The press release and information below were sent to us by RideFatbikes.com reader, Andy Williams. Grand Tarhee held a fatbike event recently on the ski trails. Hopefully this is the first of many stories of cooperation between fatbikes and ski resorts, parks and other recreation areas. While XC skiiers deserve trails to themselves, it’s also fair to expect that as the fatbike community grows, we should be able to respectfully develop cooperative relationships for shared or alternate use of trails (using selected trails with permission only, on days/times designated by trial managers). RideFatbikes.com would like to thank Grand Targhee for exploring this world of options, and Andy Williams for sharing this information with us! While the press release below uses the term snowbikes throughout, we at RideFatbikes.com obviously prefer the term fatbikes! 🙂
One recent Saturday the Grand Targhee’s lower parking lot was packed with skiers, boarders and bikers. Twenty or so guests were getting ready to enjoy Grand Targhee’s Nordic Trail System, not on skis, but on snow bikes. Grand Targhee is the first ski resort in the United States to embrace and endorse snow biking on its undulating and twisty 15 kilometer Nordic trail system.
Andy Williams, Grand Targhee’s Special Events/ Summer Trails and long time snow biker, was pivotal in paving the way for Grand Targhee to encourage snow biking on the Nordic trails.
“After enjoying the mountain bike trails in Rick’s Basin during the summer, I couldn’t help but think that the winter riding would be amazing,” Williams stated.
“Snow biking provides another recreational opportunity for guests to enjoy nature in the Tetons,” Williams says.
The local, and growing, snow bike community agrees.
Dave Byers, a local snow bike race organizer and cyclist, recently blogged “I applaud Grand Targhee Resort for their forward thinking and willingness to try something new. As long as snow bikers follow the rules and respect the trails when conditions are soft, I feel as if snow bikers and the Nordic skiers can coexist peacefully on the trails.”
The snow bike was created to go where standard mountain bikes flounder because the riding surface is too soft. Similar in look to a hard-tail mountain bike but with fat balloon tires, a snow bike has much wider clearances in the front fork and rear triangle to accommodate tires up to 4” wide. These large-volume, low-pressure tires provide floatation on soft surfaces such as snow and sand that would make the terrain otherwise unrideable. Snow biking is increasing in popularity in winter climes as cyclists look to extend their outdoor riding season year round.
Snow bikes are permitted on Grand Targhee’s Nordic Trails as long as riders purchase a Nordic ticket for $10 per day or a Nordic season pass for $115. Grand Targhee Resort will also host its first snow bike race on January 15, 2012 in conjunction with Teton Valley, Idaho’s Winter Festival. Grand Targhee’s snow bike race offers three distances, 15K, 30K or 45K in men’s and women’s categories. Event registration is available online until January 14, 2011 at www.athlete360.com or the day of the race from 8:00 am to 9:15 am. Online registration is $30 for the 45K race and $20 for the 30K and 15K races. Day of registration is $40 for the 45K race, $25 for the 30K and $25 for the 15k race.
Snow bike rentals are available at Grand Targhee at Teton Mountain Outfitters or in downtown Driggs, Idaho at Habitat. Habitat also sells the Surly Pugsley and Moonlander snow bikes.
- Ride groomed ski trails only if they are open to snow bikes.
- Ride only snow bikes with high floatation, fat tires. Adjust your tire pressure to avoid leaving ruts.
- Ride when the snow is firm enough to support you and your bike. If you leave a rut more than a 1” deep or have trouble ascending or descending, then conditions are too soft and you should not ride your bike. If you must walk a hill or other section, walk to the side of the trail so that footprints are not in the main skate lane.
- Yield to skiers. Give skate skiers plenty of room.
- Do not ride in the classic ski tracks.
- Let recently groomed tracks set up several hours before riding. For example, wait until after 10 am on a morning which the track is groomed at 7 am.
- Purchase trail passes or make donations to those organizations which groom the trails.
- Snow Biking Video Link: http://youtu.be/A0RyK0Y5RY8