BSL's Blog

This winter, I'm trying... the fatbike!

Mar, 16 janvier 2024

Credit : Notre-Dame-du-Portage @Patric Nadeau

The Bas-Saint-Laurent is a paradise for fatbikers. Its apostles are multiplying, smiling their way past us in storms and disappearing onto white trails every weekend.

What? You've never tried a bike with oversized wheels?

Marie-Philippe Pelletier-Parent and Daniel St-Pierre, two enthusiasts and administrators of Club cycliste La Meute, give us all the good reasons to saddle up this winter.

Why is the oversize bike the best winter sport?

Marie-Philippe: It allows me to live the season to its full potential, on a daily basis, because I can do it close to home. 

Daniel: I hate routine. For me, road biking or stationary biking are a bore... Fatbikes are practiced in the forest. Like the sea, the forest is never the same. I can pedal 12 times in the same place, and it will always be in a different context. One day I'll see a deer, the next a hare...

Cycling in the snow, I feel like I'm 10 years old again! It gives me a great sense of freedom.

Credit : @Patric Nadeau

What physical benefits does this sport bring you?

Daniel: It's a very complete leisure activity. As well as maintaining cardiovascular fitness, it stimulates reflexes, motor skills, balance and muscles...

Marie-Philippe: Cycling also has the advantage of being gentler on the joints than running, for example.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to take up cycling for the first time?

Marie-Philippe: Respect your limits. Fatbikes quickly bring you back to your own physical condition. It's demanding when you begin. If you can't go up a hill because you don't have the legs for it, you have to push back on your pride and go up it on foot. You have to be gentle with yourself... and enjoy nature and the scenery.

Credit : Parc national du Bic @Patric Nadeau

Is it possible for everyone to get on the trails?

Daniel: Absolutely! I started at 62. That gives you an idea! It's like cross-country skiing, it requires a minimum of physical fitness. The trails are classified by level of difficulty, so all you have to do is go where your skills and desires take you.

Marie-Philippe: The hills can be scary, but people need to know that snow softens surfaces. It's like riding on clouds.

Should you invest a lot of money in equipment before hitting the trails? 

Daniel: The ideal is to rent a bike before buying one. After that, you go according to your budget. You can start with an entry-level bike and then upgrade to a more expensive model with more features, if you have the passion...

Marie-Philippe: With a bike or ski helmet, a good pair of gloves and goggles, you're ready to ride!

Where to go?

Some of the parks and outdoor centers int he region open their trails to mountain bikers. Most sites charge a daily access fee. Bike rentals are also available at some locations.

As the saying goes: big wheels, big fun!

La Pocatière 
Boisé Beaupré 

Témiscouata 
Centre de plein air familial (Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac) 
Centre de plein air GDS (Dégelis) 

Rivière-du-Loup 
Club cycliste La Meute 

Rimouski 
Parc national du Bic 

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