Category Archives: Bike Blogs

Almost a year in

Ride Fatbikes

The first post on RideFatbikes.com was almost a year ago – March 18, 2011.  The original goal in developing this site was to get the word out about how much fun it can be to ride fatbikes (hence the name “Ride Fatbikes”).  Since then, we’ve grown to a dramatically larger readership (over 7300 visitors last month compared to an average of 60 visitors/month in the first few months), we’ve developed/hosted/promoted the Fatbike Frozen Forty (triple F), we’ve launched the Fatbike Gallery, the Fatbike Library, and a Gear and Reviews section.  We’ve had guests posts, reader-contributed stories, and event/race recaps from readers, racers, and riders from all over the country, and we’ve tried to keep the content fresh.

That said, by no means do we have it all figured out.  Instead, as we approach the one-year anniversary of RideFatbikes.com, we’d like to try modifying (and hopefully improving) the format of this site.  Some of our most popular posts and stories have been those submitted by readers and guest contributors, so we’d like to do more of that.  We’ve found that while people like to know about races, rides, and adventures that are happening in their area, they also like to share stories about their own personal experiences at a race/ride or even their own solo fatbike adventure story.  Good stories and good adventures make for good reading.

The community of people who ride fatbikes has grown exponentially in recent years, and we hope it will continue to grow exponentially more in years to come.  We want RideFatbikes.com to serve that community by offering a place to share your fatbike stories, adventures, and more.  As our format changes, so may our site.  In the meantime, please feel free to comment on new pages or posts you see developing, check out and comment on our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ride-Fatbikes/236605043077212), follow us on Twitter (@RideFatbikes), submit your photo for the Fatbike Gallery, or simply Contact Us and share a post or story you’d like to see included here.

It’s a lot of fun to ride fatbikes, and it’s a lot of fun to see what other fatbike riders have to say about their adventures.  Please feel free to make this site your forum for sharing the stories about how, where, and why you ride fatbikes.

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Filed under Bike Blogs, Biking, Cycling, Fatbike Frozen Forty, Fatbike Gallery, fatbike photos, Fatbike race, Fatbike Trails, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes

Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout – Guest post from Griff Wigley

Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout (photo courtesy of Griff Wigley)

At Ride Fatbikes, we enjoy sharing personal fatbiking experiences and stories, but believe that the readership is even better served by hearing about some of the fatbike experiences of others. Minnesota played host to a tremendous variety and quality of fatbike races this year, with one of them being the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout last weekend. While the snow conditions proved difficult, from the reports I’ve heard people who went enjoyed themselves, even if they ended up pushing/dragging their bikes more than they expected. The story below was shared with us by Ride Fatbikes reader Griff Wigley, and is shared here as a guest post. Thanks for sharing this with us, Griff, we greatly appreciate receiving such guest posts and stories. If you’d like to check out Griff’s blog, you can find it here: http://mountainbikegeezer.com

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BY GRIFF WIGLEY, ON MARCH 4TH, 2012

My first-ever mountain bike race, the Sagamore SnowXross Race at the 2012 Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout, started out well for the 15 of in the Beginners Class.  After about 50 yards across the parking lot, however, soft snow created a big pileup and I soon learned firsthand what the phrase hike-a-bike meant. As Aaron Hautala wrote in this blog post:

Early into the Sagamore SnowXross Race it was obvious it needed a new name.

The IRONYETI.

The snow pack turned into champagne crystal powder overnight with the dramatic drop in temperature from Friday night, which made the race course a bit more challenging than we originally intended.

After about two miles of pushing the Mukluk, I lowered my rear tire pressure from about 4 PSI to near zero—I could feel the rim by pressing the tire hard with my hand. Much better traction.  Another mile and it occurred to me to do the same to the front tire. Better yet.

