Forty-Five North Vineyard. February 19.10am.
We're going back to the vines! Short's Brewing Company comes to the Vineyard for one of the most spectator-friendly fat bike races out there. The 3.2 mile loop is almost all within sight of the cozy tasting room, with the start/finish and much of the route tucked between the rows of frozen vines overlooking the rolling hills of Leelanau County. It's a striking moment to spill like a tipped bottle of Riesling down to the base of the 250 foot climb each lap, only to drip back down the thrilling descent.
2016's race was simply thrilling. With Ryan Kennedy looking to take the Series title, he was under attack from all comers in the opening three laps, with Nick Wierzba, Keegan Myers and Steve Andriese giving him everything they had on the climb, on the descents, and the wide open and windy flat section overlooking Horn Road to the south and east. Kennedy survived the opening salvos, using up teammate Cody Sovis in the process, before taking flight and dropping the field to take a very important win. Liz Belt rode steady after racing the day before, and ultimately swept up points along the way to her 2016 points title.
We'll offer a Short's and Long race again in 2017, with number of laps based on as many as can be completed in 45 minutes and 90 minutes. With almost 300 feet of elevation per lap, you'll earn every sip of Short's by the day's end.
As the third race in the series, it'll be make or break time for riders moving up the points table. This is one for the climbers, boasting the most elevation of any race by far. It's a tactical affair, too; sneaking off the front is tough to do with all eyes on the series favorites. This is a perfect course for the lanky, thin riders like Wakeley and Kennedy, while the women's field might find Melissa Socia pressing home an advantage over the climbs.
Registration and Day-of: $50, add $10 for day-of
Venue: Forty-Five North Vineyard. 8580 Horn Road, Lake Leelanau, MI
90 Minute Race
Men's Master (45+)
Women's Master (45+)
45 Minute Race
Men's Short's Race (All Ages)
Women's Short's Race (All Ages)