The 2013 Fat Bike Summit and Festival Final Report (11-page PDF) is now available.
At Friday’s Summit for land managers (agenda), Gary Sjoquist, Director of Advocacy for QBP presented on the State of Fat Bike Access. And Joe Meiser, Product Design Manager for QBP presented on the State of the Fat Bike Industry.
Here are their Powerpoint presentations and below them, some photos from the morning sessions and the afternoon fat bike demo rides with land managers.
Bob Allen and Estela Villasenor of Bob Allen Images took these photos of the Summit on Friday and the Festival on Saturday:
Wow. Over the years, I’ve been involved with countless events at every level from sponsor to organizer but this year’s Fat Bike Summit and Festival was the most comprehensive event we have been at the head of. After months of conference calls, spreadsheets, emails, and brainstorm sessions, I finally found myself in the van driving up to Island Park Thursday night. At that point, my hope was that everything was simply on cruise control. (continued)
And blogger Dave Chenault has a post (with 6 photos) about the Summit on his Bedrock & Paradox blog:
I was on the fence about hauling down to the summit until Casey made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: a free ride and good companionship. I left town after work on Wednesday and did what has become all too rare lately, made a relaxed multi-hour drive away…
The whole weekend was very well organized, but the rapid-fire presentations Friday morning were the best. I’ll just say that in the world of mental health conference presentees don’t stick to their time slots very well, so this was a pleasant contrast.
Fatbike access, at least over snow, is a curious creature. Once the snow piles up fatbike are truncated to well-packed surfaces, which under all but extraordinary conditions means snowmachine trails or trails groomed for skate skiing. Fat bikes are thus beholden to potentially hostile user groups, until more places gain a critical mass of bikers and start bike-specific grooming programs. There seems to be three primary concerns here, each given over to a certain user group. Land and ski area managers worry about safety, snowmachiners worry about cost sharing (their registration often pays for the grooming), and skiers worry about fatbikes rutting up their trails. The summit organizers had compelling answers to all of these. (continued)
Here is the PDF of the Fat Bike Winter Summit & Festival 2013 race results. Heavy snow on Friday night required the Rippin’ 60K race to be run as an Expert class on the Chillin’ 25K course.
Many thanks to Caren Ware and her Prime Time Timing Company (ITz ABOUT TIME) for providing the timing services.
Tim Young,Executive Director of Wyoming Pathways, sent these photos of today’s Festival, including the racer meeting, clinic, raffle, awards, dinner, and of course, beer drinking. Heavy snow overnight required the Rippin’ 60K race to be run as an Expert class on the Chillin’ 25K course.”
Tim wrote this about those bottom three photos above:
Anna Laxague, IMBA Northwest Regional Director on her first Fat Bike ride with Gary Sjoquist and I. Someday we may look back on this as a pivotal moment in Fat Biking…or at least look back on a good bike ride
You may have seen the news: Freezing rain across N. Utah wreaks havoc on roads, sidewalks. The storm is making it difficult for some to get here. Example:
The crew from 9:ZERO:7 contacted us this morning with the bad news: they can’t get here from there (Ogden, UT). The good news: the raffle for the aluminum lightweight fat bike frame is still going to happen.
Scott Fitzgerald, owner of Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, sent me this photo he took tonight of the on-site Fat Bike Summit team but he provided no details other than ‘planning.’ I’d argue that ‘fattening’ would be a better description.
L to R: Tim Young, Executive Director, Wyoming Pathways; Jason Boucher, General Manager, Salsa Cycles; Seth Nesselhuf, A.C.E Director, QBP; unidentified person; Jason Gaikowski, Director of Sales and Marketing, QBP; Joe Meiser, Product Design Manager, QBP; Tracy Petervary and Jay Petervary, nationally-recognized fat bike experts; Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy Director, QBP.
Here’s the PDF of tomorrow’s Summit schedule aimed at land managers and key decision makers.
Kelsey Dayton at WyoFile (“an independent, nonprofit news service focused on the people, places and policy of Wyoming”) authored a post on their Peaks to Plains blog this week titled Fat bike festival aims to increase winter access.
“Wouldn’t it be cool,” Scott Fitzgerald says, “if you could throw your fat bike onto a snow coach and go to Old Faithful. Spend the night and during the day bike around the geysers?”
