Issue #193 Dec. 22, 2011

Articles

Keep On Pedaling

lack of snow doesn’t mean you have to pack up your bike til spring

by David Smuhl

The St. Valentine’s Day Hustle is a scavenger hunt bike race on (and around) the frozen Lake Menomin this Feb. 11. It’s followed by a bonfire and refreshments at Waterfront Bar & Grill.
 
The St. Valentine’s Day Hustle is a scavenger hunt bike race on (and around) the frozen Lake Menomin this Feb. 11. It’s followed by a bonfire and refreshments at Waterfront Bar & Grill.

With winter upon us, many people will be hanging up the bike to gather dust until the ground thaws and the roads and trails open up again. Fortunately for the brave of heart and dutifully attired, there are still some options in the Valley for winter biking. The rise in popularity of snow bikes – bikes outfitted with tires up to 4.5 inches wide – has ignited a national trend in winter off road biking.

And Eau Claire is no exception.

Local bike shop employee and fat bike dealer Ryan Moen says that the bikes are a hot-ticket item this year with people coming from all over the state to check them out and purchase them. There are plenty of opportunities to get out on the trails in the Valley this winter, even without a snow bike.

The second annual Powder Keg will happen on January 28 and welcomes all types of winter mountain bikers to come out and try their hand at the snowy single track of Lowes Creek. (And, for that matter, Lowes Creek is a great spot to trek throughout winter.) The St. Valentine’s Day Hustle ice race will be returning for its fourth year on Lake Menomin on Febuary 11. The race resembles a scavenger hunt on ice and is open to any bike of any configuration. Depending on snow and trail conditions, plans are underway to keep trails open to bikes throughout the winter at several local trails as well. For those interested in a bit more frequent riding, the Chippewa Off Road Bike Association says they plan on continuing their regular Monday night rides as far into the season as they can before shifting to snowshoes.