The first ever Fernie Fatbike Day kicked off on Jan. 16, with over 50 locals taking to the trails dressed up in their wackiest gear.
The event was hosted by the Fernie Mountain Bike Club (FMBC) to celebrate the popular sport of fatbiking while encouraging residents to have fun outside during winter.
“We just want to get the stoke started early, because 2020 was a tough year, so in 2021 we’re just coming at it full stoke – we want it to be the most amazing season possible,” said event organizer, Jennifer Sliva.
“It’s good to keep the sense of community and just encourage people to get outside because it’s so important for our mental health this time of year, especially when there’s a lack of sunlight.”
Event organizer Cindy Sleeman said that with perfect, hard-packed conditions on the day of the event, even residents without fatbikes could hit the trails on regular mountain bikes.
“It’s important for people to stay positive, and instead of looking at the limitations, look at the cans; what you can do – and in the outdoors you can do anything,” said Sleeman, adding that rides such as the Town Loop or trails in the Montane area are great places to start.
“Now is the perfect time to come out and try…it’s like anything, the first step is the biggest one. It’s all inclusive, anyone can ride, it’s not limited to age or anything, it’s just a fun initiative for getting people out.”
Adding to the Fernie fatbike stoke, the event offered up prizes for participants who posted photos of their rides to social media.
Prizes from local businesses including Straight Line Bicycles, Beanpod Chocolate, Gelato and Coffee, Ski Base, and Giv’Er Shirt Works were issued to the Best Dressed Fat Biker, Oldest Fatbiker, Youngest Fatbiker, Most Kilometers Fatbiked on Jan. 16, and Most Enthusiastic Fernie Fatbiker.
The event followed provincial health orders, with all riders participating either individually, within their household bubbles, or while maintaining appropriate distance from one another.
The FMBC is hoping to run a number of other exciting events throughout 2021, dependant on COVID-19 guidelines. According to Sleeman, a socially distant event is already in the works for February.
For more information on upcoming events, head to the Fernie Fatbike and FMBC Facebook pages.