Does this bike make me look phat ?
For years Sprocketman has been building new bikes by stealth. By which I mean, he orders the parts online, has them sent home, of course isn't there for delivery and instead receives many mysterious little "sorry we missed you" cards, goes to the post office before I'm even awake to collect the parcel, opens the parcel and throws out the packaging before I can see it; and then voila !
He disappears for an hour or so here and there, a bit of tinkering on the weekends and several months later we miraculously have a brand new intact bike in the garage as if left by wee elves. I usually look at it with narrowed eyes and ask how long that's been there, and he rattles off some garbage about how it's one he's had for years, he's just swapped the saddles around and that's what's confusing me.
All this goes on without my really being aware of the magnitude of things. However one day I popped into the garage and saw something I could not unsee - a completely new frame half-emerged from it's packing carton like a carbon-framed Venus arising from the waves.
"Aha, what's that ?" I asked accusingly, pointing at the evidence. The game was afoot.
Plot twist !!!
Aww... I had spoiled a "big surprise" by discovering my new fat bike frame being built up.
I was non-plussed, or at the very least, merely plussed. My lifestyle really did not call for a fatbike. I was aware of them, had laughed at people riding down snow slopes and thought it looked fun, had seen people riding along the beach and though that was pretty cool. All without a sense that I personally needed one of these. I told Sprocketman all this. "Oh we can ride it on the beach, along the coast and go further then regular people and then go camping somewhere we have the beach to ourselves ..." said my other half.
I thought that sounded rather pleasant, and thanked him for the thought. A month passed, and the final component of Sprocketman's own fat bike arrived. It was time to get out there !
But instead of a trip to the beach which I always love, we headed for the ... bush. With a change in tyre pressure these babies could also run along the local fire trails, and go further off-road.
I was a good sport and gave it a go, and gee I'm glad i did because now I never, ever have to do that again.
I'm firmly convinced we rode up and down a dried up waterfall bed, as it was the bumpiest most painful ride I have ever had. Turns out I am not a hard-core mountain bike rider, and I am totally cool with that. Maybe a nice even fire-trail lies in my biking future, but nothing more rugged than that.
Two days later we took them to the beach and lived another of Sprocketman's dreams.
I'll absolutely do this again, in fact we bought riding sandals - such a totally Germanic concept I feel - and a pop-up beach shelter to stop me coming away from a day out with third degree burns.
Join in with me in singing the song of my people "Everything in this country is trying to kill me."
Still, top day out.