Thursday, November 08, 2012


Couple of guys at the MTBR forum have come up with "Fatterday" where those of us with fat bikes spend the day riding and posting pics of the trip showing off where we'd been. I think it started with the UK fat bike guys all getting together but quickly exploded to include the rest of us.  Genius idea really.  Some are going in groups and others are braving it out on their own.  I think the NE guys that have fat bikes are planning something, but whether or not I can make it is another thing.  I'll plan something else if I can't.

Wilderness Park

Spent last Saturday with my son and his friend at Wilderness Park:

My son has never been out there but the trail is twisty and flat.  I knew he'd leave me in the dust since he's so much better and it's really easy.  The only thing I told him was that there are two ravines that are steep and the "bridges" are rocks.  Walk them as I don't want to take you to the hospital and they took off.

I come up around a corner and hear my son yelling at Greg over something.  Turns out Greg's chain came off and Josh was struggling to put it back on.  I set my bike down, take a look at Greg's bike and within a few minutes get the chain back on.  I'm a pro at chain suck as you can see from the scrapes on my bike so getting the chain back on wasn't hard.  Pulled out a couple of baby wipes from my pack, handed one to Josh and cleaned up our hands.

I gave Greg a quick lesson on shifting so the chain doesn't come off again.  Once he figured it out, he yelled back at me "Thanks!  This bike is awesome!" and took off behind Josh.  The bike is my daughter's, a Trek 3500, and she likes him just enough to let him borrow it for the day since he doesn't have a bike.    

I come up to the second ravine and the boys are waiting for me.  They both agreed that I was right and walked that section.  It's not that it's hard, but you'd need some serious speed to get back up the other side of the ravine and I'm not strong enough to do it.  I've made it over the rocks of the first ravine but stall out going up. 

I kept lowering the pressure on my fat bike as I went along hoping to find that magic "sweet" spot.  I came really close as all of the sudden the bike started handling so much better and I wasn't sliding out into the bushes or trees.  I would have gone lower, but I worried about the tire coming off the rim.

The advice from the guys on the MTBR forum really helped about tire pressure and how to do cornering.  This bike is truly amazing when set up right.  I found myself struggling with physical strength because of the lowered pressure but when I looked at the Strava results, I was going the same speeds I was before.

Surprisingly I'm able to keep up and we finish up at the bridge about 5 miles from where we started.  Josh is panting and wants to go back to the car.  Huh?  This is the kid that complains that we only went 4 miles on the last trail that was far more technical because I was dying?  Even Greg told Josh to "Shut up as I don't get to do this very often".   We head back out via Old Cheney and the Jamaica Trail to the car.

Later that night I found out why Josh was so put out and why I could keep up.  Turns out the twisty parts were more technical than he thought and he kept sliding into the trees/branches and had to slow down making him mad.  Yup.  I've taken out my share of trees/bushes on this trail and have patches on my inner tubes to prove it.  Just because it looks easy doesn't mean it is. 

At least Greg had a great time and can't wait to go back.  He did great for his second time on a trail.  Josh, on the other hand needs some cheese with his whine.