BURKE- Winter biking also known as fat biking has become increasingly popular among mountain bike enthusiast. The so called “Fat tires” on the bike allow bikers to ride throughout the winter Bruce Giehill explains “A fat bike is similar to a mountain bike, expect for as the name implies the tire is a lot bigger. On a typical mountain bike you're going to run a two/ two and a half inch tire for a fat bike you're going to run a three and a half inch all the way up to a four point eight inch tire. So its something you'd see more on a motorcycle.”
Kingdom Trails of Burke first started seeing fat bikes six years says Tim Tierney “Two Thousand and ten we held the first winter bike. There were no fat bikes at that time in fact only a few showed up and people were astounded but mostly it was getting people excited about the upcoming mountain biking season but there was something to those fat bikes”
Since then fat bikes have only continued to grow. In 2014 Kingdom Trails started grooming their trails in the winter specifically for fat bikes. Unlike some other winter activities its best to fat bike on hard packed down snow rather than loose snow. This means Kingdom trails has to keep riders off the trails after fresh snow in order to groom them.
Part of Kingdom trails success is attributed to landowners allowing trails to run through their property. “People love this story where else can you have seventy five contiguous land owners give permission for a trail network.”
According to Tierney fat biking is another attraction for Burke’s winter tourism season “Well this is another piece of the pie. If we can attract people to the Burke area no matter what the numbers are they are here and having an economic impact whether they're buying food or staying in lodging. Whatever they're doing they're coming here so it’s just another piece of the puzzle.”
While Burke benefits from its trail network others such as Bretton Woods have gotten into the fat biking trend, allowing fat bikers to use some of their Nordic trails. However Tierney isn’t worried about the competition “We don't look at it as competition. All boats rise with the tide so if they develop mountain biking in Vermont, now we're becoming as an area Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. The north wood sort of speak we become a mountain bike destination its only good for all of us.”