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Feeling the crunch: Fat biking on snow offers a unique sensation

Double amputee David Asselin rides a fat bike in Vail at the Winter Mountain Games on Sunday. Asselin said he enjoys fat biking for the…

Tuesday, Mar 01

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Double amputee David Asselin rides a fat bike in Vail at the Winter Mountain Games on Sunday. Asselin said he enjoys fat biking for the crunching sensation the snow creates underneath his wheel. David Asselin doesn’t shy away from the cold after losing most of his feet to frostbite in 2010.

The double amputee was in Vail over the weekend racing in the Winter Mountain Games fat bike race, where he led the 60-plus age division without heels or toes on his feet.

“My feet are only three inches long,” he said.

Asselin said his friends got a good laugh out of his situation; he lived in Antarctica for 5 years without issue, but was 70 miles from his house in Boulder when a series of small mistakes during a day of ski touring led to him getting lost in the Fraser backcountry.

When Asselin emerged, it was no laughing matter. Temperatures were pushing 30-degrees below zero, and his feet were frozen. He lost his heels and toes, and now has to use inserts when moving.

Asselin said he was living in a perfect area to be recovering from an accident of that nature, because he found so much support from people who had been through similar situations, or worse. He said Paradox Sports in Boulder, a nonprofit that offers accessible climbing experiences for people with disabilities, has been immensely helpful for him.

“These guys don’t let you stay home and whine,” he said. “We have Aron (Ralston), who cut his own arm off in […]

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