I think I’m getting boring now, going on about how great fatbikes are. But they are. Even though they’re everything anyone sensible isn’t looking for in a race bike (usually you’d be after low weight, quick acceleration, sharp maneuverability, highly efficient suspension, etc), the frankly crazy amount of traction, grip and the silly two inches or so of completely undamped suspension provided by the massive tyres, not forgetting the very impressive sight of the biggest cloud of dust (in dry weather, obviously) you’ve ever seen outside of a cartoon means that I’m completely sold on the idea.
What’s more, there seems to be an actual race scene developing. First there was the fat category at the UK and European 12 hour champs and then there was a fat category at the brilliant Run and Ride race at Cannock last weekend where there was a reasonable sized number of like-minded and attention-seeking fatbike riders ready to turn themselves inside out on a course that was so twisty and narrow I was surprised I survived one lap, never mind three….
The race started a bit later than advertised, which meant that my pre-race caffeine gel had probably kicked in, peaked and was wearing off a bit by the time we got underway. It didn’t matter though – I, like everyone else, was here for a laugh and a day out in the gorgeous hot sunshine.
The course was a series of tight, off-camber, momentum-sapping and narrow bends that meant that speed was hard to come by – I was constantly in the wrong gear and trying to build up a head of steam. Meanwhile, Julian Rider was showing everyone how to ride a fat bike on a twisty and narrow course by putting in an almost two minute gap on lap one. By the final lap I’d pulled things back a bit, but it wasn’t to be.
A consistent, fast race from Julian meant I settled for 2nd place and received probably one of the best goody bags I’ve ever had and a brilliant trophy, donated by Judy again 😉
Once again, extra-special thanks to Shona and Rich for letting me take a brilliant bike from their shop without paying for it and then racing the cobblers off it. Love you guys 🙂