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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Fat Racing

A narrowed down personal account covering wider rubbers in my perspective of of how the trend of  growing rubbery girth are making inroads within the local cycling scene.

The overall race is way better presented with all the photos and some other write ups out there for those seeking a more comprehensive coverage..

Those short on attention span ... scroll right down, there's something brewing this coming weekend that is exclusively fat tire oriented ...for the very first time no less....

First, credits where credits are due.

SG is a really small community, knowing most of the folks in the links and their awesome mountain of photographs for the day's event below, had gotten their kind permission to shamelessly snitch for use here .... ;)

Fellow biker/ blogger and friend, Nick

Shafudin Jaya &
Awesome Photography (because they have some of the best pictures of yours truly)
Jerome-- The Racing Photographer.  Ya this dude was racing and snapping at the same time.

Jack and his Five-O gang sounding the Canyon frame "bell" for 8 hrs non stop to cheer everyone on.

and from facebook : Sports Event Photo

There's probably 994 356 photos in total.... OK I made that up but check those links that really made it worth the day for everyone...

Last Sun, saw me taking 5" of rubbers for my second race at Asrama, participating in this year's Mountain Bike Carnival 2014, Wise me of course had to sign up for the 8 hr solo event to satisfy those usual masochistic tendencies.

Seriously, not having a 29er for this event, the Moonlander was really the next best choice in my quiver. Really wasn't looking forward to all the grinding climbs on a tractor width footprint but hey, choose your best weapon, bite down and HTFU.

Pt 265: Here We Go Again.
Every lap this damn dumpling hill will pop up to burn quads to a crisp and
demoralize everyone save for those with the utmost self-immolating quirks

[Photo credits: Jerome] Customers get to choose and mix "& match
their own color scheme apparently.
The previous race, same venue but under a different organizer, there were only 2 of us, Virus and myself navigating our balloon tires amidst the staring crowd. A fatbike then was still as rare as spotting a Baleen whale in a freshwater reservoir..

Fast forward 9 moons and how things have changed! The Fatsunami that has taken the world by storm is really evident today... One of the sponsor alsodesigned SG's first fatbike, Coast Cycle. Actually there's more than one, they have it all the way from 20", 24" to 26".

Huge turnout for the day.
Guess everyone must be hungry for was a really packed turnout. Meandering our bikes from the tents to start line was tricky. After all it's an unspoken rule among bikers you must never bang into someone else precious bike. For if you do, pray the laser stares will not melt you before the hot sun of the day does.

As usual, the few minutes before the start gun goes off are always fidgety moments. Best thing is just turn to the next guy beside you for some small talk...

PORNGG !!!.. goes the horn and it's all hell break loose time Didn't take long for the mass of wheels to separate with the first climb within 500 meters from the start.

This year as far as I am aware of, there's 3 in the Men's Solo Cat on fat bikes with me being the least likely candidate to make it to the top. The other two are literally riding monsters, all round cycling athletes, Alan and the all too familiar face in the race circuit, "Tarzan.
Alan - 100% Specialized: Put a trials rider on a fatbike and tell him its a mountain bike race.. the rest is self evident.

Tarzan:  All I see is the new Coast Cycle fatbike manhandled by 100% muscles. Tried to catch.. me smell no smoke.

[Photo credit: Sports Event Photos] I'm gonna feedback to the organizer later.. they need to have a category for best dressed racer of the day. Otherwise I'm never gonna win anything at all.

There were other fat bikes in the Duo and Quad categories that teamed up with normal mtbs. Ok what am I saying here.. errr Fatbikes are abnormal? be the judge.

[Photo credits: Nick, bikezilla,] Various Big Fat and Rolling.... Sean, Halil and one of the Duo Team from Coast Cycle (I think)

Jokes and modesty aside... everyone at a race is out there to prove him or herself. More so if you ask me for the fatbikers. Bringing a bike that looks to be totally outgunned by all the sub 10-11 kg 29ers out there expected to top the field, I figure at the end of the day there is always this "it can be done " attitude within each one of us. Otherwise we wouldn't even have signed up in the first place. If the sights are not on the podium, there is always an internal target somewhere.

Me? No I wouldn't think of podium and the luck of getting a flat and carrying the bike for 3.5km back on Lap 3 certainly dash any remote hope if it ever existed. Was gunning to go 8 laps but with all the time lost and another incident after Lap 5... it was a a total wash.

[Photo Credit : Sports Event Photo] Damn! Flat with 16kg hunk of metal and no patch kit right smack in the mid day heat: That's when voices of  drill sergeants came  screaming in me cooked brain.. "HTFU and Charlie Mike soldier" Guess some things are ingrained for life :) FHAG
and all the walking because of ...

Still, I was determined to pit my timing on the 2 Enduro section to see where I stand among bikes that are supposedly better equipped to handle that challenge. Can't complain that I was held back on 3 of the 5 runs that count as it would seem many riders would find themselves in similar situation. There were just too many people in the race from all the categories and those 2 down sections are certainly bottlenecks for everyone that happen to be caught up in a pack right around there.

At least on this count, figured I didn't fare too badly finishing on the top third of the Solo category of ~60 rider right after another long time friend, Frankie.

Unmistakably me: Spotted photographer at the last second and striking up the "magazine cover" pose to add in future grand kids scrap book.

[Photo credit: Jack] arhhh Frankie Frankie...always keen to take on some new
suicidal line whenever possible to challenge himself  -- was a position above
me in today's Enduro sections.

Totally fierce and dominating was another fellow friend and rider, Wilson, in the Mixed Duo. No surprise he and his mate took top position in the category.

[Photo credit: Jack] Will you just look at that face! "It's mine it's mine"

 Other eye catching bits...

Fatties weren't the only rigids around.. I sure like to own one of these
Ti beauty if only it doesn't cost me a kidney and a spleen.

[Photo credits: Nick,] As per subheader caption... "Eye Catching Bits"

While well camouflaged among the red mass, I was tent crashing on my friends here as I had nowhere else to go having signed up alone. Thanks to Rock & Rolla. Yea.. food, drinks shelter and even people who help change tires ;)

[Photo credits: Nick,] RnR

So much for fat bikes at a local race. No wait..

Before the dust settled-- there is another 2 day event, Singapore Bicycle Festival, this Sat and Sun. Maybe all the cross posting on facebook after the Asrama race had something to do with it but
YES.. a last minute slot for an ALL FAT BIKES only category is now in the mix.
23rd Aug Sat @ 12:30pm

It might not be much but hopefully this is a starting point for the fatcionados out there.

So all those whining when will there be one... Time to sign up if you can still read this in time and haul your ass down to the start line on Saturday. See Ya.

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