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  1. #1
    This place needs an enema
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    Resort riding: Discuss.

    Alpine ski resort open their pistes to mountain bikers | Daily Mail Online

    Are people interested in this?

    Thinking big picture, not nitpicky picture.

  2. #2
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    I tried riding groomed nordic trails that are open to fat bikes. It was about as fun as riding my mountain bike on a dirt road. Not much of a challenge. Give me some skinny nasty singletrack in the woods and I'm happy. Doubt I would drive somewhere and pay money to do this.

  3. #3
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    Yup. Can do it right here in the midwest where I live. Just opened to fat bikes this year.



    Sunday's only. 10-4. $39 online ticket or $48 ticket walk up.

    Mountain Biking - Spirit Mountain - Lift-access - Duluth MNSpirit Mt

  4. #4
    Jammin' Econo
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    Our local mtn. has a pretty fun groomed singletrack trail specifically for fat bikes, and I like to go up there occasionally and ride laps on it, just for something different to do. And sometimes, if I still have an itch to add a few more miles to my ride after that, I'll branch out from there and do a lap or two on some of the mixed-use groomed nordic tracks. But I agree with skogorbet - they are generally pretty boring from a riding perspective and feel like riding a wide road. If it wasn't for the stunning scenery, I doubt I would bother.

    And I'm sure someone will call me an elitist a-hole for saying this, but I have no interest in, nor use for, lift-assisted biking, regardless of the season. I appreciate that this has been a popular activity that has helped an increasing number of ski resorts to get through the long off-season, and that's great. But I've never put one of my bikes on a lift, and I never will. I started mountain biking long before this was ever an option, and I guess I'm still old-school in that I believe real "mountain biking" involves doing your own climbing as well as descending. But that's just me.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  5. #5
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    Sure - I'd do it a couple times a year, definitely on the shoulder seasons. Single track trails near me are muddy or icy beyond studded fun capability, but doable, just not my cup of tea for my current mindset. The local golf course started grooming the back nine - so it's nice to get out at a steady pace and get the heart rate up for an hour or so, fun, but not wahoo. The outdoor skating rink is shut down for the season because it is melted, so that's out. And, for the kind of skiing I like to do, its not that great right now, and I'm not ready for spring skiing yet. I should have a half dozen good powder days left before I think about spring skiing conditions. Why not. I wouldn't travel to do it, but if my local mountain would let me once or twice (with a discount for my current pass), I'd do it. It'd be fun, especially with my son. It might help local bike shops with resort bike rentals too. As long as it's managed right, and there aren't skiier/biker conflicts, what's the harm? It could help to diversify people's winter vacations, especially people that aren't hard core skiiers and boarders, and face it, a lot of mountain town lifestyles are directly or indirectly funded by vacationer's money. Funny thing is, I never consider lift access riding the rest of the year. I'm no purist, I just like pedaling up what I ride down. I guarantee that it would help to push the upper speed limit I'm comfortable with on the snow and learn some limitations for what my bike can or cannot do.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  6. #6
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    Having not participated in it yet, I find the concept inoffensive - it could serve as a curated learning environment for curious newbies. I'm not strongly drawn to trying it post-haste because of things I learned about crashing high speed while young. But at the same time I'm not going to knock it til I try it, and its existence doesn't bother me.

    It's kind of like conversational programming languages to expose kids to STEM disciplines. Maybe not the most challenging of things, but if it gets a person to ask questions and use their head, well, that's good. If someone wants to let go of the rails and explore, it's a big world out there.

    What did they call this in the 90s - the Gateway Drug?
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  7. #7
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    I might try it occasionally. I've been known to ride gravel roads on my mtb. :-p But I will say that I do enjoy ungroomed snow riding, which is all I have nearby (if there's any snow at all, which today, there is not - but the trails were mostly hero dirt anyway).

    Still, it's not something I'm clamoring for. I'd much rather ride on the snowshoe trails at a ski resort than ride the downhill stuff.

    I do potentially see this sort of opportunity creating a demand for big rubber downhill fatbikes, and possibly dedicated downhill fatbike runs with snow features akin to what you might find on a summertime downhill run.

  8. #8
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    This article refers to a resort here in Switzerland, and if they are making an effort to include fat bikes, (even for a fee ) I think it's fantastic. So far there are very, very few opportunities for riding on a groomed or prepared surface here. While I personally prefer exploring the lonely forest roads, more acceptance at the resorts will mean more riders, which hopefully means a community to develop some more single track and that can work together on keeping trails open and rideable during storm cycles.

    More acceptance usually means more acceptance. One resort finding a new user group to tap into, should mean a few more are also heading in that direction, and in the end more places to ride would not be a bad thing.

  9. #9
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    I'd want some groomed slopestyle stuff, jumps, banks, more a DH park for snow. Riding double track trails is okay for getting between features or for getting back up the hill, but I want a little more excitement than what they're showing on the link.

  10. #10
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    The riding at the Spirit Mountain looks fun. The one in Switzerland not so much. I can't really picture many ski runs that would be any where near as much fun on a bike as a pair of skis. Now that I've typed that, I think that a bump run could actually be a lot of fun on a bike. But you would have to let the skiers on the run on some days to make the bumps. I'm not sure what affects bikes would have on a bump run as far as knocking the bumps down, or if they would tend to build once they were already there. You definitely couldn't make nice moguls with bikes.

