Descending the Petit Chasseral on February 26, 2017.
Descending the Petit Chasseral on February 26, 2017.

fat biking (12)

Patrick

Fat-Biking On Little

Crossing the Bözingenberg west to east.

There’s not much snow left on our Jura mountains. Despite the mild temperatures, what was left, fortunately, melted only slowly during the week. Likely thanks to the dry air. It’s the end of January, and it has never felt wintery so far. If we don’t get any winter storms in the coming weeks, like other parts of the world are experiencing right now, winter may very well be over at the end of February or even before. I’m trying to make the best out of it by riding the still snow-covered hillsides in my backyard. It means that I have to ride my studded tires on pavement and gravel for a couple of miles to and from snow-covered trails. I do this carefully. Studded fat-bike tires aren’t cheap after all. At the moment, they’re very needed since a lot of the trails have ice on them.

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Patrick

Late Afternoon Fat-Biking

Late afternoon at the Romontberg.

My weekend routine these days follows pretty much the same pattern every weekend. I hit the sack between 10 and 11 PM to be woken up by my wife between 3 and 4 AM. She goes to bed, and I go upstairs, clean our cats’ litter box, feed them, and get some more sleep on the couch with the alarm clock set to wake me up at regular intervals to feed our kitties. Most of the time, I get up after 8 AM to make breakfast for myself and our cats. Since my wife is getting a few hours of rest in our downstairs bedroom, I spend the morning with quiet activities. Lately, this has been setting up my MacBook. There’s not a lot of software I need; Edge to browse, Spark to read mail, Photos for my large photo library, Atom, and Publii to maintain this blog, Office 365 and OneDrive, music players such as Sonos, Spotify, and IINA to listen to music. I have to say, macOS Monterey is a wonderful OS.

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Patrick

A Weekday Fat-Bike Ride

Homebound above Prés d'Orvin.

My fat-bike season already started on November 28th with a ride in Prés d'Orvin. When the snow reached the lowlands at the beginning of December, I was able to start my snow rides right from our doorstep for two weekends. The Montagne de Romont and Plagne were my destinations on each of those weekends. Except for Sunday, December 12th, the weather wasn't the best. Fog, wind, and snowfall never bother me. On the contrary, it's much more an achievement to stand under the Chasseral antenna with 100kph winds and heavy snowfall than getting there on a pleasant, sunny winter day.

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Patrick

Did Winter Come Back One Last Time?

Hiking miles through some deep, soft snow.

After the two previous weekends, I thought that my fat-bike season had come to an early end. Years past, it wasn't uncommon to fat-bike into May. Last week, however, winter returned in full force, dropping over a foot of snow on the Swiss Alps and 8-10 inches in the Jura. Brown pastures and trees were suddenly white again. I had already washed and packed away my Bike Jacket, so I got it back out again because my studded fat-bike can't be placed inside our car without.

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Patrick

An Icy Fat-Bike Weekend

Crossing the Grenchenberg.

February has been a disappointing cycling month so far. Temperatures shot through the roof and it rained a lot. The wonderful snow disappeared at lower elevations and suffered greatly up higher. Thankfully, the mercury dropped last Friday to make Saturday the coldest day of the winter, yet. For the first time this winter I pulled my warm Smith Vantage helmet out of the armoire and strapped on my ski/fat-bike goggles. Thicker gloves were pulled out of the drawer and I put on a thicker long sleeve jersey under my winter jacket. Despite riding at temperatures of around -16°C, I felt very comfortable on Saturday's 4 1/2 hour fat-bike ride.

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