The Fat Bike XC race season kicked off last Sunday up at Elk River - Hillside Park. I am not sure that there are any other single track Fat Bike series in the world...does anyone know of any?
The course is a perfectly groomed (by small snowmobiles called Snow Cats) 7 miles of tight and twisty trail with 700 feet of climbing per lap or so. It is the same trail that you can ride in the summer.. The conditions Sunday were perfect course wise but a little on the cold side temperature wise for me at 5 to10F ... I am soft I know.
The race had 65 competitors with probably half in the Fat Bike category. There were lots of new faces in the Fat Bike class, which is awesome. I ended up following Cody for a while before, like a gentleman, he let me by. From there I rode a reasonable but hard pace for the rest of the race and pulled out the win. I don't like to overdo it and go too hard this time of year, as the cold temps and wide q-factor, or distance between the pedals for the lay person, wreak havoc on my knees. My time actually wasn't that much slower than at the Halloween race (same exact course sans-snow) so my fitness hasn't deteriorated too much especially given the Top Fuel 9.9 was my chariot in that race.
So how did the 9Zero7 perform? Swimmingly. It is a refined piece of snow navigation equipment, that is for SURE. It was cool to see the mix of bikes out there with ~50% Pug, 25% 9Zero7, and 25% Mukluk. The first race I did out there was all Pugs and 1 9Zero7. Pretty much all of these bikes come in at a price point of ~$1600 fully built so people now have a lot of options. Without sounding like I sales man, I do want to point out that the 9Zero7 frames are only $500 if you are looking to upgrade...that is pretty cheap for such a sweet frame (talk to Hollywood if you want a 9Zero7 custom build, as he has been doing a fair number of them).
Next up? Just trying to stay warm...I heard -20 to -30 air temps next week. Really? I need a new bumper sticker that reads "Global Warming...I want some".