AHEAD OF THE CURVE
A little bit of mountain biking history is in order here
so that you can understand the impact that the Fat Bike
Summit can have on the future of fat-bike riding and mountain biking too.
When mountain biking started to take off, our numbers
were so small that other trail users looked on in amusement at the rarity of crazy people pedaling bicycles on the
dirt. There were zero restrictions. Mountain bikes were
allowed everywhere. That all changed around the time
that Specialized unleashed its Stumpjumper on the world.
Bicycle company executives all dream of a future day when
another trend will hit cycling as hard as mountain bikes
did. The rapid growth of the sport of mountain biking was
unprecedented in cycling history. And with that growth
came the sport’s first challenge.
The hordes of mountain bikers, with little or no established trail etiquette to follow, totally freaked out other trail
users. Well-organized groups mobilized to put pressure on
Getting in front of the access curve
Chances are you have not yet ridden a fat bike. The chances are also pretty high that you will ride a fat bike in the not-too-distant future.
Why? This new mode of mountain biking is catching
on quickly. These lunar-rover-tired mountain bikes
open up riding opportunities where they never
existed at a time of year when many mountain bikers think more about sitting in front of a TV rather
than riding. That’s because the tires act as a flotation device over snow-covered trails (as well as the
opposite extreme—sandy desert trails).
Mindful of the explosive growth of this segment
of our sport, a number of forward-thinking riders
saw the need to address the impact of fat bikes on
the environment, as well as on other outdoor enthusiasts before that impact caused problems, thus
the Fat Bike Summit was established. Now in its
third year, the 2014 Global Fat Bike Summit, held in
Ogden, Utah, gathered an impressive group of riders, Nordic skiers, snowmobilers and land mangers
from both the state and federal level.