Fat-bike.com’s Fatbassador, Travis, from Anchorage took in the Fat Bike Expo and Big Fat Ride that was held in Anchorage, AK this past February. Check out the happenings and then make a plan to be there next year!
The Fat Bike Expo
The Fat Bike Expo and Big Fat Ride was hosted by Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) Coordinator Kathi Merchant and sponsored by fat-bike related companies from far and wide. The Fat Bike Expo started Friday morning at the Egan Convention Center in downtown Anchorage and ran through Saturday night, it was open to the public free of charge. The Expo featured ITI competitors as guest speakers, they shared what competing in the world’s longest winter ultramarathon race is like first hand. The Expo closed out with a roundtable presentation with the Fat Bike Pioneers.
The FATBACK booth.
Fat Bike Pioneers Ray Molina (Remolino) and Greg Matyas (FATBACK).
G Dub of 9:zero:7 hanging at the Expo.
Dan Dittmer with Wolf Tooth Components and ITI 350 Competitor. Thanks for the flask Dan, you the man!
My favorite display at the Expo was definitely the Fat Bike Museum. Most of the Fat Bikes on display in the museum are on display every day at Speedway Cycles, home of the FATBACK, stop by and check them out.
Alaskan Creations: The Icicle Bicycle by Steve Baker (left) and a Wildfire by Mark Gronewald (Right).
The Evingson by Alaskan John Evingson. John was a consultant for QBP during the development of the Surly Pugsley.
Check out the 4 Pack and 6 Pack!
ITI Guest speaker, Tim Berntson, faster than a speeding bullet and cooler than the backside of the pillow. Tim won the ITI 350 this year on board a FATBACK Corvus. Congratulations, Tim! He got over the hump this year after previously finishing 2nd in 2013 and 2014.
The Big Fat Ride
The Big Fat Ride was held on Saturday, a total of 468 registered fat bikers participated in the ride, it was a great turnout. The ride was included as part of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous Festival. Fur Rondy, established in 1935, is a winter festival in Anchorage that includes the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Sled Dog race. There was a course change announced on the Tuesday before the ride, The Fur Rondy board invited us to start the ride on 4th Avenue which was closed for the World Championship Sled Dog Sprint races. We were sent off by Anchorage Mayor, Ethan Berkowitz!
Fat Bikers lining up on 4th Avenue.
I put my camera away and joined my fellow fat bikers for the largest group ride in Alaskan history. Sven, you’re right, I should have Go-Pro’d the hell out of this, next year it’s on! Several ITI competitors and Pioneers joined the ride.
The finale to the Expo was a Fat Bike Pioneer Roundtable.
From left to right, Fat Bike Pioneers Mark Gronewald, Greg Matyas, Craig Medred (MC), Ray Molina, Les Matz, Roger Cowels and John Evingson.
Listening to the Pioneers discuss the evolution of the Fat Bike and share stories of days past in Fat history was amazing. If you like fat bikes, have an interest in fat bike history, or follow the Iditarod Trail Invitational this is the event for you. Circle it on your calendar, make the trip to Anchorage. You won’t regret it.
Donald Kane (Scotland) at the ITI start in Knik, AK.
Donald Kane raced the ITI 1000 old school style on his Wildfire this year. Congratulations Mr. Kane! He rolled on Surly Knards (no studs).
The Fat Bike Expo and Big Fat Ride 2016 was a blast, catching the start of the ITI is something I’ll plan for every year. Thanks Kathi for putting on such a spectacular event. Special thanks to all the volunteers that made it happen. Gold Sponsors were FATBACK, 9:zero:7, Broken Tooth Brewing and 45NRTH. Check out the event link below and come see us next year!
Kathi is already planning the 2017 Fat Bike Expo and Big Fat Ride.