My big fat Italian bike tour

This season’s snowsports fad, an import from the US, is fat biking down the slopes. Sam Hadddad tried the alternative to skiing and snowboarding in the Dolomites. Plus five more places to try it

I’m at the top of a steep, snowy slope wondering how on earth I’m going to get down. This is a feeling I’d long forgotten. I’ve been snowboarding for almost 20 years now. But today, I’m not on my board, I’m riding a fat bike – a mountain bike with plump tyres, which make it possible to ride stably on snow. In theory, at least.

I try to take it slowly, hands heavy on the brakes, but the snow is fresh and light and I slide about all over the place. My guide, Raniero Campigotto, reminds me to get my weight back as you would when riding downhill on a mountain bike. Then he smiles and karate chops his hand down the slope. I think he means I need to straight-line it. So, with a deep breath, I do.

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