Goldstream Sports Staff Member becomes newest Fairbanks Fat Bike Junkie

Alexandria Manley began working at Goldstream Sports last winter. She took a couple Fat Bike Rentals out last spring, and then became hooked buying her own Trek Farley to hit the trails as often as she likes.

January 13, 2021

Alexandria ‘Alex’ Manley has been into cycling for some time, but in the past it was more out of necessity for commuting to and from work. She got her first road bike from Goldstream Sports, and then last year was hired by the shop as a Customer Service Representative assisting customers with ski, bike, and accessory sales.

As a member of the staff, she decided to give fat bike riding a try which is something many folks in Fairbanks have thought about but never pulled the trigger on.

“I expected the bikes to be tanks which I think is a common misconception,” said Manley, “I also expected it to be much colder, but you figure out how to do the proper laying system, fuel appropriately, and are working hard enough that you stay quite warm.”

After doing 3-4 rides on a rental last spring, Alex purchased her own Trek Farley Fat Bike this past summer and now this winter it’s become one of her favorite pass times and ways to work out and stay active.

“I’ve ridden almost 400 miles, but sometimes my device dies so not all of the miles have been logged,” said Manley before being interrupted by store manager Tyson Flaherty, “she’s ridden 500 miles this winter!” he piped in and exclaimed.

Manley’s longest ride to date has been a 6-hour trek along the trails in Fairbanks.

When asked how Fat Bike riding compares to road cycling Manley said, “most of the trails I ride now are places I would never ride or see in the summertime and I’d never see them in the condition they are in, it’s like being in an entirely new place.”

“Just rent a bike, figure out if you like it. That’s what I did a few times before making an investment to buy one.”

Many people become concerned about safety when fat bike riding since the trails go deeper into the woods so there is more wildlife present, and it can be dangerous to be alone.

“I do ride alone a lot because the guys here at the shop are just faster than me, so I’ve accepted if I want to ride, I’m going to be alone most of the time,” said Manley. She went on to state, “but I’ve never not felt safe. There are always other people around on the trails and if I know I’ll be alone for a long period of time I’ll borrow a Garmin inReach from a friend to make sure I can contact people.”

Manley thinks more people should take up fat bike riding because of the amazing views she gets and new friends she’s made. She also thinks with what Goldstream Sports provides, it’s an easy sport to try.

 “Just rent a bike, figure out if you like it. That’s what I did a few times before making an investment to buy one. I also think it’s important to talk to people who go fat bike riding and find out what trails they do.”

All of the pictures in this article were taken by Manley on her smart phone. You can stop in the shop to talk with her about her Fat Bike experience as a new rider anytime!