Fat-bike ride on November 18, 2018.
Fat-bike ride on November 18, 2018.

winter time (9)

Patrick

New Fat-Bike Helmet

Kask Moebius for fat-biking below zero.

When I first started fat-biking in March of 2013, I grabbed one of my Giro Aeon road/MTB helmets and slipped on a winter cycling cap when my head felt too cold. On cold days, I took off for rides wearing a Bern Brentwood helmet that I had bought for my daily commute. Soon, it became the helmet I wore for fat-biking exclusively. For very cold or snowy days, I bought a Smith Vantage, a goggle-friendly ski helmet with ear pads and adjustable vents. The Brentwood is now ten years old. Safe for the visor, which forms one piece with the liner, it held up amazingly well. But after ten years, even a sturdy helmet such as the Brentwood should be replaced.

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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

New Road Front Light

Magicshine MJ-906S front light.

Since I don't Zwift during the dark season of the year, time had come to look for a new front light. I've been using Magicshine lights since I bought a Magicshine Racer's Special from GeoManGear in 2009. I got two more MJ-808E lights in 2014 and have been using them ever since for mountain biking, road cycling, and most often for nightly fat-bike rides in the snowy Jura.

The MJ-808E series of lights are not super ideal with their rubber O-ring that wraps around the handlebar, particularly on the road. Over time, the lights tend to rotate out of position and have to be re-adjusted. So, for the past few years, I've kept an eye out for new lights but never actually pulled the trigger.

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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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