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Equinox Snow Challenge 2012 – Guest post by Ben Welnak

Equinox Snow Challenge photo

The following is a guest post written by RideFatbikes.com contributor, Ben Welnak.  You can find more stories and posts by Ben at his blog, BenWelnak.com.  He is also an owner of the Vail Colorado bike manufacturer, Twenty2 Cycles.  Be sure to check out Twenty2 Cycles here.

Equinox Snow Challenge 2012

This has been the winter of fatbikes and there is no better way to end the winter riding season with a real challenge.  The Equinox Snow Challenge, held annually since 2007, has added a fatbike category to the normal ski and run categories. The race is set to start at 10am on Saturday, March 24th at the Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone, Montana. Skiers, runners, and cyclists have several categories to choose from, including 3, 6, 12, and 24 hour divisions for soloists up to relay teams up to 8 members.

The Equinox Snow Challenge is a unique fatbike race. The Rendezvous Ski Trails normally host several national caliber ski events annually. This is a one-time opportunity to ride fatbikes on the trails, which are open to skiers only from November through May. Race director, Sam Newbury really loves the area’s fatbiking potential, stating that “West Yellowstone is referred to as the ‘Moab of fatbiking’ by many. There are over 500 miles of groomed snowmobile trails in the Gallatin National Forest and the adjoining Targhee National Forest, both of which share boundaries with Yellowstone National Park, which provide ample exploring.”

The race organizers wanted to explore alternatives for skiers and bikers to share winter trail resources. They wantedto run an event that supports the local community, while providing an arena for participants to challenge themselves to new levels. It is meant to be a grassroots type event, rather than a “glossy industry event”. To maintain the feel, they will have a potluck, small crowds, and maybe a prize if you win. “You might get a prize if you win, you might not. It is not about the fame- it is about personal limits. You won’t get a timing chip, but you will get a pen to write down your teammate’s time. The regulars usually bring a pony keg of homebrew to share and everyone brings canned food for the Food Bank,” Newbury explains. There will be some sponsors on site, including demo bikes by Surly and Salsa. There will also be a Twenty2 Cycles Bully fatbike available to test ride before the race. They are also working on having a mechanic available. Several ski sponsors will also be on site to join in the fun.

Wondering what the conditions will be? The bike course will be a 4-6 mile loop on groomed nordic ski trails. The course will be separate from the skiers for the first eight hours, then, depending on conditions and numbers of users, the race organizers my consolidate the race onto one trail. The trail map can be found here www.rendezvousskitrails.com/trailmap/. The bike course is the “Volunteer Loop” plus the “Drew Ski CutOff.” Weather averages for the end of March are relatively warm, with highs in the uppers 30’s and lows in the teens, so racers should be able to enjoy springlike temperatures.

The organizers ask that all riders use fatbikes such as the Surly Pugsley, 9:ZERO:7, Fatback, Salsa Mukluk, or the Twenty2 Cycles Bully, and others which have 60-100mm rims and 3.7-4.7 inch tires. Other bikes will be accepted only if they are not impacting the trails more than a floatation bike. This may be the case during the depths of the evening, but is very unlikely during the typically warm spring daytime temperatures. If you don’t have a fatbike, you can rent, borrow, share with teammates, or sleep and ride when it is fast!

The Challenge is expecting a successful inaugural bike race. There are currently 15 registered riders and they are expecting 25-30 by start time. So far they have three 12 hr soloists, one 12 Hour duo team, two 24 hour teams, four 24 hr solos, and three 24 Hour combo teams. Racers are coming from around the west to check out the unique event, including people from Albuquerque, Durango, Denver, the Seattle area, Salt Lake, Jackson, Missoula and Bozeman. Currently there are 55 skiers registered and they expect 80-100 on race day.

If you are in town early, be sure to stay off the ski trails. The Forest Service doesn’t want any bikes on the trails until race day. You are invited to ride all of the snowmobile trails around the area if you’d like to get in some good local riding. Freeheel and Wheel (http://www.freeheelandwheel.com/) is the shop in town. If you want to stop in, check out their goods, or just warm up with a cup of coffee, they are on Yellowstone Street near the park entrance. If you are driving from the south and want to talk bikes with a very committed fatbike shop or need to rent one for the race then you should check out Fitzgeralds in Victor, Idaho (http://www.fitzgeraldsbicycles.com).

For more information, check http://www.equinoxskichallenge.com/. If you have any questions about the race or registration, please contact Sam Newbury at equinoxsnowchallenge@gmail.com.

