Two fat-bike events to chase away the snowy winter blues

Snow cyclists at Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Preserve in Strongsville on January 8, 2017. (Photo by Michael Petcher)

PENINSULA, Ohio – Some Ohioans know how to make the most of winter, and the folks at Century Cycles are a prime example. They are hosting events over the next two weekends that will allow people to try out snowbikes.

Have you ever heard of snowmobiles? Think of a standard bike with insanely big tires, some as wide as four or five inches, making them called fat bikes by some.

An event will take place on Sunday, February 12, when Century Cycles partners with the Western Reserve Historical Society’s Hale Farm and Village. The following weekend, Saturday, February 18, the multi-site bike peddler will host snowmobile races at Brandywine Country Club.

The Hale Farm event is a chance for people to try out the bikes on a short demo course or ride their own snow bikes on the trails and fields there. There is no cost to attend and no pre-registration is necessary.

Brandywine’s latest event is called Fattyshack III, a nod to the bikes moniker, the fact that it’s on a golf course, and was first held in 2015.

There will be two off-road courses. One is a short demo course for people to try Century Cycles bikes. There are no fees. The other, a longer route, is for people who bring their own bike and have to pay $5.

Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles, said in a press release that the bikes allow cyclists to extend their riding season and that some people actually use them year-round.

Bikes can be great in winter, but events are always vulnerable to weather conditions. Each is subject to cancellation if it rains, has stopped snowing, or if ground conditions are not suitable for cycling.

People are advised to call the Century Cycles store on the peninsula at 330-657-2209 for the latest updates. Event information is also available at on Facebook at:

  • Participants who have their own snowmobile are free to travel the marked trails as many times as they wish.
  • Bikes must have tires that are at least 3.7 inches wide.
  • Participants testing Century Cycles demo bikes can ride one lap of the demo course at a time and can return later for repeat laps depending on time and number of participants.
  • All cyclists must sign liability waiver and release forms and must wear helmets approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for cycling; helmets will be provided with the demo bikes.
  • Demonstration bikes are suitable for adults and teenagers at least five feet tall.

Hale Farm is at 2686 Oak Hill Road in Peninsula, and the Brandywine Country Club is at 5555 Akron-Peninsula Road on the peninsula.

Maria R. Newman