for art and bike lovers alike. From live theatre, a stunning gallery and a festival with many craft artist, everyone visiting will feel inspired after taking a look at the creative scene in bike-friendly Fridley.

Craft art is one of the highlights at the ’49er Days Festival

Come for the 49er Parade, stay for all the fun activities and food scheduled throughout the day.

Come for the 49er Parade, stay for all the fun activities and food scheduled throughout the day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fridley Lions Club, ’49er Festival starts with a parade on Thursday, June 14.
Then throughout the weekend, the festival hosts many fun activities. In a family-friendly community tradition celebrating the year, Fridley was incorporated as a city!

Banfill-Locke Center for Art

ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AS YOU ENTER THE BANFILL-LOCKE CENTER FOR THE ART IN FRIDLEY.

ENJOY THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN AS YOU ENTER THE BANFILL-LOCKE CENTER FOR THE ART IN FRIDLEY.

Just off of the MRT the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts makes a great rest stop on your bike ride. Stop in to cool off and admire the works in the gallery. Maybe pick up a gift for another art lover in their gift shop. If seeing all the collections that will inspire you, consider making the trip to Banfill-Locke regularly and sign up for a class. You can find a class that would best fit your schedule, from a single lesson to an eight-week workshop. The Banfill-Locke Center offers classes in literary, visual, and self-discovery arts. The center also allows brings in local poets for poetry enthusiasts to appreciate.

On Thursday, June 21 from 5 – 8 p.m. the Banfill-Locke Center celebrates the impact the arts have on the Fridley community during our Summer Solstice Soiree.

Fridley Community Theatre

Along with wonderful art, Fridley also has a renowned community theatre. With three productions a year, the community theatre works hard to bring wonderful live theatrical performances to its audiences. For this year’s summer production “Sister Act” is the feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that had audiences jumping to their feet!

There is still time to get your ticket, the show opens in July with performances on July 20, 21, 26 at 7 p.m. and a matinee performance, July 28 at 2 p.m.

Also playing is the Fridley Community Youth Theatre Production the Lion King, June 29 through July 1, check it out!

Natural art can be found at the Springbrook Nature Center

After walking through Springbrooke's Interpretative Center take a stroll down one of the many trails there.

After walking through Springbrook’s Interpretative Center take a stroll down one of the many trails there.

There are two parts to Springbrook. The inside contains information about the center and interactive section in the back. You can learn about the different kinds of trees, see live snakes, frogs, turtles, wild turkey, and more. It’s a great place to prepare for a hike on the Nature Trail.

Once you get outside there are a couple of access points to the trail – and this is where the real adventure begins. Everywhere you go you will be surrounded by nature. You’ve got trees of different kinds everywhere, small and large bridges that will take you across all kinds of creeks and wetlands. There’s even a large walkway that takes you across a semi-large pond where you’ll have the best chance to catch some bird sighting.

So bike on over to Fridley to get your fill of all things art.

The best way to verify you are buying the best bike for you is to test ride a lot.

Buying a new bike? Test ride tips to make the most of your time

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

The best way to find the right bike for you is to do some research on models you like. Then verify their size to your body and test riding your choices a lot. With so many choose, how do you make the best use of your time while test riding these bikes? Read on for a complete list of how to test ride efficiently.

Test ride bike plan research

Any good test ride begin with research. First, review what type of bicycle you would like, then check out the websites of some popular brands. Pay close attention to the prices of each bike and what it buys you. A few things to look for are, the amount of gears, what type of suspension it has, tire size, frame material, and brake type. Once you have gotten a general sense for what is available, you can plan a trip to the bike shop.

Pick a shop

Give a call to the shops closest to you and verify they have the models you want to test ride.

Before looking further call a shop closest to you and verify they have the models you want to test ride.

Once you have researched a few bikes you like, give some local dealers a call. Most brand’s websites have a dealer locator to help you find the closest shop. Give a call to the shops closest to you and verify they have the models you want to ride. Because shops can’t stock every possible model in every possible size, call to ensure they at least have the right model in a size that is close to what you are looking for.

Make a date to test ride

Check the weather and your schedule, then pick a good time to head into the shop. Keep in mind that shops and roads are less busy during the work week. Therefore, Monday thru Friday is the ideal time to test ride bikes. If you need to go in on the weekend, call the shop and see when they are least busy and make an appointment if possible.

Dress appropriately

It makes no sense to test ride bicycles if you are not dressed for the occasion. Wear your Jersey, Shorts, bring your helmet, and bring shoes and pedals if you ride clipless. Another helpful thing is to bring your existing bicycle with you. The way your current bike is setup can be replicated somewhat for test rides.

