Seminars about winter commuting (by Stephen Cottrell) and winter maintenance (by Pete Hamer) were standing room only and each presenter dispensed with valuable information for both beginning commuters and more seasoned veterans. For the expo Freewheel assembled the largest fleet of fat tire bikes that we’ve ever seen including the; Titanium Salsa Mukluk, the standard Surly Pugsleys, the new Neck Romancer Pugsley (formerly known as the Black Ops Pugsley), and oh yeah, for the first time ever the Surly Moonlander (yes it is as awesome as it seems). In addition, all sorts of cold weather gear was on display and available for comparisons, new products from 45 North (QBP’s new winter brand) were on display, and a dark corner helped to serve as a light testing and comparison range, all for the price of free.
The best part about the expo was that all of those wonderful, diverse fat tire bikes were available for test rides, and not your standard, take this out into the parking lot and do a loop, no, the Freewheel staff had set up a half mile track along the Greenway, with inclines, crossings and log jumps. After the snow started to fall in earnest around 3:30 the course was packed with people clearly enjoying themselves on a fat tire bike. The course wasn’t only for test rides though, at 6:00 the fat tire crit began and it seemed as much fun to participate in as it was to watch. There were definitely two classes of races out there, one set riding for speed and time, and one set out to enjoy themselves after the partaking in the 4:30 beer tasting. But there is no doubt that they all had fun.
Everything about the First Annual Winter Bike Expo seemed just about right. It was the right amount of people for the space, the right temperature to hang out outside with a bonfire, and the right timing for a solid snowfall, after all riding the crit on grass just wouldn’t have been the same.
For some more pictures, check out our gallery below.