Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Ménage à trois

After enduring 2 years ridicule by the "purist" backcountry skiers, my efforts to utilize fatbikes as a method of backcountry transportation have proven successful given the right conditions. 

This is the holy grail of combining the only two winter sports worth leaving the house for.

Transporting a snowboard on a fatbike can be achieved one of three ways in my experience, two of which involve a splitboard.   
As splitboarding is clearly the answer to most of life's woes, the latter two methods offer potential epic trips... biking out a valley or basin, then exploring the surrounding peaks, trees, and couloirs via the splitboard.  Traveling by bike in many instances is faster and more efficient than skinning or hiking depending on the terrain. 

Option one: A snowboard can easily be secured to any standard rear bicycle rack via two attachment points using bungies, webbing straps, or ski straps which work best (like those from Black Diamond or Volie) 

Having a second person hold the board in place, as you secure the straps makes life easier.  

The top strap should be 'woven' through the rack tubing to prevent the straps from slipping down.

The lower strap is best placed below the binding to offer some vertical support

Be mindful of heal strike.  The top of the rack and right side remain open for panniers or other bags.  

 Option 2:
 Step one: Cut your board in half                                                    (or get a splitboard)

Step 2: Attach each half of the board to either side of your racks  at the high and low attachment points as described in Option 1, just do it twice for each half of the board. 

Tie the tips of the boards together to make a big "A" because you are clearly awesome. 

This is a great option for multi-day trips, as you can then attach panniers and other baggage to the racks and a backpack easily attaches to the vertical attachment points created by the splitboard A-frame.  
With all these extra points of attachment, you can loop and strap all kinds of crap to your bike.  
Soon your bike will weigh upwards of 50 or 60 pounds depending on how much whiskey you need  

Option 3 is for all the weight weenies out there and works exclusively with the Revelate Designs Viscacha tail bag , and is really quite simple.  The vertical straps of the Viscacha that suspend it from the saddle rails create  nice little hammocks of reinforced nylon at the bottom edge of the bag, one for each half of your board. 
- All you need is another strap looped around each half of the board, near the junction of the seat tube/ top tube/ seatstay.  Create a sandwich of the board on either side of the bike frame.  Looping the strap through the top tube and pulling it tight as possible.  
This serves three purposes: 1. brings the two halves together a narrow as possible so you can actually peddle, 2. stabilizes the lateral motion and flex of the board for more stable riding, and 3. keeps the board at an upward sloping angle to the rear of the bike.   

 ENJoy. and Remember Avalanches can still get you on a bike.  

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