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Pugsley World Championships – 2013

I attended the first two PWCs in my favorite biking town in the Midwest, Decorah, IA. Alas, fate would have me miss the 2013 edition but we tapped into event organizer Spinner Ryerson for this report along with photos from Spinner, Dave Lunz and McColgan Photography as well as an Audio Interview from 2012 PWC Colin Ford interviewing newly crowned PWC, Ron “Chewey” Moffit.

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That Feller there in the middle is none other than event organizer Spinner Ryerson.

Take it away, Spinner!

Part 1 – The Race

The 2013 Pugsley World Championships are in the books. Six inches of fresh snow fell on Thursday night/Friday morning. Conditions were about as good as they could be. The only challenge was the ice that had accumulated under the snow from a rain storm 2 weeks earlier. While I wanted to put more singletrack in the course, 26 miles of rolling frozen and snow covered gravel seemed to make the most sense. The route wound along country roads, Iowa farms, the upper Iowa River and the bluffs of rural Decorah and Bluffton. I had to throw in some singletrack and added about 2 miles at the very end of the race. The ice was a challenge for some, fun for others, and discussed by everyone.

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Trevor, Hollywood and Pete.

Top 10 Men’s Finishers:

  • 1st: Jay “Hollywood” Henderson – 2h 4m
  • 2nd:  Trevor Rockwell – 2h 6m
  • 3rd:  Pete Brueggen – 2h 15m
  • Ben Shockey – 2h 17m
  • Scott Marx – 2h 17m
  • Barry Tungseth – 2h 20m
  • Franz Rinkelff – 2h 27m
  • Joe Nolan 2h 40m
  • Jason Tyson 2h 41m
  • Marc Folkedah 2h 42m

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Photo: McColgan Photography

Top 1 Women’s Finisher:

  • 1st:  Lauren Case

Other PWC Participants:

  • Craig Severson
  • Matt Dorsett
  • Sheldon Morgan
  • Mike McColgan
  • Rob McKillip
  • James Zimmerman
  • Eric Clement
  • Les Hollingsworth
  • Kirk Johnson
  • Mark Schuttenhelm
  • Luke Schuttenhelm
  • Christian Correy
  • Colin Ford
  • Chad Wilson
  • Jono Ruff
  • Jeff Friedhof
  • Ron Moffit
  • Dave Lunz

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Enthusiastic supporters of the PWC, Decorah locals donate a big pile of hard cash!!
Photograph: McColgan Photography

The history of the PWC

Decorah hopped on the fat-bike wagon with both feet. When the Moonlander was introduced in December of 2011, there were 7 on the Annual New Year’s Day ride. Not long before New Year’s I was riding with the Jeffs, O’Gara and Friedhof off trail, or “back country” as I’ve heard it called. We were scoping out some new sections of the woods to build a new trail which is now called Public Television. We were fast figuring out just how versatile fat bikes really are. So much more than just a snow bike, I was impressed with the stuff were riding over and the control I had, as the fat tire crushed sticks and rocks and other wooded trail treats.  We began talking about the Single Speed World Championships, and the question came up “Why not a Fat-Bike World Championship?” Freidhof said he would put a $500 purse if I was to host such a race, and the Pugsley World Championships was born. More local Decorah folks have kicked in prize money to grow the event. The first year was a winner take all, now there are cash prizes for the top 3 men and women. No age categories.

Why Pugsley World Championships and not Fat-Bike World Championships? Why not? The rules are any bike can enter, only fat bikes can win. I’ve been going with the 3.5 inch tire or bigger rule. This counted out the Krampus this year, but as more and more tire sizes and bikes enter the market, the rules will need to be revisited each year. Also, for me the Pugsley was the first Fat-Bike I knew of. I think Surly is a great company that keeps pushing the envelope rather than just re-working something that another company already took a chance on. Weird huh, the guys with the flys and the deer heads and unicorns and gas masks are the innovators. Maybe it’s good to be allergic to normal.

This year’s date (2013) was in conflict with the Sweaty Yeti in Levis Mounds, WI, Frostbike in Minneapolis, and CIRREM in Des Moines. We’ve had conflicts for the dates in the past, but we’re very limited to the dates that we can pull this off due to the Sponsor’s schedule with High school and College wrestling. Hey, it’s Iowa. And this year the Iowa State Wrestling Tournament was the previous weekend and the main sponsor, Jeff Freidhof is heading to India for 3 months this coming weekend with Ward and Jacky Budweg who are hoping to finish their bike around the world tour this Spring/Summer.

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Go to Decorah and you are bound to find Bucketball. A part of the PWC events this year.
Photo: McColgan Photography

While the race is the biggest draw of the PWC for some, the winner of the race isn’t necessarily the Pugsley World Champion. The rules to become the PWC and bring home the big battle axe can be anything. In previous years the Championship included a bike King of the Hill, Hook ’em up bike pull off, Teeter Totter Challenge, Bucketball, derby after derby, and drinking games. This year’s winner – Ron “Chewey” Moffit.  I can’t tell you how he won, just that he won.

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Outgoing 2012 PWC Colin Ford and future talk show host.

Colin’s Audio Interview with 2013 PWC Ron Moffit >>> PWC-Interview (Clicking that link there will open a new window with an Audio Player if you have a modern browser). If not here is a direct link to the m4a file of Colin’s Interview:

http://fat-bike.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/PWC-Quote.m4a

"Chewey" PWC for 2013 lurks in some interesting spots.

“Chewey” PWC for 2013 lurks in some interesting spots.

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Chewy’s ride for the PWC! He rode with Dave Lunz on this Schlick tandem.
Doing “sweep” for the race ensured the coveted DFL award for the team!

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3 Responses to Pugsley World Championships – 2013

  1. Benjibob February 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Fantastic. So sad I missed the fun this year…
    And hoping Moffit carries the axe to every biking event this year…

  2. FatBikeMike February 28, 2013 at 11:41 pm #

    Great story, looks like a great event!

  3. Mark Peterson March 1, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Looks like it was Fun