Reflection & Ugly Holiday Sweaters

Last Saturday, Joey Ernst, the owner of Velorution Cycles, held Durango’s first annual Fatbike & Ugly Sweater Rally. Even though winter was seemingly non-existent, 16 fun-loving cyclists donned ugly holiday sweaters and ventured out on their fatbikes in hopes of tempting the snow gods to take mercy on us and bring us some of the white stuff. As I decorated myself with an appropriate sweater for the occasion (beyond the holiday beads and gaudiness, my sweater had its own attached scarf—a priceless thrift store find!) and adorned my Mukluk with garland and a red holiday bow, it dawned on me that 2012 was quickly coming to a close. Oh where did the year go? Following the line of fatbikes down Main Street and towards the dusty singletrack, I began to reflect upon my year…


'Tis the Season:  Fatbikes & Ugly Sweaters...

My year was without a grand adventure that involved lots of planning and training. Instead it was the year of mini-adventures in my own backyard. The arrival of the Mukluk (my first fatbike) opened my mind to all kinds of possible future adventures. Beyond the sheer fun of riding these utilitarian machines, the Mukluk was my steed of choice for many multi-sport adventures. My fat tires easily carried me up snowmobile tracks to access backcountry ski terrain. I also learned that these bikes ride really well through talus fields. Multiple summer days were spent riding to high alpine basins and then summiting a lofty peak before descending back to the truck. 


Baby heads and talus on a fatbike…no problem... (Photo by Kevin Sainio)

Many days were also spent on the Fargo exploring new terrain in both the mountains of Colorado and the desert country of Utah. As each year passes, my motivation to ride fast and race my bike wanes. Instead, I seek to explore the world by any means (foot, bike, ski, kayak, etc.) as well as explore my inner self and what makes me the person that I am. My solo bikepacking trips this year were great moments of solitude, reflection, and personal growth. 

So much to explore in the backyard...

A fun and exciting challenge of the year was the creation of a collegiate bikepacking program. In the name of “work” I was able to go out and recon and explore possible areas to take students on a bikepacking adventure. I took pride and exhilaration in watching my students embrace this new way of accessing and exploring the backcountry. Their enthusiasm and energy for learning something new was inspiring and reminded me how grateful I am to make a living through the pursuit of my passions. Additionally, it was a great reminder of what it means to be a beginner at something—the engagement of your mind and the fear of trying something you have never tried before. 

An enthusiastic crew on their first bikepacking experience...

My first ride of the Spearfish late this fall made me feel like a kid again. First, it was a new bike! How great is that? What better motivation to keep riding at the close of the riding season. Second, after having ridden nothing but hardtails for the past two years, it was super fun to be on a full-suspension 29er. When the snow does start falling here in Colorado I know that every time I walk into my garage and see the Spearfish, I will begin dreaming of the adventures I will have on it during 2013. I can’t wait!

…After some sick wall rides, a hill climb contest, and other silly fatbike antics, the Fatbike & Ugly Sweater Rally came to an end and we all went our separate ways. It was a super fun afternoon, even if we didn’t have any snow to enjoy. In many ways the rally was indicative of my year on the bike: fatbike fun; trying new things; finding inspiration in mother nature and in those around me; and creating adventures in my own backyard. I wish everyone a happy holiday season and a great start to the New Year. Thank you for all of the support and comments on my blog posts this year. With 2013 being an odd year, it means that a grand adventure is on the horizon for me. I am looking forward to it. The planning process has already begun. Wahoo! More information on this multi-sport adventure will be revealed in the coming months. In the meantime, as the great folks at Salsa say, get out there an Adventure by Bike. 

Happy Holidays fatbike style...

This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Brett Davis Explore Fargo Fatbike Mountain Biking Mukluk Overnighter Spearfish Sponsored Riders

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Brett Davis

Brett Davis

I grew up in a military family where we moved 13 times before I left for college. Consequently, I have the continual urge to explore and travel having climbed, kayaked, and biked all over our amazing planet. My passion for the outdoors drives me to seek out adventures which often times combine multiple modes of travel or activities (i.e. biking to a wilderness area and then backpacking in to climb a high peak). "Keeping life simple" is a guiding motto of my life and for me, bike travel epitomizes simplicity.


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Luke | December 26th, 2012

Tour Divide on a fatbike?

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Joe | December 26th, 2012

Rock on!! I got a fat bike October 2011 and of course had a grand total or about 2 inches of snow the entire winter.  So fa this year I have already had 3 snow covered rides and will be riding home in a whiteout tonight(I know you are jealous).  New adventures on my hefty steed await, hopefully including a westward sojourn from Ohio. Hope to see you out there.

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Kevin Sainio | December 27th, 2012

Happy holidays to you and the Salsa crew. It was awesome sharing some of these adventures with you Brett. Can’t wait to see what the upcoming year brings. It will be exciting.

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Alex | June 3rd, 2013

Holiday is the time of fun and enjoyment and i found some adventures holiday info in your blog post,I am very exited after reading this,Keep it up!!
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ketty | June 6th, 2013

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Jack | June 24th, 2013

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