2016 Fat and Frozen Race Report


2016 Fat and Frozen Race Report


Planning for Fat and Frozen, NYC's first fatbike race, was started in early December 2015. Coming off our "City Slicker" mountain bike race event on November 7th, 2015, we at the shop felt there was a large enough NYC/Metro Area Fatbike community that would make it worth while to throw a race.

One thing we didn't plan on for our snowbike race was the snow...records amounts of it!  Our planned date of January 23rd was snowed out due to a historic blizzard that shut NYC down.  We thought about holding it anyway, but felt that our insurance company wouldn't look to kindly if we were hosting an event during a travel ban with 55mph winds in the woods.

Luckily, we were able to move our permits, demo bikes, insurance and even the food truck  to 1 week later, on January 30th.

One thing that was important to us was to host the race as a benefit to CLIMB (Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers). We wanted our talk of giving back to actually have some teeth.  CLIMB maintains many many miles of trails locally, and in our opinion make places like Cunningham Park possible.

As a shop, we are always looking to find opportunities to get people on these bikes, out in the wild, with friends. You can't call yourself a mountain or fatbike shop by just hanging these bikes on the walls. Additionally, we are saddled with the fact that someone can't take a reasonable test-ride outside our shop. Whereas some off-road shops may be fortunate to have a trail-head out their back door, in Brooklyn we have 3rd Avenue.  Our shop rides, tours and races are thinly veiled opportunities to get people riding out in the woods with friends.


In order to make this happen, we need partners who are willing to provide demo bikes and support. We are lucky to have QBP (Salsa, Surly, All City, Foundry) as a very able and willing partner in our effort to create a real community of off-road riders here in NYC.

The day dawned cold and relatively still. Load-out at the shop started at 6:00am, with all present and accounted for/wheels up at 7:00am, with 3 vehicles heading the 20 miles to the edge of NYC.

718 Crew getting things ready at the shop
Rental van load-out, 6:00am
Much to Greg's dismay, we arrived at Cunningham Park at 7:30:28am, 28 seconds behind schedule. The plan was to release "Team Riverdance" out onto the trail to tape and groom it where they could, while "Team Homebase" was left to set up registration table.
Initial Registration table set-up...the "1000 mile stare"
The call came in from Team Riverdance about 15 minutes into their journey down the trail.  There were many impassable areas, and they also felt that the idea of running the advanced and intermediate riders to the far side of the park was too dangerous.
Original courser map, before it was shortened for safety concerns
The concept here is safe and fun.  After the call was made, it was also determined that all available people needed to get out and work the trail into shape by tamping down all of the snow. Working in opposite directions, Team Riverdance and the Stomp 1 and Stomp 2 expeditions made it around the trail, meeting in a "Golden Spike" moment on the far side of the trail.

Mitch, explaining how its going to be
With the ability to actually hold an event, we started the registration process for our initial 10:00am race.
Race Registration
The race schedule was as follows.
  • 10:00am Men's Advanced
  • 10:30am Women's Advanced
  • 11:00am Men's Intermediate
  • 11:30am Womens's Intermediate
  • Noon Men's Novice
  • 12:30pm Women's Novice
  • 1:00 The ClayForce One Ice Jump Extravaganza
Because of the size of each heat, we once again decided on a "LeMans" start, having participants run 100 yards down a snowy incline to pick up bikes. 
Le Mans Start

The first group in particular had a tougher time on the "partially" groomed conditions, but the subsequent races had near perfect conditions. The temperatures remained in the low 40's, with sun and no wind, making conditions ideal

Self-inflicted crash








Results

Advanced Women Podium
Advanced Men Podium
Intermediate Men Podium
Intermediate Women Podium
Novice Men Podium
Novice Woman Podium Pic missing, but here they are staring the race!

Amazing Finish

After flatting on the far side of the course, Kenji was able to run it back to the pits, grab another bike (XS Salsa Mukluk) and pass 3 riders on the final lap.

"He's coming in hot"
With borrowed XS Mukluk

The ClayForce One Ice-Jump Extravaganza

No 718 event would be complete without 718 employees looking for ways to injure themselves.  At Fat and Frozen, this took the form of a built up ice/snow jump over a log.

Building our very own Workman's Comp ramp


Illegal Activity and Other Cheating

This years race was marred by illegal activity, mostly caused by shop ne'er-do-well Greg. If you look for Greg in any of the 350 pics in the gallery, he is probably up to something.
Greg providing illegal hydration to Tijon
Greg illegally pushing 2 riders

Postscript

We had over 90 riders registered for the event. We were able to generate $915 in donations for CLIMB, as well as get them 40+ new members and some fresh meat for their Spring and Summer Trail Maintenance Events

Thank You's

There were any people that threw in to make this event possible.  In no order of importance..
  • Bicycle Habitat provided a demo bike as well as 7 employees to lend a hand. In this day and age of small businesses being at each others throats, its refreshing to work with a shop as established and well-known as Habitat. Thanks to Charlie, Kristen and the rest of the crew.
  • QBP and Chris Gebhardt provided a ton of Salsa and Surly demo bikes, giving new riders a taste of the great outdoors (on a bike). Chris was like a tech with 6 hands, getting new racers sized up and ready to race all day long.
  • Andrew, the owner of Hard Time Sundaes provided his food truck and the (as advertised) Best Burgers in NYC. Please go to his website to find out where he'll be next. If you're lucky, maybe he'll do your next event.
  • Joe Kirdahy from Downeast/Reid provided a tent and some great Reid Fatbikes for people to race and demo.  Joe has been a friend for awhile, and is pretty much down for anything that involves fatbikes and mountain bikes.
  • Mr John Blye, who represents a number of great outdoor products such as Schwalbe, Arkel, Fatback, Wren and Advocate Cycles (to name a few). John was going to bring an Air Arch to the event...stay tuned for the next Air Arch appearance.
  • Kenji, and his company Roley Poley, provided 12 pro grade walkie-talkies.  Maybe I charged them, maybe I didn't...they the worked great with the charge they had.
  • Thanks to Mitch and the medical team...here's hoping Luthern Hospital doesn't notice any thing missing. Even with a banged up arm, Mitch (and Arthur) made sure all were safe.
  • Jamie, for driving and being our biggest and best-attended supporter.
  • Oh yeah... Thanks for the car Deb (my wife)
  • ..and, a final thanks to the Employees and "Friends" of 718 Cyclery.  Thanks for believing in my vision to become the best Adventure Cycling Shop in NYC.  Its been a crazy ride, and it's about to get crazier. Thank you "Speed Rope", "Ram Jet", "Pinch Flat" and "Flipper".