photo courtesy of Mike Hitelman Photography
Nothing says winter quite like a bike race, right? Wait, what? Yeah, you read that right—a snowy bike race in the thick of Vermont’s most hallowed and time honored winter tradition, the Stowe Derby. 2016 marks the second year fat bikes will be featured in the Derby. Last season’s fat bike race at the Derby was a raging success and it looks like this season the race will be even bigger.
The point to point course lends itself perfectly to fat biking: sustained descents, a few short climbs, and a lot of flat groomed riding along the Rec Path to test your wattage. The 14km course is slightly shorter than the skiers’ race, but runs along the same exact trails. The race kicks off at 2:30 p.m. on February 28 this year, after most of the skiers have (hopefully) completed their event. The peloton will be packed with experienced racers and newbs alike, but that’s part of the charm.
Last year, riders woke up to eight inches of fluff blanketing a course which had, up to that point, been in perfect shape for a fat bike race. Not all of the 85 racers lining the start crossed the finish line, but all went home with plenty of stories to tell. According to race director Pascale Savard, course coverage is lean at the moment, but with three weeks until race day, she anticipates the conditions will change several times between now and then. “Part of racing in the Stowe Derby is pushing one’s limits to brave the elements, whatever they happen to be on race day!”
Registration is quickly filling up so unless you want to be left out in the cold you’d better…no wait that doesn’t work. Unless you want to be stuck inside by the fire you’d better…dang it. How’s this: if you want to race your fat bike at this year’s Stowe Derby, sign up soon because space is limited. Register now!
Don’t own a fat bike but still want to race? No problem— there are plenty of places in here in Stowe to get your hands on one for the big day: