Team Colin Giveaway

The Team Colin Epic Boom Prize Giveaway Spectacular

20161024_214136

Fatbiking is about to get a bit awesomer for one lucky Ontario fatbike rider.

Team Colin loves to have fun, and contests are the funnest.

Dan Marshall from Substance Projects has authorized the Team Colin Blog to give away a free registration to the first 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike race (that will be held on December 17th).  Check out his page at

But wait, there’s more.  Ted Anderton from Apex Photography will be at the race, and he has authorized the Team Colin Blog to give away a high resolution download of one of his pictures from the race.

And if that’s not enough, Team Colin has a slouchy “Team Colin” toque.  Slouchy toques keep your head warm after fatbiking. Team Colin has authorized himself to give that away too.

And that’s all…but it’s not.  If you want to get in shape for the race, Joyride 150 has authorized the giving away of a day pass to the park.

Hold on, for a limited time, my bike shop, Cycle Solutions has authorozed the bestowing of a $20 gift card to the lucky winner (wohoo, lube and a tube!).

And to top it all off, if you want to drink a beer after the race, Team Colin will hook you up with a frosty one.

Boom indeed.

To recap:

  • Free registration for the 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike race on December 17, 2016;
  • Apex Photography high resolution download of a picture from the race;
  • Special Edition Team Colin commemorative toque;
  • A Joyride 150 day pass; and
  • 20 bucks to spend at Cycle Solutions.
  • A beer on race day, because, well, beer.
  • Sweet indeed.

All you have to do is one of the following:

OPTION 1:  Follow the Team Colin Blog.  It’s not as bad as it seems, and you can unfollow it at any time after the draw, however, if you want to hear about how badly I do at races (and by extension feel better about your riding in general) then the updates are totally for you.

OPTION 2:  Make a comment on the “Team Colin” page on Facebook.  Here’s a link Team Colin Facebook Page.  Once again, it’s not as bad as it seems, and you can delete it any time after the draw.

SMALL PRINT:
Total value of “The Team Colin Epic Boom Giveaway Spectacular” is, like 40 billion dollars*
The draw will be held on November 17, 2016.  You can do either option listed above before that date to be eligible.
A full list of contest rules can be found at: http://www.there_are_no_rules.com
Unfortunately, if you can’t be at the race, you can’t collect the prize spectacular, however I’ll mail the toque to you.
*estimated value

 

DRAW UPDATE:  November 17, 2016 

Wallace won!  Wallace won!  Wallace won!

Congratulations Wallace.  An email outlining how to collect your swag has been sent.  Boom.

28. Sausage Suit ITT

2016-10-sausage-suitSome Awe At A Race.

I raced my single speed in the Substance Projects Sausage Suit ITT on the weekend; a 30k romp around the Team Van Go trails in Dufferin County Forest. There is usually no shortage of the word awesome in my blog, and there was definitely no shortage of awesomeness to be had at the race.

Because riding a bike, racing a bike and everything about a bike is…wait for it…awesome.

And here’s why the Sausage Suit ITT was awesome. It wasn’t because of my performance, which was really really good, and it wasn’t because of the course, which was even more really really good, and it wasn’t even because of the weather, which was really, sublimely good for mid October. It was awesome for all of these reasons, and for one more big one: the people.

The people.

Dan Marshall is a people, and he’s awesome. His cast and crew are people, and they’re awesome too. The Team Van Go folks (the ones with the super cool VW camper vans) are people, and they’re farfegnugen (That’s German for awesome, right?). All of the racers are people, and they were awesome even when they were passing me. All the Team Van Go dogs, aren’t people, but they’re pretty awesome too.

Looking back, it was a perfect race. 74 (awesome) people raced, and a few dozen more (awesome) people came to support us.

In all, about a hundred people.

And that’s a lot of awesome.

But here’s the thing: Races usually change me on some way or another. Something momentous ALWAYS happens during a race that transforms me. At the Sausage Suit, there was no life changing realization about the universe (or bikes). There was no epic journey of discovery (about the universe, or bikes). There were no feelings of massive euphoria, crushing disappointment, frustration, or accomplishment (even though I gotta say, racing a single speed is always pretty beast, and comes with an inherent sense of accomplishment). Really, the day was just a bunch of people, getting together in the forest, to enjoy a beautiful mid autumn day–on bikes (even though some weren’t on bikes because they were behind the Substance Projects registration table, or they were under a tent in the middle of the forest–thanks Liz, you’re the best–or cheering on their loved ones from the sidelines, or sniffing each other’s butts). The dogs, not the people.

