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Adventure Stories: Fat Bike Fun with Kim Deleenheer

Adventure Stories: Fat Bike Fun with Kim Deleenheer

I was going to say my fat bike purchase was impulsive, but no, I had been thinking about it for a while. This bike purchase did feel slightly extravagant, playful, maybe even radical – because I didn’t really need another bike – but I deep down I wanted to try something new.  I was turning 50 and needed a symbol for a good mid-life crisis.   My practical brain couldn’t justify a convertible, but it could justify a fat bike, so I picked a gorgeous Rage Red Trek Farley 9.8!

For me, it opened up a whole new activity when the weather is messy in the shoulder seasons of biking and skiing.  It looks hard core, but the fat bike is goofy fun.  You ride over snowy or muddy trails at a lower speed than mountain biking, and it’s less intimidating.  I find that I take in the scenery more and appreciate the change in seasons more.  My favourite days are getting a fun group out adventuring.  This winter included a riding along Jackson Creek when it was mostly frozen and exploring a beautiful trail in the Kawartha Highlands.

Last year I invested in studded tires.  They gave me a huge boost in confidence, and they still surprise me at how much traction you can get.  The best way to start is riding trails before the snow gets too deep or in areas that provide grooming.  My training ground was Harold Town, Millbrook and Jackson Park.  Stay warm with electric gloves! My fingers tend to get cold but you still need to use your brakes and change gears, so electric gloves solved my problem. Or use bar mitts.  I have hiking boots a half size too big which are perfect for thick winter socks to keep my feet warm.  Lastly, and arguably the most crucial piece of advice is to go out with fun people!  But I guess I say that about most activities 😊

A group of cyclists stand beside their fat bikes in winter, smiling

A smiling cyclist rides a fat bike downhill

Two cyclists ride fat bikes down a rail trail, as seen from behind

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