elisa jones riding near monticello in winter fat bike

Getting my Fatty on

We have a little saying in the Grand Junction trails community: “The best trails in Moab are in Fruita. The best trails in Fruita are in Grand Junction.”

I guess if you’re into really hard trails that will challenge your physical and psychological fitness, as well as your bike set-up, to the maximum level, then yes. It’s true. Being adapted to the difficulty of the Lunch Loops, I am starting to feel comfortable with my technical skills. And it took every ounce of those skills to ride bikes today.

One thing I love about trails is that you can ride the same one again and again and never have the same experience. The weather, the company, your fitness level, the season, the flora and fauna, the soundtrack….each factor brings a different level to the experience.

TOP SECRET INFORMATION: My favorite way to re-experience a trail is to ride it in the a-typical direction. Think of your favorite trail, the way you usually ride it…..(got that visual going?) Now turn around and go the other way. Climb the descent. Descend the climb. Try it. You’ll love it. It’s a whole different trail.

The trail today was the same one I walked with Torrey on Wednesday night. It’s the same trail I raced last summer, and mapped with Todd in September. I know this trail. It’s easy. It’s double-track wide and graveled. It’s a joy ride. It’s the kiddy coaster.

But today it was an immense challenge. Andy let me take his new FAT BIKE out on it. Yes. Fat bike. I’d been looking forward to trying one out on the trail for a while now, and it didn’t disappoint.

At first it felt huge, and I guess because it was Andy-sized, it was. I was able to keep momentum… for the most part. I did try and blaze some tracks on the single-track, but to no avail. I fell down;  butt in the snow. All my elegance must have been left at the trailhead.

But it wasn’t the snow that made the riding so difficult. It was all of the walked-in-skied-in-pock-marked-and-re-frozen ice. It was like riding over thousands of death cookies. Death cookies creeping under 1/2 inch of sand. And when there wasn’t death cookie-trail-texture, there was 4 inches of snow. Think of your worst trip through deep sand. That’s how it was. It was a frozen Sahara desert. Technically, it was very technical. And fun as snot. Cold snot.

Okay- you get the idea. Trail fun on fat bikes is going to have to happen again. I’m thinking a little group trip to one of the San Juan Huts. If you got a fat bike, or can get your hands on one and want an adventure, contact me– it’s on!

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