You may or may not have (probably the latter) seen my name pop up at plusbikes.com or over at fat-bike.com a few times recently. I blame it on Gomez. It’s mostly his fault, but there are other conspirators as well. I’ll get into that later, but evidently I’m a pledge of the BBR test crew. I’m not sure when initiation will be or what it entails, but I’m taking it as if I were paddling in the front of the canoe and letting others steer me in the right direction. Hopefully the spanking with the paddles won’t be as harsh as it was in Animal House.
Gomez’s accomplices just happen to live within a 9 mile radius of my house. Lucky me. Funny where the path of life takes us, eh? The other two….Scott Quiring and Ken Blakey-Shell. Having an amazing frame builder like Scott live in your town kinda obligates any local cyclist to skip the LBS and head directly to his shop for measurements. It gets even….better?….yeah, I guess you could say better, when that frame builder starts to build frames that can easily be adjusted for winter fun and summer riding.
That’s exactly what Scott is doing lately. And many local mountain bikers/fat bikers are riding these so called “Judas Goats”. With the use of Paragon sliding dropouts, angled headsets, and a half hour of wrenching, these bikes can be dialed for single speeding, buffed out singletrack, moto trails, beach riding, winter wonderland jaunts, tight, twisty ribbon paths and even enduro escapades.
My Quiring frame can be used as a fat bike, 29er or 29+. Heck, I could even throw some road wheels on there if I wanted to.
The other guy, Mr. Ken Blakey-Shell, has decided to take our conversations that occur en route to the trailhead and put them into the form of a podcast which we call “FatCamp”. On the second Saturday of every month, listeners can tune in to Fat-Bike.com and listen to Ken explain to me all the mumbo-jumbo (Ken calls it techinical aspects) that’s happening in the world of fat bikes and plus bikes and what the hell all of it means.
Ken is a complete bike dork…a geek when it comes to any non motorized vehicle on two wheels. He spends way too much time reading and researching the latest and potentially greatest things coming out that could make riding bikes more funner. (Don’t hate, you’ve said it too just for emphasis). So, once a month we build a campfire to sit down and hash out what the most recent news is and how it all works.
Things have gotten way too deep for this bike riding hobby. At first it was a form of exercise. A way to stay healthy and looking fine for my bride. But with the help of these three culprits, the mole hill has become a mountain. Well, more like a mountain bike.
Editor’s Note : We asked all of our Bike Black Ribbon Test Pilots to put together a little photo essay about what they’re up to these ‘dog days’ of summer. Andy’s work can be seen and heard on both www.fat-bike.com and here on Plusbikes! ~gomez~