Catamount Ranch & Club plans on racing through winter on fat tires
Steamboat Springs — In the past, mountain bike racing in Steamboat Springs was limited to the summer and fall.
But Catamount Ranch & Club outfitter Kevin Kopischke would like to change that with the Fat Cat Full Moon Snowbike Race Series. The first race of the two race series will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Registration will close at 5:30 p.m. at the Catamount Ranch & Club’s small boathouse, which houses Nordic operations in the winter.
“We held our first fat tire bike race last March,” Kopischke said. “It was a night race, and we had a pretty good turnout with 18 people racing.”
Kopischke said the first fat tire race last year actually came together at the last minute. He is hoping that a little more preparation, and a little more notice, will help numbers grow this time around.
The race has been expanded to include two events this winter. The first will take place Wednesday evening. The race will cover 15 kilometers, or about 9 miles, and helmets are required and lights are recommended. Most of the race will be held on the groomed Nordic trails at Lake Catamount, but Kevin said there are a couple of sections of uphill single track.
A second race is planned for March 4 and is expected to take place on a similar course with a starting line near the small boathouse. While the race is challenging for those with experience on fat tires, Kopischke said the trails are groomed well enough to make the race fun for all levels of riders.
“It’s a fairly flat course with a couple of singletrack climbs,” Kopischke said. “It’s not overly difficult.”
Kopischke said the field for last year’s race was pretty varied. There were a few hardcore mountain bikers in the field, but there also were some novice riders and a few that had never been on a fat tire bike before. He expects the same kind of turnout for this year’s races. The cost to take part is $35 for a single race, or $75 for both races and a Fat Cat Hoodie. There are no prizes for top finishes, but every registered racer will get a beer and a burger at the end of the race.
“We will keep the results, but this race is really all about having fun,” Kopischke said. “What we really want to do is grow the sport of fat tire biking in Steamboat Springs. It’s a sport that is growing across the country, and it fits into Steamboat Springs active lifestyle.”
In the future, Kopischke would love to host three races at Catamount and is hoping the city someday will host a race at Howelsen Hill.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966
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