Fat Bikes 2020/2021 Fat Bike Winter rides.

LiquidFeet

lurking
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Started out on a slushy ride today, nearly 40 degrees, then this (short video clip that I'm not allowed to post) happened. Two inches in ten minutes!

Got back to the van in sunshine, but I had a little reminder of what I rode through:

View attachment 119894

Observation: Cornering is difficult in slush!!!
Not allowed to post? A family member who doesn't want to be seen?
 

firebanex

Out on the slopes
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Fairbanks, Alaska
Had a lovely ride on a different trail system the other night, much more vertical than the other rides this winter. 6 miles and 900ft of climbing, had a friend from work who doesn't ride much come along so we kept it short. I've ridden them in the summer but never winter time.. It hasn't really snowed in a very long time so the trails are very well packed in!

I love the names of the trails here, After Hours is a fun ~1mile "gravity" trail that in the summer starts off with some pretty fast sections and a couple of switch backs and gradually turns into a massive turny root fest till it abruptly dumps you out onto the Overtime climb trail. Everything is multi use here, so you can't go full out in case there are hikers on the trail going in either direction. Winter time.. no roots! I got a PR down the trail by about 40 seconds on a full rigid fat bike at night.

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Tom K.

HRPufnStf
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I love the names of the trails here, After Hours is a fun ~1mile "gravity" trail that in the summer starts off with some pretty fast sections and a couple of switch backs and gradually turns into a massive turny root fest till it abruptly dumps you out onto the Overtime climb trail.
Sounds like what I've got here. There hasn't been enough snow to prevent me from riding fun "summer" single track, so I've felt no desire to check out groomed snowmobile trails yet.

Come on snow!
 

firebanex

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@firebanex, is it dark there 24 hours a day now?
We gained 4 minutes of light today, total of 4 hours 32 minutes of daylight ;)

Back on the solstice on December 21st we had 3 hours 41 minutes of daylight. I don't get to start a ride after work in the sunlight until early March and I won't get to ride without bringing lights until mid April or so. Then it's on to daylight all the time! It's such a great feeling to go ride in full sunlight at midnight for June and July.
 
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Joel

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Guess I should just put studs on mine. I don't think there's and down side for me, I don't plan to ride it anywhere there's not snow.

We got a light dusting of snow today, if there's anymore over night, I'm going to try and ride in the morning.
 

Joel

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I got a morning ride in, a little more fresh snow than the first ride. It was the first ride with the Wolvhammer boots, I like them. It was 28F out, so not really cold enough to tell how they really do temperature wise. All I can say is I did not notice my feet. Right now I'm using them without clips on platforms, for what I have been riding so far, that seems to work fine. They pretty much feel like a comfy boot, ride, walk, drive....

Happy with the boots, happy with the bike, now to get on my skis.

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Joel

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So far I have been quite surprised at how well the bike sticks to the snow. Though I'm cautiously waiting to run into the slick spot......

Man, day 2 light storm riding is fun when the snow is tacky/grippy. I’m getting all kinds of fastest time for the day on Strava segments :ogbiggrin:.
 

nay

dirt heel pusher
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So far I have been quite surprised at how well the bike sticks to the snow. Though I'm cautiously waiting to run into the slick spot......
It’s the slick rock that’s slick for me now. But the kitty litter is in some places higher traction with snow than dead of summer.

How do you trust that? It makes pushing speed more than a little bit interesting.
 

firebanex

Out on the slopes
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Fairbanks, Alaska
As I mentioned.. all you are gonna get from me is night ride pictures till around mid-March. We rode down into a gnarly inversion today, dropped 1000ft from our start point at around 20*f to -12*f on the valley floor. Felt like hitting a wall as we descended. Otherwise the main goal of this ride was to connect together a few trails we had ridden separately so that we can start in the valley and climb our way up and around before dropping back down again in future rides.

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LiquidFeet

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I don't know why I get into these night images so much, but I do. I'm fascinated.

@firebanex, do you ever encounter fog on these rides? Are the trees to the side of the trail always stand-alone without shrubbery as these in this image are, or do your trails go through terrain with tangled under-growth? How about meadows? Or conifers?

What do you see overhead? Auroras???? If I lived there, I'd be out on these trails. As it is, I'm running and hiking the trails (now snowless) where I live with the goal of learning them all this winter. The AllTrails app is making this possible.
 
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Tom K.

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We rode down into a gnarly inversion today, dropped 1000ft from our start point at around 20*f to -12*f on the valley floor. Felt like hitting a wall as we descended.
I've skied a few days like that at Jackson Hole over the decades. Blazing down to catch the tram, and WHAM, right in the forehead!

We're being rained out of what little snow we had left on trails. Luckily, I did a lot of riding earlier this winter, when the snow was plentiful IN OCTOBER?!
 
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nay

dirt heel pusher
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Chinook today created a quick surface melt of my most local ride, but underneath the ground is frozen. Don’t get to ride much wet, the clay in most local areas makes a day like today unrideable, but this was just fantastic for an area that is usually dry and blown out most of the year. Drier up top in second pic.

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firebanex

Out on the slopes
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Fairbanks, Alaska
I don't know why I get into these night images so much, but I do. I'm fascinated.

@firebanex, do you ever encounter fog on these rides? Are the trees to the side of the trail always stand-alone without shrubbery as these in this image are, or do your trails go through terrain with tangled under-growth? How about meadows? Or conifers?

What do you see overhead? Auroras???? If I lived there, I'd be out on these trails. As it is, I'm running and hiking the trails (now snowless) where I live with the goal of learning them all this winter. The AllTrails app is making this possible.
So in interior Alaska, fog in the winter means it's like -30*f or colder and we call it ice fog. It mainly contains exhaust from cars, homes, power plants, and whatnot else.. it's pretty to look at but also pretty bad to breathe. It tends to develop down in town and can cover the mushing trails that I ride out the back door of my work place, when that happens we just head to the valley and ridges north of town to get away. At those temps we tend to try to get above the inversion and into the hills and ridges so it's not such an exercise of type 2 fun.

As for trees and undergrowth.. most of the trails we ride in the winter are through permafrosted areas (and swamp in the summer) and are mostly stunted black spruce trees. It's usually super thick and you can't see too far off trail. The particular trail network we started on the other night is a mix of birch and alder trees until you get on the northern facing part of the hill, then it starts into spruce and starts to close in. By the time we got to the bottom it was a twisty snowmachine trail through stunted black spruce, it looked cool but I didn't quite have the right layers on to stop and take pictures. Something similar to this picture from a few weeks ago on the otherside of the valley in the same trail system. Winter time is great, the trees don't have leaves and all of the underbrush gets smashed down by the snow and it just opens up the woods so much.
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The Aurora has been pretty quiet these last few weeks, only seen wisps of it. We did have some pretty spectacular stars the other night though, sadly our ride was pretty forested (and cold) and we didn't get to really stop and look at them.

Our little riding group has spent much of this winter trying to connect together the various individual trails we riden in the summer or last winter. The best part is most of these trails are only connectable in the winter, we can get so many more places without needing to ride on a road. It's so nice to be able to just know how to get across the valley, or up onto the ridge by trails. Get on Trailforks and find Fairbanks Alaska (toggle the winter trail option on and off too) It's not complete yet, but it gives a good indication of just how many trails we've got to mess around with in the summer verse winter.
 
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