Sometime ago, I noticed that there’s a fatbike rental place in Roslyn, WA, Northwest Bicycle Improvement Co. The shop owner, Glenn, met us promptly at 9 am on Sunday morning, and rented nice Salsa Mukluks to Tony and Shawn.
Both guys being new to snowbiking, we were setting out to explore the trails around Roslyn, and not go on a monster ride as I would typically do. Following Glenn’s recommendation, we started with a little used trail south of Roslyn, just before the Nelson Dairy Rd.
The snow had frozen pretty nicely, so we were able to ride a trail where only 1 or 2 snowshoers had blazed a trail. Bumpy it was, and oh so techy and fun, too. It was the most technical snowshoe trail I’ve ridden. Maybe not the best introduction to snowbiking, but Tony was killing it up front as if he’d been riding fatbikes in snow all his life. Shawn and myself stayed in the back and made sure to explore all the postholes and bumps to the utmost. Letting some air out of the rental bikes helped improve the bounciness somewhat.
The trail then disappeared and we had to push downhill through soft snow for a hundred yards.
Once back on the road and through the metropolis that is Ronald, we headed up a nice steep forest service road. It was beautiful – all rideable on the fairly hard snow. We were beginning to wonder if the cross-country trails left behind by rogue snowmobilers would be rideable – and they were! There was a bit of pushing involved in getting up to the Cle Elum Ridge, but with some football game on on Sunday, we were almost the only ones out there to enjoy the serene and steep road.
The thought of riding this stuff down seemed to be the main motivation. Once the ridge was reached, we looked at the map and pulled out some snacks. We made the decision to go back east along the ridge and then make our way down the Number 6 canyon. The undulating ridge road was in great shape if you like lots of bumps and moguls. The weather was pleasant: 25 F and drizzling light snow, but no wind.
Video by Shawn: I was riding the track left behind by a single snowmobile. The snow conditions were just outstanding that day.
The ride down the No. 6 canyon was fast and fun, including a short cross-country trail left behind by a snowmobile.