The Inaugural US Fat Bike Open took place at the Green Bay Country Club this past weekend on January 22, 2022. It was the second of four races in the Broken Spoke Snow Crown Series. Over 220 fat bike riders braved the frozen tundra for the race.
In this story Sherry Mix shares her race overview and how she won 2nd place at the inaugural US Fat Bike Open in Green Bay, Wisconsin as part of the Snow Crown Series. Powered by bitter cold temperatures and award winning on-course local cheese, Sherry made it to the podium and even found her lost Wahoo with the help of another racer.
Author: Sherry Mix
It was literally the frozen tundra out there Saturday with below zero wind chills and 18 mph winds.
It’s been a dream of Broken Spoke owner and race organizer, George Kapitz, to bring a fat bike championship caliber race to Green Bay so we were all excited for the race regardless of the freezing cold temps.
Trail conditions were in perfect condition in the days leading up to the race. We’re talking hard packed super highway conditions. I was very excited for that since mashed potatoes are not my favorite. The night before the race, Green Bay got 1.5 inches of snow though which made the conditions pretty rough as the day went on.
There were categories for all: Junior, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Elite. Elite started first at 9AM with a near perfect course to start the day. Advanced, Intermediate, Junior and Beginner followed. The course was approximately 3 miles per lap with a good mix of terrain. Elite rode 5 laps, Advanced 4 laps, Intermediate 3 laps, and Junior and Beginner 2 laps each.
The course was on the golf course cart path that was all wide open. The majority of the course allowed for passing easily.
We all had our sites on first place since the winners of each category received a BorahTeamwear Stars and Bars thermal champions vest and their name engraved on a trophy that will stay at the Green Bay Country Club. I knew it would be a feat to accomplish with fellow Broken Spoke teammates Leia Schneeberger and Leah Vanevenhoven also racing.
Living 2.5 hours away from the race and with the 9AM start time, I drove up the day before. Saturday morning I pre-rode the course and rode one full lap. It took me about 20 minutes to complete the lap so I knew it was going to be a fast race.
Last year was my first year racing fat bikes so I’m still learning all the in’s and out’s with tire pressure and riding in the cold temps.
I wore my 45N boots, 45N bibs and 45N gloves because they keep me nice and warm. I used 45N Dillinger 4.0 tires with studs. Can you tell I like 45N? It’s good stuff!
I started with about 9psi and then let some out during my pre-ride. I was probably around 7-8psi but I didn’t check it after that. Quick bathroom stop and then it was to the line.
I got to the line early so I had a good position as it was a mass start with both men and women. It was a neutral start for about 30 seconds until the trail opened up and everyone took off. I was leading the women for about a mile or so until Leia passed me. She was in my sights for the first lap and I saw her when we were lapping through for lap two. At the beginning of lap two, I fell going around a corner and after getting up, I couldn’t see her anymore. I knew I was in second and just told myself to keep going and focus so I didn’t fall anymore.
Each lap thru they offered Belgioioso Cheese to everyone. It made me smile every time.
The course had good flow with a few short steep inclines and one major hill going up to hole #14 that was a definite lung burner. I was counting down the number of times we had to go up that one. The people cheering at the top definitely helped get me going after each climb up it. I had great traction during the race and was able to stand on most of the hills to give myself an extra push. I was by myself for the entire race unable to work with anyone. A few guys offered but I just couldn’t keep their wheel for very long.
So, head into the wind it was.
I had Cliff Bloks in my back pocket that came in handy during the race and also a water bottle with Skratch. I didn’t try drinking my water until the 4th lap though and it was already frozen by then. I definitely need to figure that part out so I have water for my next races.
I lost my Wahoo bike computer near the end of the 4th lap, too. I wasn’t sure when or where it happened exactly but when I looked down at it going into my 5th and final lap, I noticed it wasn’t there. I looked for it during that entire last lap with no luck.
I may have fallen once or twice more throughout the race but I finished in solid second place with a time of 1:12:57.5. I was happy to be finished and felt I couldn’t have rode any faster for this one. Leia Schneeberger finished first and Amber Searer finished third. For the men, Caden Budd finished first, Mike Budd finished second, and Jason Kloptowsky finished third.
The Snow Crown Series always knows how to put on a good party so there were campfires, beers, and a big heated tent to enjoy the rest of the afternoon drinking and hanging out.
Also, Amber saw my Wahoo computer during the race and she found it afterwards - thank goodness!
That saved me a few hundred dollars. Overall, it was a great day and I can’t wait for the next Snow Crown race and to see everyone again. Maybe I’ll win that winners jersey next year at the next US Fat Bike Open, too.
Thank you to all the sponsors for making it happen! Nicolet Bank, Meridian Wealth + Retirement , Broken Spoke Bikes, City of Manitowoc, Salsa Cycles, 45NRTH, Berd Spokes, BelGioioso Cheese, Bay Care Bikes, KI Furniture, Oakley, Festival Foods, Dr. Alex Roitstein, Hayes, Hinterland Brewery, Beerntsen's Confectionary Inc.
To learn more about the remaining two races in the Snow Crown Series, visit the events page.