Just some thoughts and experiences from a mountain bike endurance racer who likes to ride and race his single speed mountain bike a long long way on remote single track in the mountains and desert.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

1st Place Singlespeed at the Fat Tire 40

Had a great race at the Fat Tire 40 finishing 1st in the singlespeed and 10th overall with the geared.  Great marathon race in Fountain Hills Arizona AZ at the McDowell competitive tracts and the Pemberton perimeter trails (Sport loop>Technical loop>Long loop to service road>Pemberton CC>Scenic trail>Pemberton>Coachwhip>Dixie mine>Pemberton>Service road>Long loop>Sport loop in reverse).  It was a USA Cycling event.  The weather was perfect with no wind!  Check out my race stats at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/75380751 

The race was promoted by Swiss American Bikes http://www.swissamericanracing.com/fat-tire-40 

I chose to ride 32x18 gearing on my Trek 29r with a Schwalbe Nobby Nic on the front and Schwalbe Racing Ralph on the rear which was a great combination for the varied terrain.  At one point there was a guy in front of me who really slowed down in the tight corners and almost crashed me when he put his foot out in an attempt to corner moto style.  Not sure what tires he was using but they were not getting very good traction.  I started with 3 water bottles with Hammer HEED and used the Hammer Perpetuem Solids, Endurolytes and gels during the race which worked great for me.  I didn't use anything from the feed stations but it was nice to know they were there.

 The bike performed great

The race started out with a short run then the usual chaotic mess of finding your bike before hitting the trail.  I felt pretty good on the competitive tracks and could see the leaders for the geared bikes but when we hit the pemberton trails I was completely spinning out.  I gained some ground back and passed a few racers on the more technical Scenic trail and Coachwhip trail with the steeper climbs but I needed a 15 or 16 for the rest of the Pemberton trails.  When we got back on the competitive tracks toward the end my gearing felt much better and it seemed like I made up some ground.  The ending was on Sport loop riding backwards.  It was obvious that the trail was always ridden the opposite direction.  The corners and climbs just felt odd.  Great competition with the other tough singlespeeders in my class.

After rolling across the finish there was a cold beer, raffle prizes and trophies.  I don't think I've received a trophy from a race since my motocross racing days.  I liked the race format and the promoters did an excellent job!

Check out the article on it in the Phoenix newspaper at http://www.examiner.com/mountain-biking-in-phoenix/mountain-bikers-rise-to-epic-challenge-of-fat-tire-40

First actual trophy since the moto racing days, the little biker even had a water bottle holder.
Ava hanging with me at the awards, she didn't know what to think of the self portrait shot and its nap time!