Power Wheels

Want to Cycle Year-Round? Start Fat Biking, Stat.

Four local spots to ride legit, no questions asked.

By Brook Sutton February 16, 2017 Published in the Midwinter/Spring 2017 issue of Aspen Sojourner

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Snow-friendly fat bikes, with their distinctive chubby wheels, provide great exercise and big fun. But knowing where to ride can be tricky. Current Forest Service regs permit winter riding only on plowed routes, and bikes are not allowed on most groomed Nordic trails around Aspen. That said, here are four local spots to ride legit, no questions asked. 

Rio Grande Trail

Ride up to 42 rolling miles from behind the Aspen post office all the way to Glenwood Springs, or just a section thereof. Expect a mix of plowed, groomed, and snow-free sections. aspentrailfinder.com/rio-grande-trail

Independence Pass Road

This road is a legitimate leg burner. The summit is 19 miles east of Aspen, but turn around once you catch sight of the large avalanche slide paths in the upper reaches. aspentrailfinder.com/independence-pass-road

Fat Bike Loop

This hilly 4.5-mile loop, marked by green fat bike signs, rides best clockwise. From the Aspen Recreation Center it goes through the Aspen Golf Course, Marolt Open Space, and Aspen schools' campus. aspentrailfinder.com/aspen-fat-bike-loop

Crown Mountain Park

This midvalley jewel in El Jebel grooms a couple of miles of fat bike-friendly trails. From flat to rolling, with lots of twists and turns, it’s a perfect choice for kids and beginners. aspentrailfinder.com/crown-mountain-park-loop

Take a Test Spin

Basalt Bike & Ski offers 24-hour fat bike rentals at its Aspen location, as does Aloha Mountain Cyclery in Carbondale. basaltbikeandski.com & alohamountaincyclery.com

Après Ride

Hit up Southern-style Smoke Modern Barbeque in Basalt’s Willits Town Center for corn muffins with cane syrup butter and charbroiled oysters after fat biking at Crown Mountain Park. smokemodernbbq.com

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