Anyone who loves mountain biking will appreciate the idea of bombing down a flowing single-track trail in the forest near Bend. But bike lovers will be even more thrilled to hear that the folks at Cog Wild are taking things up a notch this winter with Central Oregon’s first guided fat biking tours on snow.
“Riding fat bikes is super fun. It’s like riding a kid’s bike — really stable and anyone can do it,” says Melanie Fisher, co-owner of Cog Wild, Central Oregon’s mountain bike tour company. “It’s a great way to get out in the woods in the winter. You can’t ride in deep snow — packed snow is best — but it’s a fun way to ride your bike all year round.”
The Bend-based tour company started leading half-day guided tours in the Deschutes National Forest in early 2015. Potential trails for day trippers will include 3-mile and 6-mile trails out of Wanoga Sno-Park, Century Drive from Dutchman Flat to Todd Lake, and the fire road to Tumalo Falls, depending on the snow.
The trend of fat biking has taken off in recent years as an outgrowth of mountain biking, Fisher explains. “Fat bikes can be ridden all year round. They are great on snow, sand, loose dirt and every other condition normal bikes can handle,” she says. Fat biking in snow requires tires that are at least 3.5 inches wide and with tire pressure at 10 psi or less.
Fisher says the challenge of riding and climbing in snow makes for shorter trips. “People should expect to ride half the distance they normally prefer to ride,” she says.
Daily tours include three hours of riding, shuttle service, snacks and a post-ride beer or kombucha. People can bring their own fat bikes, and Cog Wild also offers rentals. There’s no age minimum for riders who have their own bikes, but tour participants must be at least 5 feet, 2 inches tall.
For details about what to wear, what to bring, trail etiquette, terrain and details of fat biking trips, check the Cog Wild website.