Studded tires or regular rubber... would you bring basketball shoes to a play in a hockey game? Given no hockey skates (studs), I was forced to try to compete on a single track skating rink with basketball shoes (Husker Du fat bike tires).
Just like the mashed potatoes incident a few years ago, Fat Bike Fest 2012 will not be forgotten. Fat bike racing at Hillside Park in Elk River seems to have a knack for creating memorable races...you know the ones you won't forget not be cause of how you did, but how tough the conditions were.
You get the picture, 40% skatable ice, 40% slippery glazed snow (less slippery than ice though), 5% packed snow, 15% dirt...that is my estimate anyway. These conditions made for a pretty stressful day on the bike both mentally and physically. Physically, it was constantly being slid/whipped around, thrown to the ground, or putting down full power. Mentally It was either "steady, steady, find some grip, spin, slip, oh there is a little traction", "I am sliding backwards down this hill I wonder what I should do", or "I am on dirt, go FAST." The surprising thing is that Jeff Colbert (the namesake of the Elk River ColdBear racing series) and were not on studs, and we held the studded fat bike riders off. He was dealing w/ the ice better than I was, but there was just enough dirt for me to stay away for another Fat Bike Fest win. Rich and crew put on such a great show up in Elk River, and in combination w/ the 9Zero7 sponsorship of the race (free frame and fork give away), it is a must do on my calendar even in less than ideal conditions. Thanks to all the sponsor, volunteers, and especially, Rich!!!
While I love my 9Zero7, I think I am done racing my fat bike, maybe even riding it, unless we get some snow. It just isn't the same rolling 4" tires on pavement. Also, the frozen dirt is rough and the studded Remedy is ready to go. The Top Fuel for this year, well, Happy Valentines day to me...