Also, since it was a late season race, and would be the last race of the season for many, nobody was amassing points, worried about the next race, or trying to perform, so the relaxed atmosphere was even more relaxed than Dan’s usually relaxed vibe.

Oddly enough, there probably were a few life changing realizations…and probably an epic journey…and some massive euphoria…and crushing disappointment…and frustration…and accomplishment.  It was a race afterall.  But I was too busy having fun to notice.

Because for every second of the day, I was playing bikes with great people.

Funnest Race Report Ever: Sausage Suit ITT (October, 15, 2016)

Befitting the name, the Sausage Suit ITT wasn’t a regular MTB race. It was not only a race that openly acknowledged we were a bunch of people stuffed into sausage suits, but it also had a time trial element: Riders started at 30” intervals, and either did one 15k lap, or two.

Janet Eagleson started each of us with enough energy and gusto—15 SECONDS–to carry us through the first bit of the–THREE, TWO, ONE, GO—race. And with her blessing, we rode.

We were at the top of a ridge, with a gentle descent to a pine forest, and almost immediately into the “Awesomely Fun, Horrible Pain-In-The-Arse” area. Although I think it’s actually called the Heckle Loop—even though I was heckled nary a once.

The Heckle Loop is the tightest, twistiest, coolest terrain park north of Joyride 150. It wasn’t impossible to ride, but almost. Without any speed or momentum, and only trees, pedals, and balance, it did a great job of centering us for the task at hand. Between the tight, tree lined berms, and the ramps, skinnies, and logs, it was like a day at the spa. A bike spa. Heckle Zone? Pfft, it was a huge chunk of peace. After navigating a few hundred metres of Zen, the race kicked into gear.

Well, I didn’t have gears, so I stayed in the same gear, but the race started.

We left the garden for a quick zip across some of the only single track we’d see that day, for a shot up a sweet, twisting, climb, that led to more and more sweet single track, some sweeter climbs, more and more sweet single track, a billion log overs (some of them were absolutely giant, and some were gianter), and then more single track. There was a sweet switchback climb knocked me off my ride for a quick hike a bike, and a few log overs that scared the awesome out of me. There were even a few ramped skinnies to keep us even more on our toes. Awesome.

We hit a few stretches of double track, but they were scattered, and2016-10-sausage-suit-itt never lasted more than a few metres. The Sausage Suit ITT was a single track spectacular.

That is, until what I thought was a sign announcing the Gorina Hill. It was Gorilla Hill, but I had a tough time deciphering the sign when I was in the middle of my race pace heart attack (vision is often a challenge during 2 hours of sustained cardiac arrest). I had a weak line, and had to dismount for an embarrassing walk. What am I saying, there is no line I could have taken that would have seen me ride my single speed up that hill.

I got on my bike just in time to see Ted Anderton from Apex photography.   He snapped this pic.

After shucking my way up the Gornia, I heard the awesomeness that was surrounding the START/FINISH line. Fun people having a fun time. Bells, whistles, and general whooping. It was a quick pedal towards the end, and I found myself at the bottom of the first hill. My family was waiting to see me lap, and I had the wheels to book it, so I sprinted up the hill, and around the post, to start my second lap.

Lather, rinse, repeat, and it was over.

Except near the end of the second lap, I chugged a beer with a gorilla. Don’t ask.

Sad face to see the end of one of the last races of the year, and the end of the Race Report.

30k, 2:24:36, 680m of climbing, and, cue release of doves, 3rd place Single Speed!

2016-10-sausage-suit-podium

While deeper investigation may reveal there were only 3 single speed riders in the 30k distance (and one more in the 15k), I finished only 15 minutes after the first place SS rider. There were over 70 riders at the Sausage Suit ITT, and a small handful of us chose to do it without gears. I earned my spot on the podium.

What a great time. I have to say, the ITT format was unsettling for me at times. Honestly, for the first 20 minutes or so, I felt like I was getting passed every minute. Not sure, but I think it’s because for the first 20 minutes I was getting passed every minute or so.  

