Winter biking is ‘one hundred pc a factor’ | Eden Prairie Sports activities
It’s the start of November and Eden Prairie’s Freewheel Bike was conducting a giant end-of-the-season sale occasion, proper?
This previous weekend, Freewheel Bike pedaled a Winter Bike Expo.
And sure, winter biking is a factor.
“It’s 100% a factor,” mentioned retailer supervisor Chris Marzolf. “There isn’t a situation you’ll be able to’t trip in.
“The game has matured,” he added. “It’s change into the place else and what else?”
Marzolf mentioned commuters are utilizing fats bikes to get to work in December, January and February. Mountain bikers are racing and using when the bottom is frozen.
“Hunters are utilizing e-assist (battery powered help that engages if you pedal) and full-suspension bikes to get to their deer stands,” he added.
“It began when a pair dudes from Alaska put dualies (twin tires) on the again of their bikes,” mentioned Marzolf. “From there, it turned one massive broad tire.”
In the present day, the largest fats bike tires measure 4.8 to five inches in diameter.
“If you’re on the ice, it’s all about contact,” mentioned Marzolf, “and fats tires present probably the most contact. Add 250 metal studs and you’ll trip throughout an iced-over Lake Minnetonka and carve such as you’re snowboarding.”
Whereas business specialists like Brandon Stahnke, of Bloomington-based High quality Bicycle Merchandise, makers of 45NRTH, Salsa and Surly bikes, say gross sales of fats bikes have plateaued when in comparison with the booming curiosity of 4 and 5 years in the past; the demand for groomed winter trails has ballooned.
“Persons are using 12 months spherical,” mentioned Stahnke. “They’re nonetheless doing the commuting factor they usually’re nonetheless using trails.”
Observe: Fats bikes work greatest on snow, not in snow.
“Folks pack trails with snowshoes,” mentioned Stahnke, “however they don’t wish to should go snowshoeing to trip their bikes.”
Deep Woods Path Grooming’s mission is to make winter biking extra accessible.
For instance, they’re the accredited path groomers for the Minnesota Valley Nationwide Wildlife Refuge (River Bottoms).
They’ve groomed trails at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve in Savage they usually’re hoping to do the identical at a brand new bike path at Carver Park.
No, they’re not beating down trails of their snowshoes.
Deep Woods Path Grooming bought a machine known as a Snowdog final season. They use the machine to drag grooming gear. If the snow is deep, they will “daisy chain” the groomer behind a sled.
They’ll groom 12 miles of path in 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Peter Grasse obtained into winter biking 5 years in the past.
“I used to do plenty of cross-country snowboarding,” he mentioned, “however switched to biking as a result of there wasn’t sufficient snow to maintain the paths open.
“I trip 4 to 5 days per week,” he added.
At the moment, he owns three bikes.
“In biking,” mentioned Grasse, “there’s the N+1 rule. The N represents the variety of bikes you personal, the +1 is the one you wish to add.”
Query: Was Grasse on the the Winter Bike Expo seeking to buy a brand new bike?
“There’s a second rule I name D-1,” he laughed. “The D stands for divorce.”
“I’m simply right here to have enjoyable,” he mentioned.
He then both winked or the solar caught his eye.