Saturday, July 26, 2014

Digging the Pugs

I've not posted much on the Pugsely since Glen got it for me. Of course, I don't post much about anything anymore...

The Pugs is a great bike. The virtual ink that is spilled about the Pugs, and fatbikes in general, tends to be of the extreme (ya know, epic) types: guys rolling across deserts or through the snow of Alaska's winter or along the remote shores of some far away place. That's sweet stuff for sure. And there's a part of me that would love to do some long weird journey on that bike.

But I've really enjoyed letting the Pugsley sort of wiggle its way into my non-epic lifestyle. Last winter there were a bunch of snowy days where I loved rolling down the hill 3 miles to my bus stop. At 6 AM on a quiet morning with fresh layer of snow, the Pugs was the perfect fun way to start the work day. Not surprisingly, the Pugsley makes a great snow commuter.

Glen and I took a few rides in the dirt out at Riverside, where the monster knobby contact patch of the Nates allowed me to rail into fast corners in a way I've not done on any bike. The familiar trails I've ridden a bunch of times on cross bikes and mountain bikes were transformed into a whole new experience on the Pugsley.

And this summer, I've been bringing the Pugsley up to the river. As expected, it's been a perfect roller for cruising down the dirt road to the beaches beyond our spot. But the last few weeks I've been putting the Pugsley to work and it's probably the most satisfying of all the experiences I've had on the bike.

The fishing has been rough for the last few weeks. My normal spots are skunking me out. I have a couple bucket panniers on the Puglsey that I load up with fishing stuff, beer, food, and other crap. Until recently, I just treated the Pugsley like a car: taking the roads to my favorite holes.

But a couple days ago, after getting skunked, I was ready to saddle up and ride back. I was frustrated. I wanted to go further around the bend on the river, away from the road. I've walked through there before but it's a long walk on round boulder-y rocks, and walking sucks and takes forever. Then duh... it hit me -- the Pugsley was made for that shit. I took a bunch of air out of the tires and started pedaling up the river. And it was glorious.

I rode through sand, mud, rocks, and through shallow sections of the river. I rode up over the edges overlooking the river -- these were curvy sections of the river far away from the road. I still got skunked the whole way. But it opened up a huge set of possibilities.

There are a bunch of places on the river that I've fished before by floating/hiking, and that's fun, but it's a commitment because I end up miles from home and with a long walk back or reliant on coordinating a ride back. But with the Pugsely, I can keep all my crap on the bike and just ride it out. It's silly how long this took me to realize this.

Some folks call it a Sling Blade, I call it a Kaiser Blade.
The other thing I've been doing is using the Pugsley to cart my trail-blazing equipment. It's the same deal: I've got to cross a lot of forests with tall bushes and grass, lumpy forest floor, and a bunch of small deadfall. On the Pugs, it's fun and easy. I've got one trail about 3/4 finished and another in the hopper. I'm motivated.

The Pugsley makes a great workhorse.

1 comment:

Pat S said...

John, I dig this post. There's so much fanboy stuff out there about how much better fatbikes do this and that and "OMG, could this replace all my other bikes?!?"

Physics are (is?) physics and they just aren't going to be lighter or faster, generally. But there are some things they can comfortably do that would be fairly uncomfortable on other bikes, and there are times/places where you could use a "regular" bike, but a fat provides a whole unique experience that has its own unique value.

I love that you don't have any particular expectation or bias and are open to the suggestions it offers and are letting it find whatever place it does or doesn't deserve in your repertoire.