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simon jepps fat bike

Cycle to work much? Myself, everyday.

I know what you’re thinking… “What, is that?” This my good reader, is known as a FAT BIKE and they are gaining ground very fast. Yes, literally.

It is amazing how few people cycle, merely because they have been conditioned to drive. Yet if you pass them an analogue hand-drill and say, “Drill through that piece of metal”, they will without any effort whatsoever.

Cycling is no different and as my FAT BIKE above will testify, the size of your wheels are irrelevant to the phenomena that is GEARS. In fact there are actually many benefits to commuting on fat tyres and these I will now explain.

  1. Weather ~ I’m not just talking SNOW here. Whilst that was their main purpose for being invented in Canada, there are many obstacles related to weather that the FAT BIKE will overcome. Flooding for example. How many times have you turned back from a flood too deep and too long to be confident of passing through without putting your foot on the floor? FAT BIKES not only allow you to pass through these practically stationary, but their greater foot print gives you added elevation from the water. Least to say, the aftermath of bad weather is also an obstacle, such as sludge, mud, and the debris from strong winds.
  2. Wind ~ Again, I am not just talking gale force, there are cross winds which can whip a Racing Cyclist right off the road. Then there are backdrafts from passing HGVs and Buses. If they pass too close with a strong mass about them you could be blown sideways. I can testify that on a FAT BIKE you will barely twitch from a passing dump truck.
  3. Potholes ~ You may be experienced at avoiding these, but how often have you run into one in the dark, on the way home, that was not there yesterday? Not only may these develop over night, especially in rural regions, but tractors and all kinds of heavy vehicles or machinery may sometimes damage road surfaces.
  4. Badgers ~ Or wildlife in general. I guarantee if you hit a Badger on a Racer you will not only risk a ruined wheel, but quite possibly a broken neck. They are as hard as breeze blocks and will even walk away from a collision with a FAT BIKE at speed.
  5. Litter ~ Indeed various other crap in general that suddenly materializes out of nowhere.
  6. Hills ~ Yes, HILLS. It may strike you as seemingly contradictory, but hills are actually EASIER on a FAT BIKE. This is due to a phenomena known as, “Don’t need to balance, use my muscles, change gear or sweat.” If you watch Racing Cyclists ascend a steep hill, you will observe their front wheel constantly turning left then right, then left then right. This is because their tiny thin wheels provide very little balance at near stationary speeds. With my front wheel straight, I have actually overtaken a Racing Cyclist, UP A HILL, merely sitting back and enjoying the ride. Ok, he was a bit slow, but, case in point?
  7. Energy ~ It may suprise you, but since a FAT BIKE handles much more of the balancing than a regular bicycle, you are SAVING energy at every moment a weakness in balance would otherwise be present. It’s difficult to calculate, but the muscles used to balance are ACTIVE relatively continuously, depending on the terrain or route involved. So… may the force be with you!
  8. Transit ~ Shopping by FAT BIKE is an easy task. The good stability of its wider footprint makes imbalancing obsolete and the danger of an accident minimal. Furthermore there are of course many kinds of pannier attachment options and compatible trailers.

Indeed as you can imagine, the massive giant tyres provide added resistance against punctures and indeed buckles from kerbs and more.

Yet the big question is… “SLOW, aren’t they?”

Chuckle, chuckle. Actually, no. Granted, I will agree they are slow~ER. This is only to be expected. However, if you pump the tyres ROCK HARD you will not only find them to excell on tarmac, but furthermore only a small amount of drag compared to regular wheels.

PASS, or, “Patience, Airquake, Slipstream” is a term I coined back in the day when I first started FatBiking. It means to master your inner equilibrium of momentum and to take advantage of Airquakes and Slipstreams.

An Airquake is the force of air created by passing vehicles behind you, accumulating and propelling you forwards. On any other bicycle merely being overtaken would endanger you, since thinner wheels deem you vulnerable to imbalance. Also, due to your bike’s thinner profile they would not give propulsion from the rear, only disturbance from the side. However, on a FatBike such “quakes” are an immense advantage due to your larger profile and secure grip of the road.

A Slipstream is the absence of air behind a vehicle as it pushes its way through the atmosphere. This temporary “stream” results in a huge drop in air resistance to any bicycle following behind, enabling you to further increase speed.

Fighter jets step aside, for whence your fat tyres are hardest, the acoustics produced leaning it over on fresh tarmac are only comparable to something from outer space!

Besides, it is purely down to perspective. I have been cycling to work my entire life and speed has never once bothered me. This is because as a meditation, I adjust my perspective to that of the vehicle I am employing.

That is to say, cycling is only difficult if you try too hard unnecessarily, to get somewhere quickly. Just let the wheels roll. Entrust the bike to take YOU to your destination, not the other way round.

I don’t know ANYONE who wouldn’t drive 15-30 minutes to work everyday. So why not spend that time cycling? Adjust your perspective of time and space to benefit your wellbeing.

Create a map in your mind of the nearby towns and adjust your perspective of their temporal distance. For example, the nearest town by FAT BIKE compares to the next nearest town by car.

Providing you can find work within a reasonable distance, everything else about you will fall seamlessly into place. In turn you will learn to prioritize towns and places in a different, yet more positive light to that which you would by car.

Likewise, I don’t know ANYONE who wouldn’t drive 45 minutes to spend a day out shopping and dining at a nice restaurant. So why not do similar by FAT BIKE? Adjust your perspective of cargo to benefit your wellbeing.

You think it rains? Are you sure? I don’t know what country you are visiting from but EVEN if it is BRITAIN, I sure as hell guarantee it doesn’t ~ not half as much as the petroleum fuelled media would have you believe.

This is a DOTDONC ~ Dictatorship Of The Deprivation Of Natural Consciousness.

Get out of your car and get onto your bike. Feel the wind on your face, scent the smells of the REAL WORLD, hear the birds sing like you never have before because now they are singing for YOU.

I cycle 2,000 miles a year, on average… and I still don’t hold a driving license.

That’s a FA(C)T.

6 thoughts on “FA(C)T

    1. Well the stars are just design, not functional. You can see the back wheel is an upgrade by Surly. I have experimented with several lighting arrangements, in the end I settled for the easiest, cost effective and maximum impact in that respect. All I’ve done is put top mark scotchlite reflectors on every spoke, covering the whole wheel and then put led fog lamps on the forks. The lamps light the spokes creating a wheel of light… then when cars light them up more, well then it’s on FIRE. There’s also reflective black tape on the rims… this way street lamps light the wheels for free. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. Yes, but in actual fact what I used to do was wear one on a necklace, or sometimes have one in my pocket. You can get some really COOL small harps now, like the Seydel Big Six. Check ’em out if you haven’t already. Cheers!


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