I did the Fat Bike Race of Norpine Classic in January 2017
In Lutsen, Minnesota. Here is what it is all about.
About 45NRTH Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
The Norpine is part of the 45NRTH Great Lakes Fat Bike Series showcasing the best fat bike races in the Great Lakes Region. The events include seven mass-start fat bike tire races that take place in three states – Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Riders compete to earn points in each event and establish standing in the overall 45NRTH Great Lake Fat Bike Series. For more information, please click on the link: http://www.norpinefatbikeclassic.com/.
So I headed to Lutsen, the night before.
Stayed at the Americinn Inn in Tofte, a nice place.
Pick up of the race plate and packet was at the Lutsen Resort located right at the water front. Was a nice set up. Having the ball room in the resort with a live band, better. Lots of people there as well a fat bike demo outside by a few of the local bike shops.
I got the number plate 40. So far this would be a good start to a good weekend.
so head back to room afterwards and configure my tires on my bike. I am thinking conditions might be soft so i put both front and back at 5.2psi
so i figure see what happens. on ward to next day
So saturday has come. early morning start. race is at 8am.
cold out today, -20c with wind probably -39c. going to be good.
Start is at the Lutsen golf course. I see a few other racers at the hotel i am staying at. I drive down to the start area. Getting out of car, very windy. So i get on bike and do a warm up, at this point i have 4 layers on, plus my jacket. thinking i will shed the jacket after i warm up. Considering its really windy with high wind chill i decide to be safe and keep jacket on, i shed on layer as i am already over heating. Going up on one trail. I am finding my tires are too low, surface is more hard packed. so having harder tires, might be good. get to start line and with 5 minutes left i run back to car to pump air into my tires, bad decision as its so last minute, but tires are too soft. i put air in using my spare floor pump. Then run back to start line. still i think my tires are still too soft. all well
anyways start call goes off and its a mass start. 2 distances
25 miles and people in 15 miles. I doing the 25 mile race.
So start is right at beginning of trail and some congestion at start. some of us are running our bikes on to the trails, but all well its ok this is the first race of this one, so the kinks will come with it.
so start of race is on a trail in the golf course and goes up hill for a while. then at one point along ski hill road where we cross and enter the Norpine XC ski trail. once the trail i realize my tires are too soft and too much resistance. all well. during race strong wind in trails, like a wind tunnel
overall course was a mix of lots of climbs and lots of climbs again, twists and turns. and lots of wind.
at one downhill. i was drinking from my bottle and dropped it, well i had to go back to get my bottle, its a good bottle. then i went to reach my gels, well all frozen.
Then as i was not wearing eye protection. my eye lashes froze during the event. left eye was frozen shut briefly i had to use my hand to unfreeze it. all part of the fun.
Overall a few problems on my part, always a learning experience. was not my best performance at all. i could do way way better.
however my first race since September which was the Cheq 40
and first race of the year too so consider this a training ride.
finished was 65 of 85
at almost 3 hours, ouch. not what i was hoping for at all, but a lesson learned.
when finished ran into the golf store for hot chocolate and thaw out. Afterwards to the lutsen resort for beer and the included lunch, which was great.
Overall a great weekend. Will be doing this next year for 2018
Thanks to all the organizers and volunteers for making this event happen. along with the venues. good idea on the trails and using the golf shop and lutsen resort for everything.
Who ever reads this hope to see you all riding it next year.