For the 2nd year in a row, I jammed out to the Fat Bike Summit with a crew from Mammoth. Last year, it was in Ogden, UT – read about it here. This year, it was at Snow King Resort in Jackson, WY. For those that don’t know, Snow King is the O.G. ski resort right in the heart of Jackson that opened in 1930. Gets overshadowed by Jackson Hole Resort 12 miles up the road – think of it like June Mountain compared to Mammoth Mountain, except you can night ski for $25!
Anyhoo, jumped in the turbo diesel Jetta Wagon with Jen and Dan at 5:30am. Bikes and skis and fritos and tangerines packed. Wyoming bound. After driving about 4 hours each, and Dan only stalling 3 times, we hit the town square. Checked in…
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9.11.14 – Z Ranch, 6:00pm
— Here’s what we discussed:
- Thank you to the 12 people that made it to the meeting, and many others that emailed they couldn’t make it but wished they could. We focused solely on the Final Wilderness Inventory maps that were created by the USFS as part of the ongoing Forest Plan Revision process. There are many areas that might be proposed for Wilderness designation that could very negatively affect our mountain biking opportunities in the Inyo National Forest.
- We printed out large maps from the Forest Service website and studied the areas that are being included in the proposed Wilderness Inventory.
- We came up with a list of areas of proposed Wilderness that severely affect current mountain biking opportunities, as well as areas that could be developed for mountain biking in the future and should be protected from Wilderness designation to keep those opportunities alive.
- We are quickly working to create maps with GIS data that includes mountain biking & fat biking rides/trails in these “proposed Wilderness” areas to include with our comments.
- We will submit these maps and comments before the Sept 22nd and Sept 29th deadlines.
- Next week, we will send out an email with our comments (for you to use and study as you see fit), all the info to make it SUPER EASY to submit your individual comments, or sign on with MLTPA’s comments. If you’re not part of our Google Group, shoot us an email and we’ll get you on the list.
Other than that, we drank beer and ate cheap chili dogs and fries.
Have you ever ridden singletrack snow? It’s pretty frickin fun. As mountain bikers, we love the sight of endless ribbons of brown, tacky dirt singletrack (or sometimes white dirt, if you’re riding White Mesa). But guess what? A packed trail of snow, albeit different, can be equally sublime to ride – and just as visually stunning. On either side of you is deep, fluffy snow, and you squiggle your bike through it all. The best of all, is if you fall (actually WHEN you fall – it’s inevitable) – you poof into freshies. What an adventure! It truly brings the vibe of mountain biking to fat biking.
A few of us learned these joys first hand at the Fat Bike Summit last month. We embarked on a group ride up at…
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- Created our Mission Statement: Fat Bike Mammoth is committed to providing responsible and enjoyable mountain biking experiences for riders of all skill levels. We advocate for the creation, development, and maintenance of year-round riding opportunities in the Eastern Sierra.
- We hope to condense our Mission Statement down to one sentence soon
- Current situation with Winter Fat Biking: Manual grooming efforts with snowshoes and polks/sleds (our successful efforts to create a singletrack snow route on Uptown Trail to the earthquake fault, and expanding soon to an Uptown/Downtown loop).
- Opportunities to create groomed singletrack trail systems on private land with snowmobiles and grooming drags. (potential to discuss with Snowcreek Golf Course)
- Possible opportunity to piggy back a Fat Bike event with the winter Biathlon next year – need to meet with Dr. Karch and MMSA.
- Disabled Access: Wheelchairs and adaptive fat bikes ARE allowed on groomed trails
- Partnering with MLTPA for their 2014 Summer of Stewardship Series – brainstorming mountain bike specific trail work days (Mammoth Rock Trail, Starkweather, etc)
- Starting to create a calendar of group rides and events for the upcoming mountain biking season. Brainstorming bi-monthly or weekly group rides for all skill levels, and assigning ride leaders. It’s gonna be fun, lots of great events coming up this year!! Everything from short 1 hour rides to epic all day events, overnight camping and bikepacking, and gravity/ shuttle rides.. stay tuned. We’re hoping for a couple events/group rides a month through summer and fall.
- Adding the element of BBQ’ing, tailgate parties, etc to our rides/events
- Website: we’re continuing to add to our trail inventory, updating our resources page, and will soon be updating our event calendar.
- Spreading the word: importance of letting friends and fellow riders know that there is a mountain biking club/ advocacy group in town – need to get the word out, and become a respected entity with local land managers.
- We will start having meetings once a month, regardless of season – so as not to lose momentum. Our next meeting will focus on flushing out group rides/events, making specific dates and a functional 2014 event calendar, assigning ride leaders, etc. We will also have a focused discussion on creating a board of directors, spreading out the duties, getting more people to take an active role in the club, etc.