This dream trip is just that for now — a dream. Fat bikes, bikes with large tires designed for snow and sand, aren’t allowed in Yellowstone National Park in the winter. Something Fitzgerald, who owns Fitzgerald’s Bicycles in Victor, Idaho wants to change.
QBP sent out this media release (PDF) earlier this week about Jay Petervary, the endurance cyclist from Fitzgerald’s Bicycles (Summit co-host) who broke the Tour Divide individual time-trial record last year.
Both of these pics are from our trip to Nome in 2011 and both of these places are seriously in the middle of nowhere!
Left: In the ghost town of Iditarod where the trail literally ended and we waited several days for the trail breakers to come thru.
Right: In the ghost town of Ophir, where we met some Iditarod check-point folks celebrating “Mexican Night” with enchiladas and margaritas.
Summit and Festival attendees will see a great deal of Jay and Tracey this weekend, including their Friday night slideshow.
The staff at Q-Outdoor recently drew attention to Cycle Haven in Oyster Bay, NY with this wall post about fat biking on the Q-Outdoor Facebook page. The Cycle Haven post:
Shop will be closed Monday thru Wednesday…Bikepacking trip to Cape Cod…it will be nice to bid civilization “farewell” for a few days…Kit is from Revelate Designs, Dry bags from Outdoor research, Bike is a Surly Moonlander. If your thinking of a trip we can order anything bikepack related from Q outdoor…they have quite a selection. Stop in and browse their catalog.
This week’s edition of the Jackson Hole News & Guide has an article about the Summit by Miller N. Resor titled Riders, makers to push fat bikes at weekend confab:
Regional snow bikers hope to define etiquette and promote the sport during summit in Idaho.
Jay Petervary has ridden the snow-covered Iditarod trail in Alaska on a fat bike, but he is still amazed by the opportunities in his own backyard.
“There are probably 1.000 miles of rideable trails between Driggs and Island Park.” he said. With everything from snow-packed county roads to snowmobile tracks to trails on Snow King and now the Nordic facilities at Grand Tar ghee Resort, there are endless fat biking options in the Tetons.
Fat bikes are mountain bikes with wide forks that can accommodate fat, 4-inch-wide tires. Al though traveling over snow is an ideal use for fat bikes, they are also touted as excellent for navigating sandy beaches, loose gravel or even mountain bike trails.
Starting Friday, the second annual Fat Bike Winter Summit and Festival will call together fat-bike enthusiasts, industry representatives and land managers for a three-day gathering aimed at celebrating and promoting the sport.
The summit will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Sawtelle Mountain Resort in Island Park, Idaho. “They are super-fun bikes in general,” Peter- vary said. “They put a smile on your face. Old people love them, and while cross-country skiing is hard to learn, everybody rides a bike.”
On Friday, demos showcasing the newest de signs in the industry will be available at two sem inars aimed at new fat bike riders setting out on public and private trails.
Petervary, who has helped Fitzgerald’s Bicycles and Quality Bicycle Products put on the summit, said that as fat hiking starts to catch on, it is im portant for the growth of the sport to define rules of etiquette and to work with public and private landowners.
“We want to show responsible use,” Petervary said. “and we want to work together.”
On Saturday, 60-kilometer and 25-k bike rac es will take place on the trails around Sawtelle Mountain Resort. The races will be followed by a fat-bike expo. ¡n the afternoon there will be a fat- bike clinic followed by an awards ceremony and party.
Sunday will be dedicated to more demos and more riding. Tracy Petervary, Jay Petervary’s wife, will lead a women-only group ride while her husband leads a mixed group.
The summit will also include two dinners, two breakfasts, beer and a bunch of free gear, all for the $99 registration fee. Members of the Inter national Mountain Bicycling Association will re ceive a $10 discount.
There are still bunkhouse accommodations available at the Sawtelle Mountain Resort. For information about the summit and a full schedule visit FatBikeSummit.com.
At 7:40 am, right after breakfast, Jay Petervary will host a Mandatory Racer Meeting for 25K and 60K participants. He’ll cover course signage, give a brief course description, and lead an etiquette discussion.
