Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dusting Off The Old Blog


It has been a while since I have had the time or inclination to write something out here.  I want to say that I have either been too busy to do a writeup of the great things going on, or it has been much of the same. ( in a way, both )

On with it then, I have hit a worthy cause for peeling open the blog again (translation, I'm pumped).  Kick back, this might take a minute.

How Did I get here?

It all started a couple of months years back.  I was going out and reading a bit of icebike.org.   Somehow I ended up looking at pictures of double rimmed Surly bikes at Arrowhead 135. A seed was planted.

Back when I was doing Ironman training, I vividly recall the weekend snow rides I would do in the winter.  A couple days in the basement on the trainer and I would be raring to get outside even if it was just to slide around in the snow for an hour.  It was good for my demeanor.  My mountain bike at the time was only loosely equipped for the job.

Cut to about a year ago.  A whole pile of my buddies who previously had not seen use for a fat bike, went in on a bushel (or some seemingly large quantity) of Pugsley frames and secretly built them up, hidden in their workshops/basements.  Then one day, "look what we found! They are so fun!"

Here's where the timing gets better for me.  At some point this year, Surly announced a Moonlander.  I was immediately hooked by the name, paint, fatness and really just the whole package.  A couple months back I notice Angry Catfish bicycles + coffee says "we can put you on the list" or some such. I put a few feelers out to the local guys, but no one seemed as certain as those guys.  Maybe they know Surly, and maybe they are just good marketers ( apologies in advance if I just offended the Angry Catfish guys by possibly attributing marketing skills to them ).  Anyway, the release date was close enough to a birthday of mine, that I started calling in favors.

... Skip the part about shaking nervously / excitedly for a couple months while waiting ...

Through the magic of the Internet and a really patient shop owner at Angry Catfish, we worked out the painstaking details.  I plan to write a separate post about what a great job they did.  ( We'll skip the pickup / awesome shop experience for now in the interest of - ahem - shortening this post ).

Cut to Sunday.  The extra large Moonlander has pedals, and is ready for it's maiden voyage.  But wait a minute.  Let me just take time out to say that the XL Moonlander is on the order of one of the biggest bicycles I have seen.  I am at least 6'3" and time has long passed since I have gotten on a bike and even considered there was such a thing as "stand over height".  Any pictures you have seen do not do the Moonlander justice.

What did I think? (a.k.a. The Ride - a.k.a. Pics or It Didn't Happen)

We'll skip right over the flat I got (and walk home because I hadn't chosen a bike pump yet).

Do not ask me to compare it to the other fat bikes, I haven't ridden them enough to say.  All I can tell you is it is an incredible joy to ride.  I loved biking already, but this bike puts a smile on your face from the moment you look at it.  Once you are riding, it's difficult not to just laugh out loud.

In my opinion, this bike (or perhaps fat bikes in general) are game changers toward the vein of "just biking".  There was no triathlon to train for, no group ride where I was just trying to hang on.  It was me on a bike riding down the beach in 40 F temperatures in the wee hours of the morning.  I was listening to the waves crash on the beach and just soaking it all in.

Very relaxing.  I am now waiting anxiously for snow.

OK then, one more shot without the flat.

I will try to cajole someone into riding with me so I can get a shot of me on the bike.


Team Brazo said...

Love those fat tire bikes. I wish I had unlimited funds - if so, I would have bought the one that I saw at REID.

Hope all is well with grad school.

Happy Holidays.

jwm said...

@Team Brazo.

The fat bikes do have a kind of gravity to them. What's not to like?

School is good.

Thanks! Happy Holidays.