Wanna go ride bikes?

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…  

IMG_0445

the shady side of a canyon under the watchful eye of some hoodoos

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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds, single malt, and single women. Tempe, Arizona, USA

33 thoughts on “Wanna go ride bikes?

  1. Great post. My bf talked me into buying a fat bike this fall and I fell in love with biking all over again-it only took one ride, but I’ve rode my bike more in 6 months than I probably did on 30 years. There have been a lot of haters and skeptics, but we just let them take a spin on our fat bikes…we have 5 friends we’ve converted already and are building up fat bikes for a couple more this spring…

    That said, I hope those jocks don’t get into fat biking, I don’t want to get stuck riding with them as they try to achieve their latest PR…

  2. count me in for one of these long rides I’ll bring beer, a flask & Icouldcarelessattitude

  3. Best accessory never added to the fatbike vernacular?

    Strava.

    Keep it up sir, I may not get out for the adventures you speak of, but I enjoy the fuck out of every word you write about them.

  4. Why is this jock/high-school bullshit even on a the radar of a guy in his mid 30′s? Grow up, then stfu, then go drive 300 miles, then ride your stupid fat bike for 10 miles, then take some pictures, then STFU again. Because that is what matters.

  5. @Gnomer – it matters because I want to share it. Stupid to you is amazing to me and vice versa. But I am of the opinion that if it is worth doing, it is worth sharing, and I know there are some people who don’t agree with that. Because I go to places on this bike, get off the pedals, sit in the sand and I am in awe of the surrounding…smiling like a fool because I never thought, when I was a kid, that I would have the opportunity to see such natural beauty. And (for some reason I don’t know yet) it feels like so much more because I got there by pedaling.
    The jock bullshit is relevant because it is all around us. It doesn’t matter what age. Lucky for me, this yellow page is the one place where I don’t have to STFU.

  6. Keep on keeping on dirty. The jocks will rage in jealousy and bitterness for not nearly enjoying themselves as much as you.

  7. u know stomparillaz donTCare, getting the pArty back on two wheels is more important than anyone’s strava ever. Telluride beckons, anyone ever wants to stomp on any kind of jalopy just give a hollr

  8. Yea, I look at the fat tire stuff and think they are ridiculous, but interesting for sure. I don’t have a swath of sand or snow to plow through and I have enough other bikes to ride already, but given enough time and money, I’m sure one would make it’s way into my garage. Bikes are for fun after all. As long as you’re having fun on it, ride the thing. What could be better?

  9. Jocks? I think it’s just opinionated, pessimistic individuals. Athletes or not. Enjoy your posts….I can’t get out much with three tiny people in my household, but sure like to read about others’ adventures. Cheers. Matt

  10. I remember trying to justify buying a fat bike a couple years ago….trendy, questionable function, did it warrant $$ on something I may use partially? Yes on all the above. I got my bling bikes & know that world & mindset well. Its refreshing to spend a relatively reasonable amount of money on a bike with low end components, beat the shit out of it, and ride anywhere you want.(thanks Surly, that’s kinda your mission statement to me) My Pugsly will allow me to ride in almost any condition. Commute to work @ 7000ft in the winter??….no prob. Wanna take the dirt road, urban trail, or just cut through the woods in fresh snow? Yup….and fuck you cars and your gutter that you may or may not allow me to share w/ you. You can keep it. I can load up saddle bags & be ready for just about any path or condition…..Its about UTILITY and freedom. (Cue in anthem music).

  11. What I think is stupid is stereotypes that stifle growth of cycling or just stifle stoke generally. I meet new people every day. All types. I just never find myself in the middle of a Jersey Shore or any collection (tweekers) where I am not able to connect, articulate establish rapport (or lack thereof), and maximize the experience. And if I did end up at a keg jockey party of lame, well, It’s pretty easy… I would either offer some bro’s a bike ride like you’re doing, or just pedal away (like you’re doing). I can say that when people are on bikes – and I’m not speaking of racing – the douche they once held on to, gets dropped like a Cat 6 cyclist.

