This article about "Pondering the Point of Snow Bikes..." has been getting some buzz in my usual corners of the interwebs today. I doubt I'm alone in thinking that the author is basing his rather strongly stated opinions on minimal experience coupled with unrealistic expectations and myopic prejudices. Frankly speaking, I've read that blogger's writings on various bike subjects over the years, and have generally seen a similar pattern of sharp criticism and suggestions for technological improvement springing from only the most rudimentary knowledge and experience. It takes all kinds, and the internet is full of kooks, present company excluded, of course. Don't believe everything you read, especially about bikes. My opinion: my Pugsley is quite likely my most versatile bike, and I can do many fun things on it that I can't do on my other bikes. Lots of avid cyclists "don't get it", which is fine with me - I don't "get" the popularity racing road bikes. It's ok.
I loathe the term "snow bikes", because fat tire bikes can be ridden ANYWHERE any other bike can be ridden, in any season. Yes, the fat bikes positively shine in a variety of winter scenarios (but NOT all winter scenarios), but they also work great in sand, loose leaves, tree debris, rocks and loose gravel, and on other surfaces where most cyclists wouldn't consider riding a more conventional bicycle. I've been riding my Pug recently about 30-50 commuting miles per week on paved roads and trails, and it's fine and fun and not nearly as slow and ponderous as an armchair expert might expect.
Some friends and I went for a nice ride on Sunday. First we hit this trail along the river near my house:
And we continued down onto the edge of the river, where the "trail" was more like a smattering of human and canine footprints.
After we completed our loop, we'd worked up a powerful appetite, and settled on lunch at a dive-ish bar in my neighborhood. I chuckled as I imagined what passers-by might think of the collection of bikes we locked up to the light pole outside.