Colder weather means more options for Steamboat Springs fat bikers
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The frigid temperatures and influx of visitors have people looking for winter activities outside of downhill skiing.
In addition to fat biking trails opening at Howelsen Hill, both Haymaker and Lake Catamount Nordic centers also offer trails for fat bike enthusiasts or beginners looking for a change of scenery.
The Haymaker Nordic Center offers 10 kilometers of groomed single track exclusive to fat bikers, while 15 kilometers are groomed for both classic and skate Nordic skiers. Fat bikes are not welcome on the ski trails.
Fat bike two-hour rental: $19
Fat bike four-hour rental: $25
Fat bike full-day rental: $35
Trail ticket full-day: $22
Trail ticket half-day: $20
“This is our third year for fat biking, and definitely every year, we’ve seen an uptick,” John Weinman said. “Probably four or five years ago, people really saw an interest in it. It went from being a fad to being validated. This is a gently rolling golf course. You can use the undulated terrain instead of following a bike path, which is regularly flat and much wider.”
The trails are separate, occasionally crossing paths. Dogs are also welcome to join in the fun off leash on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, running on looped dog trails marked with paw-print signs for two kilometers.
A two-hour fat bike rental at Haymaker is $19, a half-day of four hours is $25 and full day is $35. Helmets are mandatory with all rental bikes. Fat bike sizes range from extra small to extra large based on height.
The trail ticket for the day is $22 for an adult. After 1 p.m., the ticket prices decrease to $20.
Bike trails are also used for snowshoeing, as it creates less conflicts with Nordic skiers. All are welcome to bring their own equipment, but fat bikes must have tires at least 3 inches wide and lower than 10 psi tire pressure.
Weinman encourages people to make a day of it out at Haymaker, where they can enjoy lunch inside at the restaurant from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
On days like Wednesday, when the temperatures were in single digits, Weinman said people enjoy using the fat bike and Nordic trails since the surface is firm from the cold. Trails are groomed daily.
Lake Catamount also offers a single-track trail exclusive to fat bikes, which ranges from 5 to 10 kilometers long depending on snow conditions. David McAtee, director of Lake Catamount operations, said there is 5 kilometers groomed as of Wednesday.
“It’s hard, not soft; people will enjoy it,” McAtee said. “Rolling hills, easy terrain, single track on the river is awesome. I think people enjoy themselves out here.”
Fat bike rental full-day: $30
Trail ticket: $22
Fat bikers can access the single-track trail through the 27 kilometers of Nordic trails and are welcome to ride those trails as long as they stay on the edges and don’t ride in the middle.
Bikers are welcome to bring their own bikes or rent from anywhere in town. Those who want to rent a bike at Lake Catamount should call and make a reservation since bikes are limited.
The trail fee is $22, and bike rentals at Lake Catamount are $30 for the day.
McAtee suggests 5 to 6 pounds of tire pressure on fat bikes. Helmets are not required, but Catamount can provide them if needed.
Lake Catamount also partners with Ski Haus to host many Pleasant Valley Race Ride Tour events.
The first will be a Full Moon Fat Bike Race at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 20. The entry fee is $25 and includes a burger afterwards at the Catamount Restaurant.
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