A few weeks ago Clara, Kristin, and I went out fatbiking up in the pines of Van Peenen. It was a glorious day and even more special because it was Kristin’s first time on a fatbike, and boy was she excited!
I was thrilled when we were dropped off and made our way to the pines, the snow didn’t make the hill climb such a struggle as it had the last time. I felt hopeful that this would prove to be a good day to have Kristin out with us for a fun ride. We made it to the West Pines and found that trail to be a bit choppy, lumpy, and not nicely packed in. It resulted in several foot-down moments along with some laughter and maybe a few choice words. Then we got to the East Pines and found that trail to be almost perfectly packed in. Kristin also fell in love with the swoops and turns of the East Pines and deemed it her favorite set.
We did several loops through the pines; I beamed with pride as Clara took off and just did her thing. She really has adapted to riding fatbikes in the snow and I suspect that mountain biking for her will be a bit easier this year. I, on the other hand, had more foot-down moments but kept on riding and having fun. Eventually Clara had to leave for work, so Kristin and I decided we’d ride around while waiting for my other friend to show up.
Then it started to happen, our bodies decided they were going to put their metaphorical feet down. It had been several hours of riding and my Clif bar had been beyond digested. We started riding after 10:30 a.m. and it was nearing closer to 2:30 p.m. and I was getting to the point of no return; it was decision time.
Kristin and I decided we would make our way to the East Pines and ride one more loop through there. She had probably the most amazing idea in the whole world-getting a burger at Tbock’s. My stomach growled and I could already feel the saliva pooling in my mouth. Not to mention the thought of crispy sweet potato fries drenched in ketchup. Yes! I must persevere through this difficult struggle of mind over body! Then when going around a small turn my bike slipped and I fell over, landing on my butt. The Farley was lying in my lap and I just sat there for a moment, and then looked over at Kristin who was behind me. “I feel the same way!” she said in support, to which my response was getting up and back onto my trusty steed. “I must have burger.”
We had a successful ride though the East Pines which made me feel a bit more accomplished and hopeful. I called my friend and told her that I honestly reached my limit and couldn’t ride anymore; a burger was in my future and I would probably collapse if I didn’t eat. It was all good and we promised to go out sometime soon for a ride.
Going down the snow-covered hill to the park entrance was fun and I let myself go without holding down on my brakes. Putting trust in my bike and letting the big tires roll over any bumps in my way. However, my most favorite part of my fatbike ride is riding fast down Quarry Hill road. The sound of the tires humming against the ground, the speed you get, and that euphoric feeling of flight makes my spirit full and happy.
I had Kristin lead the way to Tbock’s and I can’t tell you how happy I was when we parked our bikes. We walked in, all geared up and looking like storm trooper ninjas. Pulling off our helmets, balaclavas, and unzipping our jackets. Our waitress asked if we had been snowmobiling, which we happily said “Nope! We were riding fatbikes!” We ordered our local Farmer burgers and sweet potato fries accompanied with hot coffee. I can’t tell you how good it was to have a hot beverage and the convenience of a toilet, but it’s the simple stuff in life that makes me happy.
Our burgers came and they were magnificent in all of their beefy glory. The sauce glistened like it was gold and the cheese oozed when you squished the buns together. The sweet potato fries were perfectly done and I had several before I actually tackled my burger. I could feel energy creeping back into my body as I ate and I could say without a doubt “Yup, I can bike home now.”
We brought our bikes back to Travis and had nothing but big smiles on our faces and content stomachs. We regaled him our tales of our mishaps and fun experiences, and the glory that was our burgers. All in all it had been a very successful day and Kristin thoroughly enjoyed her first fatbike experience. I got a hug and was told how proud Travis was of me, for getting my friends out there and showing him how fun fatbiking is. It sure is fun, especially when you bike enough to earn that burger!