DeLand man rides century on a single speed fatbike

By Justinian Hatfield
Riding a century on a single speed fatbike
Photo provided | Daniel Grantland and Sue Pitra pose for photo during their Memorial Day Century Ride, which Grantland did on a 50-pound Mongoose Beast single speed fatbike.

Riding a century isn’t that big of a deal for most serious cyclists. Riding a century on a single speed becomes a bigger challenge. But riding a century on a single speed fatbike? That’s something most of us haven’t done.

On Memorial Day, Daniel Grantland of DeLand, Florida, cranked out 101 miles on a nearly 50-pound Mongoose Beast.

“It was a joke between me and my friends that one day I’d do a century on that ridiculous bike back there and I said, you know, I’m going to try for it,” Grantland said from his backyard, with his quiver of seven bikes arranged neatly behind him. “A lot of people thought I was nuts. A few people who know me said, ‘Yeah, you can do that’ and I was like, ‘I hope you’re right. I think I can.'”

Photo provided | Daniel Grantland and his Mongoose Beast.

Grantland, who is 39 and goes by DJ, said the trip, which he rode with friend Sue Pitra, took 10 hours, with 9 hours of actual rolling time at an average speed of 11.2 miles per hour.

The only modification that Grantland made was to replace the rear 18-tooth cog with an 13-tooth cog so that he’d be able to ride a little faster. In fact, the bike, which he purchased on Facebook Marketplace for $100 still had the factory tires and tubes.

Since December of 2021, Grantland has completed five century rides including another century on his other fatbike, a geared Mongoose Vinson.

“The very first one I ever attempted I didn’t finish as I was still on a low-calorie diet and it didn’t work,” Grantland said. “I learned from them all that I need to stock up on protein and calories ahead of time.”

This time around, he was prepared; He carried 5 bottles of gatorade, a bunch of Cliff Bars and som Fig Newtons.

Grantland said the best part of riding a century on a single speed fatbike was realizing that we could actually do it.

“Since the first (century ride), this was the only one I was really concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do the whole ride because I’ve ridden (the Beast) 50 miles in the past and it can be really tiring,” he said. “So I stocked up on protein ahead of time and tried to get some sleep.”

The route started at the Osteen trailhead of the East Central Regional Rail Trail.

Grantland trains and rides with a group of tight-knit friends. They call themselves The Squad, since there are four of them. It was one of these friends who got Grantland into cycling in 2021. Today, he uses cycling to stay in shape.

“I used to weigh 300 and some pounds, I never did anything up until 2017 and that’s when I said I need to lose this weight,” he said. “It took me 20 months to get down to where I am now and that’s when I started kayaking, bike riding, everything. It’s like I got a new life out of it. I couldn’t believe how much the difference was.”

Next up for Grantland and The Squad are a gravel ride around Lake Ocochobee and the Coast to Coast trail. Grantland said the fatbikes will stay home and he’ll stick to a standard geared bikes for those trips.