Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Storm Chasing - In Search of More Snow

Yesterday a nice looking "snow" cloud seemed to be dumping some white stuff in my local backyard playground. So I wasted no time chasing this storm to the foot of the mountain in search of fresh snow.

I was not dissappointed...I arrived in the middle of a nice solid dump. I had my "old" Fatback with me since it seemed to need some exercise and it was ready to go. This bike is one I have for sale and I only call it my "old" Fatback since it was recently replaced by a titanium model. This Fatback was new earlier this year (like March). I would not mind keeping it, but I really do not need a 2nd fatbike at this time. I also rode it today just to justify in my mind that the titanium Fatback was better riding (I still feel guilty selling this one since it's so new). This Fatback rides perfect and is a nice bike.

I also took this opportunity to try out another new product, an insulated Kleen Kanteen. This is not something for weight weenies since it is not a light product. But it has a specific purpose for me and that is to provided me with some hot beverages on the snow bike. I've had plenty of issues with insulated water bottles freezing on my rides. On this ride I put some warm tap water in 2 of these for my 1st test. The result was that I had warm water from start to finish on my ride. Today I rode again and put hot tea in one bottle which was still burning hot after 4-hours in the cold. So these things work and work well! Hmmm...maybe I can have some sweet iced tea next summer.

Today the snow was quite a bit deeper and the titanium Fatback was ready to go with my best traction tires, Surly Bud up front and a Surly Nate in the rear. On my Fatback 70mm rims the Bud measures 4.5 inches and the Nate is 4-inches. This is the best combo I have found for deep snow conditions. This tire combo actually works fine in any snow conditions, but it seems a litte slower on groomed surfaces (something I rarely ever get to ride on).

Today the snow was very soft and plenty deep, plus it was windy and still snowing some. I rode most if it without any difficulty. But some of the steep hills were easier to walk than to ride. In my mind, walking your bike now and then is just part of riding a fatbike in the backcountry. I resisted the hike-a-bike when I first started fatbiking due to my stubborn mindset, but now I rather enjoy getting off and walking some. Snomobiles will be through here soon and I look forward to their arrival since on their tracks I can go as far as I want without getting too tired. I put in 20-miles today and I'm exausted.

The mighty Titan (my titanium Fatback) today put to rest any guilt or buyer remorse I may have been feeling. I love riding that bike...it's a keeper. It "rides" better for me, it "feels" faster, I "feel" I can go farther on it in the deep snow and it "makes" me smile more...true or not does not matter since there is something about this bike that elevates everthing about my rides.


Doug Goodenough said...

Sweet.....don't have a fat bike but have new pair of x country ski's to try out. Good to see there is enough snow up there. Was not sure how much had fallen

Eric Kop-ski said...

Doug, I've got a Fatbike for sale...you should come up and ride it sometime!