This is a review of doing the Frozen 40 Fat Bike event in Maple Grove MN in 2015.
First of all here is a low down on a bit of the event.
In year 1, over 50 racers registered. In year 2, the 100-racer cap was reached months in advance of the February 16, 2013 race date. In year 3 (2014) we were able to expand registration to 200, and the race sold out yet again with racers coming from 7 states and 2 countries.
Although fatbike races are still considered “niche” to some, the explosive growth and the unwavering enthusiasm for the Fatbike Frozen Forty demonstrates that there are plenty of riders and racers who appreciate the opportunity to participate in a well-organized race with a unique and fun format.
So for the Frozen 40 for 2015. there was over 200 people registered for this event.
On arrival of day of the race. Drive to the race venue of Elm Creek park. This being my first time at this place will come to a surprise. As I have not had chance to preside any trails the night before. On entry seems the area has gotten a good amount of snow. Well at least enough to make it worth while to use a fat bike in the snow. Looks like good number of people at the event.
I managed to get in a small warm up on the course with some of the other riders and was pleased to see that my tire pressure was just about perfect and the freshly groomed trail was in awesome condition. It was shaping out to be a great day. Considering this area had been not getting much snow at all in all winter. Seems we have way more snow up in Thunder Bay. Finally getting through the gate, i set up my bike and get in a little warm up ride. Really i am very confused and unaware to where this is going. At moment I have no clue where the race course is or what direction or how the day will fold out.
Just a note at moment it is very cold – around -25C with a wind chill as well. Which is -13F. for everyone else. So not sure what to do i stand in the warm up tent after my warm up so i dont get chilled. After there about 3 minutes we get kicked out by some guy as race is about to start. We go to the where everyone is getting ready on this dirt road. At this moment I have no clue where i am ,so i just position mid way. I hear the announcer talker on the blow horn but hard to hear. Lots of wind and we are all cold. So finally we just start. and roll out. I have to put my foot down at start as some guy beside me is riding into my wheel. Beginners!. so we roll as a pack down the road and turn around and around again before hitting the trail which is all single track. So having not ridden this area before. My confidence is low. So taking it easy, and following others. Trail is very twisty, and lots of up and down, not many huge climbs. Overall it is tonnes of fun to ride at least. So little by little, let people pass me and I pass odd person as well.
Lots of variety on this course. Best part of course is along this hill side. Where you look up and see people riding and see people below you riding as well. Lots of technical there such is riding over logs and tree stumps, interesting. One section where we are riding out in the open, but that was not too long.
Being a very cold day and when riding hard, you dont realize how cold it is.
So i rode out first lap and feeling good and didn’t spend time to hydrate myself from my water bottles
On part way of second lap i finally got to my water bottle on my bike. Only to find it had fully frozen over. Well not a problem i had a back plan. 2 extra bottles which i stored in my jersey back pocket under my jacket, put them in there with liquid at boiling level , so should be all still warm, after all i am using insulated water bottles, right. Well i was wrong, for some odd reason those were totally frozen. so be able to access some hydration or electrolytes was out of the question. Looks like riding on empty this lap. Well as i was getting end to lap 2 i was totally winding down due to hydration, so much for my race day. Now it was just a point of being there to finish. so once back at lap part i went inside to the heated tent and had a 3 chicken wraps and lots of water and the electrolyte drink provided. more less made a pig of myself but all well, its all in fun. Anyways back on trail and do another lap, even though i was far back now. but all well, seems some people have finished at this point. Anyways so i go about 2 more laps to finish my Frozen 40. Was actually a fantastic time regardless. Lots of fun and i made a goal to at least finish which i did. Now i can use my time to come back for 2016 and better my time and do a personal goal. Often i have to do an event twice to get better confidence at it. So i will be back for 2016 for the Frozen 40. Good times. Thanks to all the organizers of this event. Good job.