Twin Cities fatbikers have an ever-expanding set of winter riding options. Classic off-road destinations include Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis and Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. Three Rivers Park District allows winter riding on mountain bike trails at Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve in Savage, Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove and Lake Rebecca Park Reserve in Rockford. And the Minnesota DNR just announced three new metro options: the Luce Line State Trail in Wayzata, the Gateway State Trail in the east metro and Fort Snelling State Park.

Yet the fatbiking community keeps nurturing romantic attachment to Bloomington’s Minnesota River Trail, one of the oldest places to go mountain biking in the Twin Cities. The trail’s central 12-mile stretch is the subject of fierce debate regarding its future as a paved trail. But for now, the “River Bottoms” are the ideal setting for enormous group rides on Saturday mornings.

With 50 to 70 fatbikers participating on winter weekends, the terrain is easy enough to accommodate a variety of skill levels. It also boasts scenic out-and-back spurs, multiple parking lots and trailheads, plus easy access to urban amenities — especially restaurants for those hungry cyclists.

Visit www.morcmtb.com to connect with a group ride in your area.

CHRISTY DESMITH