John Lawrence Hanson, a correspondent for The Gazette, recalls racing at the Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic in Solon, IA on Feb 12th 2022
The Nature Call: Recent race was challenging and fun
I was flat on my back, spread-eagle — and not interested in how blue the sky was.
I was laid out on water. On a warmer day, I would have been soaked as a muddy mess. But on this day, the temp was about 12 degrees and this water was hard.
I was grateful I wasn’t injured. Since no one saw my spectacular crash, my pride was undamaged as well.
My bicycle was a still-life on the trail. Moments earlier, the bike reminded me of high school physics and something about Newton’s law of angular momentum. In other words, bikes don’t belong on ice.
Mountain bikes are a known quantity, but have you seen a “fat tire” mountain bike? It’s the same bike but with balloon-like tires that range from 3 1/2 to 5 inches wide and at a very low pressure.
A performance skinny-wheeled road bike will run at 110 plus pounds of air per square inch, a touring bike at 75, maybe 50-60 for a regular mountain bike. But these fat tires often run between 3-15 PSI.
The soft and generous tread serves a flotation function and the operator can ride over sand, loose gravel roads or snow without getting bogged down. Fat tire bikes have taken the “toys of summer” to an all seasons status.