I have been a little lax on my Tuesdays with Dirty posts lately due to a change in my work schedule. It seems I am always out and about on Tuesdays and generally nowhere near a computer. This week was no different and found me about 4 hours north scouting some routes for future long rides and I got to thinking.
Lately, I have been spending a lot of time seeing just what my fat bike can do in the desert and it has been a hoot. I now find myself scouring maps not only for trails, but for any kind of sand wash or stream bed as well. Looking for any weakness in the desert with which I can exploit with the turn of a crank. Drop the pressure in those big fat tires, grab a spinny gear and set out on the journey. As long as I am traveling faster than if I were walking, I consider it a win.
But lately I have encountered an unusual side effect. The more time I spend on this bike, the more I am encountering haters and I can’t help but wonder where it is coming from. Sure, these bikes are heavy, have high rolling resistance, and most of the haters are your typical Type-A, watt counting racer jocks. But really guys, people are also doing amazing things on these bikes. Like Jay Petervary and Eszter Horanyi who both destroyed the record at the Iditirod a few weeks ago. Even the weight argument is a little beat because these clown bikes have now evolved into 24 pound carbon fiber mutants. They are getting people off the couch and outside smiling in the dead of winter. Twice now, I have witnessed two of my friends fall in love with riding all over again after purchasing a fat bike on a whim. With all this positivity and fun, it is hard to understand where the haters are coming from. Am I a little naive? Are my expectations too high of the mountain bikers around me. I tend think that all bikes are good as long as people are riding them.
I was discussing this with a friend the other day and he dropped some wisdom on me:
“It doesn’t matter if you are on a bike or in a high school locker room, a jock is still a jock…Besides, they aren’t gonna be where you are going anyways”
I would say that I have to agree. This bike has taken me so far beyond anything I have ever done in 15 years of long rides (off road touring, bikepacking, or whatever you want to call it), with no end in sight. Just when I think I may have maxed it out, I end up some place incredibly beautiful that would have been a death march on a regular mountain bike. There is something a little special about getting there by bike. The windows are always down, calories become gas, and the beer tastes a little better at the end . It is the dragon I chase and these bikes are just another tool for the job.
It would be easy to throw up a middle finger and simply dismiss the jocks and haters. Then I remember I have two fat bikes. So who wants to go for a ride? I have some stuff to show you…by