One might think that if you can ride one bike, you can ride them all. One also might think, if there’s snow on the ground, why be out on a bike at all?
By ‘one’, I mean me. I had these thoughts before and during The Bicycle Shop’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Fat Bike Ride”.
Fat bikes are newer to the market and the next BIG thing (at least, on my gear list). Super light frames come equipped with large tires that are perfect for going over curbs, slough, sand and snow. I’d never been on one before and always wanted to try, so a guided ride seemed like the perfect place to dip my toes in the water.
Over a foot of snow fell in Anchorage the day before the ride and conditions were perfect for fat biking (maybe too perfect…). The ride began through parking lots, giving us an introduction to fat tire power through semi deep powder piles and unplowed parking lots. It could have been my loaner’s bigger frame, maybe it was the powder, or maybe I’m just spastic… I had my first fall pretty quickly.
Down the Spenard hill we went to Chester Creek Trail. The hill had only been packed out by feet and the fat tire trail of Christa in the lead, so the ride down was squirrely and slow going. Between my 29′ mountain bike (with studs) and the fat bike, I felt the most difference and benefit when cutting through small piles of powder (think what a snow plow has pushed over, or the tire ruts on the road). The trails had so much powder probably the only difference was that the fat tires rolled at all. Eventually, my front tire got away from me and into some deep snow and I gracefully landed under the bike in the powder.
Around the Lagoon and up the hill, we were back to the Bicycle Shop! Just in time… the seat and handlebars were starting to get uncomfortable. If I wasn’t interested in getting my own fat bike already, I really was after this ride just so I could personalize the size and features.