Recently, we were contacted by a guy who claims that fat is the next big thing. And, like all things fashionable or cool, we Midwesterners are a little slow to jump on this latest fat trend; except, that is, for a small group of bold trend setters in Cape who are making a big, fat difference in local biking. I’m talking about fat bikes. Fat bikes with tires that look like they were swiped right off a monster truck. Fat bikes that float over terrain that stops even the bravest of mountain bikers. Meet FAT MAN John Dodd and his amazing fat bikes.For those of you who have never heard of fat bikes, they ride like a jeep, plowing over almost anything in their way. Originally designed for riding across snowy trails in Alaska, fat bikes have recently found popularity with “non-cyclists” looking for a new way to exercise during the winter.When John invited me to go on a fatty, I was on it like a fat man on fried chicken. It was everything he claimed it would be…and more. This is going to be big in the area very soon.John Dodd knows fat bikes. He is the owner of Cyclewerx, a full service bike shop in Cape. John tells us, “Despite the comical proportions of a fat bike, it takes only one ride to understand its appeal. Fat bike tires create a huge contact with the ground, grabbing up traction on slick and loose surfaces. Fat bikes are heavier than most bikes and turn slowly, but speed isn’t the point. The massive volume of the tires allows you to run air pressures so low they barely register on a normal pump’s gauge. You literately float over sand, mud, wet roots, rocks, steep hills and other terrain that would otherwise be impassable on any other kind of bike.”“Because fat tires are less likely to lose traction on rocks, or fall into ruts on even normal trails, fat bikes are just harder to screw up on,” says John. “When people come into my shop they always ask, ‘What’s with the fat tires?’ I just tell ’em riding one makes you feel like a kid again.”John says he’s even going to start offering eco tours on fat bikes this year. Can’t wait to hit one of those!CLICK HERE TO VIEW DIGITAL EDITION WITH PHOTO SPREAD AND VIDEO.
(May 2014 ISSUE)