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Fatbikes All Year (by Ben Welnak, guest author)

The article below is by guest author and friend of RideFatbikes.com, Ben Welnak.  Ben is an avid mountain bike enthusiast and racer, and is an owner of Twenty2 Cycles.  His personal blog is well worth reading, and you can check that out at BenWelnak.com.  Ben’s cycling and racing perspective and insights can also be found at XXCMag.com, as Ben recently joined Jason and Zandr to do the weekly XXC podcasts ( http://xxcmag.com/xxc-podcasts ).   At RideFatbikes.com, we’re fortunate to have Ben contribute some of his insights and thoughts to issues such as the one below, which is likely on the minds of many of us “fatbike afficionados” as we enter the spring riding season.

If you want to discuss the issue Ben raises, feel free to leave a comment here inline with the article, and we can get the discussion rolling.

Big Betty tire in Twenty2 Cycles Bully fatbike frame

Fatbikes All Year

by Ben Welnak

This winter has been a very interesting one in the mountain biking world. Fatbikes have stormed the scene and left a wake of a whole new range of frames, components, wheels, clothing, races, and other accessories. Many riders have taken advantage of several new options to take the plunge into buying a full new bike for the offseason. They’ve realized the change in mindset that the fatty tires bring. Now, snow, paths, frozen lakes, rocky shorelines, sand, and any other type of riding is just plain fun.

It’s March, daylight savings time starts next weekend, and spring is right around the corner. You have big heavy fat tires and 80mm rims that you bought to prepare for the frozen months, which didn’t seem to appear in a lot of the country. Now, with thawing dirt, are you going to hang up your brand new bike? Or…will you get it rigged up a little different so it’s ready to rock on your regular riding haunts too?

They are great in all conditions, but I understand how all of us think. If I could just have a lighter setup with these big wheels, I could keep the fun and make it a little quicker and easier to get through the hills. We’re always looking to upgrade – if this frame was a little stiffer, this wheel a little lighter, these treads not so much of a drag on the ground. There are talks of “skinny” fatbike tires out there and I’m sure that, after this booming year, there will be plenty of options coming on board at some point in the future.

I thought it would be cool and (hopefully) helpful to try out some different tire options to give you an idea of other options out there to drop weight and make your rig a little faster for the summertime singletrack. This isn’t meant to be the most technical discussion or a specific gear review article. There are plenty of other great people doing that kind of thing already. Rather, it’s meant to be a look at what options are available, try them out, and share the information. I’m not sure how many pieces I will write or where this will even lead. Maybe nowhere and maybe it kicks off a little discussion. We’ll see.

I’ve started out with Schwalbe’s Big Betty freeride tires. At a claimed weight of 870 grams and a width of 2.4 inches, it seemed like a good option to test out. I mounted them to 65mm wide Surly’s Marge Lite rims and kept the pressure around 20 psi. The tires stretched out to a little over 2.6inches, with the tread a little bit narrower than the sidewalls. Not enough to be any issue, but should be noted I tend to start with a fuller tire and then go down from there. Mounted on my Twenty2 Cycles Bully, which is designed for the “traditional” fatty tires, it was an over fun ride.

Big Betty rear tire in Twenty2 Cycles Bully fatbike frame

I’ve only done a little riding on them so far, but it was on some frozen singletrack. The pavement ride to the trail was relatively good. It wasn’t a smooth road tire or a regular 29er tire, but it’s not meant to be. It rolled good for a fatty tire, although it did seem to pick up a lot of small stones. To be expected with a tire with such tread, but it’s noticeably more than you’re probably used to with the other fat tire options.

I definitely have plenty more testing to go on these to feel the full effect. Stay tuned to RideFatbikes.com as I do more testing and writing about these Big Betty tire setup. I will continue to try these out on the Bully and see what I think as I hit more thawed out mountain singletrack. I’m interested in trying some of the new tires later this year and see what is possible with some of these setups.

Feedback is definitely welcome. I’d love to hear what everyone else is running and what ideas you have. Feel free to contact me directly at ben@twenty2cycles.com.

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Fatbike Frozen Forty – all results for all finishers

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In the 3 short days since the Fatbike Frozen Forty (Triple F), we’ve been extremely busy reviewing and responding to all the positive comments on Facebook, Twitter, the MORC forum, and email.  It sounds like the consensus is that this event should definitely occur next year.  Be sure to tell your friends to check out the photos and race recap while it’s still fresh, so they remember your enthusiasm from this year when registration starts next year.

