Oh What Fun It Is To Ride…

Discussion in 'Mos Eisleys Space Bar' started by TonisToo, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    As I get older, I find winters here on the Avalon to be more difficult. The lack of sunlight challenges my mental state and de motivates me to go out and do any sort of exercise my 49 year old body demands. Hiking with my wife and dogs has helped a lot… they don’t care about the weather, they love the snow, and their joy of being outside is infectious. Over the past few years I’ve been seeing more and more “fat tire” bikes on the trails in winter. Near the end of last winter season I purchased a used one and I’ve been enjoying it tremendously. I thought I would share my experiences here in case anyone was looking for a new form of exercise during the winter months when you are not riding your motorcycle.

    “Fat biking” or “snow biking” has a lot of aspects in common with dual sport riding. I guess you could think of a fat bike as the Yamaha TW200 of the dual sport world. Sometimes it reminds me of my old 1977 Honda CT70 Trail that I rode one winter in 1988. Wide knobby tires up to 4.8” float over the snowy trails and provide amazing traction. I was expecting the front tire to wash out and to end up flat on my face but not so. Combining low pressures and a sticky tire compound makes for a great deal of fun. Many riders opt to add studs for when the going gets icy near the end of winter season. A single speed crank marries to a 9-11 speed rear gear set. Aluminum frames and disc brakes round out the package. I have really enjoyed the slower speed of the fat bike compared to the more traditional mountain bike I had (but was not using much). Excellent trails abound very near my house so it’s never boring. Adding a LED light compounds the fun and adds night riding to the mix so you can ride after work during week days. There is a growing community of like-minded individuals that will help out a new rider and good support from local shops. Just like motorcycles, there’s virtually no limit to what you can spend on a bike, farkles, and gear. When you’re not riding you can go on the internet and argue over chain lube, tires, seats, grips, gears, brakes, helmets, tire pressures, bike racks, and trails. You can use your GoPro and digital camera to record your rides and share on social media.

    Seriously it’s been a lot of fun so far and it’s great exercise. I’ve never looked forward to the snow as much as this year. Usually there is a snow bike festival in Pippy Park in January that offers up a chance for newbies to test out bikes to see if it might be for them. Consider giving it a try.

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    skibum69 likes this.
  2. Trash

    Trash Well-Known Member

    Good to hear that you are making the most of your wintry conditions, Tony. :)
    Burning some calories in the process makes it even better!
     
  3. Denis

    Denis Member

    I have also picked up a cheaper....(and I use that term loosely) fat bike and have been doing after work rides at Voiseys Brook park. As you said it has been tremendous for my mental health and my “fat” not to be confused with “phat” body. I’m searching for some new trails where the snow has been beat down a bit. The snow at Voiseys is getting a little deep in some places and me thinks we need a little rain now to settle the snow out. If you have any suggestions on trails I am all ears. I think I will try pippy park in the coming weeks.
     
  4. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    Pippy Park is very popular. The trails are 10/10 right now. I was familiar with this trail network already since I take the dogs there. Two options for finding new trails are to download the "Trailforks" app to your phone. Alternatively, I can give you my cell number and we can get together for a ride and I can show you some excellent trails in behind Airport Heights.
     
  5. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I want one but it's not in my budget with reno's etc.
     
  6. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    Back in the 90's I rode mountain bike a fair bit, and mostly during the winter months. For the winter I would use studded tires, worked excellent. And great for riding on an ice covered pond...very fast riding and fun!
     
  7. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    I was pretty surprised at the cost of some of the bicycles being sold in local shops. The downhill scene seems to be pretty popular. I paid $725 for my bicycle on the used market which seems to be about the sweet spot these days. I was able to sell my Cannondale that was gathering dust for $600.
     
  8. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    What do you do now to keep fit in winter? The trail network is very near to your house.
     
  9. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    Walking mostly. I have a really bad back that I suffer with all year long. Excellent trails in Airport Heights.
     
  10. Wayne

    Wayne Well-Known Member

    I was hanging on to my bike even though I haven't used it in a while. But last Fall I posted both mine and my wife's bike for sale and sold both on the same day!
     
  11. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    Spikes on your boots work really well on these trails too.
     
  12. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    Also from what I know of you, you're physically active all year round and not so much in need of an extra effort during winter!
     
  13. Denis

    Denis Member

    That sounds great. I am only about 10min from Airport heights so that would be nice and close. I am hoping the snow stays away just a bit longer as it seems the little bit of rain has flattened things out a bit.
     
  14. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    The trails were excellent last night at Pippy Park and some grooming is underway. Freezing temps firmed up the snow nicely and was quite fast in places. Lots of rabbits on the go.
     
  15. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I've mtn biked the trails above Airport Heights extensively and yes they are good with a fair number to choose from.

    I do tend to stay pretty active and started going back to the gym while working offshore. I do surf all year 'round but don't get out nearly enough. So far so good for staying in shape even with a few niggly aches and pains that have nothing to do with a lifetime of playing hard.:p

    That being said the missus and I are looking to get some cheap XC skis for tooling around out our way. It will be a good way to get outside when we have snow but cheap as we know all about the rocks etc.

    I should get her looking at fat bikes...but I have expensive tastes coming from riding $10K+ custom build bicycles
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
    TonisToo likes this.
  16. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    I still have my old XC skis from high school. My third favourite winter activity is snow shoeing which aids in making a good trail for walking and biking. Pretty inexpensive outdoor activity.
     
  17. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I used to snowshoe back in high school days and a lot of XC back then too but now I hate the snowshoes for being too slow. Why walk when you can slide?
     
  18. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    I will never try to convince a Skibum to give up his skis. You will probably hate fat bikes too because of the slow speed.
     
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  19. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    The Pippy Park Snow Bike Festival will take place on Sunday, January 26 at Pippy Park in St. John's!

    The festival will feature a group ride for all abilities with multiple route options, a KOM/QOM competition, fatbike demos, and an after-party with some surprises. More details will be released soon.

    Annual Bicycle NL membership for 2020 is required for entry. Your registration fee includes some free goodies, a post-ride lunch, entry into prize draws, and most importantly helps contribute to the costs of grooming and maintenance of our beautiful trails!

    Registration coming soon..
     
    skibum69 likes this.
  20. skibum69

    skibum69 Well-Known Member

    I've been riding bicycles for a lot longer than I've been skiing and I have broken 90 kmh on pedal bikes. :p
     

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