Because we know great trail conditions can make a good day into an awesome day, all of us at Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop and Big Ring Cycles have partnered with 285 Nordic and Staunton State Park to raise money for grooming equipment at Staunton. Join us in building a great location for fat bike riders for years to come, right here in the front range. Here’s what you can expect.
The event is this Sunday, January 20th at Staunton State Park. So, register today and you’re all set to join in the fun for the Second Annual Staunton Blizzard, the Front Range Fat Bike Race! There are two courses to choose from.
Amateur course: A beautiful 12.1-mile loop that includes the following trails: Staunton Ranch – Borderline – Mason Creek. Fatties rollout at 8,100 feet for a route that includes 2,000 feet of breathtaking elevation gain
Elite Course: A challenging 18-mile route. Trails to be announced.
The race categories:
• Masters Men’s (age 46 and above)
• Masters Women’s (age 46 and above)
• Senior Men’s (age 21-45)
• Senior Women’s (age 21-45)
• Junior Men’s (age 20 and under)
• Junior Women’s (age 20 and under)
• Elite course
Check-in begins at 8:15.
Races begin at 9:00
What if you are interested but not racing? After the race categories, join a “Smiles and Miles” group to ride this beautiful course.
Great! You’re IN! Now what?
Well, get prepared! In our post, Fat Bike Essentials for First Time Fat Bike Riders, we give you the lay of the land of what you need to know. The quick rundown is to have the right cycling apparel! Stay warm and you will ride in comfort. Generally, the most important tip for keeping warm is to layer and to carry a pack to put your extra layers away. Some people prefer to wear ski goggles and a ski helmet, and lots of people wear winter boots. Poagies, insulated hand covers that slip over your handlebars, are also very useful for keeping your hands warm. Keeping your feet warm is key. Wearing boots, preferably waterproof, with thick socks on flat pedals or clipless boots with multiple pairs of socks works.
Are you wondering about drinking, and staying hydrated in the cold? Well, we have a few tips for you. First off, even though you might not feel the urge to drink as much when racing or riding your fat bike in the cold, it is still important to drink fluids. During the shorter race, you may opt to carry an insulated water bottle and start with really warm water. You can also add electrolytes or other ingredients to change the freezing point of the fluid but may find limited success if you think you’ll be out there riding for a while. When using a CamelBak or something similar, stick the bite valve in your jacket and blow out all the water in your hose. You can also buy neoprene insulators for the hydration hose to help keep the water as a liquid substance.
What about pedals? There is the clipless/flat pedals debate for fat bikes. Ultimately, it’s your choice! The biggest problems people have making this decision is deciding how to best keep their feet warm. Having flat pedals will allow you to wear thick winter boots, which are more conducive to keeping your feet warm. However, you can buy clipless boots that are designed to handle colder temperatures. Using a clipless pedal could prove annoying in snowy terrain if you have to dismount and remount frequently during your ride.
Finally, there’s tire preparation. What kind of tires is recommended? How wide? What pressure? Tube vs. Tubeless? It’s no different than the usual configuration – you have to match tire pressure with conditions. Softer snow conditions: 6psi. Harder conditions: 8-10psi. (much lower than the normal bike). Fat-bike tires are typically marked as 26 x 4.0 though most are really more like 26 x 3.7 or 3.8. The actual size of the mounted tire will vary depending on the rim width used for the wheel. Many riders prefer tubeless because they reduce over a point of rotation weight and they provide better traction.
At Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop, we are all big fans of fat bike riding. We sure hope you are feeling the urge to take on this fun fat bike phenomenon and join us this Sunday, January 20th at Staunton State Park, 12102 South Elk Creek Road, Pine, CO 80470 for the Staunton Blizzard: The 2nd Annual Front Range Fat Bike Race
Stop by Peak Cycles Bicycle Shop to get ready for the race. Check out our fat bike selections, cycling apparel, hydration strategies, fat bike bike parts, and cycling accessories. Plus, get even more of your questions answered in person! Be sure to register for the event and we’ll see you on Sunday!