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'Fat bikes' making winter cycling an easier task

Cycling is something that most people here in Minnesota would associate with summer rather than winter. However, there are people who take to the roads on bikes during Minnesota winters. And, in the past decade, new bikes have been coming out aimed at making winter cycling a more manageable task.

The bikes in question are referred to as 'fat bikes' and are designed to be able to handle snowy and icy conditions. One of the most noticeable features of these bikes are their tires, which are significantly larger than traditional bike tires.

According to an article on KARE 11's website, the bikes first hit the market in 2005 and have been selling consistently here in Minnesota since then. The bikes are fairly expensive, but the price has gone down quite a bit from when they were first introduced. It will be interesting to see if the bikes will continue to drop in price and thus start being within the reach of a wider market of individuals.

One wonders if the growing popularity of these bikes will lead to an increase in winter cycling here in Minnesota.

In winter, Minnesota drivers may be tempted to not spend much energy keeping an eye out for bicyclists. It is of great importance for drivers to resist this temptation. Just as cycling can occur in any season, so can bicycle accidents, and one of the things that can cause such accidents is failure by drivers to watch for bicyclists. No bicyclist should have to be subjected to a crash because a driver failed to be properly attentive.

Source: KARE 11, "Winter bicycles help commuters navigate snow," Jan. 13, 2014

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