Something strange happens when I grab the handle bar and saddle to load up my fat bike. It’s this overwhelming laughter and smirk that appears, on my face, while the “Hellz yes” comes out uncontrollably. It all starts at that moment. This ride will be a great ride… any ride, no matter where, you will be talking about it all week. A fat bike IS the cat’s ass of awesomeness and you wanna tell everyone about it.
You load up. Grab a cooler, stop for a coffee and keep yourself on track for the meeting time. One thing is for sure, most of the fat bike group runs early. The excitement starts the night before the ride and it can no longer be contained by the time the ride is a few hours away.
This past Sunday turned out to be a blast. I pulled into the lot, saw so many faces and thought to myself “Sweet, the gangs all here! ”Gomez did a great job spreading the word and listing the ride on MTBR. Readers….a ride isn’t really a ride until you’ve done a fat bike ride…believe me !
The temps were in our favor, everyone had a smile on their face, and was ready to ramble fatty style. Downside..deer hunting season in Wisconsin. (I’ll get to that in a bit) The Emma Carlin trails have been great the past few weeks so it was obvious to me to rally riders together and have some fun. We started out with 6 riders and ended with almost a dozen. A few Northpaws were there along with a few Pugs and a Mukluk or two. All very fine working machines with different little tweaks to each one. Wheels, drop bars, swoops, bags, racks,flat petals versus clips, you name it…. everyone has their little bit of knowledge.
Now getting to the downside, deer hunting season. Of course it does not stop most riders, but not until the fat bikes show up do the outfits become so ‘parade like’ to protect against the hunters.
Dave probably spent a good amount of time creating one of the most awesome helmet mullets I have ever seen. The long strands of orange ribbon…frolicking in the wind was enough to send me into the weeds more than once, while riding. Tony and his orange bowtie of a scarf was my second favorite. It made me realize that this group will interpret things in more ways than I can imagine. Again …the fat bike mentality – the only thing serious about fat bikes is the time we set aside to ride em.
First lap assessment – everyone made it – too much laughing…..and yep! we are going out again because the new singletrack is awesome. All I can hear is excited voices rattling off “Wow these babies cook on the downhill !” and “I can jump anything on this, I love it !” Ironically there is no negative mumbo jumbo or pulling the tools out of the car to adjust things and make excuses. Fat bikes are the ultimate bike of choice. It’s a gas to see others struggle, muscle, tip over, dodge and conquer anything in sight. You can’t do much to them, because they are rugged and built for exactly what you want to do with them. BULLDOZE EVERYING IN SITE !
Second lap ? Great idea .. lets do it again! Well, at this point the legs had cooled off, temps were dropping and the soldiers were becoming tired. We had two fresh riders that headed out with us. One rider, Karen who completely impressed me more than Dave’s mullet, was riding a singlespeed Pugsley. Yes guys and gals, a little 5’4” woman with legs of iron and no quit was breaking ground at Emma on this monster machine. The group split apart a bit and as my legs turned into mush, I found enough upper body strength to muscle the beast back to the parking lot. On one of the last climbs I told Greg I had a vision of (the virgin?) Mary herself…
All in all, the gang had a great ride. Everyone laughed, compared tip over stories, rear ending events and collisions with trees. There were a few bruises but nothing a cold beer at Knuckleheads can’t cure. Later that night, as I laid on the couch, thinking back on the fun I had, I realized my body felt like I had wrestled a bull. Totally worth it ? Hellz Yes !