As much as I love biking in the summer months, I’ve never considered doing it in the winter. Not only is it cold but I always thought that it would be super difficult, what with all the snow and ice and slush. Well, that’s not the case with fat-tire biking! The first time I saw fat-tire bikes was at Burning Man as people used them to push through the sand. I thought they looked really cool but didn’t see the practicality outside of biking on a sandy beach. Then, winter came to Canada and suddenly I saw this new sport come to life. I noticed people posting photos of them fat-tire biking on snowy trails and thought it looked like a great way to get outdoors during the colder months. Then we went to Panorama, BC for a weekend and finally had the opportunity to try them out ourselves.
Thankfully, we had a warmer day. It was around -5 Celcius and sunny. It had just snowed the night before as well, which meant that the trails were nice and thick, not yet touched. After picking up our bikes from the Panorama Nordic Centre, we got geared up for a couple of hours of biking. This meant layering up and strapping on a helmet. We actually wore our ski helmets. We also made sure not to wear too many layers as we knew we’d get hot once we started biking, which was very true. Once we were good to go, we peddled out on a nearby trail that follows a scenic river.
It was such a beautiful area. First, we went over a scenic bridge that looked like the entrance to a winter wonderland. All the pine trees were covered in snow. The river beneath the bridge was mostly covered in ice and snow but pockets of water lay exposed. We could hear the river rumbling by. In the distance, high mountains stood tall. It really was an incredibly scenic place. We then continued down the trail, along the river, and up a variety of small hills. On the bigger hills, we often had to get off and walk ourselves up. Perhaps we were weak from skiing the day before or perhaps we just didn’t really know how to ride a fat-tire bike in snow properly. Either way, it was fun coming back down! Karla fell a few times but due to the deep snow, it didn’t hurt. In fact, it can be fun to throw yourself into a deep pocket of snow. It was also a great workout. At times, we were huffin’ and puffin’ as pushing ourselves through the deep snow was pretty hard, even with fat tires.
Time went quickly though and eventually, we had to come back and drive back to Calgary. We loved the experience and look forward to doing it again, hopefully on a day when we don’t have a long drive ahead of us. I would have liked a few more hours to explore the trail and find more scenic lookout points. Regardless, the key is getting out into nature and exploring the beautiful scenery that a place like Panorama provides. Whether you cross-country ski, snowshoe, or go fat-tire biking, the important thing is that you get out and breath in the fresh winter air. The mountains are such a beautiful place and witnessing them in the winter is an incredible experience.
So if you like biking and want to be out in the trees surrounded by glistening snow and mountain peaks, grab yourself a fat-tire bike and hit the trails around Panorama.
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