Global Fat-Bike Day and The Art of Bicycle Chillification


With all of the growth that we’ve experienced in the world wide fat-bike tribe in the last five years, we have lot’s of new fat-bikers that might be looking down the barrels of their first Global Fat Bike Day celebration. Like all holidays, GFBD has traditions, so we thought that we’d share some of the GFBD culture that we’ve experienced along the way and ask the question to our audience, “How do you Celebrate Global Fat-Bike Day?”

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GFBD Celebrations can be as large or as small as you like. You could take a selfie on your solo cruise, and share it with the world; or get together with your bicycle family and have a small or mid-sized gathering; or perhaps, bring your bike family to a larger group celebration ride! GFBD is the first Saturday in December. If you have a scheduling conflict with Saturday, then ride on Friday or Sunday. GFBD is about FUN and freedom. This is a day to ride your bike for FUN! All bikes are welcome at GFBD celebrations. If you own a fatty, GFBD is the perfect time to let someone that comes to the ride on their 29’r, ride a fatty for the first time (by lending them yours). If you have more than one fat-bike, introduce your roadie friend or your dirt jump amigos to the fun side of fat-bikes. What if you want to go to a race on GFBD? If racing is how you like to have FUN, then definitely go for it! Be sure to wish your fellow racers a Happy Global Fat-Bike Day! So by now, I hope you get the idea that GFBD centers around FUN!


GFBD GROUP RIDES take on many forms. In the upper Great Lakes, the weather in early December usually makes for an interesting forecast, that sometimes throws a real curve ball; but if you ride in the winter, you eventually learn to hit curve balls by maybe – going to the opposite field (as in) a beach ride or a Booze Cruise. I’m a big fan of the ‘pot-luck’ tradition and in Wisconsin, we have a solid tailgating game. A pot-luck tailgate party at the trailhead, or a picnic/warming shelter with a big ole campfire is one of our GFBD traditions along with cervesas y agua fria. One tradition that’s part of all of my group rides, is Derby. DERBY is a game (Explained Here) that has always been a part of GFBD rides, that I’ve attended in Wisconsin. Derby is a great tradition. Blaze Orange is a tradition and a necessity in Wisconsin, because GFBD coincides with deer gun season. I usually try to hide a cooler of beverages out along the route, where the group can gather for a beer and a quick meeting of the Safety Committee, before heading back; and that is what we call the art of bicycle chillification, right here, in America’s Dairyland. Bicycle chillification is a core tradition of GFBD. Several GFBD rides (in the US) hold Toys for Tots donation drives in a true act of kindness during GFBD. Kindness is a pretty great Global Fat-Bike tradition to embrace.


GFBD celebrates the social aspect of riding fat-bikes! I’ve met hundreds of incredibly fun people through the bicycle community and GFBD is one of those beautiful opportunities, for all of us, to connect and celebrate all of the good things that life has to offer. This year, my wife and I are going to join 300+ Santas (along with Sven & JK Livin) to celebrate GFBD at the Santa Cycle Rampage in Milwaukee. I guess another of GFBD’s traditions is not being very traditional and celebrating free thinking. As long as you’re riding a bike and having fun, I think you’re probably on target for a successful GFBD mission. GFBD celebrates “the Ride” and the Ride is the prize that goes to the GFBD winners (which is everyone that has fun).


Here’s a list of GFBD Celebrations from around the Globe!

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On last week’s Dose of Fat I asked Chris Daisy if he had any GFBD Traditions at his celebration and he mentioned that BBR Test Pilot Dave Krueger had brewed a batch of beer for their ride. I thought that was such a great idea and that’s what got me going on this long winded, well intentioned, ramble about the potential cornucopia of traditions that folks from around the world follow on GFBD. So I open it up to all of you out there in fat-bike land. How does your tribe celebrate and what are your Global Fat-Bike Day traditions?


About Gomez 2576 Articles
Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.


  1. I celebrate GFBD with beers that have bicycle themes. Amsterdam brewing in Toronto makes 4 different ones! No Fat Bike ones yet but I am working on that. I will be stopping by Barncat, a local micro brewery on the way back home from the ride. Then soak into my Lazy Boy and watch Off The Beaten Path….again.

  2. Hope to start our own GFBD tradition this year with a group Fat/Plus Bike Ride @ Lake Nockamixon Mountain Bike Trails in eastern Pennsylvania.

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