You’ve seen them around town, on the ski area and up and down most of the surrounding valleys. This Sunday, you can catch them in some serious medium-speed, low psi action as Fat Bikers kick of the 2014-2105 race season with the Magic Meadows Fat Bike Race on Sunday, December 21 at 2 p.m. on the Magic Meadows Nordic trail by Peanut Lake.
The course will include two laps for a total of approximately 10 miles and while the trail is free of punishing climbs, it does have a number of little stingers along the way.
As for the fat bikes themselves, there are some rules when it comes to fat bike racing. For starters, the tires on your fat bike must be at least 3.5 inches wide and can have no more than 10 psi (that’s pounds per square inch) pressure.
“The fatter the tires the better, you need that float,” says race co-director/promoter Dave Ochs.
Additionally, Ochs asks that participants stay off the Nordic trails prior to the fat bike race as they are only allowed on the Magic Meadow trail during the race itself.
“You can cruise up and down Peanut Lake Road before the race,” says Ochs. “No one is allowed to pre-ride the course.”
Don’t have a fat bike? No problem. There will be some fat bikes there at the race venue for people to ride and you can pick one up at any of several bike stores in town including Big Al’s and Crested Butte Sports, or reserve one online from Crested Butte Fat Bike and Rental.
Ochs points out that this is a special occasion and should be embraced on this one day only, as the Nordic trails are completely off limits to fat bikes at all times.
“Many thanks to the Nordic Center and the Land Trust,” says Ochs. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to do this. It’s a once in a lifetime chance to ride this trail.”
If the race will be your first foray into the world of fat bikes, Ochs has some advice.
“It’s a lot like dressing for a Nordic race. Do not overdress or you will overheat immediately,” says Ochs. “And learn how to counter-steer—it helps.”
There will be plenty of post-race libations from Oskar Blues Brewery to help cool off.
It’s just $20 to register for the race and registration will be available at the race venue at 1 p.m. on race day. Also, because it is a Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte Chamber of Commerce event, you can also register online at cbchamber.com. For up-to-the-minute race information, check out the Gunnison-Crested Butte Fat Bikers Facebook page.