In exactly one month, you'll be 2 hours into the Pantani Ride, or 2 hours late to the Pantani Ride, or 2 hours deep into your midday bottle of booze, or whatever it is that you'll be doing midday on February 15th. If it's the Pantani Route that you happen to be on at that moment, that will likely put you somewhere between Fox Mountain and Brokenback, unless you're Qwadsworth or Bryan Lewis and you're, instead, already on your way back down Simmons Gap in an effort to once again ruin the experience for the rest of us.
In any of those scenarios, of course, I applaud your good work.
Without further delay, let's go to the great cesspool of hate mail and viagra spam that is my email inbox where it is, apparently, the middle of fatbike season.
From: Well-intentioned fatbike shredder
Will there be a fatbike cat at The Pantani this year?
This is not an easy question to answer, and it seems to become less clear every year what exactly constitutes a mountain bike. Categories by which to race notwithstanding, I've gone ahead and given my firm blessing to the Fatbike hooligans that will soon take over this once-skinny tired sport and make it into some kind of multi-suspended Blutopia (see what I did there?) Fatbikes are the future, even Chris Cocalis is on board now, and there's no point fighting the inevitable.
So green light, kids. Run us the fuck over. It probably won't even hurt.
Aaron Chase Gets LES Fat at Highland from Pivot Cycles on Vimeo.
But here's where I can't get on board with the whole fatbike movement. As a social group, cyclists - and by that I mean if you mass roadies, mountain bikers, fixsters, singlespeeders, racers, non-racers, freeriders, soulriders, pros, tri-geeks, fatbikers, the 29+ contingent, people who still ride a Specialized, and the elite few people who can do LSD and still race the Giro - into one big group; we're still not actually all that big, and we're only slightly more popular than, say, motocross bikes, which are already banned from more wild and natural places than they can readily keep track of. Not that I fear some kind of fatbike-exclusive ban (though don't rule that out...). My point here is really more about the implicit safety in numbers. And if we continue to divide and subdivide ourselves as a group in an attempt to better define ourselves as individuals, the pieces of the pie become too small, and we're easier to pick off one at a time from the back.
And in my case, on a fatbike, I'm way, way off the back.
So no, no fatbike category this year. Feel free to ride your fatbike of course, you just won't be entitled to the minimal, internet based accolades you feel you deserve for inhibiting your ability with a 4.5 inch-tired handicap. But rest assured you'll probably get some weird looks. Also, if you do happen to have an actual CAT (feline) that happens to ride a fatbike , by all means, bring him. That's the sort of display that can really define an event, and I'd be honored.
And as a compensatory effort, though no fatbike category will exist, C-ham has filed a motion for a buffalo category, and that's approved, of course, based upon the obvious merit therein, so feel free to do whatever is happening here.
So you can do that anyway, whatever that is, which though it's not a fatbike category per se, it's still something, and it has 8 million views, which also supports my previously unstated but firm belief that the internet has simply gotten too big, and it must be stopped.
Next installment, I'll answer all of your route change questions before strokes start to happen and the thing comes off the rails.
Up, up, up.