ADVENTURE BY BIKE®
Today we conclude Joe's series of posts from his trip to the first ever Fatbike Summit. -Kid
Sunday morning, we were back at it relatively early for one last ride on the local District 33, Horseshoe Canyon Trails, before I had to catch a flight out of Jackson Hole. Scott had received a text the afternoon before from the local groomer that the trails were freshly groomed. That he received the text is a sign that they have made good inroads with the snowmachine community.
Four more inches of fresh snow had fallen overnight in Horseshoe Canyon on the edge of the Big Hole Mountains, west of Driggs. The trails were soft on top and freshly groomed below. Where the groomed trails had setup it was slow, but easy going, giving us time to enjoy the quiet of the early morning. Tracey roped Rippin' up and seemingly pulled away effortlessly. I was worried about my skill riding snow until I realized the dog was doing some of the work. What do you call that? On skis, it is skijoring, so I guess it is bikejoring then? Or maybe fatjoring?
With the clock ticking we pedaled and pushed our way up the canyon, getting passed by one snowmachine rider out enjoying the morning just as we were. Time ran out and we turned around to pedal, and surf back down the canyon, taking the occasional fall into endless powder trailside. Rippin' and Chillin' led us back to the van as I got an education in snow conditions and fatbike riding in a different environment. It is always eye opening to ride outside of Minnesota and bring that experience back home.
During the travel back to Minneapolis I had some time to reflect on my fatbike geek-out experience. Attending the Fatbike Summit in West Yellowstone is of course good for our business, but we genuinely want to be good stewards to the areas where we ride. Access to trails and places to recreate outdoors is not just important to me, it is necessary to my way of life and my being. Riding in Idaho Falls and the Teton Valley was an eye-opening experience. I've toured on the fatbike before and this made me want that experience again and often. If we as riders can work positively for access to places to ride fatbikes; a new travel vehicle for year-round use on snow, sand, or any surface where a mountain bike can't travel easily or without doing damage; more miles of trails will be available for all seasons. I encourage you to get involved in a positive manner wherever you ride your fatbike.
I was taken care of well on my trip to Victor, Idaho. Brandon Campisi, shop manager at Fitzgerald's Bicycles, received my bike and had it rolling when I arrived without asking too many questions about any prototype parts he may, or may not, have seen. Scott and Janine Fitzgerald opened the shop and took charge of planning the Fatbike Summit along with Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy Director at Quality Bicycle Products. Jay handled travel logistics, securing a 4x4 van and putting in some hefty driving time for those four days. Tracey opened up their home and kept me well fed with fresh, local, delicious food. Rippin' and Chillin' snored alongside me each night. If any or all of them decide to open that Adventure Cycling Lodge we dreamed of on our ride, cyclists that sojourn through will be well fed and rested before they continue on their journey.
Any interest out there in attending next year's Fatbike Summit? We'd like to hear your thoughts on any advocacy concerns you have in their regard.
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In 2007 I entered and finished my first endurance race, the Trans-Iowa. That event opened my eyes. It sent me in a different direction and I have no intention of finding my way back. I consider myself a mountain biker, but the far majority of my miles occur riding to and from work. I enjoy races that take me to environments that are outside of the daily norm. The gravel racing events here in the upper midwest happen on rural roads and make me dream of living a bucolic life. The occasional ultra-distance event challenges my limitations and reminds me that the best rewards are hard fought. Someday I?ll slow down enough to enjoy the places I travel by on my rides. Someday. As Product Design Manager at QBP I work across most of the brands in our portfolio, including Salsa. My role has evolved to the point where I am involved in all the product development for our brands and less in the details of each product. I have a team of talented designers and engineers that work with the product managers for each of the brands. I am humbled and stoked to be one of Salsa's sponsored riders.