Although seriously, at the start of the race, how did the next rider after me catch up to me–at the bottom of the first hill. He left 30 seconds after me, but I think he transported directly to my tail because I’m pretty sure he passed me within the first 30 seconds. Fortunately, I was in the middle of finding my zen, and he couldn’t pass until we left the garden. Take that, guy who can zap through space and time.

And hey, thanks Joyride 150, for giving me the skills to nail the Heckle/Zen Garden/Zone without stopping.

Anyway, with all of the faster riders out of the way, I had a chance to sit back (and stand up, grunting) and finish the race at my own pace, without the polite “Next chance, if you don’t mind song of the better riders to diminish my buzz.

After the race, we all gathered around the podium, and the cheers of support, and howls of sincere laughter, shone a light on the MTB family that lives in my heart.

A few of the dogs even stopped cleaning their genitals long enough to populate the podium in place of the absent riders. After a bunch of lengthy goodbye chats, and a quick shower in the Team Colin Support vehicle, we met the Team Van Go passel at the bonfire for a few minutes of post race chat before the drive home.

It’s funny, Dufferin Forest was the site of my first official mountain bike race 4 years ago (the 2013 Homage), and the sights and sounds and smells felt so familiar. Riding there is always a homecoming of sorts, and it gave me a great perspective on the last four years. I finished the 2013 H2I without a familiar face in sight—and it felt like it was the start of something big in my life. On Saturday, I finished the race with family and friends close by—and now it is my life.

Nothing momentous occurred at the Sausage Suit ITT, but a whole bunch of moments combined to make the day one of the highlights of the season.

Ride

 

 

PS

Wanna see my bike?  sausage-suit-bike

I bought a new fish eye lens for my camera.  Awesome.

27. Fatbiking 101

20161006_155308-1Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

I know it’s only October, but do you see that picture up there?  The trails won’t look like that for long.  Winter is coming, and it’s time to start thinking about the fatbiking.

I didn’t want to become a fatbike RIDER. Between my hardtail, single speed, road bike, and dirt jumper, there are plenty of cycling disciplines that I can be bad at. But then, last year, December came, it snowed, and a friend of mine said “Want to borrow my fatbike?”. So I did, and, in doing so, I was pulled into a world of awesome bikes with 4 inch wide tires, huge chainstays, and what can only be described as clown forks.

I didn’t want to become a fatbike RACER. Between a busy family, and an already full winter of tobogganing with my kids, riding in the warm confines of Joyride 150, and packing on winter weight, I had no desire to jam my fingers and toes into layers of protective neoprene, Gore Tex, and polar fleece. But then the 45 NRTH Ontario Fatbike Race Series happened, and I was pulled into a world of racing bikes with 4 inch wide tires, huge chainstays, and what can only be called clown forks.

I didn’t want to become a proficient fatbike rider… And I’m not, so at least got that part right…

But there’s a reason I lack proficiency. It’s because I just don’t ride one often. And it’s no wonder why: I’m in LOVE with my hardtail, and my single speed (and I’m in LIKE with my road bike) so it’s tough to find the time to give my fatbike an honest try—especially since we’re still just getting to know each other

However, after my last blog, and in order to improve on that “lack of proficiency” for the upcoming fatbike race season (read: GET FASTER), I figured I had to reacquaint myself with my fatbike. It went something like this:

(Team Colin opens garage door and approaches his bikes)

Me:               Hey fatbike, what’s up?

Fatbike:       Chillin’ like a villain.

Our discussion wasn’t informative (and I wondered why my bike was talking like a teenager) so I decided to take it for a rip. I loaded it onto the Team Colin Support Vehicle, loaded my hardtail too (just because), and set off for Durham Forest in search of some magical single track.

While I was riding I thought about last year’s fatbike race series, and how I very quickly went from a guy who didn’t even own a fatbike, to a guy who raced a fatbike.

