Are You Fat Biking Yet?
If you're looking to plan a fitness-minded spring break, check out these hot spots for the newest cycling trend.
Sneaking in one last trip before the resorts transition from snow to springtime? Though there’s still powder aplenty, try dividing your time between downhill runs and the new mountain bike on the block. Say hello to the fat bike, whose 3-inch-plus tires will have you cruising over snow in seconds. Over the last few seasons, the sport's popularity has exploded, among ski bums as well as off-season cyclists and triathletes, and North America’s top winter sports destinations have taken notice. In fact, many are opening exclusive experiences just for fatties. Here, we’ve compiled six top-notch trips.
RIDE: Spicy Sports has all the gear you need to hit local trails like Lost Lake and Cut Yer Bars for more advanced singletracking (be sure to ask for maps and trail suggestions based on current conditions). Try on some gold medal glory at Whistler Olympic Park’s Ski Callaghan Nordic Centre. This is the first season some of the groomed trails have been opened to fat biking. Rent your ride at the Centre’s on-site shop.
STAY: Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside is the closest hotel to both the Blackcomb Excalibur and Whistler Village gondolas. The top-rated Four Seasons Whistler is at the base of Blackcomb, and the concierge will arrange a complimentary shuttle (and rental drop-offs) at the Whistler Village, as well.
RIDE: Jan’s Mountain Outfitters is the place to go when you’re looking to cover the city’s 400 miles of singletrack trails on a bike. Take a tour of Park City’s trails, starting with the Union Pacific Rail Trail, which links up to Round Valley’s network of paths for every skill level. Guides at White Pine Touring will happily help you navigate. Go to bike boot camp with All Seasons Adventures. Their experts will take you over trails and through downtown Park City, showing you jaw-dropping scenery and touching up your two-wheeling technique as you go.
STAY: Feeling cosmopolitan? Book a suite at the Main and SKY, located on Park City’s Main Street. It’s steps away from fine dining and shopping and the Town Lift for easy slope access.
RIDE: BootDoctors has locations in Mountain Village and Telluride. You can pick up your very own fat bike with chunky 3.8” tires for a half- or full-day rental. Catch the gondola into Telluride and hoof it to Paragon Ski and Sport, where BootDoctor’s Fat Bike and Brew Tour kicks off. You’ll cruise 3 or 4 miles across Telluride’s Valley Floor and stop off at Telluride Brewing Company, where you’ll sample 10-plus local brews. Rent a fattie through BootDoctors and join local mountain bikers on the Tuesday Night Ride, which leaves town at sunset and takes you through some of the area’s bike-friendly trails.
STAY: Book a room or a private cabin at a Mountain Village hotel for the classic Rockies ski-in/ski-out experience. You’ll be 13 minutes by gondola from historic downtown Telluride, and right in the center of the area’s best dining and shopping. Looking for something luxe? Lumiere Telluride has partnered with The Ski Plane, a private chartered flight that’ll take you directly from Denver Centennial to Telluride Airport. The Peaks Resort and Spa boasts the largest spa in the state plus waterslides, heated pools, platform tennis courts, heli-skiing, arcade games and a doggie day spa and pet-friendly rooms and private cabins.
RIDE: You’ll have to head to Jackson for your bike, but once there, you’ve got two great options in Teton Mountain Bike Tours and Hoback Sports. If you’re planning a multi-day rental (or are cruising on your own farther out of town), TMBT also rents car racks. Two-wheel your way down Snow King Mountain with Hoback Sports’ exclusive single track downhill tour. The two-hour ride is an easy way to score an adrenaline rush. Even better? Snow King abuts Cache Creek, where riders can singletrack-it over packed mountain biking trails.
STAY: Need to be on top of the action? The Snake River Lodge and Spa is next door to the Jackson Hole Mountain Aerial Tram, which takes you straight to the top of the mountain, 4,000 breathtaking vertical feet up. Or try the new Amangani, part of the luxe Aman Resorts family. A complimentary shuttle will deposit you at the resort’s private Ski Lounge, located just below Bridger Gondola.
RIDE: The ski resort as well as the Mont-Tremblant downtown area and village have embraced snow biking with gusto. Head to biking mecca Cybercycle to rent your wheels. A collaboration between the Mont-Tremblant Cycling Club and Ski de fond Mont-Tremblant, the local Nordic center, has opened up 35 km of trails for fat bikers. Or you can go for a night ride with guides from L’Ame du Sport’s bicycle workshop. Cruising the snowed-over golf cart trails by starlight at Le Maître golf course makes for a grand night out.
STAY: Make the most of the First Tracks program at Fairmont Tremblant, which gets you on the slopes 30 minutes ahead of the crowds. Try Hotel Quintessence, renowned for its luxe amenities (think: 700+ square-foot rooms with heated marble floors, fireplaces, and private balconies).
RIDE: Cycling shops are plentiful and many are starting to stock fat bike rentals. Try Placid Planet and High Peaks Cyclery in Lake Placid as well as LeepOff Cycles in Wilmington, near Whiteface Mountain. Newcomb Guide Service will take you fat biking into the Santanoni Preserve, where lies National Historic Landmark Camp Santoni. The “Great Camp” dates back to the late 1800s. Many bikers come to the Adirondacks purely for the twisty mountain roads. If you want to take the route less traveled, try the trails at Henry’s Woods as well as the lakeside Brewster Peninsula Trails.
STAY: For the classic Adirondack experience, the arts-and-crafts-style Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa is the natural choice. The Crowne Plaza Lake Placid, placed in the heart of the Olympic village and just a stone’s throw from the Olympic Center.