Since Maxithads sex change operation, and during his grueling recovery, I' have the single speed pugs in my possession I've been interested in fat bikes for some time now and wanted to see for myself what all of the hype is about. Last nights Pirate Ride was cancelled due to incoming thunderstorms which were rumored to turn into snow by morning. Rather than sit on my can wishing for better conditions, I grabbed the SS Pugsley and headed to my local trails.
Upon my arrival at SMP the conditions were perfect. The dirt was super-tack. I was psyched. I unloaded the fat bike and geared up for about a 12 mile excursion into the woods. SMP is known for these annoying baby-head sized rocks that are randomly strewn all over the trail; often times leaving no true line to ride. The Surly Nate 3.8 rubber absorbed these rocks like rolling over melted butter. Same went for the exposed tree roots which I used as little kickers to bunny-hop this beast along the trail. My first impression thus far; FUN!
The fun ended shortly thereafter when I entered the valleys of RED, where you enjoy a long downhill to which the Pugsley carved like a champ, but then a long-ass climb to get back out (x3). Maxithad earned a little extra respect tonight for his ability to keep up with us while we're on our XC bikes an he on this SS Pugs. I'm surprised he can find pants that fit.
The forecasted rain finally arrived I was a good 20 minutes from the trail head so I just kept-on keeping-on. Rocks and roots were slicker than snot, but the Pugs, as I quickly learned, can run over bumps and slick rocks/roots easily if you are light on the bike. You get some major float over the bumps, and keeping the ship pointed straight ahead, you just monster truck over everything in sight. I was hitting rocks dead-on that would otherwise make for an over-the-bar peep show.
Overnight the rain turned to sleet and then to snow. This is the first snow we've had here in KC this winter. Damned if I wasn't going to get the Fatty out to test it's capabilities in the fresh powder.
I'm almost always late to work, so I figured I'd just go ride. Every gate at SMP was locked. I had to find another option for an early morning trail ride. There are miles of rogue trail near the lair, so I chose widely something fun and headed that way. It was a short ride, but the 4+ miles I did get-in was brilliant.
Usually, in winter months, I ride a fixed gear mountain bike. A fixie handles well in snow and slick conditions; you are one with the bike and can feel every slip/control it. My knees were getting worked riding fixed, so this winter I've yet to get rolling in that style. After riding the Pugs, I may be going a totally different route. This fat bike thing is addicting. The giant tires at low pressure hug the trail, grip the snow like nobody's business. Mind-blowing.
Riding a fat bike differs from an XC bike at minimum in how you ride it. It's more like a motorcycle. You pump everything, lean harder into corners/berms, skid the rear tire, jump stuff, ride wheelies - It's a flippin' blast. Riding this bike is more fun than masturbating; almost. I'm sold. Many exciting adventures are in my near future, assuming we survive beyond December 21st.