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Event Report – Big Fat Bike Fest – Homer AK

designed by Mark Tanski.

designed by Mark Tanski.

 

Big Fat Bike Festival 2013: Bigger, Fatter, Homer-er

Written BY :  Kim McNett

photo by: Bjorn Olson  - Riders of the 2013 Big Fat Bike Festival

photo by: Bjorn Olson – Riders of the 2013 Big Fat Bike Festival

So it has come to pass! The Homer Cycling Club [homercyclingclub.com] has hosted a second annual Big Fat Bike Festival in beautiful Homer, Alaska! 53 fatbikers from the local area, Anchorage, and beyond convened on the weekend of March 1-3rd to celebrate fatbiking as an environmentally friendly, healthy, and down-right fun winter activity. The focus of the festival: to meet other fat bikers, experience the beautiful scenery and terrain of Kachemak Bay, and revel in the glory of riding in a big fat group.
This year’s festival can be distinguished from the last by an increase in camaraderie and rides! The event provides an opportunity to get together in a non-competitive, all exclusive atmosphere. As a result, a wide range of demographics participated, including new-to-the-sport riders and even young children, mounted in various fashions to their parents bikes.
photo by: Bjorn Olson  - HCC member Catriona Lowe enjoying the Saturday ride

photo by: Bjorn Olson – HCC member Catriona Lowe enjoying the Saturday ride

The featured Saturday out-and-back ride took place on beaches East of Homer toward the head of the bay. A turn-around point bonfire at McNeil Canyon allowed for riders to catch up with each other to share a word, and maybe a sip from a flask, before heading back to complete the 16 mile trip. A private helicopter even landed to check us out (most probably out of vehicle envy). Upon return, bikers were provided with a complete bike wash station courtesy of our local bike shop Cycle Logical [http://www.cyclelogicalhomer.com].
Photo by: Martin Renner - Rider Stacy Scott takes the path of most resistance

Photo by Tim Woody – Rider Stacy Scott finds an alternate route

 

Photo by: Bjorn Olson -  HCC member and Cycle Logical owner Derek Reynolds banks the Otter Slide

Photo by: Bjorn Olson – HCC member and Cycle Logical owner Derek Reynolds banks the Otter Slide
The 2013 obstacle course was a smash! Located at Mariner Park, the course included several log rides, a high table top, banked turns and see-saw, all encircling a warm bonfire. During the construction of the course, club members found a meter-long squid washed up on the beach, and deemed it this years mascot. It was displayed on the flag pole, and riders were encouraged to try to kiss the creature while riding the course (though this was never admittedly witnessed to actually occur).
photo by: Bjorn Olson -  Meet the squid, the 2013 impromptu mascot

photo by: Bjorn Olson – Meet the squid, the 2013 impromptu mascot

Along with registration, riders received a burger and pint of brew that evening at Alice’s Champagne Palace. The evening fundraiser was open to all and included a silent auction and raffles with all sorts of awesome prizes, including a shiny, blue 9zero7 frame! [http://www.chainreactioncycles.com]
Photo by: Bjorn Olson -  fatbikers and non-fatbikers alike gather at the Friday night Meet-and-Greet bonfire

Photo by: Bjorn Olson – fatbikers and non-fatbikers alike gather at the Meet-and-Greet bonfire

Other 2013 BFBF events included a showing of Reveal the Path [http://revealthepath.com], which featured footage of a Homer area fatbike ride joined by local riders. The auditorium was filled with festival goers as well as curious community members. The film’s philosophy of riding and bike-packing as a way to connect with oneself and place coincided beautifully with the attitude of the festival. Sunday stragglers chose between a snow trail ride to Caribou Lake, Spit ride, or just simply more bonfire and obstacle course sessions. A handful of riders took a biker-specific yoga class to stretch and re-cooperate after a fun-filled Saturday [http://www.manyriversalaska.com].
photo by: Bjorn Olson - Riders getting pumped up for the Saturday ride

photo by: Bjorn Olson – Riders getting pumped up for the Saturday ride

By now you may be thinking, ‘Who is this Homer Cycling Club anyway?’ [homercyclingclub.com]. We are a simply a local group of bike lovers, who formed a non-profit to promote cycling within the Homer community. Last years BFBF funds have gone toward the purchase of a Dero bike rack for the new Homer playground. We also promote Bike to Work Week, host numerous group rides and community events (often equipped with a bike-powered smoothy maker), and advocate/educate for bike friendly streets and policies. Over the years we have received a great amount of community support and many generous contributions from business and organizations both large and small, especially when it comes time for the Big Fat Bike Fest. We meet at least once a month and are all inclusive, so you too can be an HCC member!Thanks to all who participated in every way! HCC hopes to see you and your fatties at next year’s event. Until then, keep the rubber side down!
Kim McNett,
HCC president

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