Winter Rhetoric

I’ve heard all the polarized rhetoric about this past winter in terms of “the worst never ending winter ever” to “this was a total normal Edmonton winter, you are just being soft”.  To be totally honest, I didn’t feel like the weather put a damper on my cycling due to my purchase of my Mukluk 2 as it allowed me to ride on the single track in all its snowy glory.

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As with most cyclists, I was preparing for another bout of indoor trainer cycling while watching vapid summer action movies just so I don’t get bored and fall off my bike and hit my head on the edge of my coffee table.  Do people wear their helmets while riding their indoor trainer?  At Redbike, they were the first bike shop experimenting with Surly’s version of the Fatbikes as they are quite the mad scientists over there in their brick laden building.  The general reaction about the fatbike’s ability on snow had been quite reverent so I was eager to test out the fast spreading rumors.  Now, I have been winter commuting with regular mountain bikes for years and have been doing a very commendable job of getting around during the worst of winter conditions so I felt that I was a pundit of winter capable bikes.

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Mark w/ his Fatbike crew

I purchased the Salsa Mukluk 2 without seeing it let alone riding it, so I must have had a preconceived notion of how much I was going to love the bike.  Well, a self fulfilling prophesy was never been so predictable. With a studded tire out front, that bike floated like a butterfly and bit down into ice and snow like a fanged viper.

Basically, my riding schedule didn’t change at all from the summer due the Mukluk’s ability to ride on snow and ice.   I rode Monday/Wednesday nights and Saturday/Sunday during the day plus some extra rides if the weather lightened up every once in a while.  There developed a group of us winter riders, and we were quite dedicated on riding this winter, even when it got down to minus 25 degrees.  Quite mad, I know, but the fun factor was still at a high level riding bikes outside on snowy single track trails so why not get layered up and freeze your toes and face for a couple of hours.

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Fatbikes all lined up pretty-like

Putting the winter training hours was so much easier than last year as it’s still so much more fun to bike outdoors than indoors.  Not to create a dramatic denouement, but the resultant ending to this winter was me giving away my trainer to my friend Kevin “F bomb” Elias.

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Shanny in the sunset

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