nataliebbj | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Re: “Letters 1/20-1/27

Re: Snowshoe vs. Fat Biking

As an avid member of the growing fatbike community (and skate skier who donates for grooming at Meissner, as well as xc skier and snowshoer), it saddens me to hear of suggested negative conflicts between snowshoers and fatbikers. In the several winters of fatbiking on multi-use snowshoe trails, I have never had a single negative encounter when meeting other users. Nearly every encounter has been met with smiles, amusement and curiosity. I’ve even had a few snowshoers sit on my bike and pedal for a few strokes - and sure enough I see an ear-to-ear grin. Not one snowshoer has grumbled about having to step to the side (and Gavin, I’ve not ever heard of anyone wearing SNOWSHOES “swallowed by the snow and struggling to regain the trail.”(Please, the whole point of snowshoes is you stay ABOVE the snow.) And I’d hardly equate the speed of a fatbike like being “buzzed by a motorbike club” – I think my top speed is about 5 mph in snow. Lookout! ;)

Granted, we do not condone fatbikers riding on classically groomed tracks as we realize the damage done. And I would discourage large groups of bikers or perhaps not riding at peak snowshoe hours on weekends. Where the best places to ride will take education on our parts as well as perhaps the many bike shops that are now renting fatbikes to newbies who aren’t aware of those places to ride or proper trail etiquette. For now, a smile, versus stink eye and rudeness – goes a lot further in helping to resolve user conflicts. To anyone who hasn’t tried it (including you, Gavin?), fatbiking is super fun and allows a winter experience for those who are not skiers. Yes, fatbike-specific trails are beginning to be established at Wanoga Snopark (which currently, by the way, welcomes skiers and snowshoers). Please be patient, perhaps try not to act so entitled to public lands that are for all of us to enjoy. Embrace change and the inevitable introduction of new sports. Fatbikers are nice people. Really.

If you really want to gripe, worry about the people walking in BARE BOOTS on the trails. They are creating big post-holes that destroy the trail quality for everyone – but that’s another letter…

Natalie Herse

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by nataliebbj on 01/23/2016 at 2:17 PM

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