- Day 1 – Educational Seminars
- Day 2 – Fat Bike Race at Ogden Golf Course
- Day 3- Industry Fun Ride at Snow Basin
Over 110 people showed up for the seminars and quick bike demo in the parking lot. In addition to Hunter, Jodi, and I, there were land managers from the USFS, BLM, and National Park Service, operators of nordic ski resorts, snowmobile clubs, 37 bike retailers, big wigs from SRAM, Shimano, TRP, QBP, and other fatty lovers.
It was super invigorating to hear the “state of the union” from other, more “fat friendly” areas, although it was also depressing because it furthered the realization of how…
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Fat Bike Mammoth Meeting Summary: 10.21.13 / 6pm at The Clocktower Cellar
- Stewards of the land – volunteering, trail work, etc – offer man-power and expertise to stewardship efforts (ex. MLTPA Summer of Stewardship Trail Days)
- Advocates for maximizing mountain biking trail access
- (examining, improving, and inventorying existing trails/ short term)
- (hopes of expanding trail systems throughout the Eastern Sierra, creating new trails/ long term)
- #RIDEBIKESWITHFRIENDS – Spreading the stoke of riding bikes – group rides, grassroots races, socializing with like-minded people, making friends, social events, etc – maximize enjoyment of the trails we have now, while trying to improve our riding opportunities for the near and long term
- Create and nurture a mountain biking community in the Eastern Sierra
- This one was tough. Lots of pros and cons on both sides. Good discussion, stoked on all the input. I’ll start with the pros for changing the name:
- Many people don’t know what a fat bike is
- If they do know, they assume you need a fat bike to be affiliated with us
- They don’t necessarily associate a fat bike with a mountain bike
- Some people have expressed confusion about what the group is about, because they think we’re only about riding fat bikes on snow
- We might be losing possible members/supporters because of this confusion (i.e. mountain bikers that assume we’re only about fat biking
- Mammoth is narrow. Eastern Sierra has a broader reach. Maybe something with Eastern Sierra in the name would be better.
- Pros for keeping the name:
- It’s already established. The USFS, BLM, etc recognize us as a legitimate advocacy group based on our trail work efforts at the Lower Rock Creek Trail Day, etc. A website is established, as well as a logo, and a brand.
- The content of what we do will allay confusion over time. (the more we do mountain biking rides, events, advocacy etc – the more people will understand that we are a year-round off-road cycling group)-
- The name is catchy, intriguing and memorable.
- Fat bikes are any bikes fatter than a road bike, so it includes mountain biking.
- The name doesn’t mean anything – if it’s a good group, word of mouth throughout a small town will spread it.
anyone that wasn’t at the meeting who wants to chime in, now’s the time… no vote was taken or anything like that… but it seems the majority of people wanted to keep the name as is and continue on the path we’re on now
We discussed, brainstormed upcoming events
- MTB rides in Bishop throughout the winter
- Full Moon Bike Ride (might be able to coordinate with MMSA to ride up to Minaret Vista and then have food/drink at the Yodler – Caroline Casey is checking into it) – also brainstormed Tamarack, Rock Creek Lodge, McGee Creek – if you have thoughts, please share
- World Fat Bike Day on December 7 – Trying to coordinate a demo day for fat bikes. Get a manufacturer to send us 10 demo bikes, getting MMSA to allow us to ride a few groomed snowmobile trails – I’ll be working with Jon Widen on this one. Will talk to QBP or smaller manufacturer (Borealis, etc) to sponsor the demo…
- Throwback grassroots race of the Sierra 7500
- Double High Five Why Ride/Race
- Coyote Traverse
- Glass Mountain Traverse
- Mono Lake Fat 40 Loop
- Sand Canyon, Wagon Wheel, Lower Rock Creek Super Enduro
- Bikepacking Overnighters
- Saturday Morning Group Rides during Summer
- Some type of event in June Lake Area (Justin and Sarah)
Then we discussed IMBA and the options/ pros and cons of becoming a chapter – consensus was that we’re not quite there yet. We need to establish our group, and what we are. Baby steps. Way too early to think about dues, non-profit status, etc
Drink Beer. Good Times. #ridebikeswithfriends
This year, National Public Lands Day fell on Sept. 28th. We had the opportunity to collaborate with USFS, BLM, Friends of the Inyo, and IMBA to do some much needed trail work on the bottom section of Lower Rock Creek Mountain Bike Trail. Lots of awesome people showed up, chomped on bagels, donned work gloves, grabbed McLeod’s and loppers, and got working. In addition to a ton of brush clearing work, tread was improved in a few areas (the non-technical parts), and rotting bridges were repaired. The trail was so overgrown in parts that you could not see the line at all, and a couple low-hanging branches were poised to bang your noggin (unless you’ve got wicked bike limbo skills). All in all, the trail is gonna be riding much better now…
Anyhoo, after all the sweat and toil, sandwiches were devoured and washed down with a keg of Paranoids Pale Ale that Mammoth Brewing Company was so generous to donate.
Thank you to everybody that put this event on, and all the volunteers that spent their Saturday with us. You Rock!! Can’t wait for the next one…