Organizer Q&A: The Winter Fest Fat Bike Race

February 4, 2017

How will the Fat Bike Race at the Madison Winter Festival work?

Anyone and everyone with a Fat Bike is encouraged to come out, no license is required. We have always made it a point that this is a fun race and if you take it too seriously you will be disqualified, – I think it’s one of the reasons it’s been so popular. We will award the top 3 men and women beer and cheese curds so the only thing we are serious about is getting the winners their winter fat on.

The course will be marked with tape, cones, and paint. It will use a small portion of the ski trail but for the most part will wind through the upper wooded section above the sledding hill. With fluctuating temps we wanted to stay off as much of the cross-country ski trails as possible.

We are holding it at night because most fat bikers don’t roll out of bed until noon, ok that’s a bit of a stretch, but these guys are a super hardy bunch and anything that adds to the difficulty and ups the fun factor is a bonus. If you have never ridden at night you should, it’s hard to explain, but it’s just a lot of fun.

Half of the course is not lit so folks will need to bring there own lights, we are working with a local vendor to see if they have enough demo lights for the night, so be sure to follow our facebook page for the latest updates.

Do you ride a fat bike? Why are fat bikes becoming more popular? And what do they offer that other types of bikes don’t?

I don’t have a fat bike, I race bikes 9 to 10 months of the year so when we have snow all I want to do is cross-country ski and snowshoe. Plus if I get another bike my wife will leave me.

Fat bikes have gained popularity because when you ride one it puts a huge smile on your face, it’s like riding a giant tractor around, you feel like you can go anywhere. They are very stable, durable, and relatively inexpensive as compared to “regular bikes”.

Are there year-round opportunities for fat bike riders in the Madison area?

Most folks use the fat bike as their winter commuting bike and because it’s become so popular you can usually find a race within a couple hours of Madison just about every weekend of winter. Fat-biking has become so popular that even during the summer most mountain bike races have a class just for fat-bikes.

The Frozen Assets Fat Bike Race will be held two weeks before the Winter Fest Fat Bike Race. What impact does having two local races in three weeks have on the local fat bike scene?

The more people we have out there on bikes the better. The great thing about bike racing is if you build it they will come, you could probably run these races a day apart and you would see almost the same people.

– Lee Unwin / Winter Fat Event Organizer