The cropped photo of Jay on the right is from last year’s Summit, courtesy of QBP’s Joe Meiser.
The good news: All the rooms at the Sawtelle Mountain Resort, site of the Summit & Festival, are now booked. So the owners are happy and we are, too.
More good news: we’ve come up with a plan to accommodate people in one of the Sawtelle bunkhouses at $25/night per person. We’ve reserved the small bunkhouse so you just need to contact us if you want us to reserve you a bed. The bunkhouse is on-site, sleeps 15-20 (basically a large room with beds), has 2 full baths, and a full kitchen. See the photo slideshow on their bunkhouse page and watch this 2-minute video tour:
So if you’re on the fence about attending the Summit & Festival because of lodging costs, we’re hoping this $25/night per person option convinces you to attend.
Contact us now, operators are standing by, not available in stores. Heh.
Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer and the crew at Salsa Cycles (a Presenting Sponsor) are very good at keeping the Salsa Cycles Culture blog updated, going all the way back to 2004. The blog often features posts by their sponsored riders. Last week, it was Jay Petervary of Fitzgerald’s Bicycles (Summit co-host) titled Continuing Education 2012 – Jay Petervary, part of their ‘What we learned via the bike in 2012’ series.
Certain tricks and techniques have worked for me through the years and others have not. We change and so does technology. I often think I have something figured out in the way of gear, nutrition, sleep, physical ability, and mental strength but there is always more to learn. I am willing to try something different or take a new approach even on things that have worked just fine for me in the past. Learning by experience and trial and error is just who I am.
This year was no different than the rest. I learned a lot. That being said I am often reminded and re-learn some of the same things every year, and other things I just build upon. Making the decision to do an individual time trial on the Tour Divide this year (with a record setting goal) two months before my actual departure date was a real challenge. (continued)
The Salsa blog also occastionally features others who write well about their adventures. In December, they published a guest blog post by Mo Mislivets of the Adventure Cycling Association (an 80mm Sponsor) titled My Winter Fatbike Respite & Winter Touring Tips:
I glanced back, squinting into the blinding snow, to make sure Bill was still riding behind me. The snow was getting heavier and visibility was much worse than when we had started earlier that day. But there he was, right on my tail with the biggest grin on his face. The riding was wonderfully quiet with a fresh two inches on the ground and piling fast. “This is awesome”, I heard him say, as my Surly Nates made fresh tracks. I couldn’t help but laugh. I was a little more concerned than he was about the amount of falling snow, the decreased visibility, the traffic, now reduced to one lane, and the 32 remaining miles we needed to ride that day; 14 of which would be a dirt road with mystery conditions straight into the mountains…
Flotation bikes or “fat bikes” are becoming more and more popular, and for winter touring it’s the perfect bike. The Mukluk that I used performed great. I felt very comfortable with the wide tires on snowy and icy roads, as well as in deeper snow, and the bike was very comfortable to both load and ride, and yes, push. It does takes some practice to get the tire pressure just right and to get a sense for conditions and how the bike slides, and thus when to add or subtract pressure to the front or back fatties. Winter isn’t just for commuting anymore. Touring on a fat bike may not get you there super fast, but it’s super fun!
Here are some thoughts that I had for winter touring after my trip: (continued)
The 9:ZERO:7 is crafted out of 7005 aluminum and offers a host of features to optimize your fat tire experience. Starting with an elongated head-tube and longer chain-stays, the 9:ZERO:7 features six rack mounts, three water bottle mounts, fender mounts, and full cable housing.
A non-offset, 170mm centered frame makes building up a pair of summer wheels super easy.
While featuring all of the benefits of the original 9:ZERO:7 aluminum frame, the 2013 frame utilizes a hydroformed top tube. This dramatically improves standover height without adding excess weight, making it easier to get on and off the bike in soft snow conditions. A hydroformed down tube is used to enhance fork crown clearance and allows the use of many different kinds of forks.
The chain and seat stays have been redesigned to accommodate even fatter rim and tire combinations. With the increase in clearance, the new 9:ZERO:7 easily accommodates 100mm rims. The 170mm frame is ideal for those seeking to run Big Fat Larry tires on fat rims.
