Saturday, February 04, 2017

fat bike!

Long and long have I wanted a fat bike. At the behest of my buddy Tom, I visited the local bike store to talk with the owner about the Four Rivers bike path; he had a lot to say, but the conversation eventually shifted to the beauty you see below. The owner explained that fat bikes were originally a Russian idea, which was news to me. I had thought they were as American as ATVs. The tires, which are made of surprisingly thin rubber, are hypertrophic to help you bike in snow, it turns out, which is why Russians invented this monster. I see fat bikes quite often on the creekside trail, zipping by faster than you'd think possible.

This particular bike* is going for W950,000, but the owner said (after he saw my face) that he'd part with it for W700,000. I'm not in the market for a bike right now, but maybe I'll be interested next year. I told the owner as much and thanked him for all his helpful trail wisdom, about which I'll be writing in another Walk Thoughts post soon.

*The pinkish sign says, "Enjoy only with your eyes," i.e., "Don't touch." In English, you see, "Thx. Only eyes," which may not make immediate sense to a native speaker, but in Korean, "Only with your eyes" is a standard way of saying, "Hands off." As American schoolchildren will sometimes chant, See with your eyes—not with your hands!


  1. What is the advantage to a fatbike? I do understand how it might help in very soft terrain but how often are you in such terrain? I watched a documentary on some snow-biking contest and the bikes were mostly modified to be double-wide - that is, with two front and back tires to spread the weight. Even so, the competitors spent a lot of time carrying and pushing their bikes. If they are better in snow, it must only be a little better, I think.

    If they are still fast, then I see the appeal. They do look cool.

    I found another free photo-editing software offering. I think I wrote to you about a different one some time ago. It may be you have only polite interest in this sort of software. Anyway, here is the link:

  2. I'm curious to know what the ride feels like.

  3. Also, thanks for the link to the free photo-editing software. However, I think, for the most part, that I prefer to stick to my Adobe Photoshop Elements ("polite interest" is a good description of my stance), but if you're willing, and if you don't mind my being a greedy, selfish bastard for asking this: what I'd really love is a freeware version of Adobe Illustrator (or was that what you'd linked me to last time...?). Illustrator itself is apparently no longer available as a CD-ROM or as a discrete, downloadable program: these days, if you want to buy it, you have to buy the subscription-only version that you must always access online. A lot of customers have complained about downturn in quality and the uncomfortable nature of interfacing with online-only software (you'll see those complaints on Amazon, where the Illustrator subscription is being sold). I'd be happy to buy an older version of Illustrator, but I'm not sure it'd be compatible with my Mac's current OS. So you see my problem.

    Thanks for looking into this... if you choose to accept this mission!

  4. I'll do a little digging. The photo editing software freebies I have found were from Kottke or maybe Boingboing. I haven't been hunting for them, I don't know what specific things they do and my computer is getting a little long in the tooth for powerful software. They simply make me think about friends who could use them. I think that if you found websites or apps handy for wildlife identification in Korea, you might think of me and alert me to them.

    Fat bike: If the tire is inflated sufficiently for fast travel, I suspect it will not be a remarkably smooth ride. It might be better than my road touring bike with 100 psi tires, but not much. If the tire is somewhat softer, the ride will be smoothing - and slower.
    Well, that's what I imagine. I would like to ride one to find out.



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