I was first introduced to fat bikes by Shaggy who was preparing to ride the Iditarod on his Pugsley. Like most people who have never seen one of these monsters my reaction was predictable - wide-eyed amazement.
Since then I have had the opportunity to ride a fat bike in the Alps on my own snowy adventure. Unfortunately it doesn’t snow all year around in the UK but unlike skis a fat bike doesn’t need snow!
Over the past couple of years fat bikes have had more exposure but it is still very rare to see them on UK trails. We are lucky enough to have a Genesis Caribou in the showroom to display our bikepacking luggage on and come the weekend it is free game!
I have been a bit slack the past few weeks so I needed to set myself a challenge to get going again. Trail centres are great when you don’t have the head or motivation to plan a route or battle with stiles. Also I had never taken the Caribou around a trail centre so I set myself the target of 100km of twisty technical single track around Cannock Chase.
A weekend at Cannock is always going to be busy but I was in no rush and it was nice to have the constant company while riding around in circles. I just wanted to go the distance.
After 2 laps of Follow the Dog / Monkey Trail combo my body was starting to feel the fatigue. The 3rd lap was the most difficult, I had probably started off too quickly and needed to pull back if I was going to keep going. Even with the 3.8” Nate fat tyres absorbing the vibrations I started to dread the downhills more than the climbs.
At the end of the 4th lap I was ready to call it a day, and if I had have been on my singlespeed I would have had a good reason. But the Caribou had gears and I could still keep it moving no matter how slowly. With plenty of time and beautiful sunny weather I set out for that 5th and final dusty lap coming home just 6km shy of my target but perfectly timed for beer-o-clock.