    I just saw Nurse Ben's reply, and I think that is the way to go. There really isn't anything any better for building features with than snow.

    My nine year old son and I rode the lifts at Mammoth last summer and he really stepped up his descending skills by the end of the day. I think Mammoth's flatter bike trails would work well as fat bike trails in the winter.

  11. #11
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    I think ANYTHING that gets lardasses off the couch and ceases their incessant whining about how "crappy, brutal, miserable, harsh etc" the winter weather is, the better.

    One more person buys a house where it snows, and then b*tches endlessly about how much winter sucks, I'm gonna smack 'em.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I think ANYTHING that gets lardasses off the couch and ceases their incessant whining about how "crappy, brutal, miserable, harsh etc" the winter weather is, the better.

    One more person buys a house where it snows, and then b*tches endlessly about how much winter sucks, I'm gonna smack 'em.
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    Disclaimer: I run Regular Cycles (as of 2016). As a profiteer of the bicycle industry, I am not to be taken very seriously.

  13. #13
    Jammin' Econo
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    Haha....let them stay home and get fat, where I can't hear their *****ing. They'll all be zombie snacks, anyway.

    Back on track, alias makes a good point about considering the context. If it is a place that has seen very little support of fat bikes so far, then this could be a good thing in the big picture. I think sometimes we forget how good we have it in the States, particularly in regard to access to public lands.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  14. #14
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Diller View Post
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    Hahahaha!!!
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  15. #15
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    I like riding skinny twisty trails as much as anybody. In fact I like that a ton. But I've ridden groomed x country trails with long sustained swoopy downhills that were incredibly fun. It was late spring and they were pretty much over for skiing. I've also ridden downhill resort runs after the season was over, again way fun. I don't see how this could be anything but a good thing. Why so many people seem to want to limit the definition of fun to just what they like is beyond me.
    Latitude 61

  16. #16
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    The lift service aspect looks like fun to try... once. But it doesn't look more fun than actual skiing so, unless it's significantly less expensive, I couldn't see doing it more than that.

    But if it's the same price (and I can't see how they could rationalize charging bikers less than skiers), I don't see it taking off in a big way at all. The reason I picked up fat biking and make it such a priority (and still call it "snow biking") was precisely as an alternative to paying for lift service. I can't be alone in this.

    Our local hill is up to $120 for a day lift ticket, and $1,800 for a season pass. So for a family of 4, a day of lift service with parking fee and hot cocoa costs over $500. Can you freakin' imagine?! Even if I had that kind of money, I refuse to pay it out of principle alone. Impossible to justify when, for the cost of a one day lift ticket, I can buy a brand new fat tire of my choice. Or, for the cost of a season pass, a complete high-end fat bike every single year...

    ... and then head out into the woods where I don't have to wear a damn helmet.
    We still hang bike thieves in Wyoming [Pedal House]

  17. #17
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Riding DH at the resort during our annual spring fest is a blast!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  18. #18
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    In the end I think it boils down to money. More users = mo' money.

    The Midwest is experiencing the full effects of El Nino this year. We didn't receive any measurable snow until the last week of December and the way the long range forecast is looking it's probably going to be all gone by mid to late March in my opinion. Places that rely on snow to generate income are hurting and need money.

    A local golf course just opened up their X-country ski trails to fat bikers this winter. $25 season pass + fat bikers go in the bar after riding and spend money on beer and food.

    Spirit Mountain...$39 pass then go spend money at the Chalet on beer and food.

    Some of the WI winter snowshoe trails...WI DNR let's fat bikers use them but they require a state trail pass...$25/annual or $5/daily.

    Minocqua Winter Park in northern WI...Normally a X-country ski trail system...Opened up in January this year to Fat Bikes...$14/daily trail pass.

    In the end, it's about the money dooods. But I am OK with that. More places to ride.

  19. #19
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    So I have this idea that when the resort closes for the season, I'll go up there and start working on a slalom course, jumps, some fun features, all of which I can access by riding up a gravel road.

    If the features are built when the snow is warm and easy to work, then once it sets uip at night it should be solid for riding.

    It's a lot of work, so I may try to "run it in" with a bike first, use the natural terrain features.

  20. #20
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Also, hitting the brakes on the corduroy at 50+ mph with studded tires was like engaging thrust reversers, never experienced brakes so "positive" before, amazing. Studs allow you to ride where you want, not where the fall line sucks you to.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  21. #21
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    I think the resorts opening up in the summer for downhill riding helped out the overall mountain biking sport. Before them we all rode mountain bikes. Now we ride XC, DH, Enduro, AM, etc. Maybe opening the resorts in the winter to fat biking will expand fat biking and reduce the fat tax.

    I would probably never partake. I like to climb. I bought a pass in the summer once and took 3 runs and went back to the XC trails.

  22. #22
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    I think it's awesome. It would be a great opportunity for my not-so-technical GF and I to enjoy more miles together.

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