News & Stories
The Fattest-Fastest Athlete – Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet
Fat tire bikes are Minnesota’s newest winter obsession – and this year are making their debut performance in the 2013 City of Lakes Loppet. “They have turned summer commuters into winter commuters and enthusiastic mountain bikers extreme snow athletes” said Event Director Mike Erickson who pitched this idea last year after seeing the surge in winter cyclists in the city. Penn Cycle, the proud sponsor of the event is looking forward to supporting this growing riding trend. “I think bikers were getting cabin fever,” said Bucky Geib, Store Manager at Penn Cycle in Bloomington, who has witnessed the fat bike fad grow in his shop over the last three years. “It is a different kind of fun – going off the trails and through the snow. It has definitely helped make average bikers into year round cyclists.”
The new Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet provides a once-a-year chance for competitors to ride their fat tire bikes on the groomed Loppet Trail. Fat tire bikes are otherwise not allowed on the snow covered, groomed trail system and mountain bikes or other non-fat tire bikes are never allowed.
With the heart of fat tire biking based in Minneapolis, the race is beginning to catch the eye of fat tire bike owners throughout the city. Matt DeMay, who is obsessed with his winter toy, is looking forward to racing. “I was biking a lot in the summer – and when winter came along I didn’t want to stop so I bought a bike… It’s cool to be able to go over everything. You can float right through the powder.” Currently Matt is the owner of two fat bikes – and is offering a free saddle to any of his friends who want to join him for the race.
The Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet starts at 2 p.m. Sunday Feb 3 – and skips the first eight kilometers of the Loppet course, but follows the Freestyle Loppet course from there to the finish – about 25 kilometers or 15 miles. There are two aid stations – one at the 394 crossing – 15 kilometers into the course, and one in the Kenilwirth Corridor, about 21 kilometers into the course.
Winners of the first inaugural Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet will be win gift certificates to Penn Cycle as well as commemorative Loppet steins made by a local artist.
There are a few brave souls who will sign up for both the Freestyle Loppet and the Fat Tire Loppet. For the best of those hardy Minnesotans the Loppet has a special award – locally made awards made from bike parts by Penn Cycle employee and avid fat tire cyclist Beau Layman- a re-cyclist at its finest! The Fattest Athletes are the ones with the best combined time for the Freestyle and the Fat Tire Loppets.