I’ve had a different kind of obsession with cycles. In all these years of riding the roads, I’ve built experiences on road bikes of all kinds. My quest for thrill lead me to explore the mountains and it was only a matter of selecting the right mountain bike, to finally realize what my true calling was. Although I was aware of the effort it would take to finally make the cut to hit the mountains, I was prepared to put my bike to use on the streets of Delhi. The deplorable conditions of Delhi roads complimented my choice of bike. So while everyone braved the potholed roads in their fancy cars, I was making my smooth manoeuvres around the city on my mountain bike. I must admit, it seemed like nothing short of a mountain trail – treacherous, rocky, bumpy.
While on my bike hunt, I tried and tested a number of road bikes, even borrowing bikes from friends. They move with the wind with their super thin tyres, aerodynamic positioning of the rider and race focussed geometry. It blew my mind away, but a little pondering pushed me to reconsider my decision. I wouldn’t be racing or participating in a brevet to be taking the kind of discomfort a road bike offers. Biking for me is all about relaxing the mind, feeling the wind on my face and having some fun. These persistent thoughts lured me into further exploring my options. Multiple shops hopping later, my mind stayed glued to one beauty.
It rarely happens that you get to experience feelings of shock and awe together and when it does I’m pretty sure you end up doing something crazy. What I saw right there was a bike with such wide tyres it looked like it was made for constructing roads, the frame design so aggressive it looked like a cheetah ready to attack.
A little study helped me unravel the real reason behind those fat tyres – to give the bike capability to be ridden on surfaces which tend to give in on application of large amount of pressure on a relatively small area i.e. for riding on snow and sand. One look at the bike and you’ll be sure that it isn’t made for a rider with a lean physique.
With a leap of faith, I stepped on that pedal. The rest as you know is history.
For the unacquainted, the buying process always starts with research. One has to know what bike works best for them and is a clear match to their personality before investing into one. Even a seasoned rider will always get into the specifications of the bike before making a choice.
Fat bikes are not for the faint hearted. They make for a grueling ride – physically and mentally. But once you’re on it, it stays like a drug making you want more.
In my next blog I will talk about my first mountain trail on the fat bike. Watch this space for more.