My morning commute takes me right through the heart of Boston…Beacon Street, to Kenmore Square, to Storrow Drive, and on to the Expressway. I imagine the trend is the same elsewhere, bike lanes are now commonplace on most every road in the city. Just the other day a commuter zipped on by me with what looked to be their brand new fat bike. The only missing piece was that we have no snow.
Fat Bikes have a history that dates back to the ‘80s, with the first introduction of the mountain bike, making off road cycling adventures possible. By 1986, mountain bikes were so popular that they out sold road-racing and road-touring bikes.
But, to know where the fat bike really started you need to look at two development stories, one in Alaska and one in New Mexico. I’m going to focus on the Alaska story for this posting. In 1987, the first Iditabike took place, which required riders to travel 200 miles of the Alaskan backcountry, in winter! Due to road challenges, riders ran into many obstacles, so adjustments were made, and multiple rims were pinned and welded together. The wider footprint allowed for more riders and better traction. Many more improvements were made, but check out the pictures in this article on Adventure Cycling on The History of the Fatbike.
Fatbikes allow us to get outside in all 4 seasons. Good luck to all the Riders of The Solstice Chase, taking place this weekend, December 19, 2015 in St. Croix, WI. Snow or no snow, the race goes on.