Video: Fatbiking the North Shore with Wade Simmons & Ken Maude

Mar 13, 2019
by Race Face  

While Whistler and the North Shore ski hills usually get buried under plenty of snow most years, winter tends not to stick around in town and on the mountain bike trails of the Shore. This year, it hit hard and stayed long, leaving riders scratching their heads trying to find things to do in the newly blanketed landscape.

But the Godfather of Freeride wouldn't let Old Man Winter stop him from getting out for a shred - Simmons grabs some Rocky Mountain fat bikes and convinces Ken Maude, iconic rider and owner of Lynn Valley Bikes, to have a snow day of shredding the Shore.

bigquotesTo this day, the riding never gets boring. The reason I'm so stoked on the Shore is the convenience to access unbelievable natural places - these rare old-growth temperate rain forests leading into sub-alpine lakes and snowy mountains that are juxtaposed against Canada'a third largest city.Wade Simmons

Wade Simmons and Ken Maude have been riding the shore since the early 90's

bigquotesWhat an experience to be in my backyard in this crazy winter wonderland! To ride in these conditions in the white west coast rain forest was an incredible opportunity.Ken Maude

Snow-style mobbin'.

bigquotesSometimes, the best even gets better. A time when conditions line up perfectly to step outside our normal riding routines; we don't ride fat-bikes often, but when Mother Nature shakes it up for us, we do. And we love it!Wade Simmons

The best grilled cheese is the one you make yourself outside.

Wade and Ken staying warm and dry with the help of the RF Conspiracy jacket and Agent pants.

bigquotesIt is crazy to think that after living here my whole life we still have so much to explore and I couldn’t have done it with anybody else but Wade!Ken Maude


Riders: Wade Simmons, Ken Maude
Video: Connor Macleod
Photos: Nick Kupiak

Rocky Mountain Bicycles
Lynn Valley Bikes
Race Face

MENTIONS: @raceface


  • 73 0
 Finally an accurate depiction of fatbikes. Slow, awkward, crashing all the time, and a pretty fun time with friends.
  • 16 1
 Agreed, this is REAL fat biking! Not a crusty dusting of snow on a lift-access trail.
  • 14 0
 We get rolling pretty fast here on our groomed trails. Some rides it feels like I'm summer ripping. Definitely fall and crash more, but at least it's in snow! And fo sure it keeps the fun times with friends going in winter.
  • 25 0
 That was rad!!! Great sound track, a couple fun crashes, and a killer vibe. Maybe if I finally buy a fatbike that’ll make all the snow melt? #murphyslaw
  • 3 0
 First year I bought my fat bike..nothin' but frozen dirt!
  • 3 0
 @yupstate: You should take trip up here. Three cool groomed Fat Biking riding zones around Ottawa and a 25% discount on everything.
  • 1 0
 @rkstar: Thanks, but this was 2 winters ago. Lots of snow this year and not as many wild temperature swings so it's been a pretty good year.
  • 10 0
 So many things I love about this video, but here are two of them:

1) they are not on the top of the line bike. Those are Blizzard -20's you can get them for ~$1500 CAD, picked one up (in the same colour) at the start of the season, it's an awesome bike.
2) shows how awkward it is to ride on unpacked or ungroomed trails. Here in Whitehorse we have had a great season with our two drag sleds... there is nothing like a nice bit of groomed single track for fat biking. We also get a lot of help out from snowshoers, regular walkers, and snow machines, so hey multi-use trails aren't all doom and gloom.
  • 8 1
 i know PB is chock full of fatbike haters, but, c'mon, that doesn't look like fun? unfortunately we only got one day of snow here in WNC this year, and i couldn't schedule a trip north this year
  • 6 0
 I was fatbike-ambivalent until this winter. The combination of trying to train for an early season event and our area's snowiest February on record changed my mind.

All our local trails (in Idaho) have 3+ feet of snow on them, but luckily our local MTB association has been killing it with grooming all winter. They use a ~18" wide track, so even when you're on a fire-road, everything outside of the groomed track is powder that'll send you over the bars in a hurry. It makes it feel like you're on singletrack the whole way.

I was trying to force myself to ride a trainer through the first part of the winter, and going crazy. I finally started borrowing friend's fatbikes, and it's been a blast.

Is it the same as mountain biking on dirt? No, not by a long shot. Is it way the hell better than sitting in your ass or a trainer all winter? Absolutely.

Also a pretty good case for getting a 29" frame that's wide enough to handle a set of 3.0 27.5+ tires (I know, another thing that PB hates). On our mountain, it wouldn't let you ride all year, but you could get out there about half the days in the winter.

The only thing holding me back from grabbing one now is that I'm confident if I buy one, we'll have like 3-years with zero snow accumulation while it sits in my garage.
  • 5 0
 I don't have a fat bike but have done quite a few snow rides on the shore this winter. From frozen mud to packed snow from amazing sun to night rides, they all had something in common. Ear to ear smiles. Something about riding in the snow just brings out the kid giggle factor.
  • 4 0
 Snow conditions can vary so much with changing temperature. When it's good it easily rivals the fun level of shredding a dry trail. Wanna keep riding all year? Yeah, me too. This type of trail is what we like, instead of groomed cat tracks.
  • 5 0
 Yes, yes, yes, gimmie a fat bike and a pair of ski's with skins, screw chairlifts!
  • 5 0
 Still probably faster than I could ride the Shore in the summer.
  • 2 1
 Seriously is there anything about the North Shore area of Vancouver island that isn’t cool?? I’ve never been there but every photo and video I see of this part of the world looks like heaven on earth to me. And of course you got “The Godfather” living there too.
  • 10 0
 The price of real estate.
  • 1 0
 @jazbone: North Shore pretty expendy. North Vancouver Island not so much. However, riding in both places pretty awesome.
  • 1 0
 Yeah! I just came home from a day out on the fatbike. It's quite warm here, so the snow was heavy and sluggish, even the steepest descents were slow. We had a good time anyway. Man, I love snow. And mountains. And bikes.
  • 1 0
 One of the pictures shows 3 guys - but only 2 bikes. So - did one guy have to double him or did you make the photographer walk? ????
  • 1 0
 Not the biggest fatbike fan but I'd watch Wade even if he was shredding tricycles and good to see Ken Maude (another early day northshore freerider).
  • 3 0
 Every mountain biker's phone looks the same - smashed to sh*t (0:05)
  • 3 0
 I cracked mine trying to take a group photo in front of the Retallack Lodge sign. I get to think about that trip every time I look at my phone! It's FANTASTIC!
  • 4 2
 Good to see Zach Galifianakis as a celebrity fat biker!
  • 1 0
 Not only is Simmons a bad @ss MTBer, but he also knows how & when to use the word juxtaposed. + 100 respect Lvl. Bravo!
  • 1 0
 Awesome video! Does anyone know what that song is?
  • 3 0
 Remember Sports - The 1 Bad Man
  • 4 0
 @raceface: Was such an old school NSX vibe - made the video for me.
  • 1 4
 Nice, but I keep on thinking that fat bikes are awkward even on deep snow. I don`t know, I have never experienced any fat bike in proper conditions like these, but aren`t 2,50``max tyres + metal spikes more effficient in the snow???
This video needs - for once - to be speeded up :-)
  • 2 0
 Nope. It's all about the float in proper fat bike terrain. You still have to stay on the packed stuff, but the bigger the tires and the less the psi, the more places you can go.
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