January 19, 2016 – The popularity of fat-biking has been exploding across Canada in recent years, which has led to new and exciting event offerings, the latest one being 45NRTH Ontario Fat Bike Series p/b Cycle Solutions. On January 9th, with Old Man Winter finally finding his way to southern Ontario (and, yes, he was riding a fat bike), the first race of the series, The Frozen Beaver, took place on the fun and challenging trails of Dufferin County Forest Main Tract at Mansfield, Ontario.
A total of 50 racers took part in the event that featured two distance categories: the Full Beaver at 30 km and the Half Beaver at 15 km. The race was well-organized and perfectly planned. There were warm change rooms for racers to change into dry clothing post-race, hot food and beverages for everyone, and great prizes both as podium winnings and draw prizes!
The snow-covered twisty single track and hilly double track were nicely groomed by the organizer – Dan Marshall of Substance Projects – and helpers, in particular the cool folks of Team VanGo. The days leading up to the race had seen course-friendly below-freezing temperatures, but on race-day itself the mercury had climbed to 5°C.
The unseasonably warm temperature softened up the course, and while they packed in during the race, the mushy trails made for a little more work and tested riders’ bike-handling skills. Many racers commented that it was one of the toughest races they had ever done. Nevertheless, the fun course and the light-hearted positive vibe of the event insured that everyone had a great time!
Luke Hlavenka, who won the men’s 30 km, commented, “Great atmosphere. Fun and family-run event. The fire, chili, and hot chocolate at the finish was excellent! [I’m] proud to have finished the event. Organizer Dan Marshall keeps the mood light and urges you to bring out your best at the start line. I love Substance Project events!”
Kate Morgan took first place in the women’s 30 km and noted, “I had a fantastic time… Great atmosphere and friendship along with some healthy competition. The change rooms and chili were welcome bonuses, and the organization and course markings were super.”
Everyone is looking forward to the next race in this four-race series. The “Snumbler” (okay, maybe Dan needs help naming races) will be held at Northumberland County Forest on January 23rd and is sure to offer something for every level of fat bike racer.
Also in attendance at the race was the ninja-like team of ApexRacePhotography, who always seem to be in the right spot to capture racers at their best… or worst! Links to the pics and race results can be found on the Frozen Beaver page at substancprojects.com.
See you there!