Off-Road Exploration Guide Vol. III: Deluxe Fat Bikes @ Salt River

Images & Words by photographer, Jeff Olsen (@jeffreymolsen)

I'm a born-and-raised Arizona native with about as much western credentials as an Eskimo. I've only seen the Grand Canyon from a 737 and never tubed down the Salt River. For those of you unfamiliar with our desert culture, it is summer convention to inflate a tube around a cooler of cheap beer and float for up to five hours down a natural lazy river. You never wait in a bathroom line, you're never the guy that shits at the bar, and you get a well deserved lobster tan out of the ordeal. I always imagined the water turbidity to resemble a warm cocktail of fresh desert tap with a shot of Montezuma's Revenge, but I was blown away to actually see to the bottom of the river.  

We were lucky enough to have local legend; professional BMX rider and fly fisherman, KC Badger, along to show us what the Megalith is capable of. KC is the kind of Jeremiah Johnson outdoorsman that not only is a humble blast to hang out with, but he's also the survival guide you hope to follow in the imminent zombie apocalypse. This guy actually fishes as well as he rides. We'll start here at Blue Point Bridge and head east to find the good good swimmers.

Bike, bag, rod. Man-shit minimalism

We too love the smell of braap in the morning, never too early.

Chill, we got this.

KC is also a gentlemanly mammal charmer; as should any prospective adventurer practice to become. 

"You're gonna get wet."

Saxon: so hot, so low, so wet.

It looks as easy as lazy river Sunday. I have decent balance and the current almost took me and the camera gear down a few times.


We made it across the river and the landscape looks as good (Ahem!)...almost as good as the bike.

What's the point of them dang dear disc brakes, anyways?

I gotcha. They work as good as they there look, or they just pretty like?

I'm not convinced yet.


I believe you.

Ok ok, are we there yet?

Dude shreds to his secret spots and makes his own flies. Hella nature broner.

Now, I don't know diddly about fly fishing but he had his first catch before I had a good shot set up. Get back in there and fatten yourself up, youngin'. KC's got another spot to show us.

We like the multi-colors on you, we do. How bout a sprinks of variety?

Yes. We like this asphalt color on you too. Smashing!

I don't gotta know much to know that there some dang brain in engineering a rod that breaks down so dang dear little like. Redington makes some badass gear if you were curious.

This bike is quite the conqueror as well. Cheers also to Avid for making an affordable braking system that stands up to Badger thrashing.




I did some nasty squats in the river taking this. Get some!

I have to mention that this champion battled fever, food poisoning, and some other gut-busted ass illness to tag along for the adventure.

Rule 5!

No desert adventure is complete without Mexican recovery. This was also my last supper and goodbye to a Phoenix staple establishment in Mexican fare. RIP Tia Rosa!

Next up on the off-road exploration agenda is Cyclocross. We hope you can make it, and thanks for keeping up with us on the fat bikes!