While this video (by Scott Brown, Mpls MN) may not display the best practices/etiquette for fat biking in winter (see the section on Best Practices for Riding on Nordic Trails), the skate skiers and fat bikers appear to know each other and are in a good-natured, informal competition.
Some land managers are concerned that fat bikers are considerably faster than skate skiers, making it unsafe for both. But the video shows that even at maximum speeds, skate skiers and fat bikers on a well-groomed, packed trail are neck and neck. And from this video, one could argue that the fat bikers look more in control than the skate skiers.
Back on December 21, Gern Blanston posted to the Surly Bikes blog, The Craziest Man I Know.
Eric Larsen is a truly insane man. He came to Surly a while ago with a plan to ride a bike to the South Pole. From the edge of Antarctica directly into the heart of its warn chewy center, he will ride a Surly Moonlander, through 750 miles of ice, snow and the never-ending blaze of the sun… He’s spent a great deal of time training and preparing for the trip. You can read all about his preparations, exploits, the specifics of each leg of his journey and even follow along with him here.
Gern didn’t specifically mention it in his blog post but Surly Bikes is one of the Cycle South Expedition Support Sponsors.
In this Active Junky interview by Mallory Ayres back in November, she asked Eric, “You must be riding a pretty serious bike to get across the South Pole. Can you tell us about it?” His reply:
The Fat Bike technology has been evolving fairly rapidly for the past four or five years. I’ll be riding a Surly Moonlander. Basically, it looks like a normal mountain bike but has 4.8″ tires. The Moonlander is also unique in that the front wheel has a fixed gear attached and can be swapped with the rear. That way, if I have any sort of failure with my drive train – cassette, free hub or rear derailleur, I can simply switch the wheels.
Outside Magazine Online featured Eric’s expedition back in November: Expedition Watch: Riding a Fat Bike to the South Pole. It included this video, with his Surly Moonlander featured:
Coincidental sidenote #1:
Eric Larsen graduated from St. Olaf College (here in Northfield, MN where I live) in 1993 and has friends here. Back in Feb. of 2005, he and fellow explorer Lonnie Dupre did a presentation at a Northfield pub, Froggy Bottoms, raising money for their summer expedition across the Arctic Ocean. See this St. Olaf press release for more. I was there and took these photos:
Coincidental sidenote #2:
Lonnie Dupre is currently attempting the first solo ascent of Denali (Mt. McKinley) in January. See the One World Endeavors Expedition page for more. According to posts on the expedition Facebook page, he’s been restricted to his snow cave at 8,700 feet the past few days because of many feet of snow and high winds.
Andy Williams, Special Events Manager at Grand Targhee Resort, attended last year’s Fat Bike Summit so we’re pleased to A) have them as a 65mm Sponsor this year, and B) know that Andy will be hanging around all weekend, helping us do what needs to be done to make the event run smoothly. We just have to prevent him from riding around on his fat bike. (Photo of Andy by Powder Day Photography.) Word has it that he just might be bringing some lift tickets to dispense as prizes.
Andy will also be talking to the land managers on Friday of the Summit because, as it says on the Grand Targhee snow mountain biking/fat bikes page:
Grand Targhee Resort is the first ski resort in the United States to embrace and endorse fat bikes aka snow biking on our nordic trail system. Bikers who purchase a nordic ticket for $10 per day or a Nordic season pass for $120 will have access to the Grand Targhee Resort Nordic Trail System.
He’ll have knowledge to share.
And if you’re in the area the weekend before the Summit & Festival, consider competing in the 2nd Annual Grand Targhee Fat Bike Race on Jan. 19:
Snake River Brewing is a small brewery & restaurant located in downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
They’ve come on board as a 65mm Sponsor and you’ll see their beer at the Summit & Festival. Maybe you’ll even taste it at the finish line of the races. If you don’t race, it’s likely that just thinking about racing will make you thirsty. Either way, Snake River Brewing will be there to help.
They’re using this photo as the banner on their Snake River Brewing Facebook page. Can you see the fat bike in the background?
Sarah Hamilton is a marketing associate at Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, a co-host of the Summit. The shop’s Happy New Year card is a photo (above right) of her riding a fat bike on a gorgeous winter day.
