Luckily for us, this annual Global Fatbike Event in Sapporo is usually held at a ‘cycling park‘ only 10 minutes bike ride from our apartment in southern Sapporo City. Replete with pump track, berms, hills and hollows, this is a perfect spot for blatting around on fatbikes. Haidee and I don’t own fatbikes, so we joined the small handful of participants on mountain bikes. Even in the deeper spots, the snow was only about 10cm deep, so a fatbike was certainly not essential.
Next was some downtime, where Haidee commandeered Nami’s fatbike for a few laps of the area.
The first activity of the event was an elimination round-by-round Straight-line Competition, whereby participants had to cycle along a 5 meter length of 100mm wide wood, without falling off it. Who would have thought it would be so hard to cycle in a straight line?
Following this was the Grand Derby – participants cycled in an anti-clockwise direction, with the circle slowly getting smaller as time went on. Those who lost balance as they crashed into other cyclists had to retire from the circle. In the end, only two remained, with the winner decided after an impressive pushing and shoving match.
The final excitement for the event was a group janken (rock, paper, sissors) raffle competition. There ended up being at least 15 rounds, with a bunch of prizes from Sam’s Bike being doled out. I managed to win a round, and chose as my prize a pack of Niseko Pow Bars (vegan energy bars).
This was more or less the end of the event. Overall, a great fun couple of hours meeting a whole bunch of keen winter cyclists – a community that is growing fast here in Sapporo.
There was a range of bikes making a showing. Surly and Salsa of course, with a sprinkling of KHS too. The limelight was taken by one Salsa Big Fat Larry longtail fatbike. 45Nth – the maker of winter-specific cycling clothing and gear – was a clear favourite among the participants too. Lots of 45Nth pogies (handle-bar mitts), boots, tires, and clothing.