Bring your ID

When test riding bikes, you are potentially borrowing thousands of dollars from the shop. Therefore, it’s expected for shops to ask for some form of collateral. At the minimum, bring your ID and a major credit card.

The test ride

Test rides don’t need to take hours, but a three minute spin is rarely enough time to make a real impression. Expect to take at least 15 minutes on each bike, with more time spent on the first few bikes you ride. When riding, try to focus on how the bike accelerates, how easily it changes direction, and how stable it feels. A great way to do this is to pick a set route that has some flat area, some climbs, and at least one good descent. Riding the same course with different bikes makes comparing them easier.

Narrow it down to bikes

Once you get the feel for a few bikes, you can start narrowing down your choices. I find it best to pick two and then ride them back to back, concentrating on fit and comfort rather than speed and stability. Have the shop begin dialing in your fit on these two bicycles to see which one really is the best for you. Once you have a bike that rides well and fits well, you are ready to buy.

Buy everything you will need

A bike that rides great is the key ingredient in a great bike ride but it’s not everything. Remember that your new bike needs things like a water bottle cage, kickstand, lights, and maybe clipless pedals or a better fitting saddle. Consider all the situations you may run into on your new bike and buy the products you need to be prepared.

Hopefully your next bike purchase will be fun and informative

“Life is like riding a bicycle. You don’t fall off unless you plan to stop pedaling.” ~ Claude Pepper. No matter what you do in life, keep on pedaling. The destination is worth all the roadblocks and forks on the trail.

Bike Pic Dec 1, Pedaling Through Life, Reach That Destination

“Life is like riding a bicycle. You don’t fall off unless you plan to stop pedaling.” ~ Claude Pepper. No matter what you do in life, keep on pedaling. The destination is worth all the roadblocks and forks on the trail.

Planning your #NextBikeAdventure? View the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide and remember to register for the Root River Bluff & Valley Bicycle Tour.

Thanks for viewing Today’s Pedaling Through Life Bike Pic

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun. While highlighting all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. Please share all our picks with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the next corner with one of our camera’s ready to document your next move while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next Pic of the Day posts.

Have a great day!

While we cant stop the cold from hitting soon, get out and discover how fun it is to fatbike.

Learning to fatbike for fitness and fun as winter soon returns

by John Brown, HaveFunBiking.com

As the winter winds begin to shift and blow into our office, here in Minnesota, thoughts turn toward the snow covered trails. We are lucky here to enjoy a massive amount of trails that are designed for winter riding. But if you are like me and new to the whole fatbiking thing, how do you get into it and what should you expect?

The fatbike

Fatbikes are more like normal mountain bikes than you may think. As an example, the only parts unique to most fat tired bikes are the crank, tires and wheels. Other than those things, all the other parts are interchangeable with you normal mountain bike. That being said, the parts that make a fat tired bike different are responsible for their namesake. The large wheels and tires give these fatbikes their flotation on soft surfaces like snow and sand. There are now several brands available at most price points so getting into the sport has never been easier. Plus many bike shops offer rental programs.

Interbike E Bike

The Surface Boar is as versatile as it is cool fatbike

The fatbike ride

The best part about a fatbike is that it extends your season with an all new cycling experience. For the most part, when snow was falling, people were kept from riding. Now, with so many fat tired bike options, a thick layer of the white stuff simply means more riding for all! With 4”-5” wide tires and pressures as low as 4psi, a fatbike can easily navigate deep snow. The only issue you will run into is ice. An icy surface doesn’t really care how wide the tire is, it’s still slippery. Once a trail gets slick it’s best to either change your tires to studded versions, or install studs in your existing tires. With studs below you, the game is back on.

Studded (left) and standard (right) fatbike tires

The Gear

I find the hardest part of fatbiking is dressing properly. I am no stranger to winter riding, but most of that has been commuting. Once I got off road, I found that I was chronically overdressed. Off road riding is slower than commuting, so there is less wind chill to contend with. Additionally, I find it is a higher effort (more calories spent) to fatbike than to commute. When winter riding make sure your feet and hands are warm with good gloves and winter shoes. I also find you should wear warm cycling clothes that will wick the moisture away and resist the urge to wear too much clothing.

While I can’t stop the cold from hitting Minnesota, I can prepare for winter riding. Here are a few tips to help you get ready for the winter.

While we cant stop the cold from hitting soon, get out and discover how fun it is to fatbike.

Having Fun

The most fun part of riding a fatbike is experiencing an existing trail you may have used before, in a new way.  With a fresh coat of snow on the ground, features that may normally be difficult get smoothed out and sections that are typically easy, can become difficult. That change in perspective gives all new life to trails that may have become old and commonplace to you. So get out there and try fatbiking this winter.