Here’s what I learned about the fatbiking:

  • Plainly put, it’s different. While fatbiking in the spring, summer, and fall, is at least similar to mountain biking, it is completely different in the snow. In the same way that a road bike is different from a MTB (and in the same way their applications are so different) a fatbike on a snowy trail is even differenter. Last year, I thought I could just jump on one and book it. I was wrong. This year, I’m embracing the differences. Aww, fatbike hug.
  • Traction is waaaaay better than I thought. The techie riders have tried to convince me to get studs for my fatbike, and while I’m sure they’re great, I’ve been riding without them, and I just don’t feel the need to shell our a few hundred bucks for a few sets (because one set isn’t never enough). Besides, one stud on a bike is enough. Hazzaah. See what I did there? Because I’m the stud. Oh, forget it.
  • There are two types of fatbike riders. I’m the other type. It’s a bit like a novelty for me: fun and, well, fun. And I want to keep it that way. The fact is, I’m not willing to put in the time to get better (so I probably won’t). And while that’s not the winning spirit, it’s a fact of life.  Also, it keeps things fun. Plus, I’m really good at not winning races. Stick with what you know!
  • The general riding skill required to ride a fatbike in the snow can be pretty demanding: in BAD conditions, trying to stay on the trail is like riding a long skinny trail feature; in GOOD conditions, it’s great–although I still struggle to find my line; and in PERFECT conditions, well, perfect conditions are perfectly impossible to anticipate, create, or plan for. Snow melts, snow becomes ice, snow melts and then becomes ice within minutes. So I don’t even try to anticipate the conditions, but I prepare to adapt because they will—probably several times throughout a race. Like any great love, sometimes the snow will love me, sometimes it won’t. I can live with that.
  • It’s cold. I need to get better-than-good gloves, and maybe even a set of pogies. A helmet liner, ear mufflers, and a neck wrap are also par for the trail. I’d like a pair of 45NRTH boots (I can’t seem to find my size) but my neoprene booties have served me just fine. Although I’ve also seen many racers just wear cycling shoes, and they seem to survive. While it’s always cool to have a reason to buy new bike stuff, crushing my pocket book will not only lesson my kid’s RESP fund, it’ll take away some of the fun.  UPDATE:  I wrote this blog in the fall.  However, at the Frozen Beaver last weekend (January 28), I spent most of my race with the toes of my booties pushed up and over the toes of my cycling shoes.  Booties aren’t meant for hike-a-bike hills, and the toes don’t stay in the boots when you scamper up a hill.  I think I’ m going to look for a pair of winter boots that will fit the bill.
  • It’s hot. While much of my body is really really cold, my goggles and glasses steamed up, my back was a swamp, my neck was a wetter swamp, and in locations where my neck or back met the cold air, ice formed. Yay. Ditto for my beard. Ice encrusted anything is kind of a drag, and it’s a constant battle between the two extremes, but it’s manageable. The key was to not cool down too much when I was too far from my car or the trailhead.  I like to wear my fall/early spring kit.  Between -2 and -10, I wear insulated bib pants and wool socks, with two or three layers on top:  a wicking, long sleeved bottom layer, technical long sleeve, and a jersey.  Gloves are a different matter.  I always bring a second set in my jersey pocket.  I’ve never used them, but I always have them just in case.
  • Snot management. There’s lots of it. Sorry, you’ll have to figure this one out on your own.
  • Ice. Water freezes below zero, and winter temperatures are typically below zero, so my water bottle is going to freeze. If I had a camelback, it would freeze too. Even an insulated water bottle will freeze, but it will take a bit longer. And while it’s true the bladder of my camel back probably won’t freeze (you know, sweaty back) the tubes will. I heard a cool tip recently.  To prevent frozen tubes, after you drink, blow air back into the bladder.  Not sure if it works, but it’s worth a try.  It’s not great to drink cold water when you’re freezing, trying to stay warm, and sweating through your clothes—all at the same time—but you need to replenish fluids. I’ll be sure to bring a thermos of warmth for after the race. Nothing like a hot cup of cocoa with my fatbike bae. I wonder if it likes marshmallows.
  • Passing. It’s probably not going to happen unless someone veers off course. Everybody struggles with the narrow single track, and everybody wants to pick up time on the very limited double track—which is also pretty narrow. Again, not the winning spirit, but well, whatever.
  • Tire pressure and PSI. Whatever I think my tire pressure should be. It should always be lower. When I think it’s too low, it should probably still be lower.

On a side note, the above PSI recommendation is for riding a fatbike in the snow. In the other three seasons, my tire pressure is still wrong, but it’s either too low or too high. I’m just not sure which it is.

