Iowa’s Annual Majestic Fat-ride Around Trueblood (I AM FAT) was the first fat-bike enduro event in Iowa, following the lead of other states in the Midwest. Under the three hour format, teams of three as well as solo riders tackled a course that mimicked many of the different conditions you might see out on a fat-bike. Shoreline, singletrack, paved bicycle trail, brush, and bushwhacking made up the almost 2 mile course. Riders from all experience levels and age groups 15-68 attended. A few brave souls were on their first fat-ride EVER.
A lack of snow on the course didn’t deter the riders from showing up en masse. 92 registered riders formed 24 teams along with 20 solo riders. People traveled from as many as four hours away to participate in this free event. An additional feature to this event was the Salsa Cycles demo truck that, along with the demo fleet provided by World of Bikes, had 18 different bikes compiled of Beargrease, Mukluk 2, and Mukluk 3’s. Along with different types of support from the community, Geoff’s Bike and Ski donated food to the Johnson County Off-Road Riders which in turn helped raise over $600 for the organization.
Solo riders took off with a stacked field. Charles Showalter (past Trans-Iowa finisher) and Dennis Grelk (Trans-Iowa winner, Triple D winner, many other accomplishments) took off from the start and didn’t look back. From the word go, Charles jumped to a lead with Dennis on his tails and the rest of the riders immediately struggling to hold on.
Hitting sub-10 minute laps, Charles opened up a small lead after just one lap, and that continued to grow for three hours. The solo group chewed up the course with Charles winning – doing an INCREDIBLE 22 laps, Dennis- 20, Craig Irving- 19, and Mike Koskinen- 18. Charles crushed the course, exceeding everyone’s “best guess” for a total lap count.
The three person team race was hotly contested as well. Five teams surpassed the 20 lap barrier, and the winner wasn’t decided until the very end. Ben Morris, Chris Ridder, and Joshua Peter topped the group with 23 laps. Hot on their tails were teams with 22, 21, and two with 20
Unlike the solo race, the team competition went to the wire and had numerous lead changes. Teams started employing strategy by doing two laps at a time, or even more in some cases to minimize the time changing saddle heights and switching bikes. One aspect of this race was that you didn’t need to own a fattie to participate, just show up and be placed on a team. There weren’t gender specific teams this year, but with 14 ladies showing up, a lady’s category is on it’s way next year.
Thanks to everyone who showed up and all of our sponsors including Fat-bike.com for giving us an event highlight. Winners of the team competition received the (whether they knew it or not) highly sought after Trident of Trueblood. Solo winner took home a Lazer Dissent helmet.