Leave No Trace for Fat Bikes

May 29, 2018
Leave No Trace for fat bikes
Nathan WolffWith great tires comes great responsibility: Leave No Trace for fat bikes means staying on-trail on Cape Cod (above).

Biking on trails and other unpaved surfaces can cause significant damage, especially if the terrain is muddy or easily disturbed. While fat bikes can cause less impact than mountain bikes due to wider tires and broader weight distribution, that doesn’t give you an all-season pass to ride when conditions are poor.

  • Always check local regulations to confirm which trails are open to cyclists. Many trails are closed to bikes, especially in the rugged terrain of the Northeast.
  • Don’t ride when conditions are soft. In the Northeast, that means avoiding some trails during the spring mud season and after heavy rainfall.
  • Never ride off-trail, which can damage pristine terrain.
  • Always yield to other trail users, including hikers, runners, snowshoers, skiers, and equestrians. To do so on narrower trails, position your wheels as far to the side of the trail as you can, then stop, put down your outside foot, and lean your bike and body away from the trail corridor.
  • If you’re riding groomed terrain in winter, don’t disturb the parallel tracks put down for cross-country skiers.


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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.