Although there's a thaw going on while I write this, we are in the midst of fat biking season. This year, fat biking is really taking off around here.
Campus Wheelworks is running there second annual race out at Byncliff XC ski center in Varysburg. Last year's race was a hit with a huge turnout. Don't miss this year's event, being held on Valentine's Day (hence the lack of a singlespeed category!)
Meanwhile, Thom Wright has received a grant to help groom the trails at Harris Hill. Check it out. Or Contact new VP Thom for more info.
WNYMBA is trying to set up a meeting with Erie County regarding Fat Biking on the XC trails at Sprague Brook. There is quite a bit of research out there showing that true fat bikes, i.e. minimum of 3.5" tire width and low pressure don't sink into snow and float similarly to skating XC skis. We want to present this to Erie County to get the current prohibition of bikes on the XC trails during groomed skiing conditions revised or overturned. This prohibition was put in place before fat bikes were invented, and regular mountain bikes do sink into the snow and impact conditions. Currently, both the County Parks Commissioner and the Sprague Park Manager positions are vacant, making it difficult to set up a meeting.
In the meantime, the park has been adamant about not having bikes on the trail, and in an effort to keep the trails open to bikes the rest of the year, everyone should respect that. Please limit fat biking at Sprague to the other trails in the park (although this means most of the east side is inaccessible.)
Remember, the county is not discriminating against bikes. Hiking and snowshoeing have been around a lot longer than biking, but those activities are also not allowed on the groomed trails (and yes, we know some folks still do that).
We hope to make some progress with Sprague/Erie County. At the very least, allow the section from the end of Creek to the start of the main singletrack to be opened to allow access to the east side singletrack. Stay tuned. In the meantime, wherever there are some tracks (i.e. the two ski-tracks set into the snow) rather than just a packed surface, remember to *not* ride in the tracks - stick to flat packed surfaces.
Lastly, here's the link to the IMBA's best practices for fat biking: https://www.imba.com/resources/land-protection/fat-bikes