Fatbike group ride kicks off the winter season


The Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club held its first event of the season this weekend.

A group of fatbikers braved the cold on Sunday afternoon for their first group ride of the winter season.

From left: Dennis Brumwell, Steve Schwarz, Shannon Jennings, Sophie Mahon and Clarinda Spijkerman at the Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club’s first fat bike group ride of the season. Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo

“Fatbiking has been kind of on the rise for a few years now,” said Shannon Jennings, who led the group ride.

It’s common enough in Yellowknife now that people are finally selling used bikes, she said, whereas before it was difficult to find one secondhand.

“When I first got mine there were only a few on the road, I felt kind of awkward riding it around because it felt really goofy,” said Jennings.

“But now everywhere you go you see like five fatbikes on a bike rack, so it’s kind of become a thing now.”

The club has been doing fatbike group rides for the past few years, in an effort to keep the momentum from the summer going through the winter, Jennings said.

“It’s kind of a different crowd in the winter,” she said, and more of the fatbikers tend to use their bikes for commuting than the mountain bikers.

Jennings used to commute to work with a road bike, but quickly learned they aren’t practical for Yellowknife winters.

“I’d get to my destination and my nerves would be shot because your little tires are skidding everywhere in the snow, and having big floaty tires alleviates that,” she said. “You’re just flying around on the snow and it’s really fun.”

They are currently working on bringing a bike park to the city, but Jennings said it’s taking longer than expected.

“There’s a lot of paperwork barriers that none of us are really equipped to deal with in the club,” she said.

The club was founded by bikers wanting to bring support to the sport in Yellowknife, she said

“Mountain biking is kind of a newer sport and there’s not a lot of infrastructure for biking,” said Jennings, but it’s slowly growing across the country.

“We’re trying to make the Northwest Territories a better place for biking.”

The Yellowknife Mountain Bike Club is currently looking for board members and volunteers and will hold its AGM at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the North Star building.