MacLeod: Just like riding a bike…almost
While it may not be the most suitable place to store a bicycle, the corner of my living room has somehow become the winter home for my collection of two-wheeled friends. They sit there patiently and largely unnoticed; the handlebars becoming makeshift clotheslines utilized for hanging winter coats and drying out boot liners.
But the other day, as the sun shone through the windows and into that corner of the living room, I couldn’t help but notice the layer of dust that had collected on their frames since last fall.
The sight of their tires sitting deflated against the carpet began to bum me out, and I realized at that moment that the itch had finally hit me.
I couldn’t wait to get back on a bike. I wouldn’t wait.
And that’s when I started to think about those trendy new fat tire bikes I’ve been seeing around. I admit, I’ve had my reservations about hopping on one (winter is for skiing not for biking!) but I thought, “What the heck, why not try something new?”
So I wandered over to Icebox Mountain Sports, where I was sure I could get a straight answer to all my fat tire questions and apprehensions. They were kind enough to set me up on a Specialized Fat Boy and gave it to me straight – the clouds were threatening with rain, and the snow was nothing short of a mashed-potato consistency.
Maybe it wasn’t the best day to give this a shot. But hey, it would be just like riding a bike, so I went out regardless in search of a good time.
It wasn’t long before I realized that instead of finding myself nose-over-tail for this new hobby, I was – quite literally – just tail-over-nose. As soon as I coasted the slightest bit off the middle of the trail, the thick, spring snow would suck the front wheel right out from under my lanky build, sending me straight over the bars. This was not the good time I had envisioned.
With my frustration mounting, I started yearning more for a Fat Tire beverage than the fat tire bike. But with no other real option than to keep on pedaling, I sucked it up and kept on pushing.
As I linked up with the Fraser River Trail, I soon found patches of hard-packed snow separated by stretches of bare ground and large puddles. “Here we go,” I thought. Finally, I was pedaling through the snow and mud with a smile on my face, successfully keeping my backside firmly planted on the seat.
Despite the rough start to the day, I returned the bike satisfied and contentedly exhausted. It was an experience to see my favorite summertime trails from a winter perspective, and while I’m not quite set on buying my own fat tire bike any time soon, I am certainly even more excited for the summer season ahead. I hope you are too.
See you next month!
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ESPN’s Winter X Games is back in Aspen this week for the 20th straight year, although it’ll lack most of the usual flair. Out of precaution to safeguard against further spread of COVID-19, there won’t be any fans, any music and, well, really anything outside of the main competitions.