Last weekend's weather made the perfect back drop for the latest installment in the Wisconsin Fat Bike Series. Broken Spoke Bike Studio hosted the third annual Shell Track race at Silver Creek park in Manitowoc. The course was short at one mile, but that one mile was packed with single track that meandered along the frozen creek, through the cedar forest and along Lake Michigan. Snow fell most of the day with accumulation close to five inches when the last wheel crossed the finish line. In true Shell Track fashion the race was started with one big blow on a conch shell, signaling the lemans start.
Lake Michigan leg of the race.
Spectators didn't seem to mind the cold, and Manitowoc local Tove A. was definitely most prepared. Two races were planned for the day; a solo race that ran 10 laps and a three hour relay event later in the day. Many of the relay participants also ran the solo race in the morning, making for a long, cold day of riding.
Race Organizer George K putting down one of the winning relay laps.
This was my first foray in Fat Bike racing and I had a blast. Yes it was cold, yes riding a bike with 4" wide tires through fresh snow and ruts is tiring, but the scenery, comradery and inclusiveness of the group of racers was exceptional. It wasn't until the last lap that I really was able to take in the scene from the bluff along Lake Michigan and realize what a perfect setting this location made for the race.
Silver Creek park made for amazing scenery and a spectator fiendly course
Joel A. from Fyxation HQ managed to retain the travelling trophy in the relay race along with his team from Broken Spoke. Two teams tied for 2nd with 18 laps and had to settle the 2nd and 3rd place with a round for derby.
Fyxation was in attendance to give riders a glimpse at our full pedal line, which have caught on with fat bike riders due to there grip and tough nylon pedal bodies. I know that fat bike racing is a ways off from our typical commuting and single speed city riding, but whenever I'm on two wheels it's hard to get a smile off my face. I for one am glad we made the snowy ride to Silver Creek Park last weekend and look forward to doing it again next year.
by Nick Ginster