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Why You Should Be Attending the Fat Bike Summit

2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit & Festival

2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit & Festival

Jay Petervary shares his thoughts on the 2nd Annual Winter Fat Bike Summit & Festival:

If you have been living in a closet, haven’t had much connection with the shop, or have taken a lot of LSD, you might not know this but the category of Fat Bikes is growing and growing rapidly!  The Fat Bike is basically a mountain bike modified to accept up to 4.7 inch wide tires (they seem to keep growing) which presents the ability to ride in places that a standard mountain bike could not.  Riding Fat Bikes on sand, snow, tundra, coastal areas, and chunky rock is all very doable and so much fun.  With the birth and drive of the Fat Bike being able to be ridden on snow packed trails such as snow machine trails and nordic centers we are now another user group to these trails. Some demographics like ours here surrounding the Tetons has thousands of these miles.

Can you remember when mountain bikes were first being ridden on dirt?  There were user group conflicts as well as many questions of early mountain bikers.  It took quite some time and effort to show our place and be welcomed on the trails. Well, guess what, as Fat Bike users on snow trails we are that early mountain biker – using the trails, but not quite fully accepted.

A Snowmobiler trys a Fat Bike

A Snowmobiler gives a Fat Bike a Try

The Fat Bike Winter Summit was created to start the process of fat bikes being recognized as a accepted and responsible user group.  Its intentions are to educate and build a set of tools that can be used abroad by others to help gain access on snow trails.  These can be long drawn out processes especially when it comes to being able to ride on government land, like Yellowstone National Park (an ultimate goal where snow bikes are not mentioned in the Winter Use Plan).  After this year’s Summit there is going to be talk about forming an official entity / board that works on Fat Bike access on snow.  There is a ton of work to get there, but we are on our 2nd year and we need you to attend the Festival Weekend to help.

Think of it as a critical mass. We need to show our existence!!!

Yeah, of course there are races, demos, clinics, group rides, a big ole’ party and straight up good times with like minded individuals.  Why wouldn’t you come?

So Many Riding Options

So Many Riding Options

What have we done already?

  • There has been a local MOU (Memorandum of Use) agreement here in Teton valley with our grooming district organization with suggested rules when riding on snow machine trails.
  • Our local Teton Valley Trails and Pathways, which does some nordic ski grooming and allows Fat Bikes on their groomed trails, has developed a list of Trail Etiquette rules.
  • Grand Targhee Resort has also adopted Trail Etiquette rules, invested in signage, and has Fat Bike report of being “open” or “closed”, condition dependent.

This is only a start, they will grow and change.

Riding fat bikes

Fat Biking & Groomed Trails

It should also be understood that this is a not for profit event. Yes, there is a registration fee for the all inclusive weekend, very reasonable at $99.  $32.50 of each registration will be donated to the Island Park grooming district as a thank you and show we want to work together with established user groups (the same cost as a snow machine registration sticker).  Not to mention the costs to host this event and pay for land manager / decision makers to be there and hear our voice.

It’s very exciting for Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, and me personally, to see all this take shape. We are equally excited to have partnered with some of the biggest advocates in the industry and the product designers / producers themselves.

Please take the time to look over the website and do not hesitate with any questions. Thank you.

Hope to see you January 25-27 2013 in Island Park, Idaho!

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