Often reported as one of the coldest places in the U.S., temperatures hovered in the balmy-for-Saranac Lake 40s the day we visited. For people like Chris Gosling, who usually play in far more frigid weather, this was a welcome reprieve.
Gosling and a growing group of others who live in this high Adirondack town pedal their way through winter on what is aptly called a “fat tire” bike. Between the squishy plump tires and one speed of the bike, cyclists have adopted this funny-looking breed as a fundamental activity to stay warm and in-shape.
My latest gig with Mountain Lake PBS took me to this vacation hotspot this past Saturday. My awkward and slightly clumsy reporter Kevin hadn’t biked for nearly 20 years (couch surfing is more his thing) and even he mastered it.
We rented his ride from the downtown bike shop Human Power Planet Earth; their philosophy being “to help people save money, stay healthy, and live on a more sustainable planet through the use of human powered tools.” Service Manager Mike Campbell boosted our confidence with a thorough overview of the bike’s frame, fork, shocks and rims.
“You’ll need head protection too,” he smiled, jokingly fitting Kevin with a Barbie doll-like pink helmet.
When the packed powder surface gets a little mushy, the nearby Dewey Mountain Recreation Center welcomes all to bomb around on over five miles of fun. Mt. Pisgah boasts “The Cure” – currently the region’s only machine-built flow trail – along with berms and jumps.
Miles of groomed single track are made possible thanks to the efforts of the local not-profit Barkeaters Trail Alliance or BETA. They release color-coded GPS maps that can also be used in the summer.
The thrills and spills were all caught on multiple cameras that you can watch on the Mountain Lake Journal (PBS) in a few short weeks.