RFMBA has been working with the WRNF on an issue that’s not well understood by mountain bikers. A Forest Order issued in 2013 prohibits wheeled vehicles on forest routes between Nov. 23 to May 22 each year. Over-the-snow vehicles are allowed, and this is where fat bikes come in to play… or rather we feel we should be able to play! RFMBA, IMBA, and other bike advocacy groups are in the earliest stage of working with the WRNF on a proposal to make changes to this policy. Our basic goal for this process includes allowance to ride where snowmobiles are allowed, and where skiers and hikers are currently compacting trails enough to ride fat bikes. As we’ve seen in other Forests, when fat bikers make smart decisions and use proper trail etiquitte, they are welcomed onto these shared use routes. Once complete, RFMBA, local Chambers, bike shops, and other entities will be able to direct riders to the best fat biking available on the Forest. We’ll also be able to consider applying for permits to hold fat bike events on the approved routes.
If you’re interested in this topic, there are a couple of ways you can help right now. If you want to dive into the details, you can join a panel of fat bike thought leaders convening on this topic, likely during January. If you have a list of forest routes you believe will be appropriate for fat bikes, please share the names (& FS Route Numbers if possible) of those trails. Email email@example.com to share knowledge or interest in getting involved.