I was an early adopter on the fat bake craze. I absolutely loved the idea of something that would provide with me an incentive to continue to ride through the winter months. Incidentally, this is the same reason is also why I started cyclocross so many years ago; to keep me riding later in the year than I otherwise would.
For the most part, the fat bike fit the bill. I went through several fat bikes that got lighter and nimbler, almost like a 29er mountain bike. But don’t get me wrong, it is still a royal PITA to get all the proper gear and stay warm and interested in significant long winter rides on a fat bike. I could write an entire blog on the types of boots and gloves that I have tried for winter riding.
I also have the benefit of the Lake Michigan shoreline to spice up my fat bike rides. The shoreline in the winter is like riding on the moon, not a soul around, beautiful views, and sometimes floating rides. But when Zwift came on the scene, my interest is suffering outside dwindled. I know find myself routinely opting to Zwift rather than suffer in the winter conditions.
Zwift provides the benefit of quickly prepping for rides, especially if you have a dedicated trainer bike. So, when faced with riding at night, in very cold conditions, or wet conditions, I hate to admit it, but I often pick Zwift.
Zwift is perfect for monitoring my effort, especially with a “smart” trainer, and gives me that added nudge to keep my limited attention span . . . especially when someone, or a group of riders, pass me.
Also, to support my limited attention span, on very easy trainer rides, I also often watch a movie or TV show. Which is another draw. And while I always look forward to riding, I got hooked on Peaky Blinders, Ray Donovan, and countless other shows and movies. I watched all four seasons of Peaky Blinders last February while on the trainer.
Like the old song goes, “Video killed the radio star . . .”, for me, and likely many others, my fat bike is getting far less use in favor of Zwift.