Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling
Assignment Maine  Fat Biking

Assignment Maine Fat Biking

(gentle music) – On a day like
today it’s amazing. There’s tons of snow, the sun
is shining, everyone’s happy. (gentle music) It’s gorgeous in the woods. It’s totally exhilarating. And it’s exhausting too, but it’s just nice to get
outside in these long winters and enjoy everything
that Maine has to offer. (gentle music) – Sometimes it feels like your
at like an amusement park. Where they have just
like created this great rollercoaster of trail
for you to go down. And it’s just serene and
beautiful with the snow cover. (gentle music) (bikes whirring)
(funky music) – Fat biking is mountain
biking with a specific bike that you can use in the snow. The bikes themselves are
definitely different. In order to make it so that
you can fit a big fat tire like this the clearance on the
fork has to be really wide. Same for the back. – What that allows you to
do is allows you to float on top of the snow. And it really makes for
an all terrain vehicle. And you can be out here
enjoying the beautiful trails that we have and still on a bike which if you’re into
biking you know that you’ll do just about anything
to stay on a bike, no matter what the temperature. (funky music) – So fat biking is
definitely unique in how the riding happens
and how it feels. It’s a lot smoother than
regular mountain biking. At least in Maine you know. And where we have roots and
rocks and all that stuff on the trail most of the time. They’re covered over. So it’s sometimes faster. It can be a lot more of
a flowing experience too. So you get really really fun
sections where you’re like cruising down a hill and
then you have a nice turn where normally you’d
have to slow down a lot and instead you get
to kind of just dig in and rail it and have
a really good time. So, it is unique and you
do have to like think about your riding a
little bit differently. But you know it’s a ribbon
of white single track. (funky music) – Well you would think it would
get boring riding the same trails year round but really
in the winter time just being out in the woods in the winter, anybody that’s gone snowshoeing
or cross country skiing knows that it’s an
entirely different animal. You can basically ride your
bike anywhere in the winter where in the summer time
a lot of the vegetation doesn’t allow you to. And then you just
experience a whole different type of wildlife. You see tracks, you see birds.
(funky music) (engine rumbling)
(gentle music) – One of the new things
with fat biking which has been great in the past few years is that we have groomed trails. (engine rumbling)
(gentle music) My name’s Rod Vogel and
I’m a volunteer groomer at Bradbury Mountain State
Park here in Pownal, Maine. The snow dog groomer is
a beast of a machine. It weighs over 275 pounds. And what we do here at
Bradbury Mountain State Park is we groom all the tracks. All the single track,
all the double track. (engine rumbling)
(gentle music) The park bought the
machine last February with help from the Greater
Portland New England Mountain Biking
Association, GPNEMBA. We’re out here
whenever it snows. Whenever we think the
snow’s gonna set up fine for fat tire biking. (engine rumbling)
(gentle music) – The goal is to have
a hard smooth surface. My name is Brian Alexander. I’m a board member of
Central Maine NEMBA. Avid mountain biker, fat biker, and central Maine’s
trail groomer. (engine rumbling) I use a Yamaha Bravo
long track snowmobile. And I find that it really
really suits my purpose well. It’s small, very maneuverable, and it’ll haul my dragging
equipment quite nicely. (gentle music) – Depending on the
conditions after we groom with the snow dog, whether
it’s a dry powdery snow like we’ve had these
last two storms, or if it’s a really
heavy dense wet snow with a lot of moisture in it, you know we could groom
that out in the evening say, when we know nobody’s
gonna walk on it or ride on it. And the next morning
it’s gonna be primo. (engine rumbling)
(gentle music) – Mother nature can be
very frustrating at times. You know the weather is key. I mean, if we don’t
have snow we don’t ride. And you know if we
get too much snow, too cold of weather,
snow’s not consolidating, you know that’s a problem. So yeah, it’s a
very fickle sport. (gentle music) – To fat tire biking, the
general rule is when you’re coming out you know
check in the parking lot with other folks
how the riding is. Or even the snowshoers. You know just to see if
there’s any softness to the, to the texture of the trails
that had been groomed. And take a lot of
air out of your tire. I mean if you’re
riding tubeless tires go down to three or
four pounds of pressure. If you’re sinking in
two to three inches, probably should turn back and
go home and watch a movie. – Look for conditions reports. There are a lot of
different groups that will give you information. You know the groomers are
posting on social media to let you know what’s been
done and when it’s been done. And my solution is always
whenever I go fat biking I have my cross country
skis with me too. ‘Cause if I feel like I’m
doing damage to the trail on my fat bike I go ahead and
go cross country ski instead. (gentle music) (bikes whirring)
(gentle music) Biking is special. There’s something about
the movement of the legs and the creation of balance.
(gentle music) Just the way it makes
you think or not think. You don’t get that
from other things. (gentle music) – I love winter and you get on
a really good fat bike trail it’s fast and it’s quiet. And it’s completely different
than the summer time. – You can go on a group ride
and be with a millionaire or someone just scrapped
together the last two pennies to buy themselves a bicycle. And, and all ages. You know I ride with a
guy who’s 76 years old and I’ve been riding
with him for 15 years. And we have a blast.
(gentle music) – Once I got on
one I was hooked. They’re great, they’re so fun. – You’re just in a
nice state of mind and you just feel great. It’s just, it’s fun. It’s medicine for me. – The scenery is completely
different than it is during the summer time. And it’s just
super invigorating. Everybody that joins me or
has discovered fat biking just absolutely loves it.
(gentle music) – You know winter’s
a really special time to be in the woods and
if you can get there using your favorite medium,
a bicycle in this case, for me then why wouldn’t you?
(gentle music) Other things have their
specialties but mountain biking in the woods is a
special thing for me. And being able to do that in
the winter which is just like such a uniquely beautiful time
of year in the Maine woods, it really makes for a
nice winter play land. (gentle music)

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