Yes, you read/heard correctly, fat bike spelt; F-A-T-B-I-K-E. Granted it isn’t the most politically correct terminology but it is what it says on the tin, fatbikes are bicycles and holy smokes are those 5 inch tires FAT. So what on earth is this human powered tractor doing at the Ploughing Championships in the Innovation Arena of all places?
Fatbikes were conceived in the American mid-West where the winters have vast quantities of snow. In this part of the world, any kind of outdoor cycling, was (in the past) relegated to the warmer weather months and absolutely impossible in the snowy winter months. Cue the invention of super low pressure wide tires i.e. orbital snow shoes lashed onto an extra wide frame, with some pedals, a seat and other accoutrements and hey presto the fatbike was born. Cycling has been transformed into a year round outdoor activity in all parts of the world and it’s no surprise that fatbikes are the vehicle of choice for our intrepid entrepreneurs at Fatbike Adventures. Interesting fact of the day; there have even been polar expeditions made on fatbikes.
Ok that makes sense, but, in Ireland we get temperate weather for most of the year and snow only occasionally. And why farmers of all people? Well imagine if you will a country where it rains…alot… the terra isn’t exactly firma as a result of said rain and general year round sogginess, Ireland the land of mystics, bogs, scholars, poets and beaches was made for fatbikes.
Ian, the founder of Fatbike Adventures originally hails from Zimbabwe where most of his childhood was spent on the family farm. Ian has identified that personal fitness is one of the challenges facing farmers the world over. Sure who has the time to work the land, raise a family and then hit the gym/do sport regularly? Add these things to the stress’s of natures unpredictability and that leads to a balancing act that normally see’s your personal fitness and health taking a bit of a backseat.
I’m pretty sure that most farmers want to be healthy and exercise regularly but where do they find the time.
Cue the fat bike and more impressively cue the new electric pedal assist fatbike. Suddenly you have a low cost solution that enables farmers to get around their land quickly and easily in an environmentally friendly way. A bicycle that floats on the terrain.
The softer and wetter the terrain the better, fatbikes weigh far far less than a quad bike, a horse, a 4×4 or a tractor and, horse riding aside, no-one