Fat Bikes: a new player in the park
The National Capital Commission (NCC) have shown themselves to be progressive stewards of our next door treasure, Gatineau Park. They are partnering with the Ottawa Mountain Bike Association (OMBA) and have opened three snow shoe trails in the Southern end of the park to the newest winter fun phenomenon, fat tire bikes.
You can read the January 22 article in the Ottawa Citizen Here.
We are always willing to try anything new; if it involves: fun, outdoor activity, elevated heart rates, snow and a modest possibility of risk. So, our ring leader and great buddy, Brent, arranges to rent four fat tire bikes from Tall Tree Cycle so that we can give this exciting new sport a whirl.
We met at the P1 at Asticou on Cite des Jeunes at 9:00 a.m. (well, one of us was there on time, while the others circled the building looking for the right spot!) We were rolling by 10:00 a.m.. The temperature was a little frosty, but all being experienced snow shoe folk, and winter runners, etc., we were dressed for the conditions.
If you have any expereince on a mountain bike, making the transition to fat tires on the snow is pretty easy. Even confident road bikers are going to do okay (you may want to walk down some of the steeper hills). It was totally a rush. Every one of the four of us had at least one spill. some more spectacular that others. We are waiting for Mike to edit the GoPro footage.
All in all, we had a great time. We spent about three hours on Trail 66. As the morning flew by, the temperature rose and more people appeared on the trail. We yielded to other users. Most people were happy to chat with us, (they seemed happy to discover that we weren't truly crazy, just a bit weird!).
This is a pilot project. Welcomed universally by the bike crowd in the region. We are hoping that by being courteous and friendly, the existing park user community (snow shoe and cross country skiers) will embrace this new gang who share their love of the Gatineau Park.