Fat-bikes and Pancakes

A few of us gathered yesterday for a mostly-dirt ride to the Riley Tavern for all-you-can-eat pancakes.

After a several day thaw and an entire day of rain, the trail was a bit soft.

MRT (photo by Nate Vergin)

MRT (photo by Nate Vergin)

Fat-bikes were in order, for those of us that have them. I rode the Ox.

On the MRT (Photo by Michael Lemberger)

On the MRT (Photo by Michael Lemberger)

We also found some mud to play about in. Today’s lesson: Larrys are fine, but Black Floyds don’t quite cut it in several inches of gooey mud.

Muddy tire (Photo by Nate Vergin)

Muddy Larry (Photo by Nate Vergin)

After a bit of slogging, we made it to Riley.

At Riley (Photo by Nate Vergin)

At Riley (Photo by Nate Vergin)

There were four kinds of pancakes (plain, cranberry, blueberry, chocolate chip). I think I ate ten, and as many sausages.

Pancakes, family style (Photo by Nate Vergin)

Pancakes, family style (Photo by Nate Vergin)

Then we retraced our route back to town.

Back on the pavement (photo by Nate Vergin)

Back on the pavement (photo by Nate Vergin)

And I spun my way home. Spin, spin, spin.

Spin, spin (Photo by Nate Vergin)

Spin, spin (Photo by Nate Vergin)

About 40 miles, quite a lot of it not on the pavement, which I avoided whenever I could.

Bike Geekery

This ride served as the initial test for a couple of different pieces of gear, some fat-bike specific, and some not.

PDW Mudshovels. After spattering myself with wet snow last weekend, I decided it was time to do something in the way of fenders on the Ox, so I snagged a set of PDW Mudshovels from Revolution Cycles.

They came through this muddy, sloppy ride with flying colors, keeping the mud and spray both from my back and my front in ways that could only be bettered by a set of full-wrap fenders (see the last photo above). And believe me, I put them through their paces by riding through every puddle and mudbog that I could find. They’re light, easy to mount, and very good at what they are designed to do.

Grade: A

Revelate Mountain Feedbags. With the Revelate Tangle on the Ox, there’s not enough room in the main triangle for bottle cages. Not wanting to wear the hydration back if I could get away without it, I strapped on the Mountain Feedbags and used them to carry a pair of stainless steel water bottles. It worked so well, I’m wondering whether I shouldn’t carry my bottles this way all of the time. Access is easy, the bottles are secure, and they don’t get splattered with mud at all. On rides where I don’t need the capacity or hands-free access of the hydration pack, this is likely to be the way I carry my bottles, with a few energy bars tucked into the outer mesh pockets.

Grade: A+

45NRTH Wolvhammers. It was too warm to wear the new winter cycling boots on this ride, so testing these will have to wait. But it looks like winter might return later this week, so perhaps I’ll have something to say then.

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