The alternate universe of fat biking

It changes the whole experience of biking, said one of the guys at the shop.

He wasn't just talk about the extra stability and snow-busting power of the extra-wide tires.

Having had my bike for a week at that point, I thought I knew what he was talking about. Sort of.

Sometimes, I wish I could just have a normal ride like old days without someone commenting on my fat bike, he said ruefully.

I haven't had quite the extreme experience he refers to, but the interactions I now have around winter cycling are certainly very different than with my mountain bike.

Then, people would ignore me "in person" (that is, in my building, or when I was locking up), and swear at me from their cars.

Now, everybody has to comment. Cool tires! (Look at the width, people; I didn't just switch these out with whatever the store put on a mountain bike -- the whole frame had to be redesigned to fit these puppies.) Now that's a good bike for winter. (As though you would know because you've tried it?) Look at that bike!

But the clincher today was when a man in his car rolled down his window at a stoplight, not to swear or chastise, as was the most common reaction with my mountain bike, but to start a conversation about my fat bike.

Yes, we have truly entered a different world.


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