Fat tire bikes are perfect transportation device for exploring the Oregon Coast. These bikes were developed for riding on unstable terrain, such as sand, snow, bogs, dirt, mud, gravel, etc.
Fat tire bikes are not new. Having a wide variety of places to ride adventure bike give modern day explorer an amazing opportunity along the Oregon Coast.
Early prototypes were designed for deserts, such as the Sahara, and snow races in Alaska. Some design modifications started as rim and tire upgrades to normal mountain bikes.
The low-pressure designs needed honing to makes bikes smoothly ride over rough, often unstable, ground and obstacles. Changes included wider tire forks and rims, wheel size options, and frame structure improvements.
One of the challenges this design had was to create the greatest amount of tire surface contact. This need generated a number of prototypes that were both two- and three-tire bike designs.
Desert Bike Tours
Ray Molino, New Mexico, wanted bikes for his guided tour business. He wanted a bike that could traverse the soft sands of the Mexican and Southwestern U.S. arroyos and dunes.
Molina met Mark Gronewald, owner of Wildfire Designs Bicycles, met Moline at the 1999 Interbike convention in Las Vegas. Gronewald road one of Molina bikes and agreed to build several bikes.
Fat Bikes Extreme
In 2001, Gronewald coined the trademarked name “Fat Bike” and used it when naming his bike designs. He continued selling these original fatbikes until 2011.
To see these bike race, along with skiing and snowshoe tournaments, visit the Alaskan Iditasport (previously Iditarod, scheduled for January 16, 2021 in Willow, Alaska). The 100 kilometer (64 mile) course traverses the Susitna Valley from Willow to Yentna Station Lodge and back, finishing at the EagleQuest Lodge (https://eaglequestalaska.com/).
This grueling race follows the Iditarod Trail that was used for millennia as the main trade and migration route by Alaska’s first people. Who knows, you may come home with a fat tire bike on your Christmas list.
Fat Bikes on the Oregon Coast
Late summer and early fall offer some of the best biking weather along the Oregon Coast. Traffic on the Oregon Coast typically drops off along with competition for lodging and food.
The Coast offers cooler summer days compared to three-digit temperatures elsewhere with summer breezes and sunshine.
Oregon Coast Bike Route
The Oregon Coast Bike Route (OCBR) spans 370-miles from border to border and includes several spectacular shorter rides. Route ridership is estimated to be between 6,000 and 10,000 people annually (2018).
The route includes a 60-mile (all options) Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway anchored in Port Orford, Oregon. This route includes historic lighthouses, ocean views, towering basalt sea stacks, cranberry bogs, and amazing wildlife.
There are many choices some are challenging, some are not—your choice! A fat tire bike may be just the right tool to traverse these areas in comfort.
To find out more about these opportunities at:
Oregon Department of Transportation (https://www.oregon.gov/odot/programs/pages/bikeped.aspx) offers a wealth of products (maps, newsletters, etc.) including:
- ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
- Oregon State Bicycle Map (20.5 MB)
- ODOT Bicycle and Pedestrian quarterly newsletter
People for Bikes shows elevations from Reedsport to Gold Beach (https://peopleforbikes.org/blog/dozen-bucket-list-rides-2020/)
Travel Oregon has a wealth of information on bike riding, bikeways, and tips for making your visit more enjoyable (https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/bicycling/wild-rivers-coast-scenic-bikeway/) and (https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/outdoor-recreation/bicycling/ride-oregon-coast/)
–Wikipedia, Fat tire bikes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatbike)
–The best fat tire bikes you can get  (https://www.bicycle-guider.com/best-fat-tire-bikes/)