2015 Enchanted Fat Bike Stomp

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This past weekend I was able to participate in one of my favorite winter activities, riding the banks of the Mississippi river on fat bikes. Friends of Off Road Cycling do a great job of organizing fun events. Three years ago their first Enchanted Fat Bike Stomp opened my eyes to another great kind of cycling.

The river banks provide a lot for fat biking. When you get bigger groups of riders together, naturally some differences in skill levels and ride expectations emerge. The beauty of the river banks are that you can ride the smoother terrain or opt for more technical obstacles, and does the river ever provide the obstacles. Every year, when the river rises it brings with it a variety of transplanted objects from the current of the water. This makes each year I’ve ridden the banks unique and new.

I arrived a bit early and had a beer riverside at a brewery while people arrived. The amount of fat bikes that roll into these events still takes me by a bit of surprise. Even though this ride didn’t have the massive number of years past, it’s still more fat bikes than I ride with any other normal ride. Riding with thirty to one hundred fat bikes is pretty awesome. I’ll be back next year for more. Thanks again FORC for being another important and awesome piece of the puzzle that is the central Illinois cycling environment.

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Today On A Bike

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The background for toady’s ride was pretty spectacular. There was a fluffy five or so inches of fresh snow from last night. The best part was the falling snow during the ride, that always feels a bit special.

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Today On A Bike

2015-01-04 09.49.41Today I joined some friends on the Illinois River for some Quad City inspired fat bike stomping. My face still hurts from smiling so much. This is my favorite type of riding in the winter. It was very similar to the riding I’ve fallen in love with in past trips on the Mississippi.

The flood plains along the river banks provide a lot of variety and options for everyone to enjoy. My favorite cycling trips are the ones that offer something for everyone. The mixture of riding over makeshift obstacles and riding the river bank is a blast. A big thanks to the people who organized the ride today. I can’t wait to go back!

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Today On A Bike

2014-12-28 13.27.16 2014-12-28 11.49.04 2014-12-28 13.12.47 2014-12-28 13.06.55 2014-12-28 13.31.28It doesn’t look like winter in these without the snow of years past. Today was the third ride this week after taking time off of a bike. I can’t believe how much I’ve lost in terms of fitness. It’s humbling. Lots of work to do…

The 45NRTH Strurmfist 5’s were perfect today in the 30º F temps. I really like them so far.

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Bike Update: 2012 Salsa Mukluk Ti

MJ5L2536I’ve made some changes to my fat bike this summer and fall I’m pretty jazzed about it. The planed changes were simple enough of moving to a one by drivetrain with Shimano XTR bits and adding Shimano XTR brakes for good measure too.

MJ5L2539 MJ5L2541 MJ5L2578While adding the Shimano XTR brakes and rotors my old Carver carbon fork didn’t want to behave with the new setup so I had to change the fork from that to the MRP carbon fatbike fork (previously named White Brothers). More thoughts on the fork are coming but for now let me say that when compared to the Carver fork I had the MRP is stiffer, heavier, more expensive, and less attractive, but I’m happy with it. I just can’t believe they put the sticker under the clear coat…

MJ5L2546 MJ5L2559 MJ5L2563I love how clean the bottom bracket area is with the one by! The gearing seems perfect for me with a 28 tooth chainring and a normal 11-36 cassette.
MJ5L2577While I was reinstalling a brake rotor with the non extended bolts I had a bone head moment and over torqued the bolts. Expensive lesson learned and with a set of Hope Fatsno hubs things could return back to normal.
MJ5L2553The bike is a lot of fun and I can’t wait to smile a lot in the cold this winter riding it.
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