Like moths to a flame, two adventurers are drawn to the far north of Alaska for a fat-bike and packraft expedition into a seldom-visited mountain kingdom.
One of the great delights of wilderness fat biking is discovering dynamic terrain that challenges my technical abilities. Rocky river valleys, alpine ridges, cobble beaches, and narrow game trails, for instance, focus my attention and silence the mind’s chatter. All thoughts are on the moment. Memories of sore muscles, soggy conditions, tainted drinking water, swarms of mosquitoes, and other discomforts fade once back home. What remains are hardened gems of riding bliss—valuable keepsakes to fondly recall for the rest of my days.
I purchased my first fat bike in the mid-2000s. It was a custom-made steel frameset with a widened fork, chainstays, and seatstays. It was built around Ray Molina’s trend-setting 80mm wide rims and his boxy four-inch tires. Someone was selling it on eBay tricked out with Chris King, Race Face, and Shimano XTR components for $999! It was exactly my size. I bid $1,000 and was stunned when no one competed against me.
I immediately began hunting for ways to traverse the backcountry on it. Sixteen years and several fat bikes later, I’m still enthralled by wilderness adventure cycling, seeking new routes and ways to explore remote swaths of untamed landscapes.
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