Got back from Denver the night before the start of the Iola Snow Bully race. This is held at a local xc-ski and snow jumping site, Iola Winter Sports Complex. It's held under the lights on the xc-ski trail and served as a fund raiser for the Organization. They also host a WORS (WI Off Road Series) race once a year as well.
Local Scott Cole (Hostel Shoppe) started this race last season and it's become one of the best venues for fatties around. He's done a great job working with the Club and getting a number of Sponsors on board.
As we all know, there has been a huge jump in Fat Bike activity the past couple of years. Groups are jumping on board to take advantage of the buzz. The Iola Winter Sports Complex has a natural venue with a winter background complete with a lodge to keep everyone warm. Volunteers had soups, hot dogs and brats available.
Back to the race. There had been a dump of snow a few days before and conditions were very soft and it wasn't cold enough to setup the snow.
RD Scott decided to remove a short loop that had the steepest climb and conversely the steepest downhill. A smart move.
I got there a bit early to help setup some and get a pre-ride in. When asked what I thought after the ride, the only word that came to mind was "interesting". Just about anything could happen.
There was some walking the first lap with bikes dodging about everywhere. Luckily I was towards the front and things compressed pretty quickly after the first 100 or so uphill yards to a somewhat ride able groove, at least most of the time.
From there on it was all about tire pressure, single-track skills to stay in the groove, keeping weight back and being smooth while climbing and hanging on swooshing down the backsides.
The second lap was really tore up from all of the walkers.
Photo credit, XTRphoto, Gary Smits.
I'm not sure if anyone got away without some sort of crash. I had a really nice OTB on my 3rd lap.
The rule was that if you crossed the finish line before the 1 or 2 hours times, one had to head back out or get a DNF. I came in at 1:58 for the 2 hr. race, my 3rd lap, and after a 15 second stop decided to head back out.
Glad I did as it was maybe my most enjoyable lap. Less riders walking and the groove was better intact. Loads of fun!
Race report from the 2 hr. winner, Cole House.
A fun time...and.....what, age groups!
I won the DD (Dinosaur Division) 60+.