Fat biking Minneapolis's River Bottoms

A few weeks back before the site launch I popped up to Minneapolis for a 36-hours to ride fat bikes. The trip was partially a redo from the summer's attempt at riding these river bottoms- you know, when they ended up under like three feet of water. I figured 60º colder weather would, at least, guarantee shredability this time around.

Getting in late the night prior, I slept at mutual-couch-crasher Erin Young's place. Cornerstone of Minneapolis bike culture, Angry Catfish, were nice enough to lend him a blinged out fat bike for the ride (more on that later). He didn't really even have to bring it home before hand, as we were going right to the shop to meet up with other riders.

Coffee, chatting with Lucas from Bunyan Velo about future trips, having him snag a shot of me when I wasn't paying attention with my own damn camera, and giggling over all our matching Search and State gear took up time while we waited for everyone to show up. Somehow our group ended up with one full-fat Surly, one amazing, pink, mid-fat single-speed Surly, one full-fat, single-speed Surly, one custom fat bike with way too much carbon fiber courtesy of China, and one titanium Salsa with the raddest tires ever. It was like having the full spectrum of really fancy #dadfixies.

I have to say, I'm glad I came back to take a stab at riding the river bottoms. I'm so incredibly jealous that such an immense network of trails exists in the middle of Minneapolis! Stuff can get technical along the river, and can get weird under the highway. Though we met up early, well after sundown we were still out there riding. We probably put it in a good eight hours of trail time, which during the winter is tough enough most places without the extreme cold of Minnesota. But, if the Leroux didn't help warm us up, our mid-ride camp fire sesh did the trick. God bless gas stations that sell booze and firewood- and yes, this network of trails has a perfect little hobocamp spot sheltered from the wind and on lookers.

Sitting around the flames warming our hands and feet was definitely the highlight of the ride. The trail, expertly, carves around this spot, which let us alternate between warming up and ripping through slippery climbs and drops. It was perfect. Nothing , I mean nothing, goes together quite like fat tires and camp fires.