Fat Biking at Kingdom Trails, VT

Saturday morning, Margaret and I braved the cold temperatures and drove from our rental on Lake Willoughby to Kingdom Trails in East Burke (~30 min drive). (Check out my post about what to wear fat biking in cold weather!) We got Margaret’s rental bike and started pedaling straight from the shop on Darling Hill.

The temperature was zero degrees F when we started, and about five minutes into our ride my gear shifters FROZE! I brought my bike into the shop to thaw out but as soon as we got back out they froze again. I was unable to change gears, but thankfully it was frozen in an easier gear. I just had to ride in one gear all day, which made things interesting. I think water got into the shifter on the ride up to VT since it was raining, and froze with the temperature drop (it went from ~50 degrees to zero in less than 24 hrs), even though I dried my bike as best as I could. With the huge temp drop, the trails at Kingdom packed up nicely and made for PERFECT riding conditions. The guys at the bike shop had said it was prime for fat biking, so we were stoked!

The bottom of Kitchel, one of the best trails at Kingdom due to its table jumps and huge berms. We rode it twice that weekend!

We took a break after a few hours of riding to warm up and have some hot drinks served at the Hub Trailside where we rented Margaret’s bike. Then we went back out to explore the other side of the trail system, opting to ride down River Walk, which was a BLAST.

Overall, we rode a little over 13 miles that day with lots of climbing.

Favorite trails of the day: Sugarhouse Run, Kitchel, River Walk

After our ride, we drove back to our rental to shower, change and find a place to get dinner. We decided on Parker Pie, a small pizza place a few towns over with delicious pizza and good beers on tap.

The next day we decided to ride the same route, minus one of the trails, Pines, that included lots of climbing. We debated on riding Troll Stroll down but decided against it since we didn’t have any suspension on our fat bikes. I rode this trail on my full-suspension enduro bike back in August, which was fun, but a lot different than a fat bike.

We opted to take the fun River Walk trail, which we rode the previous day. This weekend was Margaret’s first time on a fat bike and she killed it!

We also rode Kitchel again which was a blast.

I was pretty impressed we rode over 10 miles on our second day. The miles just seemed to fly by when we were out there!

At around 12 we decided to head back to the shop to warm up, change and get ready for the ~4 hr drive home. Kingdom Trails remains one of my favorite places to ride. It was the first place I ever rode a mountain bike (it was actually a fat bike). The trails are fun, flowy, fast and not to mention beautiful. I cannot wait until next time.

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What to Wear Fat Biking in Cold Weather

Yesterday the high was about 8 degrees F. Despite the frigid temps, the sun was shining and I wanted to get outside. Many people think going out in this type of the weather is nuts, but if you have the proper clothing you can ride comfortably! The key is layers.

Here’s what I wore yesterday:
EMS Excel Thermo ½ Zip Hoodie 
EMS zip-up sweater fleece
Columbia Sportswear Voodoo Falls 590 Down Jacket – 550 Fill Power
Balaclava/face mask
Avalanche Mogul fleece-lined leggings
Pearl Izumi mountain biking shorts (over the tights)
Ski socks
Khombu insulated, waterproof boots w/ hand warmers inside the boots. Next time I would wear my hiking gaiters with my boots since the laces on my boots don’t go all the way up and snow can get in. Thankfully the snow wasn’t too deep yet so it wasn’t much of an issue.
Louis Garneau Bigwill Gloves -These gloves were probably the best investment out of all the above gear! They were expensive but totally worth it since they kept my hands warm the entire ride! I was really worried about my fingers freezing but they were toasty warm in these gloves.

I was also planning on wearing my riding glasses, but they were fogging up a lot so I ditched them. I usually have the same problem with ski goggles when wearing a face mask when skiing.

I rode for about an hour. The conditions at North Bethlehem are great for fat biking right now!

I have studded tires on my bike for the winter, however, they probably weren’t needed here. It was nice to have them, though!

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Mtb Holiday Gift Guide – For Her

It’s that time of year again! Have a mountain biker in your life and no idea what to get them this holiday season?  Well, you are in luck because I love making gift guides! Here is one just for a lady shredder.


1. Blackburn Barrier XL Mud Guard

Mudguards are essential for your mountain bike if you don’t want to get muck splashed on your face when riding a wet trail. These Blackburn guards are size XL (for a fat bike tire) and have an awesome topo design on them. I would love a set of them for my fat bike!

2.  Crankbrothers M19 Multi-Tool

Multi-tools are a necessary piece of gear that you should always be carrying with you on a ride. Crankbrothers makes this awesome one with 19 important tools in case you need to adjust something when on the trail.

