Thunder Bay·Superior Morning

Fatbike fever draws Thunder Bay's Matt Lapointe to Swiss Alps

Matt Lapointe, from Thunder Bay, Ontario, was one of only two Canadians to travel to the Swiss Alps for the Snow Epic fatbike competition earlier this month.

Lapointe ranked 30th in the 'Snow Epic' fatbike competition in Switzerland

Matt Lapointe grabs some refreshment at the Snow Epic fatbike races in Engelberg, Switzerland. (Chelsea Lynn)

Matt Lapointe, from Thunder Bay, Ont., was one of only two Canadians to race in the Snow Epic fatbike competition, which took place in Engelberg, Switzerland in mid-January. 

Fatbikes are bicycles featuring thick oversized tires, allowing them to tackle all sorts of terrain, including soft unstable surfaces such as sand, and snow. 

"It was pretty amazing," Lapointe said of the Snow Epic competition where riders raced over icy mountainous terrain.

Lapointe said he exceeded his personal goal by placing 30th among 122 competitors. 

Fatbikes growing in popularity

A long-time cycling enthusiast, Lapointe said he discovered fatbikes about three years ago at a local shop. He took one for a spin, and was hooked.

"It's just fun, that's the only way I can put it. You jump on it, it looks kind of goofy underneath you with these huge, soft tires, but you start riding and the bike is just so much fun to ride," he said, noting that with so much traction, he can ride up steep hills, and even stairs. 

"I've got multiple other bikes, and this is still the one I take out all the time. I ride it in the summer, I ride it in the winter, and any time I can. I even ride it to work."

Lapointe said fatbikes are starting to catch on with Thunder Bay riders.

"It's huge in the Minneapolis area and by extension it's getting bigger and bigger here," he said.

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