Thursday, August 9, 2012

I'm not alone!

Shocking: a fatbike track that isn't mine.
Last evening I happened upon a familiar tire track freshly imprinted on a local trail. The tread profile was unmistakably a Surly Larry. I was at once astonished and impressed with myself at the finding, almost as much as had I found evidence of bigfoot. After all, that is more or less what I had done.

After scrutinizing the tread a bit, the one thing that troubled me was that, although the imprint was familiar, the scale seemed slightly off. Was this left by a member of the elusive Big Fat Larry branch of the family? I wasn't on my Pugsley at the time, so I quickly took a photo of my finger on the track for later comparison. Notice that the distance between the indentations of the two sets of dart-like knobs one level out from the center ridge equal approximately the length of my index finger from the tip to the second knuckle.

Back at home, I checked against my standard Larry. The equivalent measurement between dart-like knobs to those on the track is shorter. I think this is proof enough that the track was made by a Big Fat Larry, and not by a sibling of my run-of-the-mill Larry. Furthermore, the track must logically have been made by a rear tire, as any imprint of a front tire track would have been overridden by the rear tire. This means that the bike attached to this tire was very likely a Surly Moonlander; the Pugsley's chubbier brother and the most numerous representative of the very small handful of frames capable of accommodating such fat rubber.

So, I am now left with a feeling that is probably not unlike that of a dog encountering a spot marked by another dog. I know there's another fatbiker out there, somewhere near me. I have interpreted the clues to develop an image of what his or her bike looks like. Yet, like a dog that lingers for too long while sniffing, all I can do is wonder. I suppose, to follow a dog's example, my next step is to lay down some markings of my own.


  1. Sounds like Gypsy Nick will be laying some fat tracks in your neck of the woods soon. If you get the chance to grab a beverage or something with him he's a good guy with a Pugsley worth ogling.

    And, it looks like you keep an eye on his blog, but if you know where he might find a decent mountainbike for his girlfriend to ride down the Divide let him know.

  2. Thanks for the heads up, BW. I just got back into town after a few days away. I saw that Nick was heading in my general direction, so I'll see if we can meet up. I've got a few possible bikes for his girlfriend, so I'll connect with him and see if I've got anything that will be of interest.

    BTW, congrats on your little singletracker!