Quandary explains fat bikes, and offers advice for those with Olympic fever
What is a fat bike?
Ah, the obese velocipede, the ride with an eating disorder.
In reality, a fat bike helps to keep you from the fat side. It is used to ensure that you can keep those biking muscles in shape year-round. You see, a fat bike is a bike with big-boned tires. Riding a fat bike can be challenging, but it allows you to get better grip in the snow, though it works best on a compacted trail.
The tires are much wider than those on a regular mountain bike, and they have some pretty deep tread. Fat bikes are also great for tearing through sand, though this is not as valuable in the High Country. It is really a mountain bike for terrain that has a tendency to give way under regular tires.
The key to keeping your butt above the tires is in your ability to keep rhythm. Chances are this ride is going to be slower than the average mountain bike trip, but it can be just as fun. Just remember, don’t be a jerk.
Jerking movements are going to make this ride a lot tougher than it should be, so try to focus on maintaining consistent strides and controlled steering.
While the big boys can help you glide across the snow, they are not to be confused with a snow bike. Snow bikes are for the skier who doesn’t want to fall as far when things go poorly, or at least that would be this old goat’s reasoning; if you’re sitting down, you’re already in an ideal tuck and roll position. For those who are better at staying upright, but still looking for adventure, the snow bike is still a viable option. The simple way of explaining a snow bike is to take away the tires and toss on skis instead. The handling system is a little bit different as well. It does have a front handlebar that will steer as your weight shifts, but even more important, two tiny skis are strapped to your boots, and you use those to turn and burn. This method is less likely to help you keep your cycling muscles rippling, but it’s a fun and different way to make your trip down the hill.
If you are interested in checking out either of these options, there are fat bike rentals throughout the county, and even places that will take you on a guided tour. Snow bikes can be rented to rip down many of Keystone’s trails, so check in with the resort for more information about how to get your tiny skis, and where you are allowed to go.
I still have Olympic fever. is there Any cure?
This particular disease seems to hit in epidemics every two to four years, depending on climate. Often the sun-and-sand lovers get hit with the four-year variety, while those of us mountaineers tend to get hit a little more often with the two-year fever. For some the fever can be magically cured once the Olympic torch burns out, but for others it can take a long time to get over.
For our purposes we’ll focus on the winter variety of this ailment. I should start off by telling you there is no cure for Olympic fever; there are only treatments for the symptoms. Symptoms include a constant desire to go for the gold, trying to stand on top of boxes with two friends and stare longingly at the sky, random chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” and an overwhelming desire to luge, skate in tandem with your significant other or ski/ride on railings. Often it takes indulging in these activities to fully overcome the disease (maybe not that last option, depending on your skills). The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships probably helped to stave off some of the symptoms, as hopefully you were able to get in a couple of good chants, but it still just doesn’t quite fit the Olympic mold.
Lucky for you, the Special Olympics will take place at Copper Mountain Resort on Sunday, Feb. 22, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Olympic atmosphere in all its glory. Opening ceremonies will commence at 8 a.m. at the Burning Stones Plaza, and you should start to feel better almost immediately. The competitions will take place all day to feed your fix, and the athletes will parade starting at 6:15 p.m., followed by closing ceremonies, the torchlight parade and fireworks. This booster shot should be enough to keep you from slaloming through the frozen food aisles at City Market for at least a year.
Warning: This treatment plan is not guaranteed to relieve your symptoms, additional steps may be necessary depending on the severity of your case. If all else fails, visit one of the country’s mecca locations, like Salt Lake City or Lake Placid, and watch “Miracle” on repeat.
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