3. Race Face Chester Composite Pedals

I have these exact pedals on my fat bike. They were a Christmas gift last year and I love them! There are many colors to choose from and they also come with steel pins that keep your feet glued to the pedals when riding.

4. Buff Heavyweight Merino Wool Neckwarmer

This Buff neckwarmer looks super cozy and would surely keep your neck warm while riding.

5. Fox Racing Attack Fire Softshell Jacket

This fleece-lined softshell would be awesome for winter riding. I like that it is water repellant and has large pockets.

6. Race Face Half Nelson Locking Grips

I’m a sucker for snazzy grips and these Race Face grips look so fun with the topo design. They also come in an array of hues because we all know matching bike components matter!

7. Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HVC Tire Pump 

This pump doesn’t look that cool, but it is a KEY piece of gear to bring riding. Jordan has this exact pump and it fits right in his pack. I may or may not steal it when I’m on rides without him. It is compatible with Presta or Schrader valves and works like charm for filling a tire on the trail.

8. Shredly Lace Cham

This super cute cham would make long rides a bit more comfortable (even though nobody would see it…) and is definitely on my Christmas list!

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Where to Mountain Bike in the Capital Region

Now that I’ve been mountain biking for about 2.5 years, I think it’s time I shared a post about my favorite places to ride locally! I learned to mountain bike on these trails, so they are as good as any to learn to ride, improve your skills, and get some exercise! My favorite app for finding new trails is called TrailForks and you can find maps of all these trails on this app.

Best Bet for Beginners: North Bethlehem Town Park, Guilderland

Not only is North Bethlehem close to Albany, it has many features, such as bridges, berms, wooden drops, and obstacles like logs to ride over. It is a great place to practice riding over things and is also a great place to practice riding fast!

There are still a few features I’ve yet to try but I’m hoping soon I’ll be able to ride everything here! The trails are windy, so it is also great for learning how to corner properly. It is one of the places I feel most comfortable riding solo, as well as at night, as the trail never strays too far from the main lot and there are always people around.

Luther Forest, Malta

Luther was one of the very first places I ever rode a mountain bike! The actual first place was Millstone Trails in Vermont, but that’s another story! Luther is another great place to ride, especially if you are learning. Trails are flowy and there are some good climbing sections.

Colonie Town Park, Colonie

Colonie is another one of the very first places I rode a mountain bike, which is saying something because some of these trails are hard! There are lots of roots and rocks and steep climbs and descents here. There is also some double track if you are just starting out and want to ride something easy. It is also right next to the Mohawk Hudson bike path, in case you really want to bail and ride on the paved path. The reason why I liked starting here is that it makes the other local trails seem easy. A lot of these trails are very fun to ride! My favorite is the Pasta loop.

Gurney Lane Bike Park, Queensbury

Gurney is a bit of a hike, located right off of exit 20 on Northway. BUT it is totally worth the ~ hour drive because these trails are incredible. They just may be my favorite trails in the area. They are fast, flowy, and there are even two new downhill style trails (E20 and Tango) that are super fun to ride. I never get tired of riding here! My favorite combo right now is riding Coaster to Salsa to Race Course for a super fun section. The trails are all very well marked and labeled according to difficulty.

Well, there you have it! Each of these places is very beginner friendly, while still fun to ride. If you are interested in learning to mountain bike, have any suggestions on where to ride locally that I haven’t mentioned, or just have a question, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment. 😀 Happy riding!

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Riding Lussi and Loggers Trails in Lake Placid

Last weekend I was in Lake Placid for my sister’s birthday. We rented a cabin at the ADK Loj, did some hiking and then had dinner at Big Slide Brewery. I’ll get to the hike later, but now I want to recap the trails Jordan and I rode while we were up there. My sister and her husband Brian left early on Sunday to drive back down to NJ, so Sunday was the perfect time to hit the trails. Our friends Jason and Aubrey met us at the trailhead just outside of Lake Placid on Riverside Drive. The trail system (called Lussi and Loggers) is right off the famous Jackrabbit Trail.

Trailforks is my favorite mtb app, it has trail maps that are categorized by difficulty; very handy to have while on the trail!

 

There are lots of features to ride here. The trails are technical but not to horrible, as I could ride everything, minus a few of the skinny bridges. Lots of roots and rocks, though!

And plus the views were just amazing.

Riders have the option of riding down the boulder below. Not me, yet…

We covered about 13 miles in ~4 hours. It was my longest mtb ride yet!

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