Colorado has recently picked up on the fat bike trend. With some of the best mountain bike racers in the nation, racing these funny looking bikes only seems fitting. The Leadville Fat Bike Race Series has been around for 4 years now, and they have set the bar for others to follow. This fall, a few fat bike enthusiasts from the Gunnison-Crested Butte area thought it would be a great Idea to bring fat biking to one of the best mountain biking meccas in the world.
This idea soon became a reality as the group “The Gunnison-Crested Butte Fat Bikers” (GCBFB) was formed. They meet monthly to devise a plan to bring fat bike racing to the Gunnison County. Like any Crested Butte idea, the thought was a bit last minute, and took much longer than hoped, but it happened. The Crested Butte Nordic Center and GCBFB decided on some dates and locations that would work for both parties, and the first annual Crested Butte Fat Bike Race Series was born.
In mid-December the first fat bike race was held on the Magic Meadows groomed nordic track located right outside the town of Crested Butte. It was a beautiful day for some fun in the sun. Roughly 20 people showed up to race the 10 mile course (2 loops), which offered some quick 90 degree turns, short but steep climbs, and a few soft spots. Gunnison resident, Jefe Branham, took first with a time of 53 minutes and 30 seconds. Event co-organizer, Neil Beltchenko, took second with a time of 53.59. Rounding up third was Jon Brown whom had never been on a fat bike, with a time of 54.14. Amy Beisel took the top women’s spot with a time of 1 hour 2 minutes and 10 seconds. All in all everyone had a great time and the first fat bike race of the year in Colorado was a success.
The festivities ended in typical Crested Butte, grassroots fashion with pints of beer and prizes at a local pizza spot called the Brick Oven.
The remaining events of the First Annual Crested Butte Fat Bike Race Series are as follows:
Friday, January 31st – Alley Loop (Downtown Crested Butte)
Sunday, Febuary 23rd – Winter Growler (Hartman Rocks in Gunnison)
Saturday, March 15th – St Patties Night Extravaganza. (The Bench, overlooking CB)
For more information regarding these events please check out Gunnison-Crested Butte Fat Bikers Facebook page and Elk Mountain Events. It sounds like the riding never ends in Crested Butte. Make sure to save a day to head up the mountain to Crested Butte Mountain Resort for some steeps.