Fat Video Tuesday – Bicycles on Snow – Iditabike 1988

Here’s a blast from the past! Mark Forman contacted us about a television segment that he produced for the Discovery Channel about fat-biking before there were fat-bikes! We asked Mark to share some insights into this historic clip and here’s what he had to say.

Original Budget was $55K

Money got back on the project was about $10-12K

About 1.5 million viewers on the Discovery Channel at the time when this sport was unknown.

Equipment Sponsors were Timberland Boots and The North Face

Shot in 16mm on Kodak Film with a crew of 4 with 2 cameras (no digital in those days and certainly no GoPros!)

Worst moment in the shoot was when the camera operator opened the take-up side of the film magazine exposing 10 minutes of interviews.

Second worst moment was when riding in a sled towed by a snow machine we dropped 10 vertical feet over an ice ridge and survived the drop and continued to follow the riders.

Early on in the race we were flying to Rabbit lake to catch the riders arriving. There was no GPS in those days and the pilot got lost in the overcast but we finally found the location. Whew!

The weather on the second day of the race was warmer than normal and locals told us that this was not the usual pattern for that time of the year. (This was the effect of Global Warming 25 years ago although at the time who would have thought about it)

Best moment – Realizing that I was alone miles away from anyone else as I ferried a Snow Machine on the Iditarod Trail.

We travelled well over a hundred miles on Snow machines and another 200 plus miles in airplanes to document the race.

As my first experience as an independent filmmaker it was invaluable.

Would I do it again? Yes with someone else’s money!

Edited at Sound One in NYC on a Steenbeck Flatbed

Finished at the Tape House in NYC

Three years later I created the Forman Camera Bicycles which received US Patent 5467906.


You can see more of  Mark Forman’s work by visiting – &


Where were you and what were you riding back in 1988?



, , , , , , ,

2 Responses to Fat Video Tuesday – Bicycles on Snow – Iditabike 1988

  1. upsidedownbiker December 27, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    This always makes me laugh because I logged a number of miles with them on their training rides those years. That is exactly Nels.

  2. Dan'l Boone January 3, 2014 at 4:44 pm #

    Those cats were burly as all get out! I was riding an ’83 Ross Force 1 back in ’88. I upgraded to a Specialized Rockhopper in ’90, and pushed that beast around until last spring when I snatched up a Krampus. I sure can appreciate how hardcore those guys were, considering my gear was basically the same for the last 20+ years. However, I have certainly not ridden nearly as far in such harsh conditions. Twas an awesome documentary!! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply