Global fat bike day is a worldwide celebration of riding a fat tyred bike, It’s in December as the bikes are actually designed to be good for snow riding and December is generally (unless you live in the southern hemisphere, and frankly they are smug enough down there anyway with their summer when we have winter so sod them) the time for snow. It’s a coming together of the wide rimmed brethren and sistren (is that actually a word?) to show support and solidarity….actually that’s complete bollocks, it’s just an excuse to ride bikes, drink beer and act like a child!
In a unfortunate coincidence a troublesome storm called Desmond also wanted to play, Dezzi brought with him very high winds, torrential rain, floods and lots of misery all over the country, what a tosser!
The Frensham ride though was blessed (or probably Knowing Roy and Judy’s skills, arranged) with a dry, warm day. Yes it was windy, but nothing we couldn’t deal with even on the ridge lines and open sandy bits of the ride route. 17 riders turned up and only two didn’t get the memo and brought 29ers, one was 29+ so we couldn’t completely shun them, only mildly take the piss.
Roy’s route was perfect for the group, no long climbs, lots of singletrack, plenty of opportunity for being daft on the rooty kickers, natural berms and small drop offs. Downhilling into deep sand also had me giggling a few times whilst i waited for the front tyre to dig in and grip. even the steepest climb of the day was assisted by Desmond emptying his lungs at us. also, by some black magic that I don’t want to imagine the level of sacrifice needed to produce, Roy and Judy arranged for the trails to be almost completely dry and deep mud free. In fact the bridleways and tracks were as dry as the conditions we were enjoying at home in summer!
So, no rain, dry under tyre, fun route and great fellow riders, it couldn’t get any better yes?….no. Mid ride we crossed a wooden bridge into a fairy tale land where everything is perfect the whole time and no evil exists, that must be the case surely because we entered a farm yard, on one side were stables and the other more farm buildings with an open door. at this door a Mr Benn like character appeared and offered us beer! the farm was suddenly a brewery and the very nice chap was joined by a female Mrs Benn who began to hand out the most incredible hot sausage rolls. It turns out i wasn’t dreaming though and frensham brewery actually exists. a pint of “rambler” and probably too many Pork Power bars later and the fateleton pedalled away from xanadu and back across the enchanted bridge into the real world. Desmond must have had a couple of pints too and was in a much better mood, blowing us towards the finish in a much more agreeable way than the first leg, more deep sand and twisty single track was the order of the final leg and maybe because of the alcohol consumption it seemed like no time at all passed before we crested the final climb back to the spot where we started.
What an incredible day, it’s a big thing to say it was perfect but in this case i don’t think even Desmond’s efforts tarnished a truly great occasion.
A massive thanks to Roy and Judy from www.beerbabe.co.uk/ for organising the day, it ran so smoothly (apart from us turning up late) and that hides the amount of organisation that goes into things like this and the stresses of trying to keep everyone happy, I know from experience how much like herding cats this sort of meet can be and they did themselves proud and I never expected anything less.