There was simply no way the brave few who headed up to St. Fatty’s would be disappointed. Fat tires, skinny tires, and more than a few cyclocross steeds assembled in the parking lot with tense anticipation. What had Jason Lowetz and Co. cooked up? Would there be sand? Tigers? A burning ring of fire?
Wondering if there would be sand at a race held on a golf course is always silly. Of course there will be! The only question is how much, and with the Einstein band designing a race, the answer is as many garsh darn sand traps we can weave on to this here course. There were three pits altogether, two of which that curved. For the Fat Bikes, the traps made for great advantages, but for the other riders, they were quite the challenge.
In fact, the course itself was a non-stop thrill ride of adventure and fun. With two steep climbs and some screaming downhills, the strong could hammer, though speeds were checked with multiple tight, technical areas with 90 degree turns over roots, around trees and off-camber corners to test a rider’s mastery of his or her steed. It truly was a complete test of a rider’s abilities. Each lap was roughly 2.2 miles, and the lead-lap riders completed the circuit 9 times with a total elevation gain of 1,479 feet! That ain’t flat, folks.
The Fat Bike category was flooded with speed and power. In the Women’s division it was a showdown between Sherri Engler and Christina Peer. The pair dueled until Sherri pulled away, taking the win and the engraved beer pitcher as a trophy. In the Men’s Fat Bike race, Jan Roubac and Scott Quiring had a bit of a Lance Armstrong-Jan Ullrich thing going, with the pair going one-two over the rest of the field holding off a hard-charging Chris Kushman, who rolled in third. Cheyenne Smith and David Silvers rounded out the Fat Tire Top Five.
In true Fat Bike fashion, the Relay category became the most entertaining race of the day. Riders complete one lap, then pulled off in the designated exchange lane for their partner to have a go. There were numerous reports of beers being used as unofficial batons, with the rider finishing the lap being handed a nice cold Short’s by their pal before they took their turn on the course. None of these reports can be confirmed, though there was a suspiciously high pile of empty, sudsy cups near the exchange pit. Kim Luks and Dan Krajcovich took the win, finishing an impressive nine laps in the process. The Fabulous Duo of Dave Lunz and Gary Lake politely took second.
The Women’s Skinny Tire category was also a two-(wo)man show, with Hagerty’s Melissa Ryba taking on Vita Kennedy Morse. The women rode to a near-stalemate early on, until Ryba turned on the “Ryba-Flavin Afterburners” to jet past and take the win.
The Men’s Skinny Tire category, on the other hand, was close for only a few laps. Ron Sanborn took the race by the scruff and handled it quite dirtily, riding away and lapping nearly every one once, and made riders multiple times. Sanborn, piloting his infamous Singlespeed of Doom, made an excellent gearing choice, which was very tough. Heading to the race, no one quite knew what the course would be like, and Sanborn’s pick paid off. Hagerty’s Steve Andreise rode a slightly taller gear, and it took its toll after an hour or so of racing. “Doctor Pain” was caught by Einstein’s Ryan Kennedy for second place, giving the Steiners a 1-2, but with Andreise a firm third ahead of the Luka Brothers, Scott and Shawn, who went fourth and fifth, respectively.
A very hearty thanks to Jason and Jason of Einstein, as well as their Trophy Wives, for all their hard work. The trench diggers, too, though not quite as classy, deserve great thanks, including the wonderful Leacher, Ben, Ross Williams and his Pops. Thanks to Short’s Brewery, GORE, Surly and all the sponsors, and of course, Marsh Ridge for having us all. What a great time, eh?
Check out the Strava info right here, which was good enough for 6th place in the Men’s Skinny Tire division.