Biking on snowy back roads during the Winter is not new in this little corner of Vermont. But we were always somewhat limited. Studded mountain bike tires provide plenty of traction on hard-pack roads, but we didn’t get far if we ventured into even as little as 2 or 3 inches of loose snow. Unfortunately, there were a lot of really inviting trails, such as the nearby V.A.S.T. trail network, that were inaccessible to us for this reason.
But things have changed. In recent years, as new bicycle building technology has developed and new lighter and stronger materials have been incorporated, different applications have emerged. The fat tire bicycle is one of them. They are catching on around the world because those huge fat tires enable this type of bicycle to go where no bicycle has been able to go before. And boy, can that be a lot of fun.
We love to ride in the Winter. Here at the October Country Inn, we are conveniently located near access to the Chateaguay wilderness area’s network of dirt back roads. We ride these roads on traditional mountain bikes all Summer long. But riding these same roads during the Winter is a completely different experience. The Winter landscape, curtins of icicles dripping off bare tree branches, frozen creeks and billowy snow drifts make it seem like we’re riding on a different planet. But, we were limited to the hard pack. Bummer. Now, the fat tire bikes have opened things up. Now we can ride the V.A.S.T. trails. They start at our door and run throughout Vermont, and beyond. The options are endless. O’boy, we can’t wait.