Shortly after arriving in Minneapolis, six years ago, I began my on-going experiment of biking most of the time for my job as a pastor. That first winter was a doozy, it was dubbed "The Polar Vortex." I learned tons about winter biking (and survival). I loved riding on the ice with studded tires, I loved riding in the silence, I loved riding in the winter. But there were times when I wished I had wider tires for the deep snow, for the slushy stuff, for trail riding...
The following summer after watching a friend complete his triathlon over at Lake Nokomis the kiddos and I were strolling home when all of sudden I heard this loud rumble. The noise got closer and closer until I realized it was a bicycle. Not just any bicycle but a fat tire bicycle. Some idjit had winter/aggressive trail tires on oversized tires and was pedaling them on a paved bike trail.
Okay back to the dude on the fat tire bike. I had not seen a fat tire bike up close until that fateful summer day. I was amazed at the setup but the dude on the bike was drunk, was cursing at folk who were walking on the bike path (due to the tri the paths were confusing), and was just being a flat out jack ass. Ever since then in my mind I have equated: Fat Tire Bike = Jackass.
Over the past few years I have come close plenty of times to purchasing a fat tire bike. Last winter I even tested many models during the winter expo down on the Midtown Greenway. i even did something on a fat tire bike I had not done since I was in college: wrecked and rolled down the hill. But each time I nearly buy one of these bikes I think back to that jackass cursing and swerving around Lake Nokomis. And I just couldn't purchase the bike.
But then this week I did it. i purchased a fat tire bike. i hope im not on track to being a jackass, but one never knows. That summer i saw that jackass cursing and swerving around Lake Nokomis I confess that before I saw him up close I was taken back to 1995 when I wrote in my journal about my dream vehicle: a CJ-7 Jeep with a 305ci engine, dual exhaust, hard top, and the gnarliest tires I could find. Lucky for me I was dirt poor and could not afford this vehicle. But if i had had the funds then I would have been just like the Lake Nokomis dude (sans drunk and cursing) riding down a paved road (MacCorkle Ave in my hometown) and making a ruckus of noise.
Friends, make sure when you see me pedaling around town this winter to say to me: "Travis, dont be a jackass."