She’s been taking on more and more Fat Bike Summit duties the closer we get to the big show, less than 2 weeks from now. Among her many other duties is keeping things updated on the Fitzgerald’s Bicycles blog, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. Her recent January blog posts have had a winter fat bike theme to them:
Her profile on The Crew page reads:
Sarah grew up kayaking, hiking and skiing on the East Coast. After taking some time working on a serious career in the courtrooms around Portland, Oregon, she re-found her place focusing on all things outdoors. She bounced around a bit before settling in Jackson with Brandon – yup, we’ve got another married couple working at the shop – and joining the shop to help out with our new website and marketing the shop. When she’s not on the computer, you’ll find her trying not to break any bones on her mountain bike.
We are psyched to be a sponsor of the Fat bike Summit happening in Idaho in 2 weeks. There will be some sweet bag prizes and a few demo’s to try out. Gas up and get over there for it!
The photo of the fat bike on the right? It’s on their Facebook page here with this little quip from Eric:
“5 below, clear skies, full moon. perfect!“
So far, that has generated 337 likes, 133 shares, and 38 comments. It seems Eric and his company have a lot of rabid fans.
From the Revelate Designs home page:
On this site you’ll find gear that can be used for rackless lightweight touring, bikepacking, distance road biking, expedition touring, winter riding / racing and everything in between. The benefits include improved bike handling and weight distribution and less weight on your back.
Yep, it’s true that BicyclArt is one of our 80mm Sponsors but the bigger news is that owner/artist Wendell Stam is designing and creating something for the top three men and women finishers of the Rippin’ 60K and Chillin’ 25K races.
We just might have a sneak preview of what he’s working on for us in a few days but you can get some idea by looking at the photos of some of his pieces on the BicyclArt Facebook photo page.
I briefly met 45Nrth manager David Gabrys (on the right in the photo above with Stephen Vitvitsky and QBP’s John Gaddo) in December at the Winter Bike Expo in Minneapolis where they had a big presence along with the other QBP brands. As a 65mm Sponsor of the Fat Bike WINTER Summit and Festival, their products are, um, more than a little relevant. Their tagline: Unparalleled cold weather performance. From their About page:
45North is a winter cycling company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where the average winter temperature is 13° Fahrenheit . We make products that provide the ultimate in comfort and control for the cold weather cyclist. Think hands, feet and traction.
We ride our bikes in the winter — a lot. Every product we make is a reflection of our knowledge and experience riding countless miles in extreme cold.
At work in the morning, our bikes hang in a row next to each other, with melting snow and ice dripping in trays below them. We obsess about insulation, wind-blocking, fatbike tires and the pros and cons of tire studs. Then we ride home again and hang our sweat soaked clothes on the handlebar to dry out for tomorrow’s ride.
We asked BikeFlights owner William Alcorn for shipping advice. He wrote:
I always suggest when shipping to a remote, weekend event such as the Fat Bike Summit & Festival, to set the delivery date to the Thursday before, in this case, January 24th. That will give one-day padding should winter weather delay transit.
Other than that, the only case I know that will hold a Fat Bike is a Triall3 Velo Case II. I am interested in seeing what folks ship in it, as the case world has not really addressed Fat Bikes yet.
And be sure check out our new badass stainless growlers, which we call ‘Braulers.’ You may see one or more at the Summit as prizes.
We’re thrilled that Q-Outdoor, a 100mm sponsor of the Fat Bike Summit and Festival, is contributing a ton of outdoor-related merchandise for the event, to be used as prizes and who knows what else. Leigh Carter, Q-Outdoor General Manager, sent us a box of items last week, some of which made it into the above right photo.
- Crescent Moon Snowshoes (2 pair)
- Back Country Access (BCA) backpacks w/ hydration (2)
- Alite Camp chairs with utensils (2)
- Outdoor Research (OR) stuff sacks / drybags (several)
- Skadi ski ties (40) and several wall mounts
- Alite dog leashes (2)
- and more
Q-Outdoor supplies local retailers with outdoor products. And:
Much more than a product warehouse, Q-Outdoor offers a spectrum of programs and services that can help grow your business, increase profits and—most important of all—free up more of your time to get out in the great outdoors.
See their Why Q-Outdoor? page for more.
We have our first two Frequently Asked Questions now posted to our new FAQ page. And we’ve answered them ever so succinctly.