Fat biking can help you make tracks in deep sand, thick mud, wet roots, slick rocks and just about any terrain. The snow, however, is where it got its start. Legend has it, some biker approached the organizer of the famous 1980's Iditarod Dog Sled Race in the Alaska about letting two-wheelers in on the fun. He agreed, and the Iditabike was born. Three decades later and long after Iditabike ended, fat biking enters the picture and changes the game. Today, the ultra-marathon, featuring fat-bike racers, cuts through the serene Winterlake Lodge on the western edge of the Alaska Range (198 miles north of Anchorage). Whether you're in the area for the Iditarod Trail Invitational on February 28, or just looking for a peaceful weekend escape, Winterlake is the perfect hub for you. Starting this January, the lodge will be offering guided fat-tire biking excursions on aluminum Kona bikes with 5-inch fat tires. Of course, you'll have access to the illustrious Iditarod Trail and about 20 km of trails around the lodge itself, but if you're looking for something even more remote, ask the lodge to give you a lift via helicopter to hard-to-reach trails, like the Denali Lookout loop. See if Carl Dixon is available to join you. The lodge's co-owner has been an Alaska backcountry guide since 1976, has summited Denali multiple times, and is a wilderness first-responder who has rescued many distressed travelers along the Iditarod Trail over the last 30 years.
(Packages start at $2,350 per person for a two-night stay, and includes all meals, round-trip transportation from Anchorage, all guided activities—fat-tire biking, dog mushing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobile tours—related gear and more)
Essential Gear: Keep track of wherever you go with the Microsoft Band 2 ($199), which works with most smartphones, including Windows, Android, and iPhones. The new-and-improved second generation of this fancy fitness tracker features 11 sensors, including GPS, a UV monitor and a barometer. In addition to watching your every step, it will now follow you on the bike, too (plus a golf course), offering real-time stats on your heart rate, calorie burn, and more.
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