Fat is in.
Like 29er bikes, cyclocross bikes, and track bikes before them, "fatties" – bikes shod in under-inflated tractor tires that roll over sand and snow – are the new fashion accessory for the urban hip and fit.
It wasn't when I spotted my first "fattie" in the wild last week, locked up on a thoroughfare in Montreal's Williamsburg/Bushwick, that it dawned on me. It wasn't the obligatory New York Times trend piece, either, which features gems like this:
"It's opening a new way to be outdoors," Chris Estrem, a Ketchum physical therapist, backcountry skier and world bicycle traveler, said. "It's made me a better mountain biker. I want to ride it all the time. I love it."
Tory Canfield, who started an organization called the Fat Bike Advocacy Group, said: "For me, fat biking on snow creates a sense of ethereal floatiness that conjures up the sensation of powder skiing. As soon as your tire rolls forward, your mouth turns up into a big, fat grin. It is nothing short of fun."
It was when I spotted this couple in matching Kona Wo fat bikes and lycra last weekend, huffing up a head of steam at a stoplight (because tsé, fat bikes are probably not meant for asphalt):
They'd better go make some room for them now, at the back of their garage. Because the next time they'll be ridden, fat bikes will be vintage — and their future progeny will be grateful for their inheritance.