For five months or more, the beast of a bike that is the Trek Farley (better known as the Fatterson), has sat in the garage with no seat post, and still sporting studded tires. I have thoroughly enjoyed months of riding the Boone and the PrOcal, but for some reason I had the urge to roll like a tank over the gravel and dirt roads of central Michigan, so I set about swapping out the post, and finally getting some studless meats on, so as to do just that.
The first thing I noticed as I pedaled through the cul-de-sac on my way towards the dirt roads was that it felt great to be back atop the Fatterson. No disrespect to the Fatterson, but compared to my other bikes, it’s really not that great of a bike– crap brakes, so-so wheels, tubed tires, aluminum frame, and sub-mid range components. Yet I find it fun to ride and my body finds it relatively pain-free.
I am seriously tempted to do some singletrack riding with it to really put that to the test, something I’ve alway avoided, saving trail loving steeds like the Superfly or PrOcal for such rides. But at this point I’m desperate for pain-free trail riding, so desperate that I’m willing to ride a fat bike on dry trails.
The second thing I noticed was all the God blessed creaking! The post, the saddle, the bars, the bottom bracket, EVERYTHING was creaking. I’m not sure I have enough grease and lube to fix all the creaking!
Yes, yes, yes, there are MILLIONS of people all over the world who are riding everything on their fat bike. I’ve yet to become that person. It may happen someday, but for right now, the Fatterson is reserved for winter riding and occasional dirt road rambles with my camera.
With some late day storms moving trough the area on Wednesday, I was fully prepared for the ride to be a fat tire slog through the mud, but I guess things have been so dry here, that any rain is immediately sucked up by the dirt and the thousands upon thousands of acres of corn. Aside from one road that was recently brined, the dirt was as it never ever rained.
The ride also served as further testing for some photo geekery. Since picking up a Nikon D7100 earlier this summer I had I recently got hold of a used 18-200mm lens, on the cheap and wanted to test it out.
I gotta say I’m pretty happy with it! It’s smaller than the 55-300mm kit lens, a bit crisper in my opinion, and the large focal range (looked down on by many pixel peeping “real” photographers), makes it a near perfect lens for rolling bikes and shooting pics. I currently have no interest in carrying a crap ton of different lenses with me on a ride, so one “do it all” lens helps a ton.
Lots to do today, and no riding tomorrow since our family and bunch of friends are heading down to see the Real Madrid v Chelsea match in Ann Arbor, so I need to try to squeeze something in today.