On their way to Grand Rapids to visit TerraTrike last week, the intrepid Rapid Transit research team found themselves unable to resist the temptation of exploring some of Michigan's off-road bike trails. The back seats of the van came out, and two Surly Pugsleys and a Krampus came aboard. After all, there could be no substitute for first-hand experience to enhance our understanding of these products.
Though the Pugs seem to be alsmot the opposite of what a recumbent trike is, there are some interesting conceptual parallels. These ultra-fat-tire bikes gave us courage to take a stab at some daring terrain that might be quite daunting to anyone with a standard bike.
They may appear fat and clumsy. But they are elegant in their simplicity, eschewing elaborate suspension systems in favor of low-tech, but very effective, shock-absorbing fat tires. The tires are great at helping the rider maintain momentum while rolling over obstacles. While narrower tires might bounce off the ground on rugged terrain, these four-inch babies stick securely to the ground, affording an unsurpassed degree of control.
We're confident that this style of bike can open up the adventure of off-road riding to participants who might otherwise be too timid to give it a try. If you haven't tried mountain biking, you might ask yourself why you should submit yourself and your body to this kind of activity and its inherent risks. One answer is that off-road riding is something that you do to reconnect yourself with the moment. Many of the decisions that you make when you ride off-road are made with your subconscious mind. The worries of the day have to be set aside and you must ride with a meditative focus if you expect to keep your wheel on the trail. At the end of a challenging ride, you enjoy a sense of accomplishment, exhilaration and clarity.
If you would like to see how the Pugsleys or the Krampus perform in the field, please contact us to arrange for a test ride..
And if you would like to try the trails that we explored in the Grand Rapids area, here are the links:
2908 Ten Mile Road, Rockford, MI, 4934
Map location https://maps.google.com/?daddr=43.1161,-85.599734&ll=43.114898,-85.599586&z=14
Merrell Trail is also on Facebook.
Finally, we'd like to thank Mark from Michigan (you know who you are) who kept us from taking any wrong turns on the Cannonsburg Trail.