What is the point?
When searching online for “fat tire bike”, one of the first entries that pops up is “What is the point of a fat tire bike?” This question (statement?) is in complete alignment with what Stéphane and I had previously thought about fat tire bikes – what is the point? Why are the tires so fat, why do people ride bikes in the winter anyways? Are they just trying to be different/cool/trendy? WHY????
Mike, one of the parents at Hugo’s school, has been talking up fat tires since we first met him. So as the weather turned chilly and the flakes started to fly, Stéphane and I decided to rent two fat tire bikes for the day and see what the hoopla was all about.
It turns out, it’s actually really, really fun. And challenging. Floating over a snowy trail, sliding, falling into a snowbank, giggling at yourself and feeling like you’re eight years old again is not a bad way to spend an afternoon. It takes extra effort to get where you want to go, so even if it’s in the ‘teens and the wind is blowing, you’re warm and cozy (and sweaty) in your layers.
After frolicking on rented rigs for the day, I was hooked. What a pleasant way to sweat, burn, smile and enjoy the snowy trails. It’s the perfect date and a nice change of pace from winter climbing. Stéphane was on the fence but I talked him into pulling the trigger and we haven’t looked back!
So what do you wear when you’re riding a bike in the middle of winter? After some trial and error, more experimentation, and scoping out other guys on the trails, we managed to hone in on the proper assortment of clothing. As is my M.O., I always wear too many layers but I’d rather be sweaty than freezing. It can be a constant adjustment – unzip to keep cool when you’re working hard on the uphills, button up and even throw on a puffy if you’re going downhill.
Our most recent adventure was a full-on frolic on the Loop Road, a 32 mile trek from South Pass all the way home.
So, what’s the point of fat tire bikes? Those wide tires keep you aloft on the snowy trails and offer miles and miles and smiles. It’s a legit good-time winter activity that has come stay in the Hefti household!