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Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race Brings Over 200 to St. Croix Falls

Start of the 2017 30K Solstice Chase Fat Bike Race.

ST. CROIX FALLS—Over 200 fat bike racers took on the challenging Wooly Mountain Bike trail system, one of Polk County’s premier outdoor recreation facilities, Sat., Dec. 16.

The fifth annual Solstice Chase Fat Bike race, had competitors from seven States, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Mississippi plus Ontario, Canada, in two tough races, one 30 kilometers long and the other 15 kilometers, at the 2017-18 season’s first regional fat bike race.

With two inches of new fluffy snow the night before, the course was soft and slow. In the technical single track turns the snow pushed away to reveal icy dirt underneath. Many riders used studded tires to make the course rideable.

The 2018 Great Lakes Fat Bike Series will have 7 races spread over the Midwest states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan, with the final race, in Marquette , MI, 02.17.2018, when the Fat Bike World Champions of 2018 will be decided. More information on the series is at: www.greatlakesfatbikeseries.com

SOLSTICE CHASE 2017/18 PODIUM RESULTS

30K Men’s race: 1—Cole Hause, Oneida, WI 2—Jeff Hall, Farmington, MN 3—Brendan Moore, Prior Lake, MN
30k Women’s race: 1— Sonia Pond, Bloomington, MN 2—Megan Barr, Minneapolis, MN 3—Pam Nielson, Cambridge, MN
15K Men’s race: 1—James Kauth, St. Paul, MN 2—Jason Roesch, Medford, MN 3—Willem Bastiaens, Scandia, MN
15K Women’s race: 1— Ridge Pidde, Bloomington, MN 2—Anne Grabowski, Bloomington, MN 3—Kris Brazil, Faribault, MN

Local racers included: Greg Atkinson, Frederic. Greg Norman, Siren. Patty Bobzin, Katie Weinberg, Jason Kunshier, and Mirabelle Vezina, Dresser. Cory Pratt and Doug Thompson, Osceola. Dan Campion, Danbury and Scott Goulet, Amery.

Complete results are available at: www.gopherstateevents.com


Fat bikes are a relatively new version of the hundred plus year old bicycle. They are an evolution of the now 30+ year old mountain bike, combining the mountain bike’s low gearing, that allows climbing steep hills, with very wide (4 inches), soft, low pressure tires that float over trail surfaces even a mountain bike would sink into. A new world of winter biking has been made possible with the fat bike, from icy roads to trails that previously have been impossible to ride. Like everything else, when the first one was built, it was fun, when the second one was built, there was a race.

For more information on area fat biking opportunities: www.cyclovaxc.com
and: woolybikeclub.blogspot.com

--Polk County Tourism Council
Sonia Pond, St. Louis Park, MN, leads Sam Janicki (#68), Mound, MN, and other racers down the trail at the half way point of the 30K race. Pond would win the women’s division of the race.
Patty Bobzin, Dresser, WI drops into a single track section of the trail.
David Chabot (#172), Owatonna, MN, Jacklyn Hayes (#58), Waconia, MN, and Steve Kapaun, Hudson, WI sprint for the finish line.

981(2) Shane Maxwell (#99), Two Harbors, MN and Thomas Hagerty (#51), Shafer, MN negotiate a drop back onto the course of the 30K race.


Photo credit: William Johnson

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