, 2022-12-09 04:36:00,
“Want to try fat biking?” my friend Katy asked. I immediately texted back, “Yes!”
Days later Katy had borrowed a fat bike for me from a friend and was driving us up a mountain in a pelting snowstorm. By the time we got to the trailhead, at least one car was already frantically spinning its wheels in rapidly deepening powdery snow, trying to escape the parking lot. The stoke was high.
As directed, I wore bread bags in my shoes to keep my feet dry and had multiple layer choices in my pack. We unloaded the bikes and started to pedal up the hill. The snow was so deep I would periodically hit points where I couldn’t keep the pedals turning fast enough, and the bike would slowly tip over and dump me sputtering and laughing into the snow. We dropped our tire pressure for some extra traction and pedaled on, wind buffeting our faces with particularly icy snowflakes. The forest was a winter wonderland complete with peekaboo views of the surrounding mountains through the storm. Eventually we reached a point where we were ready to head back downhill, whooping and sliding–and sometimes STILL having to pedal. But what a blast. I was hooked.
I came inside glowing after that ride. My husband promptly bought me a fat bike for Valentine’s Day. Yes, he is the best.
I quickly realized that fat biking comes with its own challenges. I have a Diamondback El Oso, and it is HEAVY. It didn’t fit on our existing hitch rack, and I was NOT going to buy another one. So I dug my ancient trunk rack out of the garage, tied the fat bike on (since the straps wouldn’t fit its large frame), and headed to the closest trailhead.
In hindsight, *maybe* our local hill, covered in several inches of fresh powder over compacted snow mixed with ice, was not the best place to take my beloved new fat bike on its inaugural ride. Things started out well enough as I pedaled through the beautiful frosted trees. I slid out on a few climbs but letting some air out of my tires gave me more traction and I was starting to feel like I had this fat biking thing under control. I turned onto my favorite descent on the hill, ready for some fun rollercoaster goodness. Spoiler alert, I was NOT ready.
I slid out on the outslope. I slid out on the inslope. I spun out on short punchy uphills and fell on my side, sliding off the trail down the hillside. I tried to get back up the hill but my bike shoes had zero purchase so I fell again and slid even farther…
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