It's finally here! We can't wait to kick off the 2017 Short's Brewing Fat Bike Series, and there's no place like Crystal Mountain to get the party started. It's a world-class resort that gets swarmed by fat bikes each winter, and on January 21, Thompsonville, MI becomes the fattest place in the Midwest.
Here's your handy race day handbook, and we'll be sending out even more details in a racer email on Friday morning.
As always, registration and packet pick-up is in Thistle Pub and Grille and opens at 10am. Thistle is located on the south end of the property, with small parking lots located nearby. Those will fill up quickly, in which case, please use the main parking lot on the north side of the property, which is only a quarter of a mile away.
At registration, make sure you grab your number plate and one free ticket for your hard-earned Short's beer after the race. All registered racers will automatically be entered to win a Bearclaw Bicycle Co. wheelset of their choice at the last race of the Series, Beard of Zeus on March 4.
Day-of registration is $60 in ca$$h or local check.
For 2017, we're using the famous Otter Loop, where Fat Chance! all started five years ago. It's just over 1.5 miles with 18 feet of elevation change, with the entire loop over six feet in width. It's wide open, way fast, and 100% passable. Most riders will be able to complete a lap between seven and eight minutes, and if you can't, it's all good. You'll have more time to take the hand-ups, accolades, and high-fives from the numerous fans and volunteers along the course.
All races will start together, and we ask that you seed yourselves accordingly. Faster riders toward the front, funner riders towards the back, you know, where the party is.
The Short's race will be 45 minutes, with riders crossing at 44:59 being allowed for another lap, and all Short's racers stopped at 45 minutes. The object is to finish as many laps in the allotted time. The 90 minute race will be a full 90 minutes, with riders coming through at 1:29 allowed to go for another lap, and riders at an hour and a half stopped. All riders that complete a single loop WILL be scored in the Series, and their positioning will be marked by the amount of laps they finished behind the fastest rider in their category.
Studded tires are not allowed, nor will earbuds or music be allowed on the course. This is for your safety and to make it easy for riders to communicate passing, drafting, or to ask for help with a mechanical or health emergency. We'll have some tunes playing near manned stations along the loop, and if you need neutral service, please pull to the side of the course near the race director past the start/finish loop.
Awards will be held in the Hudson Bay Conference Center, located in The Lodge, which is the main building of Crystal Mountain a few hundred yards from the start/finish location. Your first Short's Brewing Co. beer is free, and Crystal's kitchens will have chili, bread and salad on offer to fill up! Feel free to check out the Vista Lounge, the Wild Tomato or Thistle for more amazing dining options.
Awards will be held promptly at 2pm, so please change and head over nice and quick! You won't want to miss some very cool giveaway from Einstein Cycles, Short's Brewing Co., 45NRTH, SRAM and more!
A few questions we always get...
What tires should I run? After riding the course two weeks ago, I would recommend 4" tires with some aggressive tread up front, like a Vanhelga. Dillinger 4s would also be a good option, especially as a rear tire.
What do I get if I win? Each podium place gets a hand-made stainless steel medal courtesy of John Ammond and Air Way Automation. You'll also get a first run at the prize table, and hey, sometimes we find some cash!
This is my first race. What's it like? We think fat bike races are the perfect first competitive event. We keep SBFBS laid back, fun, inviting and supportive. There's no better way to meet great people, have a nice afternoon, and put yourself through the paces than at any one of our four events this winter.