This year the 4th running of the Fat Bike Birkie, officially tagged The 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike, was raced on Saturday March 4th.
With 1000 riders registered and a few more on comped entries this was, by far, the largest field in the 4-year history of the Fat Bike Birkie and, indeed, the largest gathering of fat-bikers in the world! The field included both of the previous years winners, Will Ross from Anchorage, AK and Jenna Rinehart from Mankato, MN. IN addition there were a stacked group of Elite racers on both the men’s and women;s side. A story within a story for the race is that the Fat Bike Birkie is also the final race in the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series and this year only 15 points separated Matt Acker and Jeff Hall with whom ever finished ahead of the other winning the season series. Excitement all around.
Jay “Hollywood” Henderson leads out the start of the Elite Crit on Friday in Cable at the Fat Bike Birkie headquarters area.
Before we got to the race on Saturday there was some fun to be had in the form of the new for 2016 Fat Bike Crit in downtown Cable on Friday evening. A Novice race was run as well as an Elite race that saw Jeff Hall best Brad Bingham in the 25-minute plus one lap crit. Brad went on to take second place in the 47K race on Saturday while Jeff finished 6th. BTW, plans for the 2017 Fat Bike Birkie will again include the Fat Bike Crit and may see a new event on Sunday in the form of a Single Track Time Trial. Stay tuned for more info!
Race Day Course Conditions
As you probably know the Fat Bike Birkie is raced largely on the American Birkebiner Ski Trail. The Birkie crew did a great job grooming the 20-foot wide trails and at race time they were excellent, firm corduroy.
A bit different this year due to the 2016 USSA Cross Country Skiing Junior National Championships begin held at the normal starting spot of the Telemark Resort was that the race roll-out and finish, for both the 47K and 20K races, were on Randysek and Mcnaught roads leading to the traditional entrance to the Powerline Trail. With the 2-3 inches of snow that fell on Friday evening the road conditions were slick with the snow covering some ice and rutty conditions.
Jeff Hall and Matt Acker were among the leaders and were also battling for the season championship in the Great Lakes Fat Bike Race Series. Matt ended up taking that crown by about a bike length as well as notching a 4th place finish among some very tough racers.
The racers were greeted on the starting line with 28-degree temps for the 9AM start and, for the winners the race played out a lot like last year. Will Ross again took 1st with a winning time in the Men’s 47K at 1:46:57 while Jenna Rienhart took her 3rd women’s 47K with a time of 2:02:21 which put her at 48th overall!
This was the cat and mouse game about 10-12K before the finish with eventual winner Will Ross trailing 7th Place finisher Corey Stelljes and runner up Brad Bingham.
Spinner Ryerson doing the singlespeed Viking thing!
The Top 3 Results
- Will Ross, from Anchorage, Alaska
- Brad Bingham, Steamboat Springs, CO
- Adam Bergman, Lino Lakes, MN
- Jenna Rinehart, Mankato, MN
- April Morgan, Hopkins, MN
- Sheryl Loan, Eagle River, AK
- Adam Altmann, Chippewa Falls, WI
- Thomas Meyer, Hayward, WI
- Nicholas Hart, Lake Elmo, MN
- Christina Hyser, Hayward, WI
- Christina Roberts, St. Louis Park, MN
- Jennifer Swift, Hayward, WI
For a complete, searchable list of participants in the 2016 Fat Bike Birkie check out – http://pttiming.com/results/15336#/results::1457208304895
A lot of the racers stuck around for the After Party Saturday afternoon & evening at the Sawmill Saloon in Seeley hosted by Fat-Bike.com! This event was a fundraiser for CAMBA FAT BIKE with vendors, raffles, door-prizes and games. CAMBA raised over $8,000 to continue the work to improve the winter riding experience in the area. With over 50 miles of groomed fat-bike trails prepared by the CAMBA group the Cable/Hayward area is certainly one of the Fat-bike destinations to check out next season. If you make it up next year it this is a party you won’t want to miss!
Finally, throughout the weekend there were demo rides, a couple of expos and fat bikes all over the area!
If You Go Next Year
I stayed at the Otter Bay Resort just a few miles east of Cable. Even if you don;t stay be sure to check out the Otter Burger! Fantastic!
R Place Cafe – Cable, WI
I ate breakfast here for 2 mornings and really love the local flavor. Not crawling with racers, this is a true “locals” place to have a cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast.
Rivers Eatery – Cable, WI
The pizza at the Rivers Eatery has become a must have for participants of all the sporting endeavors in and around Cable and the Fat Bke Birkie weekend is no exception. Mick had the stone fire pizza oven cooking up the goodness!
Angry Minnow Brewing Company – Hayward, WI
Supplier of really great beer to a lot of the bars in the area, the Angry Minnow is also a brew pub in Hayward.
Sawmill Saloon and Lenroot Lodge
The Sawmill is the host of the Fat Bike Birkie After Party and has an extensive menu as well as several rooms that were filled with fat-bikers. Plus, the Lenroot Lodge is just a hop, skip and jump away and boasts 2-story rooms that were my home last year.
Below is a collection of photos from the 2016 Fat Bike Birkie. If you find yourself in the gallery below you may use the photos for your personal use on the web by attributing the photographer Greg Smith and providing a link to fat-bike.com. Like this! Photo: Greg Smith – fat-bike.com
For all commercial and/or print use, contact Greg Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss terms.