Global Fat Bike Day 2016

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Well, being an introvert, and learning to accept that, I’ve learned I’m happier when I don’t seek out large gatherings of people. I’ve become comfortable with going it alone or with a few other people. Throw in the fact I have Celiac Disease and can’t partake in the eating of most common foods and the consumption of beer, there’s not a lot to draw me to groups. So I don’t take much notice to events that are designed to be large social gatherings. Hence my lack of interest in the Global Fat Bike Day. Sure I like fat bikes. I’ve been riding a fat bike longer then 99.9999999% of the current owners of fatbikes. I bought my first fatbike, seen above, in June 2006. Sure I’d love to celebrate these amazing bicycles with others. But then all the above mentioned issues put up all kind of road blocks for me. Not looking for sympathy. Like I said, I’ve become very comfortable going it alone most of the time. It’s so much easier and so much less mentally taxing.

Saturday was the appointed day for the celebration of fatbikes. I’m sure there were several local gatherings. But I conveniently had a home project I was working on. Staining our new patio door and trim. img_2221

I don’t have much experience at staining. So I needed to take my time. Sand, stain, let dry, sand, stain, let dry, sand, clear coat, let dry, sand, clear coat. It’s a time intensive project. No time for bike rides this weekend. Besides, we’re used to having snow and ice this time of year…you know, fatbike weather. Not only do we not have snow, (enough to ride on) the lakes aren’t even frozen, the ground isn’t frozen yet, and the mountain bikes trails are closed because of muddy conditions. So, what’s the point.

By two o’clock I had made good progress on the door and was feeling the need to get outside away from the fumes for awhile. So I figured a quick solo ride on the fatbike and my own little fatbike celebration ride would be suitable.

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I pieced together a few different trails and paths and abandoned railroads and ended up having a great ride. I knew it’d be dark before I made it home so I brought along lights. It was a wonderful ride. Here’s the route.

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I decided to ride up the hill to the abandoned DWP rail line and try to reach the tunnel before it got dark. The tunnel is creepy enough in the day time. The above picture is where I picked up the DWP.

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The DWP used to be a pretty good secret. You’d never see people up here. Only the locals out walking their dogs. But more and more people are finding out about it. In the next year or two it will be improved and added to the local trail network. But for now it still has that abandoned feel to it.

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The tunnel is eery. Dark and creepy. It’s about 500 feet in length and goes under Ely’s Peak. It curves slightly so you can’t see the other side until you are about halfway through. A big chunk of the ceiling has fallen and is partially blocking the path through the tunnel.

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As I was taking a photo of the tunnel another fatbiker arrived. He didn’t even slow down and mumbled something about not being the only one out here. He entered the tunnel and quickly disappeared, as if the darkness of the tunnel swallowed him up. You can see the light of his head lamp lighting up the tunnel in the above picture.

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It should be very cool when they open this trail to the public. They have some work ahead. Some wash outs and a major chunk of the hillside has slid down onto the trail above. Almost completely blocking the trail.

In the end I think my Global Fat Bike Day 2016 solo ride was a smashing success.

2 thoughts on “Global Fat Bike Day 2016

  1. Jon Erickson December 10, 2016 / 9:20 am

    HI Doug,
    I’m also looking for my next bike. Being that we are around the same age and riding style, what mountain bike(s) are you considering for the Duluth trails?
    Thanks…wonderful writing and photos

    Like

    • fourseasoncycling December 13, 2016 / 11:30 am

      I didn’t reply right away because I don’t have a short answer. I prefer steel. I’ve been looking at Surly’s and Advocate Cycles mostly. Maybe a new fat bike with separate summer and winter wheel sets.

      Like

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