Back to the things I learned:

  • Cleaning and lubing: Snow takes time to melt, and while it does, the water stays on my bike for longer. Water turns to rust. Rust turns to “Damnit, why is my drivetrain so rusty…”. Team Colin promises to brush the snow off his fatbike after a ride, dry his fatbike when he gets home, and keep the chain lubed. Finish Line Wet Lube (for Extreme Weather Conditions) is good, but it’s gloopy, and shifting is a touch slower. Which reminds me, I have to degrease my chain.
  • Train. When it’s too cold, or dark, or icy, or whatever (because that’s what Canadian winters are), spending time on my bike will keep me fit, happy, and ready to ride some more. I go to Joyride 150 for some sweet training rips as often as I can. When I’m there, I ride the skinnies, so that when the trails are slush, and I have to keep my wheels in long rut, it’ll be easier.
  • Muscles get cold.  Cold muscles hurt.  My performance is never the same, and I always feel like I’ve got more in me, but everyone is dealing with the same issues.

And that’s what I learned about the fatbiking last year.

Last year, after a race, I posted the following: “Fatbiking is hard, like, really hard…”. And it is, but it isn’t. To the legions of fatbike riders who have adopted it as THEIR discipline, and ride one all the time, it’s easy. To those of us—LIKE ME–who adopt fatbikes only when the trails are covered in snow, it’s a bit more challenging. And although it’s not as hard as I originally thought, it’s still not as fast as my MTB. At least I can implement some of the things I learned last year, and most important, approach the sport without expectations of Olympic glory.

The thing about fatbiking for me, is that it’s still filed under N for novelty (which is why I brought my hardtail on my last fatbike ride), and I think it’ll remain a winter pursuit. It’s a novelty because I don’t ride one often; it’s a novelty because the ride is so vastly different from anything else; and it’s a novelty because, well, clown forks.

But being a novelty isn’t a bad thing. To be honest, with a 35 pound bike, my kit, a water bottle, and a few tools, I’m cranking the better part of 300 pounds up a hill. If I took it more seriously, I don’t think it’s possible for me to be much better anyway.

To make it easier, I tried to ride without clothes and a water bottle, but I kept slipping off the seat.

And I got thirsty….

Naked fatbiking probably has a place, but, you know, shrinkage.

Back to wearing clothes while riding and not getting arrested for indecent exposure. Thanks to last year’s 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Race series, I got to race a my fatbike four times–in the dull, dark, dead of winter, and it was fantastic.

Thanks to fatbikes, the (outdoor) riding season never ended.

Thanks to the 45NRTH series, the race vibe was always just a few weeks away regardless of what month it was.

And thanks to Dan Marshall, Cycle Solutions, and Substance Projects, the race vibe wa always wicked.

Fatbiking is for everyone. Fatbiking is for you. Fatbiking is sort of for me, and as long as I keep my clothes on, it’ll be a blast this coming winter, and for many winters to come. After all, at the heart of any great ride, is the fact that riding is equal parts challenge, fitness, joy, and fun. I think my fatbike and I are going to be just fine.

Ride

 

 

 

PS.  Here are some awesome fatbiking sesources

Click on Substance Projects 45 NRTH Ontario Fatbike Series:  Race!

Check out Shikaze’s blog. He’s a real fatbike rider and an awesome racer:  Steve S!

The guys at Cycle Solutions:  BUY CS! and Evolution Cycles  BUY EVO! can hook you up with a sweet deal. Jamie at Evolution is loving his new Norco Ihaqua fatbike.  Ask him about it.  UPDATE:  I wrote this blog in the fall.  Since then, I had a chance to demo a few pretty sweet bikes:  A Norco Ithaqua 6.1 from Norco, a Trak Farley 9.9 from Cycle Solutions, and a Norco Ithaqua 6.3 from Evolution Cycles (that I raced last weekend).  Each bike was a thing of beauty

Fat Bracebridge seems to be the epicenter of all things fatbiking:  FBC.

Okay, maybe these next two aren’t awesome resources, but for a long read about my experiences in the last two races of the inagural 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Race Series, check my first few blogs. Here’s a link or two.

That time I rode my fatbike in Kingston:  My first blog!