Last discovery at about mile 4: I quit trying to always ride in the narrow tire ruts made by other riders.  The amount of energy required to keep my balance while riding a rut wasn’t worth it, speed-wise. Instead, I could often go faster (especially when the terrain was flat or downhill) if I rode where riders had been walking.  The low tire pressure usually gave me enough grip to get through the footprints if they weren’t too deep.  Still, I estimate that I pushed my bike for 3 of the 6 miles. Uff-da. I finished in just under two hours.  I’ve not yet seen the results posted but the top three riders (Beginners Class) finished in approximately 1 hr and 35 minutes. I’ll post a link to the results at the bottom of this blog post when they become available.)
After lunch at the Heartland Kitchen Cafe, I took in some of theWhiteout Festival activities in Crosby’s Memorial Park. I didn’t compete in the Serpent Lake Ice Bike 500 races (I didn’t have studded tires) but instead, opted for some solo fat bike riding in theYawkey Unit.
Unlike Friday night, the Haul Road trail to the parking lot in the center of Yawkey was mostly packed down, sometimes to a width of 12 inches or more (left and center photos above). This makes for splendid riding.

I then rode Tugger, normally an intermediate difficulty trail that’s at the base of Bobsled (see the inset on page 2 of this DNR map of the park). It’s a gorgeous trail but like Friday night, riding it was very difficult because there was only a single rut from the few previous riders.  I took it easy and just enjoyed the scenery.
At 5 pm, everyone convened at the Ya Betcha Bar & Grill in Crosby for free appetizers, drawings for prizes, and the awards ceremony hosted by MORC Board member and Events Director Amanda Scholz. The event swag (beanie and stein) was impressive.

See the large slideshow of 50 photos of the entire two-day event.


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Submit your race reports for guest posts on RideFatbikes.com

Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com

It’s awesome to see the amazing races and fatbike-focused winter events occurring throughout Minnesota and around the country.  We’ve spent so much time and energy focused on building and reporting the success of last weekend’s Fatbike Frozen Forty (a first year event organized by Ride Enterprises / Brad Boyd and sponsored supported by headline sponsor Twenty2 Cycles), that it’s been hard to find time to report on the many other fabulous races.

For those of you who regularly follow RideFatbikes.com, and who attend some of these races in Minnesota or in your own state, we’d appreciate having your race reports submitted to us for guest posts!  Would you like to see your name connected with a great race report that’s visible to over 5000 visitors a month?   After you attend or participate in a great fatbike race, write up a race report (with photos from the event of course) and submit it to us for review and possible posting at RideFatbikes.com.

We’d love to circulate more fatbike news, fatbike race reports and reader write-ups, Contact Us with your ideas.

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Filed under Bike Blogs, Biking, Cycling, Fatbike Event, fatbike photos, Fatbike race, Fatbikes, RIde Fatbikes, Snow bike

Winter commuting in MN

Last week, I was fortunate to commute by bike to work twice in the week.  It was cold, but the small amount of snow we had so far was gone so the streets were free of the icy conditions that can make bike commuting even more dangerous.  On Friday (December 2nd) the temp was 14 degrees as I rode into work in the morning, and it didn’t get much warmer by evening.  However, as many winter bikers and fatbikers know, dressing for the weather makes all the difference.

I typically don’t bike commute much in winter due to ice/snow on streets making it even more difficult than usual to stay safely clear of cars, but the rides this week were great.  By bike, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of winter that are always missed when you drive.  I kept some warm coffee in a Polar Bottle in my frame bag, and at stoplights I had a chance to refuel and warm up with some piping hot coffee.

Let’s hear some winter commuting stories!  Share your favorite winter commuting experiences, stories or pics on RideFatbikes.com.   Add a comment to this post or email me and I’ll try to get it posted to the website.  In the meantime, here are a few pics from this last week’s winter commute.

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Fat is getting even cooler (thanks Surly)

Surly, one of the great advocates/proponents of fatbike culture, and an integral part of the Minnesota bike culture, generally, just launched some cool stuff.  Check out the Surly blog, and yesterday’s post (August 24th), here.

Photo credit: Surly Bikes (surlybikes.com)

It appears the amazing and comment-inducing 3.8 inch fatbike tires of today, are going to be upstaged by ridiculously large 4.7″ tires in the Surly Moonlander (sold as a complete).

Maybe you want new tire choices for your current fatbike?  Surly has that covered, too.  They’ve got a more “street ready” Black Floyd, a knobby Nate 3.8, an improved Marge Lite rim, and a 100mm Clownshoe rim.

Surly’s always got cool things going on. Surly has made continuous and ongoing improvements to fatbikes.  Thanks for keeping it interesting Surly.

Check out the announcement at the Surly blog.

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