|2015 Solstice Chase Course conditions are expected to be similar to 2014. Frozen, firm, fast, and kind of white. Above the leaders of the 2014 men's long race make great time. Racers pictured include Jeff Hall, Brendan Moore, and Josh Bauer.|
We are t-minus 9 days to the 2015 Solstice Chase Fat Bike race - a fat bike race, community festival, and celebration of Winter! For continuous updates and full info on the event, check out www.SolsticeChase.com, and the Facebook Event Page. Now is also the time to register for the race, if you haven't already - as we are rapidly approaching the cap of 300 racers! We are expecting a huge turnout - with especially hot competition for the win in the long race, due to the $1000 cash purse for the long race!
We have been getting a lot of questions about the conditions of the race course as of late, and we want to keep everyone up to date. As fat bikers, it's always key to keep an eye on and respect Mother Nature. It's warm and rainy now, but the forecast calls for cold and snowy temps literally hours from now.
In the end, here are a few key point that we can say with certainty at this point:
- THE SHOW WILL GO ON: While the race course is officially closed until race day (as we don't want tires to rut up / damage the trail tread - which is currently soft & muddy - in these muddy conditions), the race WILL HAPPEN. Snow or no snow, the show will go on!
- WINTER WEATHER WILL HAPPEN: As a fat bike/xc ski/weather dork, I'm big into keeping an eye on a lot of forecasts. All of the forecasts I regularly consult are saying that temps are going to drastically cool in the next several days, and that significant precipitation will be falling. I expect It to we warm (generally above freezing) until Sunday evening, at which time the temperatures will begin to normalize for this time of year. I expect the ground to re-freeze at that point. There will be precip over the weekend, but it likely will be rain and drizzle. It appears as though a significant Winter storm is coming Monday - Wednesday of next week, which should result in a white - snow covered course. It's possible that a lot of snow could fall, but minimally, I expect a thin blanket of snow to be covering the course (similar to last year). In the end, I expect the course to be frozen, firm, fast, and white - in other words, similar to last year! If you're so interested, following are some sources for weather info that I regularly consult: National Weather Service Forecast for St. Croix Falls, The NOAA "Weather Hazards" Summary, WXCaster's 84 hour snowfall forecast, John Dee's Snowfall Forecast (the most accurate snow forecast out there, in my opinion), and the Nordic Skiers weather page (awesome for weather dorks).
- TIRE CHOICE: Tire choice is a big deal in any bicycle event - and this is particularly true in a fat bike event! While there still is a chance of a major Winter storm dropping massive snow prior to the event, I'd say that is a slim possibility. At this point (9 days out), I'm expecting that the best tire choice will be a 3.8 inch fast rolling tire, with significant knobs on the shoulders. Think the 45NRTH Dillinger 4! There is a chance that there could be spots of ice on the course, so I expect that some will be riding with studs, but I don't expect that to be necessary for everyone. Above all, AIR PRESSURE is critical. I weigh 185 pounds and if I were racing on (on my Dillinger 4's with 80mm rims), I'd be racing with 6.5psi in the rear and 6psi in the front. Softer (not crazy soft) is generally faster on this course, gets better traction, and provides a smoother ride. Remember, as this is a fat bike race, we require tires at least 3.8" wide, with a maximum of 10psi of air pressure.