That time hated my fatbike, but learned a whole bunch about it:  Fat Bracebridge!

(By the way, the bike in the featured image of this post is my 2015 Norco Bigfoot 6.1.  I took the shot on Ogre and Out at Durham Forest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26. Get Fatbiking!

Why YOU Need a Fatbike.

Winter is coming.2016-2-frozen-beaver-2016

And while that may be a bad thing for people who play games on thrones, it’s not a bad thing for people who play bikes. Not bad? Pfft. It’s awesome. It’s awesome because for many cyclists, the coming of winter used to mean the end of the riding season: No more single track; no more Saturday morning group rides; no more weekend races or midweek series; and no more general biking awesomeness to soothe our restless souls.

But now, thanks to the magic of a gigantically wide fork that holds a super squishy tire, the upcoming blanket of snow means the start the fatbike season. Woot woot.

You see while we may not have been on the trails in past winters, the trails were still out there. They were just under a blanket of snow and not very fun to ride  on our regular MTB tires. Yeah, the sweet single track, the same climbs, and the same trees were all out there, longing for us, pining for us (especially the trees–see what I did there) but they just weren’t possible until a fatbike came strutting its stuff into our local bike shops.

Yes, I know, for people who already have a fatbike, they’re awesome any time of year, but they’re especially awesome when there’s snow. It’s a proven fact.

By the way, for anyone who hasn’t been in a bike shop lately (or for roadies) a fatbike is:

…a bike with tires that are 3.8” wide (or wider), and rims that are at least 2.6” wide. They are designed for riding on soft unstable terrain, such as SNOW, sand, bogs and mud…

Thank you Wikipedia.

What, you don’t have one yet? Well, here’s the reason why you should buy a fatbike right now: Um, can ride a bike any day, any where, in any condition. That is all.

Need another reason?  See that sweet picture in the header (The one taken by Ted Anderton of Apex Race Photography). See the smile.  Yup, awesome.

However, if you want an official Top Ten List of reasons. Here it is:

Top Ten Reasons Why YOU Need a Fatbike This Winter

  1. Fatbikes are faster in the snow than you think. Seriously, fatbikes are wickedly, surprisingly, fast.
  2. Fatbikes are funner in the snow than you think. Seriously, fatbikes are wickedly, surprisingly, fun. Riding a fatbike is as close to being a kid as you can get. Giant tires. Bouncy ride. Big mittens. Snot everywhere. The only thing missing is a Gilligan’s Island lunch box (with matching “L’il Buddy” thermos, natch), a PB&J sandwich, and a glass of milk.
  3. Fatbikes look really cool. Since they’re so new, you get to be the center of attention everywhere you ride. People will stop in their tracks to ogle your beefy tires and massive forks, and bask in your general awesomeness for riding such a boss looking bike.
  4. Fatbiking is an awesomely huge challenge. Riding in the snow is a great way to push your riding style. Aside from the constantly changing trail conditions—which will actually change quite drastically during your ride—the technique required is pretty significant, and that’s a cool thing. Cornering, weight distribution, climbing, descending. They’re all different. Own it. And even though you can ride anywhere and don’t really need a groomed trail, as the sport becomes more popular, many trail centres are grooming trails especially for fatbikes. Sweet.  Check it out:  Fatbiking in Bracebridge
  5. Fatbiking is more fun than cross country skiing. Okay, maybe it’s not, but at least you won’t need a different roof rack. Wait, I take that retraction back. It’s way more fun!
  6. When you dress for winter fatbiking, NO MORE CRAMMING YOUR BODY INTO A SPANDEX KIT. Trust me, this is a good thing for all of the people who have to look at us wearing our riding kits. Or maybe it’s just a good thing for all of the people who have to look at ME wearing MY riding kit. Sorry people.
  7. When you fatbike, all of that winter food that you’ve been jamming down your gullet now has a way to get burned off. So eat the whole bag of Doritos. Double up on the poutine. Cheese? Yes please.
  8. When you ride a fatbike throughout the winter, you get to keep riding an actual bike, instead of sitting on a spin bike or rollers in your basement or gym, pedalling like crazy to get nowhere. (I’m kidding, that’s not fair to say. On a spin bike, you don’t travel nowhere. You travel from a room with a dry floor, to a room with a floor splotted with your sweat drops.)
  9. You know Monday mornings in the dead of winter, when everyone gets to work, and talks about the game they watched, or the roast they ate, or the movie they went to see? Not you. Nope, you get to say “Yeah, I went for a bike ride. Mm hm. On my bike. Yeah, it was cold and snowing, but, you know, I’m pretty boss, so I rode. Oh, you stayed in, did you….”. If you have a mic, this is a good time to drop it.
  10. Crashing in the snow is awesome. It doesn’t hurt as much as dirt because snow is usually softer, you give yourself a sweet self-inflicted snow job, and then you get to look like a drunken infant as you bum your way out of the two feet of snow that lines the trail. You’ll laugh so hard. And so will anyone who is watching. Which brings me to the final reason…
  11. The people who ride fatbikes are statistically proven to be way cooler, more awesomer, and just plain radder than people who don’t. True fact.

