A few weeks ago, we got word of a rad woman named Claire Bruce who was taking on the challenge of climbing the Gaps of Vermont this winter on her fat bike. There are some crazy stats about Vermont mountains, including the fact that we have THE STEEPEST PAVED MILE CLIMB IN THE COUNTRY. Claire is taking a number of them on this winter and we are having a blast following her along.
Fat Gap Challenge, by Claire Bruce
About the Fat Gap:
Fat Gaps. A collection of Vermont's most famous climbs, passes and notches during the winter season by fat bike. Slow, steady, strength building exploration and most definitely a form of type 2 fun to help fight the winter blues.
In November of 2022, my partner and I moved to Vermont, eager to explore and finally get out riding the Vermont roads and trails we had heard so much about. Safe to say the substantial amount of climbing that comes along with every ride around here was no short of a shock to the system! So...when the weather was looking lackluster for great skiing or riding, I purchased a fat bike and the Fat Gap was born.
The Fat Gap is a weekend endeavor with the goal of tackling a new climb every weekend of the winter. Conditions have been variable and of course COLD! I made plenty of poor decisions, gap one, not enough layers for going down, no warmers for my feet and hands...but the only thing that stood the test of the cold was my insulated Bivo bottle. After hours of being exposed to the cold and windy temperatures my water and drink mix didn't even begin to slush and my hydration was on point! Finally something I got right!
A project like this is not only a spontaneous adventure but a puzzle that is so immensely difficult to get just right, but it's all a part of the fun and memories being made. I've been met with plenty of odd stares, words and honks of encouragement and a notable "I've never seen a bike up here in the winter" remark and those moments all make this journey even more worthwhile.
I have reached the half way point having now done 4 and there’s at least 4 left on the list I have.
Bivo Bottle of Choice:
My Bivo bottle of choice is hands down, the Insulated Trio. I've complained about bottles freezing for years but after HOURS spent in the cold climbing and descending some of Vermont's most famous gaps in the dead of winter, they have yet to let me down!
February 28, 2023
I must admit, I have been using my Bivo on my fat-bike this winter and have been getting the same results! Great story from a fellow New Englander as well. This sounds like something I would try.