What Kind of a Fat Biker Are You?

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Dear guy riding a fat bike in full Lycra kit in the middle of summer,

Who are you? Props for riding your bike! Anyone who powers up two-wheels with their legs and lungs alone is cool in our book. But the 4-inch wide wheels, on dry pavement, in 55-degree temps, in full Lycra…? It’s a bit confusing.

In good news, your time has come. Winter, in all her snowy and muddy glory, is here and your fat bike can be finally connected with its destiny. So, Mr. and Ms. Fat Biker, who are you? What kind of a fat biker are you?

The early adopter who logs multi-day, multi-sport expedition rides from the extra wide panniers of your first edition fat bike

Before anyone else even dared to dream, you early adopters saw the wide load bicycles as the SUV of the two-wheeled world. They could get you anywhere – through mud, sand and snow – as long as anywhere was somewhere far away from people. We laughed at your Elmer Fudd-esque fashion in bikes, and now you laugh at all the taggers on. That is, unless, you see anyone else on the trail. Then you roll your eyes and power by with your legs of steel, lungs like pistons, and, let’s face it, slightly misanthropic nature.

The roadie who rides a fat bike to maintain optimum power output and mileage when there’s snow on the road

You never understood cyclocross. Carrying your bike on your shoulder is a real risk toward bulking up too much muscle in your upper body. Thank goodness for fat bikes. You can play it off as though you’re entering each and every fat bike race just for fun. Everyone will forget how you spend all summer with your head down into the wind – attacking on no-drop rides. You’ll put on a crazy outfit or a boa under the guise of riding for a good time, but you know the truth. A fat bike means never having to miss a day of training.

The gal or guy who does the snowy fat bike series just for beer

You like to ride. You bike commute and your fat bike is a stable alternative on slushy days. Your co-worker, who’s a competitive road rider, encouraged you to sign up for an event this weekend. S/he told you how fun and lighthearted these events are, but s/he keeps referring to it as a race, in between checking her/his VO2 levels. Sounds like fun. You have an awesome Kermit the Frog costume you can wear, or any one of eight other outfits from your costume chest. What? There’s beer, too? Sweet! That will be a perfect chaser to your flask of whiskey you keep hidden in Kermit’s satchel.

The collector

You have a road bike, a tri bike, a time trial bike, a cruiser, four mountain bikes (26’er, 27.5’er, 29’er, downhill), a BMX bike, a cyclocross bike, a single speed, a fixie, a classic townie, a commuter, and even an adult tricycle just for giggles and groceries. Now, you have a fat bike.

This may be you, poor, sweet, confused, full-Lycra’ed up rider of the fat bike on a summer’s day. You know what they say about too much of a good thing, right? There is no love more pure than your devotion to bikes. You can recite Breaking Away line by line. You volunteer for every cycling event, at which you select the properly toned cowbell from your collection. You’re on a first name basis with Phil, Paul and Bobke, though you’ve never met.

The guy/gal who scored a sweet deal

You stumbled on a fat bike listing on Craigslist, posted by a road rider who thought they’d train all winter but never ended up riding the damn thing. You bought it cheap. It’s a good time. You can ride it anywhere, all yearlong. It’s a killer commuting bike in the snow. You do winter races to stay fit and motivated, and you’re thinking about doing a multi-day desert trip in the spring. Fat biking is just another outlet for dual-wheeled fun; it’s not a spiritual experience. You would never, ever be caught in a matchy-matchy team kit on your fat bike, though you secretly wear a chamois under your cargo shorts.