It took me forever to realize Santa Claus wasn't real and I still believe in Sasquatch. I'm married to my high school sweetheart and I've been with my current bike (yes, my only bike) for seven years. This is, of course, an opinion piece and its obviously biased.
I dreaded moving to Chicago when I accepted a job offer here. It wasn't really the flatness but the winters everybody warned me about that scared me. I'd never ridden in snow, except for once in Pisgah National Forest. Still, it was the kind of snow that just blankets the trail ever so slightly.
My first time riding a fat bike, believe it or not, was in 2008. It was a Pugsley. Back then, Fat Bikes where associated with trekking across Alaska and insane adventures in the rugged terrain of Patagonia. Since then, I've demoed more modern offerings such as Rocky Mountain's Suzie Q. They are fun, very fun.
Recently, I read an article on Bike Radar that called to attention how many of us are "over-biked." The article recognized how many riders have a bike that's "too" capable for the terrain they ride. This obviously got me thinking. It occurred to me that in the past 5 years I've moved 4 times and I've biked in 4 different countries. I've lived and rode my bike in Mexico, North Carolina, Colorado, New York and now Chicago. What would be the ideal bike for me?
However, the one thing for certain is that I've managed to steer away from all the recent new standards and trends while staying happy. I may not have the right equipment to ride snow but you don't really need it to have fun. Come to think about it, I've never had the right equipment to bike in general, nowadays there's always something out there a little more "niche" that could do a better job than what you have.
I feel there may be a lot of people out there looking from the outside at our sport and feeling confused. It might feel overwhelming to know there are so many options out there and that it's almost impossible to choose your first, second or third bike. To them I say, they are all just bikes. And while some may get to caught up on the weeds of it all, don't worry too much about it. Riding a bike, any bike, is fun, anywhere.
Marcelo Marcos started riding and racing mountain bikes in 2002. Since then, he’s taken on marathon races, bike camping, downhill racing, park riding and commuting. His day job as a finance consultant has led him away from his hometown in Mexico and onto Texas, Florida, North Carolina, L.A. and now Chicago. He currently enjoys mountain biking and photography in his off-time.