When I first found out that I was getting a Mukluk I was excited for the obvious reasons. Fat Bike!!! I knew that having a fat bike would allow me to go places normally off-limits to a regular bike in the winter. However, I had NO clue just how many different places it would allow me to go. Or how many miles I would put on it. Or how much fun riding it would be. My Mukluk has undergone a metamorphosis from being a bike I thought I would ride occasionally to being one of the bikes I ride the most.
Don’t get me wrong. I always have a lot of fun when riding a bike. However the fun factor seems just a little higher when on a Mukluk. I’m not quite sure exactly why but I think it has to do with the feeling I got this winter when entering snowy singletrack. I felt like I was riding in a snow globe.
Enter the snow globe...
Or how cool it felt when I rode my Mukluk out to the beach for the first time. There was something really great about reaching sand (where I normally have to stop) and being able to keep riding. I think riding on an empty beach with the sun sparkling off the waves, and the wind whipping around my helmet, has to be one of my all-time favorite rides.
Who needs Maui when you've got Michigan?
What I wasn’t expecting when I joined the Fat Bike world was all the extra attention I was going to get. Of all the bikes I own, my Mukluk is the least expensive. It was built with a lot of used and donated parts. However, it’s the bike people want to check out the most. On one of my first Mukluk rides a car pulled over and a man hopped out waving me down. I didn’t know him but he wanted to check out my bike (and he really was checking out my bike). From that point on runners, walkers, kids, and everyone in between have stopped me. Once I was riding down the road when another cyclist pulled up to me. He was on a fancy carbon TT bike, complete with an aero helmet and disc wheels. I looked at him, he looked at me, and then he looked at my bike. “Whoa, cool bike,” he said. I proudly nodded in agreement. Fat Bikes rule.
Whoa...two cool bikes...
It’s awesome, being able to talk about bikes with people I would normally never meet. Everyone always has the same questions. How much does your bike weigh? 33.5 pounds. What’s the frame bag for? Storing PayDay bars and gummy bears. Where do you ride it? EVERYWHERE! That’s the biggest lesson I learned after getting my Mukluk. The first rule of riding a Fat Bike is that there aren’t any rules. I ride it just like I ride my other bikes. I do intervals, I do endurance rides, and I’ve even raced it a few times. The only difference is that when I’m on a Mukluk I don’t ride up hills…I crush them! And I don’t fishtail in sand…I float. When it’s windy out, my Mukluk will always be my first bike of choice for training. I feel way less vulnerable when big wind gusts are hitting me. I just hold on tight and my Mukluk anchors me down.
Ruling the singletrack...
Now that spring is turning into summer, I will be racing my El Mariachi and Selma more. Initially I thought that I would be putting my Mukluk into storage until next winter but au contraire. It’s too good of a training tool and I have too much fun on it. I have mini-adventures planned all summer long that include singletrack, the river bed, riding out to the beach for sno-cones, and recovery rides to the bakery for coffee and cinnamon rolls. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again...Fat Bikes rule!