In the meantime, we’ve had several racers request that we post the full race results.  Remember, this is a grass-roots effort that had tremendous turnout, and we don’t have dedicated staff or updating gremlins that get all the pictures sorted, recaps written, etc.  All the post-race wrap-up requires time.

With that in mind, here are the results for all racers who finished the 40-mile open class at Fatbike Frozen Forty 2012.  We had over 45 racers, including teams.  There were a total of 17 racers who finished all 40 miles in the 40-mile open solo class.  2 teams finished all 40 miles in the 40-mile team class.  The singletrack mountain bike trails at Elm Creek Park Reserve could not have been more perfect – snow-covered and nicely packed; it made for a fast and perfect fatbike race course.

In order, here are the 40-mile open solo class results from the February 25, 2012 Fatbike Frozen Forty at Elm Creek Park in Maple Grove, MN:

  1. Jeff Colbert =   3hr, 52min, 5 sec  (Winner of the Frozen 40 open class!)
  2. Dave Hoglund = 3hr, 54min, 23sec
  3. CJ Smith = 3hr, 56min, 54sec
  4. Jeff Young = 4hr, 38 sec
  5. Mat Moore = 4hr, 7min, 15sec
  6. Jacque Poquette = 4hr, 7min, 51sec
  7. John Reinan = 4hr, 11min, 57 sec
  8. John Hartland = 4hr, 21 min, 57 sec
  9. Gary Ingle = 4hr, 25min, 19 sec
  10. John Smith = 4hr, 29min, 9sec
  11. Mick Lovin = 4hr, 31min, 36sec
  12. Don Weber = 4hr, 31min, 56sec
  13. Greg Gleason = 4hr, 44min, 13sec
  14. Joe Stiller = 4hr, 49min, 15sec
  15. Steve Schneider = 5hr, 17min, 14sec
  16. Craig Brown = 5hr, 32min, 15sec
  17. Ted Clausen = 5hr, 32min, 16sec
The twist in our race format for the 2012 Fatbike Frozen Forty was our “King of the Triple F” event.  The racer who logged the most laps in 6 hours was awarded “King of the Triple F”.  The prize for the King of the Triple F was a pair of Husker Du tires, donated by Triple F sponsor 45Nrth.  The 2012 King of the Triple F is CJ Smith (3rd place finisher in the 40-mile open class).

Here are the 2012 Fatbike Frozen Forty Team results:

  1. Straight River Studs; 3-person team (Tony Schwichtenberg, David Chabot, Cutis Tesch) = 5hr, 9min, 5sec
  2. Easy Riders; 2-person team (Curtis Gacek, Stephen Eisenmenger) = 5hr, 10min, 10sec

Photo credit: Bill Vitali

There are some great photos and write-ups by some of the photographers and bloggers who attended the Triple F.  In one of our next posts, we will provide some of these links.  If you’d like everyone to see your Fatbike Frozen Forty photos or race recap, please leave a comment here or Contact Us so we can include yours.

Again, a huge thank you goes out to all participants, sponsors and volunteers.  Twenty2 Cycles, from Vail, Colorado was the primary/headline sponsor of the 2012 Fatbike Frozen Forty and was invaluable in supporting this event from the beginning.  Ben and Todd travelled from Colorado to display and demo their custom-designed and handmade-in-the-USA fatbikes, and helped with race planning, supporting racers on the day of the event, and being an advocate of this grass-roots race when it was only a concept.  Twenty2 Cycles, thank you!

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Triple F Results – and the winner is…

Photo of Frozen 40 open champion Jeff Colbert by RideFatbikes.com

In our last post, we hit a few of the highlights of the exciting and successful 1st year of the Fatbike Frozen Forty (Triple F).  The post ended with unanswered questions (leaving you, our dear reader, in suspense for today’s post).  The questions were:

  • who won the Frozen 40 open class?; and
  • who won the King of the Tiple F?
We’ll answer those two questions below.
The Fatbike Frozen Forty Open class was filled with strong and fast riders, fighting until the very end to complete 4 laps of ten miles in the fastest time.  While lead changes occurred throughout the laps, in the final lap it became a horse race between Dave Hoglund and Jeff Colbert.  In the end, Jeff Colbert came out on top, completing the 40-mile Triple F course with a 1st place victory in 3 hours, 52 minutes, 5 seconds.
The second place finisher was Dave Hoglund, rushing through the final stretch of 40 miles just over 2 minutes later.  His final time came in at 3 hours, 54 minutes 23 seconds.

