Harlan Price, owner/head coach at TakeAim Cycling (“Skills Instruction for Mountain, Road, Cross”) has an insightful, excellent article published on Dirt Rag Magazine’s website titled Riding in the snow, the modern mud.
Snow riding today is all that’s left of the version of the chaotic two-wheel drifting we regularly did before trail stewards were abundant. Fortunately, some time riding the white-capped seas will benefit you in ways that only the traction-less trail can. A dirty little secret about this enlightened age of trail stewardship is that we lose out on opportunities to improve our handling skills. Riding in the rain gave us wet roots, some slick mud, climbs turned impossible, and every corner becomes a battle for traction. All from adding a little lubrication to the equation.
It’s particularly impressive that in the two photos accompanying the article, neither one is a fat bike. I’ve got nothing against fatties (I want one!) but it helps to convey that in many (most?) winter climates, a normal mountain bike does just fine in the snow, especially now in the era of #ridegroomed (see the new website GroomedSingletrack.com by the peeps at 45NRTH).