We’re excited to announce the return of the Northern Michigan Fat Bike Series for 2014-2015! This season will be bigger and better than ever, and we’ve already established a slew of new races that will be fun, challenging and incredibly rewarding for those ready to take on the thrills and chills of mid-winter fat bike racing. Read more
It’s time to get out your red marker and circle January 4! We’re excited to confirm that Fat Chance! at Crystal Mountain will be back for 2015, and even better than before.
We’ve had two great editions of the race at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa, and the support from this incredible venue has given us the ability to put on a truly great fat bike race. It’s certainly an experience, and this year, we’re offering up longer laps and a true 50km course in the spirit of many other events around the Midwest.
Fat Chance! is proud to be a part of the 2015 Great Lakes Fat Bike Series, entering as the second race of the year and the first of three races in Michigan, all in the month of January!
Stay tuned for online registration to open, as well as information about lodging, the course, the prizes and all things fat bike in the coming months.
Over 90 racers made the NMFBS finale Fat Camp! the biggest race to date! The relatively warm temperatures (in the mid-20s at race start) made for almost perfect race conditions and the course immaculate. The loop, made specifically for Fat Camp!, was 1.7 mile long and featured outstanding climbs, descents, and twisting sections that challenged riders from the elite to the beginner.
Sean Kickbush took the win in the Men’s Solo after Jason Lowetz initially stormed off the front. The two enjoyed a working partnership to keep the gap open, spurred on by hundreds of fans along the route in attendance for the Suds’n’Snow Festival. Behind, Ryan Kennedy, Ryan Kushman and Chris Kushman were in hot pursuit. For Chris, a spot on the NMFBS points podium was in the works, with Lowetz riding with the same in mind.
Craig Webb took the Master’s win after scoring perfect points at Vasa and Fat Camp!. Because Vasa scored him, he was moved up to Master’s for the remainder, and carried his points from 6th place at Fat Chance with him.
Kim Thomas took the women’s Solo win over Laura Webb, with Stacy Smith in third. Stacy did just enough to win the series, with a one point advantage over two-race winner Danielle Musto.
Beth Collins made it a clean sweep for the Women’s Masters, equaling the three straight victories of teammate Chelsea Strate in the Women’s Solo in 2013. Those two are the only riders to ever post perfect 150 point seasons with NMFBS.
Behind those leaders of the day, the final points picture was a nail-biter. With leaders Jorden Wakeley and Danielle Musto not in attendance, it was wide open for the rest of the field to take their shots at the title. Jason Lowetz looked to have it the bag an hour into the race, but he lost four spots in the final forty minutes of racing to finish sixth. Chris Kushman was only getting stronger as the day went on, putting in some of his fastest laps in the final fifty minutes of racing to come from ninth into second place on the day. It took a series of math calculations (addition) to find out that Lowetz had did enough to win the series by a single point!
It was literally just as close (math again) on the Women’s side, with Stacy Smith entering the day with dreams of glory and the series title. GRBC sent Kim Thomas in the hopes of fending off Smith in defense of Musto’s title, and she did what she set out to do. Kim’s win, and an impressive second from Laura Webb, meant Smith was on the limit and was pushed on by a roaring crowd urging her to take third just to have a shot at the title. She came in for 38 points, exactly ONE more than she needed to take the points title.
Men’s Solo Fat Chance Points Vasa Points Fat Camp Points Final Points
|Nate St. Onge||4||34||5||31||4||34||99|
Craig Webb 6* 29 1 50 1 50 129
David Hintz 1 50 6 29 4 34 113
Scott Bury 5 31 15 19 1 50 100
Thomas Klaver 3 38 5 31 6 28 97
Randy Novak 2 43 11 24 8 26 93
Fat Camp! at Timber Ridge is less than 24 hours away! We’ve put together a few things to make your race as laid back and fun as possible. Stick to this handy guide and you will probably win!
First off, please allow yourself a little extra time to arrive at Timber Ridge. It’s going to be pretty busy, so give yourself an extra few minutes to park. You can park along Six Mile, but please be extra careful not to block any driveways and to keep the road open.
Registration will be in the Banquet Hall, which is located to the right of the main Lodge. The Bicycle Race registration is on your left. All registered racers will get a wrist band for Suds’n’Snow. Non-racers may still be able to purchase tickets for $20. Look for the Bike Race sign to find the Banquet Hall.
Day-of registration will open at 11:30am and close at 1:00pm. We can accept cash or check.
Registration will open at 11:30am and close at 1:15pm promptly. The start/finish is located roughly five minutes from registration, so all racers should allow head for the start line no later than 1:45pm.
If you are renting a bike for Fat Camp, please arrive to registration no later than 12.30 to pick up your bike. That will give you time to swap pedals, adjust the seat and tire pressure, and still get your packet with plenty of time before the race start.
Spectators can watch from the Banquet Hall, where they can see a great section of the course. No one under the age of 21 is allowed into the beer tents (which is probably a really good idea) so please plan on staying in this area if you don’t have a beer ticket or aren’t legal.
The majority of the course is wide enough to allow for passing, but please be courteous when passing. Overtaking riders should announce themselves and give any slower riders notice to move over as soon as it is safe. Passing should not be a problem for 95% of the course, so if you’re in that 5%, just move over for a second.
Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-twenties, so dress appropriately.
Awards and results will be ready by 5:00pm in the Banquet Hall. Awards to the top three in every race, with special recognition to our points winners. You will be able access results here.
The course is marked by orange flags and orange paint. The orange paint runs along the right hand side of the course, with painted arrows at every turn. Look for arrows on the trail and in the higher snow along the course as well. You can see the Strava file for the course here.
If you have any questions about the race, registration or rentals, please contact us at email@example.com. Please include your phone number so we can give you a call back, too.
Where is the race?
Same spot as King Vasa! We will be back at Timber Ridge Resort. Even the start times is the same, 2pm. However, this race will not include the Vasa 25km. Like most of our races, we’ll be doing a two-hour, lap format.
There will be day of registration starting at noon, but make your life easier by signing up here.
So what does that mean?
Each racer will try to do as many laps as possible in the time allotted. For example, for the 30 minute race, you’ll do as many laps on the 2 mile course as you can. If you come through the start/finish at 29:59, you can go out for one more lap. Come in at 30:00, and you’re done for the day, and will be technically one lap down from the person who got in under 30 minutes. However, you are still ahead of everyone that came in behind you.
What categories are there again?
We have a 30 minute Low-Fat race. This is geared to beginners who haven’t done any fat bike races, or have only raced once or twice on mountain bikes. We have a one hour race for Juniors, kids over 12 and under 18.
The rest of the races are 2 hours. The Duo category features two riders who switch off each lap. They can share one bike or use two different bikes, but only one person will be allowed out on the course at a time.
The other races are Solo races. The Men’s and Women’s Open is for all riders, usually under the age of 45. The 45+ crowd has the option to be scored in the Master’s race.
Is there beer?
There is. All registered racers will get free entry into Suds’n’Snow, the mircobrew festival that coincides with the race. They’ll have dozens of local craft beers on tap, live music, big fires, and a ton of fun. Racers also get a sweet deal: 2 food/drink tickets and a pint glass for just $10.
What’s the course like?
The course will be a very flat, fast criterium-style loop that will bring racers past the both beer tents. It should be the most vocal and loud crowd every to see a fat bike race. The course is just over two miles with two small elevation changes that could split the group late in the race.
What’s the Series part of it?
Each race is worth points. Right now, Jorden Wakeley and Danielle Musto are winning, but both will be at the Birkie race on March 8, so it’s wide open. Take the win and grab yourself a neat 50 points! The Series winners will get their names engraved on the NMFBS FAT trophy to tell the eons of fat bikers to come just how this sport started out. You will become legends.
Where is Timber Ridge again?
4050 Hammond Rd.
Traverse City, MI 49686
Park as close as you can and ride your bike to the Lodge, if it’s packed. Parking is okay along Harrand and Six Mile, but please take care not to park in front of driveways, too close to intersections, and make sure other cars can get around yours to leave.
The second race of the Northern Michigan Fat Bike Series is a week off, and we’ve got the course ready for you.
The circuit will be on the Vasa 25km loop, going clock-wise. Riders will hit three big climbs in the first five miles before a much flatter section brings them to Logger’s Run. This bypasses the backside of Wood Chip Hill, which should play a factor in the finale. The course will be wide open and fast throughout, but it’ll be an exciting bunch sprint over flat, fast terrain if any riders stay together. The start/finish at Timber Ridge will be the perfect spot to see rider take off and catch the thrilling ending to the North American Vasa’s first-ever fat bike race.
King Vasa, the second race of the series, is only a few weeks off, and the points standings are ready to be unveiled!
Jorden Wakeley and Danielle Musto lead the Solo divisions, with Beth Collins and David Hintz in the driver’s seat in their respective Master’s classes.
The points are tight, which means every start is important. Riders currently down on points can make up a lot of ground in a single start, and Sean Kickbush is expected to challenge over the course of the next two races.
A big thanks to Crystal Mountain, New Belgium Brewing, Bike Lab and all the folks who made it out for the second annual Fat Chance!
Last year’s NMFBS champion, Jorden Wakeley, cruised to a big win to kick off the series, while the women’s winner of 2013, Chelsea Strate, battled hard to take third behind Danielle Musto and Jill Martindale. The course was nearly perfect, save a stretch of pock-marked snow that forced everyone to jog the latter part of the afternoon.
The race saw a record turnout, plus one of the best after parties in the history of fat bike races that didn’t result in arrest of banishment. Even with some icy roads and rough weather, we had racers from all over the state, and from as far away as Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Holland. The city, not the country.
Race numero dos is February 8! King Vasa is going to be a great showdown between the cream of the NMFBS crop, and could see some impressive speeds on the perfectly manicured Vasa after the ski race.
The incomparable Chris Remy has been busy at Crystal putting together an awesome circuit for Sunday’s Fat Chance! and he’s done a terrific job! The course is hard-packed, fast, and in perfect condition. With temperatures staying cold all the way through race day, it should stay in simply awesome shape. The 2014 loop is longer than last year, and brings in a bit more elevation as well. Each lap will now have 300 feet of climbing, which means the faster riders like Jorden Wakeley should get in nearly 2,000 feet of climbing in two hours! You can see all the details here.