Fat Bike Nationals Return to GR Feb. 10

Fat bikes are versatile rigs for all conditions, including snow, which we hope to have at this year’s USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships Feb. 10 in Grand Rapids! More than 100 cyclists from all over the country will head into town to compete for a stars and stripes jersey signifying that they are a national champion - a very prestigious and proud item to own and wear.

These racers are the hardiest of the hardy, racing from 12 to 24 miles in low temperatures and inclement weather on a bike similar to a mountain bike, but with large tires. We’ll see racers from 10 to 70 years old – yes, 70 years old! I hope I’m still able to ride a bike at 70, nonetheless race a bike at 70.

2017 Fat Bike National Championships, Grand Rapids (Photo Credit: USA Cycling)

USA Cycling is excited to return to Grand Rapids for the second year of a two-year bid by our helpful hosts and great partners, the West Michigan Sports Commission and Winter Rush. And Grand Rapids is only the second location since USA Cycling debuted the race in 2015 in Ogden, Utah. Being in Grand Rapids means that our competitors have access to an enthusiastic cycling community excited about all types of biking, including fat biking. I mean, Michigan in the winter – why wouldn’t you ride a fat bike? They also will try a new course this year at Cannonsburg Ski Area, offering new technical challenges. And finally, they will get to hang out in a great downtown with their choice of craft beer in Beer City USA. Bikes and beer do go well together, especially after a day of hard racing!  

We also are thrilled to welcome International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) Executive Director Dave Wiens for a free reception at Cannonsburg’s Bear Creek Room Feb. 8, 7 to 9 p.m. open to both racers and the general public. This is your chance to hear from a legendary racer, revered local advocate and inspiring leader in the mountain bike world. He will talk about the IMBA, fat bikes, and trail advocacy.

2017 Fat Bike National Championships, Grand Rapids (Photo Credit: USA Cycling)

There is still time to register to participate in the Fat Bike National Championships. A USA Cycling Race license is required to compete, and a one-day or annual license is available with registration. Onsite registration and packet pick-up also is available Feb. 8 from 2 to 6 p.m. and Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (no registration on race day). You can find the full weekend schedule here.

But this event isn’t just for racers. If you’ve never seen a fat bike or a fat bike race, come out to Cannonsburg Ski Area on Saturday, Feb. 10 and check it out. We’ll have racing all day so you can see what fat biking is all about, and you’ll no longer have an excuse for not riding a bike in the winter!  

2017 Fat Bike National Championships, Grand Rapids (Photo Credit: Winter Rush)

Tara McCarthy
Guest Blogger
Tara McCarthy is senior national events manager for USA Cycling.

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