Since I did a snowshoeing tour in that area not too long ago, I was quite familiar with the terrain. However, since I am not a mountainbiker and have never been riding a fatbike before, my blogger friend Milos and I decided to go with a local guide. The folks from the bike academy were very friendly and helpful so that I felt pretty safe and just wanted to enjoy myself. We were kindly given two test bikes in order to try this alternative winter sport. (regular rental price for half a day: 35 CHF) Special thanks to our guide Amin Khamsi for this awesome experience!
Powder Alarm: Fatbiking in Pischa
Originally invented in Alaska, fat bikes are now very popular in winter in Davos Klosters – as ‘fun mobiles’ on the Pischa. It is actually the next big thing in alternative winter sports.
As soon as most people have ‘hibernated’ their bikes for the winter – that’s when the fat bike season starts. And you can see people literally craning their necks to look when you cruise by on a fat bike. Riding enjoyment takes over once you’ve got used to their monstrous appearance. So much so that you’ll find yourself inwardly wishing that the snow would remain lying. Yes, you’ve read it correctly. These bikes ride especially easily on up to 30 centimetres of snow.
Underestimated coolness factor
Many people are comparing this new on-trend sport to the early days of snowboarding. Who’s forgotten the days when many people thought the boards were more impractical than skis. They totally underestimated the ‘coolness’ factor. And it’s the same with fat bikes. And there’s more: ide a traditional mountain bike, it’s like comparing a monster truck with a Fiat Panda: not as agile, but in contrast ten times more laid-back and significantly wider. These bikes originally came from Alaska. Today you’re guaranteed to find at least one model in every bike shop. And not just because it looks decorative – because it’s great fun too.
Easy Route for beginners
The Pischa offers four fat bike descents. From easy to difficult: Four spectacular fat bike descents await you on the Pischa, all four offering wonderful views over the Flüela valley. We did tour number one, which was pretty cool. In the beginning I was a bit nervous and clumsy, but then I got the hang of it. :-)
One part downhill was pretty tough for me, though, and I fell pretty hard. Riding a steep descent was not easy for me and after I fell, our guide Amin and my friend Milos really helped me out and were pretty patient.
5 tips for your first fat bike outing
- While you’re riding, always look far ahead. That way you’ll always see the obstacles in plenty of time.
- The rear wheel seldom loses grip on the ground when you’re climbing – even on snow. Slipping wheels can be quickly corrected downhill. The wide tyres are simply not a great help on ice.
- Always wear a helmet because when you are not used to it, yet, you might likely fall every now and then.
- In tricky situations it’s essential that you get your upper body down, elbows out and legs wide in true John Wayne style. And don’t brake too hard on the front wheel, otherwise you’ll end up flying over the handlebars. That’s all there is to it.
- For your first ride, join a guided tour to feel secure and safe! Special thanks to our guide Amin. He made my day!!
Bike Rental in Davos
When you are in Davos, you can simply rent your bike at the Bike Academy. It costs around 35 CHF for half a day and – if you like – you can simply go get your bike at the Pischa valley station, take the cable car to the top of the mountain and then you are all ready to go. It’s that easy!
So, with these tips in mind, I say: ride on! Milos and I will have a blast in this magical winter wonder land.
source: Franz Thomas Balmer (Destination Davos Klosters)
photo credits: V’s World, Destination Davos Klosters