Photo of Frozen 40 2nd place finish Dave Hoglund by RideFatbikes.com

Just over two minutes later, CJ Smith finished the Frozen 40 in 3rd place (at 3 hours, 56 minutes, 54 seconds) .  Fourth place was cinched by Jeff Young, who finished in 4 hours and 38 seconds.

Photo of Frozen40 open class 3rd place finisher CJ Smith by RideFatbikes.com

In all, a total of 19 riders completed a full forty miles of the Fatbike Frozen Forty in the individual open class.  That is an accomplishment in and of itself, regardless of finish time.  Some riders finished less than forty miles due to mechanical failure, personal choice, or desire to get right to the beer and grill-out part of the event!   Two riders were left potentially stranded by equipment malfiunctions.  One rider had an internally-geared hub fail, leaving him with a singlespeed (by accident, rather than desire).  He was fortunate to get back into the race with a Moonlander demo, courtesy of our sponsor Trailhead Cycling and Fitness.  Another rider found himself with a brake problem, only to find Maple Grove Cycling’s mechanic team tuning him up and getting him back into the event in a hurry.  Our sponsors helped keep riders on course.
It’s worth noting that we had something of a fatbike endurance athlete celebrity in our midst at the Triple F.  Erv Berglund, has a contagious smile and enthusiasm, determination and a fun-seeking attitude that few can match.   He completed the rigorous/daunting Arrowhead 135 ultra endurance fatbike race this year (2012), becoming the eldest member of the fatbike community to complete such an endurance challenge.   When he finished his third and final lap at the Frozen 40, he took time to look around and smell the roses.  He chatted with other racers and spectators, and wasn’t bashful about the fact that the secret to his good health is that he keeps pedaling.  We should all be so lucky.

How about the King of the Triple F?

King of the Triple F CJ with Triple F organizer Brad

For those who don’t already know, King of the Triple F was awarded to the racer who logged the most laps on the frozen singletrack trail at Elm Creek Park, in the 6-hour race time. The winner received a pair of Husker Du tires donated by Triple F spnosor, 45Nrth.  Since we’re writing this race report on the night of the Academy Awards, the appropriate way to introduce the King of the Triple F is in the form of the Oscars.  And the winner is…

CJ Smith!  CJ finished 3rd in the Frozen 40 Open Division, with a time of 3 hours, 56 minutes.  He then went on to complete a fifth lap, pushing past exhaustion, to complete a full 50 miles on frozen singletrack trail.  By doing so, CJ logged more miles than any racer on the course, and earned himself the title “King of the Triple F“!  Congratulations to CJ for showing that sometimes it pays to push past the hurt.

We also had three teams enter the Fatbike Frozen Forty.  For those who are not interested in riding 40 miles on a fatbike on frozen singletrack (or if you don’t have your own fatbike), remember in future years that you can form a If others are looking for their own personal results, they can email us directly.

Giving credit where credit is due.

We’ve said it several times and we’ll say it many more.  While the Fatbike Frozen Forty was conceived and designed by

Headline sponsor of the Triple F - Twenty2 Cycles

Brad Boyd and implemented by his company, Ride Enterprises, LLC, it would not have come together so successfully without the early and tremendous support of Twenty2 Cycles (a company that designs and handcrafts USA-built fatbikes in titanium and steel from their headquarters in Vail, CO).  Twenty2 Cycles and Ben Welnak were the first sponsor to collaborate with Brad in getting the Fatbike Frozen 40 off the ground, and played an instrumental role in the event, with Todd and Ben travelling from CO for the pre-race meeting and event itself.  Thanks guys, you’re the best!

Fatbike Frozen 40 sponsor Trailhead Cycling (photo credit: RideFatbikes.com)

It’s all important to credit our other sponsors (all of whom can be found on the event website, Frozen40.com).  Trailhead Cycling and Fitness went through tremendous effort to have staff and support ready and able to help with prerace set-up, grill-out for racers, supporters, and volunteers, creating an enclosed and heated registration and warm-up tent, donating a generous array of prizes and give-aways, and more.  We appreciate everything they did to help this go smoothly.

Similarly, Maple Grove Cyclingsupported our event through pre-event planning discussions, mechanical support on the day of the event, a grill-out, pre-race marketing and promotion, prizes and music that kept the event atmosphere upbeat during the race.

