Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — Stay off ski trails
TART Trails is a great organization that does many wonderful things for the region. Pushing fat bikes onto Vasa ski trails is not one of them.
Last winter, TART hosted demo days for shops selling fat bikes. Bikes were trucked out for people to try at the Vasa trailhead. Bikers kept coming. Soon Vasa footpaths and snowshoetrails were rutted and ruined for other users. Groomed ski trails were still off limits.
This winter TART announces “Fatbike Fridays” for the growing number of fat bikers it helped create to ride Vasa ski trails, trails developed and long supported by local skiers. TART banned hikers from groomed trails for years. Now TART says the absence of a state forest ban on bikes provides no authority and fat bikes are entitled. Convenient.
Groomed trails are designed for skate and classic-style skiers. Fat bikes are a third group that will damage surfaces and create the congestion and danger of collisions people take to designated ski trails to escape. TART says this is a trial run, but the agenda seems clear.
Cycle-centric TART, local bike shops and others behind this push should develop fat bike trails and stay off ski trails.