Saddle up for the 1st Annual Fat Bike Race


Thanks to the efforts of the town of Crested Butte, the Crested Butte Nordic Center and the Crested Butte Nordic Council, Elk Mountain Events presents the 1st Annual Fat Bike/Snow Bike Race on Friday, February 1.
A Fat Bike, or Snow Bike, is hard to describe. Put it this way: If the Michelin Man rode a bike, it would be a Fat Bike.
Dawn Passant has mulled over the idea of a Fat Bike event for a while and after a casual conversation with Crested Butte Nordic Center director Keith Bauer, one thing led to another and it’s on.
“It’s kind of exciting,” says Passant.
It’s a perfect fit, in a way, as firm Nordic track will be in place in town for the Alley Loop Nordic Race on Saturday, February 2—so why not host a Fat Bike race?
As of press time, the course will start on Elk Avenue in front of the Brick Oven, head up Old Kebler Pass Road before turning onto the Red Lady Loop Nordic trail. Bikers will ride the loop before returning to town via Old Kebler again and down Elk Avenue.
“It’s a really cool course,” says Dave Ochs of Elk Mountain Events. “It will have ups, downs, contours, off-camber riding, really cool features.”
Registration for the race will be at the Brick Oven at 2:30 and you can sign up solo for $15 or as a team for $30. Solo riders will tackle the course for as many laps as they can in 90 minutes plus one additional lap; teams will have 80 minutes to ride as many laps as they can, plus one lap.
“If we had 20 riders I’d be psyched,” says Passant. “The more the merrier.”
The racing starts at 3:30 p.m. for solo riders and 3:40 p.m. for teams.
The biggest problem appears to be Fat Bike availability. Some companies and bike shops may bring demos for use but you need to email to see if any demos are available to reserve.
And, no, regular bikes are not allowed—tires must be a minimum of 3.7 inches wide.
While Passant admits it takes some getting used to riding on the Fat Bikes, it’s a good option for something to do, especially given the current snow situation.
“It’s kind of fun, especially in a year like this,” says Passant.
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