    There’s an exclusivity that becomes promoted when you speak of other cyclists as douche or “not of” your sect which is the same “Broness” you and I despise in general. I find that the most difficult aspect. I know, that’s my porblem. But you or me or anyone… we’re the same. And I know it’s hard to keep the faith, but it really is all about the pedaling. And sure. There are some intensely lame peeps on bikes, but how much of that is generalization, and how much is it our own inability to communicate? Bridges versus Walls. What is being made? I’ve seen entire dialogues dedicated to why that guy on the other side of the road didn’t wave. Shit, it’s a big big world, not that big a deal if a guy cares about his zones so bad he can’t see you. That shit just doesn’t matter and pretty much 99.99% of all folks on bikes are tolerable. You can’t say as much about the general population. Life’s hard enough, so yea, go take the pics. Stoke the stoke, tamp out the fake hate… unless that’s just boring? I don’t even know.

  12. I thought fat bikes were like fat girls-Lots of fun to ride until your friends see you on one. But after talking to a bike shop employee on a chairlift in Vermont, I’m beginning to change my mind. This dude was so excited about fatbikes he almost fell off the lift. he was lucky the bar was down.

    As usual, I think too much and one of my excuses for not even trying a fat bike is my experiences with loss of traction with my 26er MTB on steep trails. I lose traction on loose surfaces.

    Does the wider tire on a fat bike make grinding up the steeps easier? Or does the extra weight of the fatbike defeat any advantage of the wider tire?

    Maybe I should just take Gnome’s advice and STFU and go out and ride and figure it out for myself but my aging knees scream bloody murder in the granny gears. knee surgery is not an option.

    Or maybe I should ride the fatbike on flat beaches to impress the ladies.
    Bikini clad bimbo #1: “look at the skinny guy on the fat bike”
    Bikini clad bimbo #2: “The bike is awesome”
    Bikini clad bimbo #1: “The rider is a wanker. I wish he’d crash. Then we could take the bike!”
    Bikini clad bimbo #2: “I agree. Let’s chuck some seaweed into his derailleur”

  13. Fat tyres climb better than they descend, even.

    Some folks will use cycling as a platform for a sunglasses contest and try and climb up on top of somebody else so’s they can “be right.” That doesn’t sound fun.

    People who really love riding bikes will just ride them. Whichever ones appeal to them. Prolly most of them.

  14. itake awaythepain – You’re suggesting women are a sub species or of inferior value with that statement? Quit being a shit head. Any time you need to prove that you can pull your own weight, I’m in phx. gnome at superissimo.com. Any time. Let’s meet up. We’ll see what you’re made of. My sense is that you are as soft as a blush chablis.

  15. Great post Dirty!

    I have been exploring boundaries in the opposite direction, spending most of my time here in North Carolina riding Dupont and Pisgah on my Surly LHT with skinny touring tires (continental contact if memory serves). So far, the only limitation is me.

    I love anything with wheels that can let me go from one place to another under my own power. Even recumbents…..anyone seen/ridden that lightfoot cycles bigfoot ranger?

  16. It’s hard just finding enough time/money to do justice to the bikes I already have. Besides, I rarely encounter conditions that would warrant such a machine. Still, I can see fatbikes being a hoot to ride, and the big old shiteating grin on the face of the Pugsly pilot I rode with acoupla winters ago on the C&O woulda had me whipping out my checkbook that very day if I had the funds.

    Someday…

  17. I love that vid! I hope we don’t become BFF’s after this. That always takes the “Man” right out of it. But you should know, I’ve never lost a blog fight.

  18. I drink beer, but sweat-out blush chablis. I want a fatbike to justify my slowness, mute my lack of technical prowness on a 26′er and they just look cool. Minimal sarcasm intended. Dirty, are those the hoodoo’s near the Paria & 89A?

  19. If you like the fat bike than just like it and have fun. If you need to justify a $2500 bike by saying you can commute to work on it in Flagstaff then enjoy that too!. There is fresh snow on the ground for about 10 mornings and 6 afternoons all winter.

  20. ive just gotten into cycling in the last few years and this has me quite confused and turned off to be quite honest, not the post itself (which i enjoyed) but the same bullshit i see on the yahoo comment section i’m seeing here and it sucks

  21. I’m selling my fatbike. The fad is over.

    No, not really. I’m kidding. KIDDING I tells ya!

  22. Pingback: The Squealer, 2013 - Fat Bike Hogging - Superissimo