WyoFile article: Fat bike festival aims to increase winter access

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Kelsey Dayton at WyoFile (“an independent, nonprofit news service focused on the people, places and policy of Wyoming”) authored a post on their Peaks to Plains blog this week titled Fat bike festival aims to increase winter access.

“Wouldn’t it be cool,” Scott Fitzgerald says, “if you could throw your fat bike onto a snow coach and go to Old Faithful. Spend the night and during the day bike around the geysers?”

This dream trip is just that for now — a dream. Fat bikes, bikes with large tires designed for snow and sand, aren’t allowed in Yellowstone National Park in the winter. Something Fitzgerald, who owns Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor, Idaho wants to change.

Methow Valley Sport Trails Association opens some trails to fat bikes this winter

Our colleague, Andy Williams at Grand Targhee Resort, alerted us that the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA) in Winthrop, WA has a new snowbike page on their website announcing that they’re opening up some of their trails to fat bikes this winter:

MVSTAWhile the Methow Valley has many passionate fat bike riders, this is the first year MVSTA has piloted a few trails to fat bikes. This will be a pilot program with selected trails open at selected times depending on snow conditions. The ski trail conditions will still remain as our top priority… These locations will be assessed on a day by day, snow conditions, user compatibility basis.

This is a significant development because 1) MVSTA is the nation’s largest cross-country ski area; and 2) of the variety of land owners that make up the MVSTA trail system. From their mission/history page:

Some 52% of the trail system is on U.S. Forest Service (USFS) lands with another 0.02% on U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) lands. Of the remaining lands, 2.1% is on Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land, and another 1.7% is on Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) lands with 20-year permits (MVSTA 2005). The remainder runs over a complex of private lands on which MVSTA has entered into long-term agreements with landowners.

And with the recent early season snow, the MVST staff went on a winter fat biking outing this week. See their Facebook album of 9 photos:

MVSTA staff on fat bikes