- 2 Mukluks
- 1 ti’ Fatback
- 1 9:Zero:7
- 2 Pugsleys: the Fugsley, and Don’s DUC32 Pugs
- December 11, 2011
- 19.34 miles
- 2:23 ride time
- (8.1 mph average pace)
- 2270ft vertical
You’d think it would be a singletrack traffic jam on a day like this: sunny, cold—but not too cold, with the saturated ground nicely frozen. But no. Just six of us out there, with only two more passing us mid-ride.
Lake Hope offers an excellent set of trails, all well-marked. If you find yourself in south-central Ohio, it’s worth your time. See the trail map and descriptions here: http://www.lakehopestatepark.
What made this ride memorable was the full representation of fatbikes. Six riders, six fatties from four different brands. Given the niche community of fatbikes, it seems significant that here, in a non-snowbelt like central Ohio, there are guys getting on board the fat train. Guys like Matt, who is an ultra endurance runner—why the heck would he want to push a fatbike around? Or Tim, a strong, seasoned road rider, who bought his 9:ZERO:7 this year (after setting up a Fargo, too). What’s the draw? Why climb over 2000 vertical feet for nearly 20 miles on a bike that’s 30+ pounds? Here’s a quick attempt to explain it…
Fatbiking on Lake Hope singletrack (or any trail) brings out the Kid in us. Once you realize that you can crawl over just about anything, a few minutes on a fatbike triggers some old memory in your brain. You recall—even subconsciously—the first time you took your bicycle offroad, trail or no trail. You’re a conqueror of worlds. A mighty explorer. Even more, the fatbike platform, quite capable of racing at high speeds, has that wonderful built-in low-gear feel. It forces you to chill out. Enjoy the view. Mentally unplug from the hustle and hype. In short, fatbikes reconnect you to those core things that get forgotten in modern life. Even forgotten on other, faster bike platforms.
So the ride at Lake Hope wasn’t about blazing through the course. It was about connecting with a growing number of fatbikers, and reconnecting to that good core stuff that gets us on fatbikes in the first place. Oh, and Fat Tire Ale, which Aaron generously shared at ride’s end.
Get out there,
I could not agree more with your comments about fat bikes. I live in a snow-belt zone… Idaho. But, for the very reasons you describe, I find myself using the Pug as my primary mountain bike… its fun, comfy, and if you accept the downside (weight) the upside is soooo worth it in terms of fun, comfort, traction, riding position, etc.
See you on the trail…. life may deliver me to Columbus, OH soon.
@dafew: If you’re out this way, holler at me: dylan1 me com. Our Phase 2 trail just north of Columbus is a total blast to ride, and quick at around 6 miles for one loop. Great flow, plus bridges, a big wall, and other fun stuff.