That was 11 reasons. Yeah, fatbikes are just too awesome for 10 reasons. 11 awsome reasons why you need a fatbike this winter, and 11 awesome reasons why fatbiking is awesome.

So you see, while the coming of winter used to mean that our bodies could spend a few months recuperating before the spring season, or letting the poison ivy in our blood stream take a break, it also meant storing our bikes for the winter, and starting our off-season exercise regimes, which typically included competitive sweater wearing, solo cookie eating contests, and a weekly series of weight gains, body flab increases, and missing our bike(s) like the desert misses the rain(s), but it’s almost 2017, and all those things are in the past.   Fatbiking, baby. Boom.

Now that I’ve convinced you to buy a fatbike (What, you needed 12 reasons?), it’s probably time to get to your bike shop, or if you live in Toronto, to go to the fall bike show (on October 15 Fall Bike Show).  Although I won’t be there because I’ll be racing Dan Marshall’s Sausage Suit ITT

You should go to my shop.  My shop is awesome–and I’m willing to bet if you tell them Team Colin sent you, they’ll probably throw in a sweet discount: Cycle Solutions

I don’t often go to other shops because I have such a strong relationship with the staff at Cycle Solutions, but if you can’t make it to the east end of the city, here are a few shops that I think are pretty awesome, either because they sponsor races and promote the sport, or because they have treated me well when I walked off the street and visited them: Evolution Cycles is a great shop in Richmond Hill; if you live downtown, try Bateman’s Cycle; if you live in Newmarket, go to Spoke-O-Motion; and if you live in Oshawa, Impala Bicycles is pretty good. Honestly, every local bike shop is awesome.  If you don’t already have YOUR bike shop, visit one of these and start a relationship.

Oh, and as an added bonus, after you buy your fatbike (not if you buy one…), there’s a fatbike race series. Yeah, a fatbike race series. In its second year, The 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Race Series, presented by Substance Projects and Cycle Solutions, has 5 races scheduled from December to February. You can’t beat that. For someone like me, it’s great to have the opportunity to race poorly in the spring, summer, fall AND now the winter. Also, riding alone in the summer is okay, but in the winter, with shorter days that get dark way to early, it could be a problem if you crash. While crashing in the snow is less hurty, a bad crash could mean being alone…in the woods…in the dark woods..trying to shuffle back to the trail head…alone…for help. Be safe and ride with a friend. Better yet, ride with a bunch of friends at a fatbike race. Get more info here: 45NRTH Ontario Fatbike Series

You can thank me later. I’ll be the one grinning from snot encased ear, to snot encased ear, covered in frost from multiple self-inflicted snow jobs.

Before I finish, Team Colin is going to make a proclamation. There is a good deal of debate online about whether it’s a “fat bike”, a “fatbike”, or a “fat-bike”, and it’s time someone made the call. I’m making the call. It’s a fatbike. I’m making this proclamation because I don’t like separation of the word “fat” in Fat Bike, Fat-Bike contains an unnecessary hyphen (unless you like that sort of thing), and fatbike is a cool new word—just like the sport!

One word or two, hyphen or not, whatever you choose to call it, there’s only one word needed to describe fatbiking: AWE. SOME.

Ride.

PS

More on HOW to fatbike, in my next blog post, “Fatbike 101”.

In the meantime, you can read about my first ever fatbike experience, on my first ever blog, in My First Blog!