Outdoors Blog

Playing Outdoors: Bogus Basin welcomes fat bikes — in the dark

Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area joined the fat bike trend with its first Fat Bike Monday.

Nordic trails are open to fat bikes from 6 to 8:30 p.m. every Monday night the rest of the season. The trail fee is $10, or free with an alpine or Nordic season pass.

The Nordic system is closed on Monday nights. Bikers must bring their own lights.

“As you come around, there’s enough glow coming off the mountain (from night skiing) that you could probably ride along with just the glow from the ski trails,” said John Hart, the Bogus Basin marketing director.

Monday night’s debut was a soft opening with little marketing attached. About 30-40 riders turned out, Hart said, for a rare chance to bike on snow close to home.

Most Treasure Valley residents who want to ride fat bikes on snow usually go to McCall or Sun Valley. Fat bikes have large tires — 4 inches wide or more — and low air pressure — often less than 10 psi — to handle the icy surface.

“This is a test run to see how it goes and what the demand is and what the interest level is, and then we’ll probably start working on a plan to extend it,” Hart said.

Like many ski areas, Bogus Basin has tried to figure out how to create a system where cross-country skiers and bikers can co-exist. Sun Valley Resort just opened a couple of Nordic trails to bikers this season.

Marc Grubert of Boise, a mountain biker who owns a fat bike, said nighttime riding at Bogus Basin could be a good fit because the bikes go better on colder, firmer surfaces.

“If Bogus really dedicated a specific day or night to it, I think it would be huge,” Grubert said.

Idaho Mountain Touring in Downtown Boise ($50 for four hours, $75 for a full day and $100-plus for overnight) and Meridian Cycles in downtown Meridian ($50 per day) have fat bike rentals available. Meridian Cycles’ fleet of four bikes already has been rented for next Monday.

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I was in Sun Valley last week to report our Playing Outdoors debut feature on fat biking (runs Feb. 17). I took a spin — and a spill — on a fat bike in whiteout conditions late Friday afternoon (it was a blast to ride) and watched the Snowball Special fat bike race Saturday morning to get photos and video.

Below are some highlights of the race provided by Sun Valley Resort. The winners — surviving brutally soft conditions — were Michael Goudy in the men’s 20k (1 hour, 18 minutes, 11 seconds), Tory Canfield in the women’s 20k (1:20:27), Chris Stuart in the men’s 40k (1:48:26), Rebecca Rusch in the women’s 40k (2:37:11) and Sandi Hagel and Susan Robinson in the 40k relay (2:35:26).

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