Post by Mary on November 15, 2023
We’re experiencing our first snowfalls of the season here in the Alps so our thoughts are turning to Winter mountain biking. Jamie is getting our small fleet of fat bikes ready to ride for when the snow reaches the valley floor. If you’ve never been fat biking, it brings a whole new element of fun to Winter mountain biking.
One of our regular guests, Steve Booth from Yorkshire, is a genuine fat biking enthusiast. He has his own fat bike that he uses regularly for Winter mountain biking in the UK and he came out to ride in the Alps with us last year. This week I asked Steve about his passion for fat biking. This is what he had to say:
- When and how did you first get into fat biking? 2012, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I saw a Moots fat bike and fell in love.
- What fat bike do you ride? Salsa Mukluk, 2014 that’s gained proper brakes, hubs etc and a dropper post but still rigid forks.
- Where and how often do you ride your fat bike locally? I use it as a mucky weather trail bike all year and get excited if we do get any snow to play in.
- Do you take your fat bike to ride in other places in the UK or abroad? Scotland a few times. It’s been on the beach. Mainly lots of snow days.
- In what circumstances (weather, conditions, personal choice) would you choose to ride your fat bike rather than your standard mountain bike? All weather! It’s a great trail bike and not as heavy as it looks. Great fun on anything except tarmac or very rocky trails.
- What do you love about fat biking? It just makes me grin when I get on it. No suspension to ruin or go wrong. Simple. Ride all day.
- Is there anything you don’t like about fat biking? Tyres are expensive and easily punctured – you’ve got to ride lighter than normal as pressures are lower to grip if not on snow / sand.
- You have been on a fat biking trip with us in the Alps. What did you enjoy most about the trip? Fun! You don’t cover a lot of distance but it’s so much fun realising what you can do on a bike in the snow.
- What would you say to someone who is thinking of booking a fat biking holiday? Prepare to have a lot of giggles and fall into the soft stuff.
- Where in the world would you most like to ride a fat bike? North Sweden frozen lakes.
The picture above shows Steve on his way back down from the Refuge de Bostan. This welcoming mountain refuge stays open through the winter months. It’s a tough 700m climb up to the refuge but the views, the warm food and drink and the powder descent are definitely worth the effort. There are many different options for riding in the winter from easy trails along the valley floor to fast blasts down the ski pistes (when they are closed!) to big climbs like the Bostan route.
If you want to inject some snow fun into your mountain biking this winter a long weekend fat biking in the Alps should do it. The best month to come fat biking is January when it’s normally cold enough for good snow conditions everywhere. It’s also a quiet month in terms of visitor numbers so accommodation is easy to find. At the moment our holiday apartment is available from 6th January onwards. It’s ideal for couples or small groups of up to 4 people. We live next door so that makes riding logistics easy and we can ride from the front door straight onto the trails. Other accommodation options are also available. Email Mary for further details.
We hope to see you out on the fat bikes this winter!