Fat Tire 40 to premier at FTBW

New event adds to classic festival

The Fat Tire 40 bike race will inject the spirit of Fat Tire Bike Weeks of old into the 29th Annual Fat Tire Bike Week this year June 24-28. There was a time when Fat Tire Bike Week included a classic cross-country race utilizing some of the premier single-track bike trails that the north end of the valley has to offer.

Eventually, the cross-country race during Fat Tire Bike Week disappeared but this year marks a return to the classic event. Thanks to the brainstorming and efforts of Travis Underwood, Jeff Irwin, Brian Riepe, Dave Ochs and Visitors Center events manager Scott Still and the generous cooperation of local ranchers Michele Veltri and Bill Trampe, the Fat Tire 40 cross-country race debuts on Saturday, June 27.
”From the time I first started thinking about the event I knew I wanted to add a race back into it,” says Still.
“It’s a compliment to an already jam packed Fat Tire Bike Week,” says Ochs.
This years course, in a nutshell, starts and finishes in town and includes Tony’s Trail, Upper Upper Loop, Canal Trail, Farris Creek, Strand and Strand Bonus, heads out on Deer Creek Trail and finishes with a handful of trails on Crested Butte Mountain before returning to town via Upper Loop and Tony’s Trail for a total of 42.6 miles. For a complete course description check out crankcollective.com.
The impetus behind the idea was fairly simple.
“A lot of the thinking was that a mountain bike race would help Fat Tire Bike Week,” says Ochs.
“Getting something added back into the mix would be beneficial,” adds Still.
The race will be capped at 100 riders and could fill up fast so Ochs suggests that if there are any locals interested the time to sign up is now.
“We’re expecting it to fill up,” says Ochs.
”I’ve had quite a bit of interest,” says Still. “I think the timing is good because it’s right before the Firecracker 50.”
Ochs adds that the race would not be possible had it not been for the cooperation of both Veltri and Trampe and that it is imperative that the mountain biking community respects their land.
“These are ranching trails,” says Ochs. “Respect for the ranchers by keeping gates closed is of the utmost importance.”
Race organizers have stepped up to the plate in garnering massive amounts of prizes from a list of sponsors that includes Specialized, Mountain Khakis, Khul, Golite, Polar, Kent Eriksen Cycles, Squirt, and more.
More information on the Fat Tire 40, and Fat Tire Bike Week, can be found on cbchamber.com. Registration for the race is $40 and can be done on active.com. The $40 includes two free microbrew beers and admission to the Wisebird show at the Eldo.
As always, volunteers are needed so, to help make the inaugural Fat Tire 40 a huge success contact Dave Ochs at 349-7324.
The race starts at 8 a.m. at the east end of Elk Avenue and last minute details will be emailed to all competitors.

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