REID International Rider of the Month - February 2018
Melissa (@melunaaa_) is our International REID Rider of the Month for February!
Melissa has become our REID Rider of the month for February on her Hercules fat bike! She caught our eye on her epic frosty adventures that she shares on Instagram. We caught up with Melissa to find out a little bit more...
Introduce yourself... (A bit about yourself, where you're from etc)
I am a graduate student studying environmental science at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, USA and I am also an intern at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. I grew up in Wethersfield, CT, USA, so I have remained pretty local my whole life. Right now, the projects I am working on are a past-climate analysis of Antarctica, a mineralogical analysis of Martian sediment, and a chemical study on Connecticut soils. Other than my life at school and work, I love to spend my time hiking and cooking.
When and how did you get into bike riding?
I got into bike riding about eight months ago. I used to be a runner, and was into participating in 5K and half marathon races, however, I found that I was hurting more and more each time I went out for a run. So, one of my good friends, Nick, suggested that I try mountain biking. Ever since, I have loved this sport and have been in the best shape of my life.
So what made you choose the Hercules?
About a month ago, I was riding on a trail that was full of ice and slush. I was kind of annoyed at the fact that I was sliding all over the place, and spent most of my ride trying to keep my balance on the bike I was using at the time. After my ride, I took a trip to a local bike shop called Airline Cycles in East Hampton, CT. I spoke to the owner, Brian, about my dilemma and he said that they were going to have some fat bikes shipped over in the next week or so. So, I waited about a week and continued to ride and slide all over the trails. When I came back to Airline Cycles, Brian mentioned to me that he had a friend who is selling the perfect fat bike for me. He said that his friend was tiny like me, and of course I was excited because it is almost impossible for me to find the perfect fit for a bike. Around New Year's Eve, Brian sent me a message saying that the bike, which happened to be a Hercules, was in the shop. I ended up leaving the shop happily with a new bike.
How do you find a Fat Bike compared to a normal bike?
I find that I am way more confident when I ride the fat bike compared to a normal bike. I can make my way easily over rock gardens, muddy paths, and more importantly, snowy trails.
And how has the Hercules treated you?
I have had a blast with the Hercules, and so far, the Hercules has treated me well!
What and where have you been with it?
My intention for riding the Hercules was through snowy paths, and just to have a bike that I can ride all year long because I do plan on staying in New England for a long period of time. I usually ride around local state parks such as Wadsworth Falls State Park or River Highland State Park or local bike trails/single-tracks such as Rockland Preserve, Essex Preserve, and the Airline Trail. Also, we just had a snow storm that apparently has been dubbed, "the Bomb Cyclone", so during this storm, I used the Hercules as my ride to lab when my car was under 10 cm of snow!
Do you have any other future adventures planned?
This summer, a few of us are planning on completing an 80 mile ride on the entirety of Farmington River Trail starting from Yale University in New Haven, CT to Massachusetts. I also plan on taking at least one camping trip to northern New England with the purpose of exploring the trails in Vermont and New Hampshire.
Finally, what advice would you give to those who have never been on a biking adventure or even a bike?
Find the right people to come on your adventures to make your rides more enjoyable, but on the flip side, don't be afraid to ride solo and make the adventure your own.