Firstly, Happy New Year to you all. We hope that 2018 is everything you want it to be. And thanks for coming back. It’s great to have your support again in 2018.
Secondly, in a shameless example of idleness, may I introduce the first Featured Rider of 2018; yours truly.
Eating rich food and drinking good beer overtook my schedule, leaving me without a rider for January. But let’s not dwell on that shall we? Instead, let’s class this as a “getting to know you” feature, now that I’ve settled in after my first 4 months. That sounds far more professional, doesn’t it…….
Job? Unpaid: Editor in Chief of this glorious publication. Paid: Criminal Investigator for the UK Home Office.
Bike? Canyon Dude CF 9.0 Unlimited
Is it factory standard or have you upgraded? If so, why the upgrade? It’s pretty much standard as I’ve not really felt the need to change anything other than the saddle. I’m sure the factory standard Fizik saddle was designed for a small boy, and after destroying my derrière on a 70 mile ride (the last 10 of which were spent stood up as the pain was so great) I immediately swapped it to a WTB Rocket.
Clipped or Flat pedals? Flats. Try though I might, I have never been able to enjoy riding clipped in. My green Superstar Nano titanium pedals are the bomb!
What piece of kit do you never ride without? I’m very well organised so I always have kit. I always carry a spare tube, multi tool, pump etc. I always have my phone and I always wear a lid. Safety first, kids!
Tubes or tubeless? Tubeless
If tubeless, do you have a top tip to share? Yes, get yourself a best mate who has a compressor and is a tubeless set-up guru. If that’s not an option, I would highly recommend the Airshot Tubeless Inflation System. It works amazingly well.
What tyre pressures are you running? I haven’t the faintest idea. I have a track pump with a dodgy gauge and don’t own a digital pressure gauge. I’ve never obsessed about my tyres. I usually give them a press and go from there. It’s all VERY scientific.
How many other bikes do you have? I’ve got a Kona Hei Hei Supreme full suss 29er and an On-One Bish Bash Bosh gravel / adventure bike.
What got you into Fatbiking? A 92 year old man! Stick with me and I’ll explain! I first became aware of fatbikes around 2009 and really wanted a Salsa Bucksaw, but my wife and I were about to start a family so such a purchase wasn’t really possible. In an unusual turn of events, starting with snapping the frame of my previous Kona, I ended up being given a road bike by my best mate Joe. I’m not a fan of riding on the road in the UK but I had to get to work somehow, and used the road bike whilst my Kona was being replaced. I managed 3 weeks of road commuting before the aforementioned 92 year old man decided to pull out of a side junction, and I hit him, side on, at a steady 40mph (or so my Strava told me). I broke a fair few bones and had 3 months off work but the upside was that I successfully pursued a personal injury claim. I’m sure you can guess what I did with some of the money I received; the cheque hadn’t even cleared before I was placing my order on the Canyon Website. And I still fancy a Bucksaw but the Dude is a truly amazing bike.
What do you like most about Fatbiking? That thing which we can’t quite put our finger on and which makes us smile with every pedal stroke. I love that. And the freedom. I thought my Bish Bash Bosh was a do it all bike, but then the Dude tops even that. I have enjoyed the unique feeling of riding in places where I know no one else has been. As a result, and quite sadly, my Kona never gets ridden and I have to force myself to ride the Bosh.
And the inevitable follow up; what do you like least? Not a dislike per se, but I am sometimes a little frustrated by how the uneducated are instantly dismissive of fatbikes. Especially those who have never ridden one. If only they knew….
The best place you’ve ever ridden a Fatbike? And why? A very specific part of Fatbiking.eu’s Winter Camp 2017, where we rode up through a forest and as the tree line fell away, we were presented with an unexpected view of the Alps. I’m not ashamed to say that I welled up a bit at the sheer magnitude and beauty of such a sight. But I put that down to being tired and emotional from the previous nights drinking!
What advice would you give to someone wishing to buy their first fatbike? Try one first and buy secondhand to get the bike you want; if your budget won’t stretch to a brand new one or if you are unsure if a Fatbike is the bike for you (trust me though, it IS the bike for you) There are some amazing secondhand deals to be had on the many Facebook sales pages.
If money and time were no object, where would your number one Fatbiking destination be? I’d really like to see the Northern Lights by Fatbike. I’d also like to ride in Iceland, as my Dad was part of an Icelandic expedition, so I’d like to follow in his footsteps.
Do you have any hobbies, outside Fatbiking? I love music, both listening at home and watching bands live. The inevitable question of “what music do you like?” is always a tough one for me to answer and I always feel the answer of “all of it” is a bit vague, if not completely true. How about I tell you that the last gig I went to was The Killers, my next two are The Dead South and Ray LaMontagne and that Underdog by Turin Brakes is playing on my HiFi whilst I type this.
I’m also partial to a real / craft ale and in 2016 I embarked on a quest to try every single beer or lager in the world. I’m currently at number 709. My liver is holding out well.
Tell us some interesting facts about yourself? I play the drums (unprofessionally). I saved Les Dennis from drowning. I’ve flown the actual L39 Albatross Russian Fighter Jet which Bond flies in the opening of Tomorrow Never Dies. I chopped both my ears off by trapping my head in a sliding van door (I had them sewn back on)
Finally, and most importantly, if you were a buffet food, which one would you be? Probably a nice, tangy, pickled onion.