Sweaty Yeti ’22 Recap

photo by Dustin Marsh

JP sent me a text a few weeks back. It said that he had a new bloody mary bar set up that he planned to ride during the Sweaty Yeti at Levis. The Yeti had adopted a semi-virtual format this year and the course was open for ten days for anyone that wanted to enter. JP later told me that he and some of our amigos planned to go up and ride the course the last weekend. He would man the Bloody Mary Bar on Saturday, which would have been the traditional day of the event. That sounded good to me. I love the trails at Levis and I think that I’ve been going a bit stir-crazy from riding solo for much the last two years, so I was eager to ride con mis amigos.

photo by Dustin Marsh

I got off of work early and drove up to Levis Friday evening. Soon after I got unpacked, I started to get text messages from JP and Noel about meeting them at ‘The Mug’. When I pulled into the Mug parking lot, who do I see? None other than Dave (fucking) Lunz along with Greg Hahn (both from MKE). We came up with a plan to ride the course at around nine the next morning (gnome armada style).

photo by Jamie DeKruif

I think that I really like semi-virtual bicycle racing. The semi-virtual aspect allows each rider to participate at their own pace and schedule. It opens up the course with room to breath or meander if that’s how you roll. Mis amigos enjoyed a nice group ride around the course. We stopped up at the campsite above Dan’s Berms out on Goat Dance for beverages, etc and enjoyed a perfectly beautiful winter day! Somewhere out on Wolf Run, Spinner caught up with us. We all took off after Spinner. I was having one hell of a (good) time trying to keep up with him. We hit the Prime Cut twisties and slam danced our way back to Snodgrass. According to my Wahoo, my first lap came in at an hour and eight minutes of moving time and just over two hours of actual time.

Jamie & Noel at JP’s Bloody Mary Sleigh

After the first lap, we reconnoitered around JP’s mobile Bloody Mary sleigh and grazed. The good thing about a Bloody Mary is that it is both a beverage and an appetizer all in one cup.

The Arch – photo by Noel

Noel came up with a plan to do another ride and I tagged along with a small delegation from Cedar Rapids. When we got to the bottom of North Face, Noel asked if we should head up to the top of the mound.

The Clarence Overlook – photo by Noel

I didn’t hesitate and hike a bike’d up Northface. About halfway up, we came across some riders coming down that told us that they had come up Toad Road and that the top of the mound was ultra-smurfy. When we got up top we headed to the arch and then out to the Clarence overlook. It was a glorious afternoon to ride a fat bike!

Dustin Marsh

Back at the chalet, I ran into a bunch of cool people that I usually only get to see at bike events. The Loco MoFo’s were there from ‘Tosa and there were some new folks that I’d never met before that came and hung out. The entire Meurett family was there. I got to meet Freddy, Steve’s newest grandson. Steve is the race director of the Seaty Yeti and this is what he shared with me after the race.

It was great to still have riders come and ride even with the virtual format. That support of the trail just continues to amaze me and is so appreciated. We had some riders who raced the first day on the 19th and others who raced right up to end of the day Sunday.

Steve Meurett

I asked a couple of my clever smartass friends to send me a quote about the Sweaty Yeti Semi-Virtual. Mainly because I’ve shared my thoughts on how special these trails are and I thought that it would be interesting to hear what they thought on the subject. Primo Noel shared this about the event.

My personal take on the Yeti is this.  It’s the mountain biking event that I measure all other mountain biking events against.  It’s a race that doesn’t feel like a race.  It’s become a reunion of sorts for me and it’s held at my favorite trail .  Steve and the gang are folks that I have a lot of respect for and Levis is somewhere I can say is almost spiritual to me.  Having said all of that it was great to get back there to do this event to support and hang out with awesome people at a trail I cherish.

Noel Kehrt

On Sunday, I got out and did a second lap of the course. Conditions were pretty close to perfect. My solo lap was an hour and ten minutes of moving time and an hour, thirteen actual time. I miss big bike parties. I’ve been known to throw one hell of a bike party (gnome-fest, funduros). Wisconsin has a solid history of both Bicycles and the Circus trade. I mean, does your fat bike race have a Bloody Mary beverage cart out on the course? The Sweaty Yeti does.

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