Fatbike Frozen 40 sponsor Maple Grove Cycling (Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com)

We also had many other sponsors in a somewhat less visible role, that deserve to be recognized.  Without Surly Brewing and Peace Coffee, our pre-race and post-race beverage consumption would surely have been less exciting.  Without 45Nrth, we would not have had the amazing Husker Du tire give-away for “King of the Triple F” and we would be missing some of the amazing professional photos taken by David.

Without BarMitts XXCMag.com, and Cognition Caps our swag and prizes would have been far less exciting and complete.  Without PreRace.com our preregistration system would have been far less efficient.  And without Adam Turman, our event flyer/poster would have been much less dramatic and amazing.  Thank you to all of our generous sponsors.

Photo credit: 45Nrth (45Nrth was a 2012 Triple F sponsor)

Finally, without the racers, an event is purely an interesting concept, lots of hard work, promotion, investment and a venue ready for an event.  Until racers register, show up, and race, an event is simply a possibility.   Every event organizer likes to see an event come together successfully, and for that we need participation, enthusiasm, and help spreading the word if people enjoyed the event we put on.  Thanks for showing up, thanks for your support, and please spread the word!

We plan to soon have a large series of awesome photos on this site, showcasing some of the memorable highlights of the Triple F.  If you have photos you’d like to display, contact us and maybe we can include them here or on FatbikeGallery.com.  A special thank you to David from 45Nrth for spectacular event photos he took while attending the Triple F as a sponsor.  We hope to share his photos with you here.

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Frozen 40 (Triple F) Race Recap, Part I

Frozen 40 prerace (Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com)

The Fatbike Only Endurance Race

The first ever Triple F (Fatbike Frozen Forty) was ON today at Elm Creek Park Reserve Singletrack trail.  This event was SMOKIN’!  Our turnout was beyond expectations (over 50 registered and 45 raced).   Bear in mind, this is a fatbike-only, event, rather than a winter racing event.  Seeing 45 fatbike racers on race day is incredible.

Sponsors

Our generous sponsor involvement and support made the event a thrilling success, and from every rider report I heard all day, the trail, the course, the food, the fun, the people were awesome.  Trail conditions for this 10-mile, 4-lap trail could not have been more perfect.  Nicely packed snow, free of significant ice or major open dirt/mud events.

Twenty2 Cycles

Twenty2 Cycles at Frozen 40 (Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com)

Thanks to our first, primary, and strongest advocate from the inception of this concept, Twenty2 Cycles. Ben and Todd came out from Colorado, packing their truck full of some of the finest looking and most meticulously built fatbikes anyone has ever seen.  Twenty2 Cycles is on my list of all time favorite companies, lead by all-time coolest people.  Ben and Todd (and Twenty2 Cycles), thanks for supporting this event!  Their presence at this event was enough, but these guys brought hand-crafted breakfast burritos to kick-start our 7am set-up.  Twenty2 is class. If you haven’t run into them yet, you should, and you will.

Supporting Sponsors

Our other sponsors are incredible as well.  Maple Grove Cycling and Trailhead Cycling and Fitness each brought significant components to this event.  Maple Grove Cycling contributed music, mechanical support, bike stand, gift certificates, and food.  Trailhead Cycling and Fitness brought a heated tent set-up, grill-out, lots of volunteers & support, LOTS of prizes & give-aways, and plenty of food and encouragement.  This was a full-featured, fully supported bike race, for fatbikes.  Racers had plenty of food, beverage, encouragement, mechanical support, warm-up tent, GREAT trail, handmade in the USA custom fatbikes to test ride, and most importantly, a gathering devoted to fatbikes with an opportunity to race 40 miles, or ride any number of laps a rider was inclined to ride.  Whether it was food, support, or good times, our local bike shop sponsors had racers and spectators covered!

Then add on beer from our beer sponsor (the official beer of the 2012 Triple F)Surly Brewing CoPeace Coffee supplied the coffee that was donated as prizes and used as our morning brew (coffee, that is).  Thanks to Surly and Peace for our beverage support!!  It was hard to find a rider who had completed the event without a Surly in hand or close by.  At 7am pre-race set-up, many of us were fueled by enthusiasm & Peace Coffee.

