Monday, January 5, 2015

Fat Biking in Stowe

Having missed the first opportunity to try a fat bike locally, I vowed to attend the second event in Stowe—the remaining events in the series are held further afield in eastern Vermont and Canada. Unfortunately, I'm still healing from a leg injury, so I couldn't participate in the fat tire fun. However, I took my job as instigator/family fun manager seriously, and brought extra mittens, socks, and multiple packs of chemical hand-warmers—teenagers being forgetful and ill-prepared in 15F—to keep extremities comfortable.

I signed up 4 of us on event day (including our son's friend). The fee entitles each person to lunch, a local beer, bike demos, and entry into a race.

Youngest son with his rad Nutcase helmet (Christmas gift). He practices on nearby humps.
Arriving an hour later than most participants, meant bike selection was limited. My husband, son, and friend snagged bikes immediately (only large bicycles still available) and took off on their own adventure while it took another 20 minutes for riders to return and our younger son could locate a suitable bike.

Our young guy is the one who loves to ride so I felt bad that he was left behind at the get go.

Of course, he tested the bike's abilities.

And, eventually, the group returned to include biker boy in the mix. Apparently the loop in the woods was icy so all set out on the Stowe Bike Path. Our youngest was disappointed, however, and didn't hold back his opinion upon completion: if it's not dangerously fun single track, well, what's the point?

It was lunchtime, time for a break and to fill bellies at the Asian buffet. The teenagers went back for second helpings while I nursed beer number one.

Many participants stayed behind in early afternoon, citing slippery trails, preferring to hang out in the cozy warmth instead. Two oldest boys bowed out also and accompanied me at a window seat. And thankfully, my husband braved the single track with our kamikazee boy to burn off some energy.

I nursed a second beer (paid for with event ticket - might as well use it) while watching antics outside the window. People were still navigating the roller-coaster hump; a family with two youngsters took turns on a smaller framed bike.

It started to snow. When my husband and son came back they were jazzed. The woods' trails were slippery going uphill, but coming down was a blast.

Someday, I'll ride a fat bike.

Event impressions: it was fun to do as a family, however it felt like we were the only family in attendance (other than the two youngster spied through window). It was too expensive (35.00 each) to afford more than once. We, unfortunately, missed the cheaper event in early December.

And whatever happened to the "race"? Never heard anything about it.


  1. Annie, A couple of thoughts. I enjoyed your 2014 year-end review. I mentally do the same and it makes me feel better when I think of the bike rides and projects I did not get to in 2014.
    As to the fat bikes.....yes I have the itch.....a mild case of the "I wanna fat bike virus".
    I think I have one picked out and as I save my $20 bills here and there I sure would like to attend an event like this to try a few out....I will have to research it up.
    I sure hope you finish healing the leg up and fulfill your 2015 bike goals. I have a few short tours brewing up for 2015, a repeat of the Katy trail ride that I did last summer, plus a few 2 to 3 night overnight trips. No big two week power tours but that is OK, fun will be had!! Good Luck and Happy 2015!!!

    1. Thank you for your thoughts, Jim. I too have the fat bike itch, but only to try it once. I really don't want to add one more bike to my stable.

      There is something really satisfying about recounting bike projects, tours for the year. Unlike you, I don't feel that I've missed projects, rather the opposite. I marvel at what I actually accomplished!

  2. Annie hope you heal up soon and find a shop with a fat bike you can test ride, I avoiding seeking out a FB trial ride only because I know I would have to then have buy one to add to my quiver. Instead I enjoy my maxed out 700x47c Handsome Devil which is only "slightly overweight" rather than "morbidly obese" on the fat bike scale. Hope you get to scratch the itch in 2015.


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.