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Fat biking grows in popularity in Sault Ste. Marie


You've probably heard of fat biking by now -- those bikes with four-inch wheels that can handle nearly all conditions, most notably the snow.

In the Sault Ste. Marie area, winter riders gathered Saturday to mark Global Fat Biking Day by traversing the trails of Hiawatha.

And if Mother Mature fulfills her end of the deal, the Sault Cycling Club expects this winter to be one of the best years yet.

“The club’s home trails this year are going to be groomed by Hiawatha themselves, which is super exciting,” said Jack Perrotta-Lewin, of the Sault Cycling Club.

“It’s going to improve the grooming schedule, conditions are going to be better than ever. And the Sault Cycling Club will be grooming our farmer lake loops a little bit further afield. And we’ve got crimson -- they’ll be grooming, as well.”

The Sault has one of the largest number of fat bike riders per-capita, club officials said. And the ride marking Global Fat Bike Day won't be the last this winter season.

“Looking at options as well for some more social rides through the winter. It’ll be on perhaps a little less technical terrain,” said Perrotta-Lewin.

Shipments of fat bikes to Sault stores don’t last more than a couple of weeks. The uptake has risen in the last five years but really took off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has continued since then -- people just want to get outside,” said Heather Carter, of the Algoma Bicycle Company.

“So many people have fat bikes now that people who don’t kind of want something to do with their friends and they come in and get one. And it is really almost addictive -- it’s so fun.”

Fat bikes are also good for those learning to ride a bike or who haven't been on one in years.

Experienced riders say the wide tires make balancing a lot easier -- and if you happen to fall, there's no worry about landing on gravel or cement, just a soft snow bank. Top Stories

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