Prizes

Fatbike Frozen 40 Prizes (Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com)

Our prize table was something to behold.  The best prize was contributed by 45Nrth, a pair of the difficult-to-obtain yet remarkably desirable Husker Du tires.  I got the chance to meet David from 45Nrth.   He is an accomplished photographer and a knowledgeable rider.  Their tires rock in part because they ride what they sell, and are at events talking to racers.  Thanks 44Nrth for supporting those who ride fatbikes!  Check back here or on FatbikeGallery.com – we hope to post some of the great photos taken at this event.

Prizes & swag were rounded out by great stuff from Bar Mitts, XXCMag, and Cognition Caps.  Trailhead had a large amount of swag & prizes, and Maple Grove Cycling added gift cards into the prizes as well.

Thanks also to my friend Matt, who came from Boulder, CO just for the race, and his father, Ray, who made the journey from Brainerd to join Matt in a father-son team.  Thanks to riders who came from Sioux Falls (SD), from IA, and elsewhere to support (and have a blast at) a grass-roots first time event.   If we had 50 registered this year, might this occur again next year?  Hmmm.  stay tuned.

Frozen40 racers, thanks for turning out today and supporting this event.  Without people to take part in such an event, it wouldn’t be an event.  Hopefully you had a great time and will be back again.  Let’s keep the fun going – leave a comment below or share your photos from today to post to FatbikeGallery.com.  We’ll try to add photos as we can.

The Winner

SO, HOW DID THE RACERS DO?  WHO IS THE KING OF THE TRIPLE F?  WHO WON THE FROZEN 40 OPEN CLASS? Let’s just say the bike drop with running start was a blast

King of the Triple F (Photo credit: RideFatbikes.com)

for spectators, and some racers crushed 40 miles of snow-covered singletrack in admirable time.  Check back here tomorrow for results…

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Fatbike Frozen 40 Announcement

For everyone riding or sponsoring the Fatbike Frozen 40, we plan to contact you in the next couple days regarding a possible trail/venue change for next Saturday’s Frozen 40 event.  Either way, we are still on, and we will still begin registration at 8am and first wave of ride at 9am.  However, we might not be at Elm Creek Park in Maple Grove.

While the Elm Creek Park singletrack is a wonderful place for our event, the trail is currently closed, due to unseasonably warm weather.  While they suggested that there might be a possible alternate trail/option, nothing will be known or confirmed until just days before the event.  This is neither desirable nor predictable, but welcome to a crazy winter in MN.  Many great MN events have been rearranged or cancelled due to weather.

We’re working on an alternate/contingency plan venue.  Originally, our contingency plan was at Elm Creek, but all of their trails have some limitations that may make our event unwelcome at Elm Creek.  our contingency venue might be every bit as exciting and fun as Elm Creek, and will be sure to have its own points of interest.  If you’ve already registered or were thinking of registering, you’re still in for a great event; just be flexible and please be prepared to join us at a different site on Saturday morning (alternate venue will also be in Twin Cities metro area and no more than 30 miles away from Elm Creek).

So, stay tuned here on RideFatbikes.com for more updates/info.  We’ll also update you with new info at Twitter (follow @RideFatbikes) and will try to keep Frozen40.com updated as well.   Sorry for the last minute changes, but Mother Nature dealt us a wildcard this year.  With great sponsors and prizes, and a fun day of riding, this is still a can’t-miss fatbike event.

~ Ride Enterprises, LLC

 

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Great weekend for fatbike events this weekend!

Minnesota finally has a bit of snow cover, and it’s cold.  It’s almost like winter around here, just in time for some great fatbike events.  I’m aware of at least three fatbike / winter bike races this weekend.  In the event you can’t make it to all three, you should try to check out at least one.  They include:

  • Penn Cycle’s Get Fat with Pat event – Penn Cycle in Eagan, MN; Saturday January 28th; 12pm start; details here
  • Freewheel Frozen Frolic at Murphy Hanrehan January 29th – Three-race series + Lake Minnetonka Ice Race, hosted by Freewheel Bike (another great local shop, with a strong fatbike selection and knowledge).  The Murphy races will be mass start events that will include the normal Murphy loop plus a half mile roll out for the start. Studded tires are allowed and encouraged when frequent freeze-thaw temps proceed race day.  Men’s / Women’s open class race.  Registration opens at 10am; Race starts at 11am. Info here.
  • Carver Lake Cold Catfish Cup in Woodbury – This should be a terrific race, put together by the fine folks at Angry Catfish (which is an awesome local bike shop) and the City of Woodbury.  Reed Smidt is the organizer, and information can be found at their facebook page, here.  Here are some details:

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