Site contributor, Mark Peterson, has been putting feelers out to friends in far reaches of the world for the state of fat-biking in their area. This report comes from Todd dead center in the US of A in Iowa.
What can we say about the Fat Biking scene here in Central Iowa? We can say that it is alive and thriving! We have a good group of Fat-bikers here in Des Moines, and the surrounding cities. Bikes from just about every manufacturer are to be found here. This is very cool as you get to see and try out the various bikes! We get more fat-bike riders are to be found every week and it is growing. We do lots of things with our fatties. You see fat-bikes doing many things including, Utility, Touring, Exploring, Bike packing, BMX racing and just trail riding, of course.
Fat-bike classes are showing up at our mountain bike races now…..Summerset Shootout, The Mullet Classic now have Fat Bike classes in the races! The Cross season has also begun. We are now starting to see fatties show up for these races as well. Then of course there are lots at the winter events as well. Such as the The Triple D and CIRREM. The local fat-bikerss have done different rides each year for Global Fat Bike Day. 2012 was a 30 mile ride on the side of the river/reservoir. 2013 was a ride donating food to the homeless. We will find a way to top both of them for the 2014 ride! A few times a year we do group rides around Saylorville Resevoir!
As for myself and fat-biking….. It is something I really love to do. I always loved riding bikes. I was off bikes for a long time. Then a few years back I stared riding again. Just on a SS MTB. My love for fat-bikes began when my friend TJ let me ride a lap of one of our trails on his 2012 Mukluk. I fell in love right away. That same year I picked up a Mukluk myself. I had (and still have) so much fun on that same bike. I liked riding fat-bikes so much it is all I ride now. I try to get on one of my fat-bikes daily to enjoy my love of biking.
The next chapter in my fat-bike riding….. Fat-Bike BMX! When I first tried out a fat-bike, I was thinking this feels like a big BMX bike. I rode/raced BMX when I was a teenager for many years. I tried out freestyle in the later 80’s. A bad injury took me out of the freestyle riding. Fast forward many years. I had started racing BMX again in 2013. One day I took the fat-bike out to the track, aired up the tires and dropped the seat and ran a few laps. It sure was fun rolling around the BMX track with it. So much so, I was thinking others need to try this. It was a blast! Shortly afterwards, I saw the video of the guys in Europe running their fat bikes on a BMX track. So at that point I knew what I needed to do. After working things out with our local track, Ewing Park BMX, I setup the Fat-Bike BMX races and have been running them ever since. I hope one day to have USA BMX create a Fat-Bike class in races. But for now, we run our unsanctioned Fat-Bike BMX races once per month. Till then, I race with the cruiser class on some occasions. BMX racing is FUN!
After racing the 2013 Mukluk fat bike on the BMX track a few times. I was thinking there needs to be an actual fat BMX bike. I started thinking more about this and did some research on frame geometry of BMX racing bikes of today. After my extensive research, I found that the small 2013 Salsa Cycles Mukluk frame would be a pretty close match for a 26” BMX racer. I worked with a couple of local bike shops, Rasmussen Bikes and Flatland Fuel namely, and with the help of both shops we ordered what was needed to create this visionary fat-bike BMX platform. A good friend helped me change the color of the frame. From the bright orange, to that beautiful purple it is today. After that we built the bike! The bike rides amazing on and off the BMX track.
So in closing….. We have some great folks riding fat bikes here in Central Iowa. More folks are riding and loving fat bikes these days. One always gets a comment or two when riding one! The interest is growing all over the world! If you had time to check out thing from Interbike 2014. You can see. The industry is exploding with fat bikes. And fat bike accessories. The future is bright for fat bikes! Thank you for taking the time to read my little tale.