Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The "Fat Bike Effect"

My brother-in-law riding a fat bike for the first time with my son chasing
Have you ever noticed how people react to fat bikes? Of course, there are the stares, the questions, and false assumptions to work through. I cannot count the number of stares, pointing fingers, and smiles we saw on the way down here. Curious onlookers at gas station stops, and even a few bold enough to ask about them, were the norm.

However; I think there is even more going on. For instance, I've noted a big difference in how I am treated on the road to work by motorists if I ride a fat bike versus any other type bike. On a fat bike, I get a wider berth, friendly smiles, and the occasional wave or thumbs up. Any other type of bicycle and I may as well be on the same level as the local squirrels. No respect whatsoever.

Then there are the "first timer rides". Anyone you can get over the fears of trying one out will almost always come out of that first ride with a wide grin and a better attitude. Not in every instance does that happen, but more often than not, in my experience, it does. Take my brother-in-law, who I would say is far from a serious cyclist, and doesn't ride hardly at all. He was certainly intrigued by the bikes when we rolled them up to his residence, and had a bunch of questions about the tires, rims, and more. He even asked if he might try one out, and so I went straight away to the garage and put him on mine. He rolled out and disappeared around the corner. Then when he came back into view, he flashed the thumbs up, and disappeared again. Then when he came back, I snapped the image for today's post. I think it says more than I could ever hope to write.

Yep. I'm pretty sure there is such a thing as a "fat bike effect"


Tyler Loewens said...

I have noticed the exact same thing when commuting on my Mukluk versus my cross bike. In general the motorists tend to be that much nicer to you! It could also be that they realize how much larger of a dent the bike will make :).

MG said...

Agreed... 100 percent!