STORY BY VICKY SAMA
It could well be called Thanksgiving Day — for fat tires. Every Thanksgiving for the last 34 years a group of like-minded folks gather on mountain bikes in Marin County to satiate one appetite while working up another.
This year the “group” consisted of 700 mountain bikers riding in the annual Appetite Seminar on Thanksgiving morning in the area that spawned off-road cycling. The 20-mile ride began in 1975 with about a dozen guys in jeans and long beards as a way to work up an appetite for a turkey day feast. There is little organization to the affair other than the organization of refreshments.
“Everyone just shows up,” says Chris Lang who rode in the inaugural Seminar 34 years ago.
The ride starts in downtown Fairfax, California and heads to some of the same trails where mountain biking got its start. The Seminar is one of the longest continuous mountain bike rides, drawing cyclists from around the San Francisco Bay area.
This year the ride included mountain bike legends Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, Jacquie Phelan and Lang. It’s a party on fat tires, where cyclists stop along the route for a chat, drink or a puff. The trail climbs up steep grades to Pine Mountain and finishes down the famous Repack, where Fisher and Breeze dueled on their fat tire klunkers before they invented mountain bikes as we know them today.
The ride ends at a beer garden in Fairfax where riders gobble up free snacks and brew, swap stories and call their loved ones explaining why they’re late and drunk.