Post by Mary on September 6, 2018
Jamie is still riding around the mountains on the first of our two Tour du Mont Blanc trips this September. Even though our summer season isn’t over it’s time for us to start thinking about Fat Biking this winter. After 2 seasons of searching for good value accommodation for our Fat Biking trips, we have finally found the perfect location at La Reposette. La Reposette is a recently renovated family-run Auberge situated in Vercland, above the village of Samoens. It’s one of our favourite places to go for apres bike or ski and dinner out. There’s a lovely relaxed atmosphere and a good menu with well-cooked food. There are enough rooms for group sizes of up to 8 people and good storage facilities for the bikes. Our self-catering holiday apartment is also still available for smaller groups of 2 -4 people. If you’re thinking of a Fat Biking trip with us this winter then please do get in touch for further information.
If you still need a bit of persuading to try out Fat Biking then I’m sure the enthusiasm of Ian Boltt, one of the founders of “Fatbike Adventures” in County Wicklow, Ireland, will go some way towards convincing you to give it a go. See below for our Q&A.
When did you first start riding fat bikes? I first laid eyes on a fatbike (Specialized Fatboy) in late 2014, needless to say my credit card took a hit on a Surly Ice Cream Truck in early 2015 when it snowed…
Do you ride fat bikes all year round or do you have a fat biking season(s)? We ride fatbikes all year round come rain, snow or shine. The Ireland has plenty of bog and beach terrain, some might say fatbikes were designed for Ireland.
What’s better on a fat bike: sand or snow? Honestly can’t decide, we ride on sand more than on snow only because it doesn’t snow much here in Ireland. Both are loads of fun, less cleaning of bike and gritty gears on snow in fairness. We usually only get wet snow here in Ireland, I’ve only ridden on the powdery stuff once and it was epic!! A wet snow a.k.a. slush puppy spin is great fun especially when your arse, fingers and toes go completely numb. Eh, NOT!
Why ride “fat” instead of a standard trail bike? The grip on a fatty is super immense so it makes climbing the tricky technical stuff great fun and it allows the rider to tackle almost everything that most ‘skinny’ bikes wouldn’t be able for. The superhuman inverted berm attacks at the Bike Parks are my favourite, on a fatty you actually speed up on the corners, crazy fun!!
What is your favourite local fat bike trail? Our most popular touring trail is Ballinastoe, I’ve ridden it heaps over the years, the groomed flowy trails are fast and fun and the scenery/views (Guinness Lake – It looks like a pint of the black stuff, but alas it’s only water) are spectacular. The best trail for a fatbike though is where there’s no trail, these guys go over everything and leave no trace, how uber eco-friendly is that!
Where is the best place you’ve ever ridden your fat bike? In 2016 a bunch of us rode fatbikes up Ireland’s 2nd highest mountain – Lugnaquilla there’s loads of blanket bog near the summit and the low tire pressures were brilliant at helping us float over the top. The panoramic views of County Wicklow, the mountains and the Irish sea were totally worth it.
Where would you love to ride your fat bike? Iceland – No question! It’s on the top of my bucket list. Followed in no particular order by the Alps, Cape Town, Namibia, Swedish Lapland, Mongolia and Colorado USA.
What’s the single best thing about riding your fat bike? It makes me happy. It’s the solution for everything bad day – fatbike ride, stressful week – fatbike ride. The noise of the tires on the road, the looks people give you when you fly past them. The comments on the wheel size and the ‘that thing must weigh a tonne’ every time never get old. I particularly relish the opinions voiced from other bikers who’ve never ridden one and cant wait to tell me how ridiculous they are/look etc. The look on their faces when they pick it up or try it out = priceless. Fatties are meant to be fun. I honestly believe that fatbikes are the cycling revolution, more people are getting into cycling because of fatbikes, more people are trying off-road cycling because of fatbikes and more people are out on their bikes all year round because of fatbikes.
You can find out more about Ian and Fatbike Adventures on their website.