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- DAMn is Back! Chris Stindt on Swearing to Never Do It Again Till Yesterday's Surprise Announcement
Day Across Minnesota just announced that DAMn is back for 2024 after announcing the very last DAMn in 2021. The event will take place on Aug 10th with registration opening on Jan 6. Here Chris Stindt shares reflections on racing two DAMn's and what went through his mind when his wife told him yesterday morning that DAMn was back for 2024. Words by Chris Stindt. Learn more about The Day Across Minnesota. Sometime in 2011 I did my first triathlon, on a hybrid bike. I convinced my sister-in-law to join me, and her husband signed up on a borrowed old road bike. The rest, as they say, is history. My brother-in-law, Chris Stevens, is one of the most prolific endurance cyclists in the midwest, and really the entire country. He recently set the American record for miles ridden in 24 hours (510, for the record). Anyway, it's safe to say we really like riding bikes. Stevens got a bit more 'in' than I did, and in 2018(?) joined a relatively new event called the Day Across Minnesota. I thought he was nuts. The basics: riders start in a podunk town just across the border into South Dakota and leave at midnight, under fireworks, riding gravel roads all the way to Wisconsin, for a total of 240 miles. Riders have 24 hours to complete the event, although I think Chris was much closer to 12 hours. Did I mention I thought he was nuts? But then I started thinking about it, and getting inspired, and what the heck, on a cold January morning in early 2019 I sat at my parent's kitchen table during a visit, consumed one too many cups of coffee, and signed myself up for the 2019 edition of DAMn. It seemed like a good idea, at the time. I spent the summer training, trying to log some DAMn miles. I sold my aero road bike, and basically quit road racing. I mounted TT bars to my Trek Boone cyclocross bike, and tried bike bags, and backpacks, and nutrition and also worked to develop some mental fortitude. Side note: spend more time developing mental fortitude. Everything else is just ...schematics, except maybe tires.The longest training ride I did was 107 miles, but who was really counting? (Oh wait, me, I was. Oops.) Ok, so I go to South Dakota and prepare to ride my bike back to Wisconsin. I tried to nap before the start, but really, who can fall easily into a restful sleep 3 hours before attempting the craziest thing they've ever done. I won't go into all the details, but it was a hot day. The early DAMn's (pre-Covid) had 3 required rest stops. At mile 180 it was like, I don't know, 85 degrees, which felt like 105, and I was [redacted]. Let's say, I was in bad shape. I'm pretty sure I didn't hallucinate this, but I think my wife made me get a selfie with a giant inflatable unicorn because she thought my friend Erik would like it. Mind you, I'd been awake for 30 hours and ridden 180 miles and was sufficiently overheated. She then sent the picture to Erik, and he called to pep talk me. I'm not sure it worked, but it didn't hurt either. I sat in our minivan with the AC blasting, drinking cold drinks, until I no longer felt like dying (like I sat for 45 minutes, during a race). And then I got back on and kept riding. About 10 miles down the road I again felt like dying again, but who goes 190 miles and quits with 50 miles to go? Not me, that's who. I did stop in the shade and take a nap. I somehow rode a series of never ending gravel rollers in full afternoon sun. I cursed, a lot. I couldn't pedal in the aero bars, so I basically laid down on them when coasting, and then sat up to pedal. Ok, enough whining, I eventually made it to the finish line and promptly said I was never doing that again. But WOW it's fair to say it changed my life. I was a DAMn Champion! (That's what they call finishers. And hooey to you if you think participation medals are garbage, because everyone who rides 240 miles of gravel...is a DAMn Champion.) The sheer grit you develop...it's hard to compare. My dad asked me, after, if it was worth it and I said I don't know, ask me again after I eat and sleep some more. When he died in 2020 prior to the pandemic, setting off one of the hardest periods of my life, I often thought back to DAMn and what I knew I was capable of enduring. I thanked Trent, and tried to carry on with my life. In 2020 I signed up, but couldn't mentally commit. I knew you had to be ready, and I was far from ready. In 2021 I signed up and trained for it again. Another set of midnight fireworks, and ... a cold night. I don't believe I've ever been as cold as I was just before the sunrise. I debated knocking on a farmhouse door for a cup of hot coffee. I mentally quit, and decided to just ride to the next checkpoint and pack it in. Instead, I kept going. There were a lot of ups and down, much more cursing (sorry Anna!), and another finish. It was supposed to be the Last DAMn, and regretfully, I thanked Trent for quitting hosting the event because at the finish line I told him I would never do it again, it just wrecked me so bad. I say regretfully because crap, this event changed my life. Trent Raygor is a special human. You might recognize the name from his other event, Filthy 50. He needed a break from running two major events, and understandably stopped the DAMn. I am an event organizer, and I know what a major commitment it is. Sort of like riding DAMn, you can't be half-hearted. You have to mentally commit and he needed the time for his family. He didn't give the event name away though, and said, never say never. Despite teasing my wife that I was going to force her to ride the route with me someday, I didn't really consider riding it again anytime soon. And then this morning I walked in the door and she looked and me and said, DAMn's back, with a big smile. See the thing about DAMn is, you need a crew. Ultra runners get this, but cyclists don't often appreciate how important a crew can be to overnight, long distance events. And Anna is my crew chief. She swore she'd never do it again! But just like me, she's fully in. My facebook memories told me today that Trent and I have been friends for 4 years. Trent isn't someone I'm regularly texting with or even calling up to chat, but the bond you forge, when you understand something on a different level, is really strong. I don't know that I'd say we are 'typical' friends, but I'm honored to know Trent and to experience what he gives to the cycling community. So...DAMn 2024. It's happening. Do you want to change your life? Sign up. You probably need a gravel bike, and some other equipment isn't going to hurt, but realistically you need some motivation. This isn't a joke. You will want to quit more than almost anything else in the world, at some point during this event. Figure out what that thing is that will get you to the finish line. Is it your kids waiting at the finish line? Beating cancer? Doing it for a friend who didn't beat cancer? This year I'm hopeful to ride with and get my wife to the finish line on a bike. We'll see! If anyone has questions or wants to talk, please reach out to me, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fat Season Kickoff: Brian Davis's Top 5 Event Picks
To kick off the fat bike season, we're asking a few friends to share their top 5 fat bike race picks, plus one deathbed fat bike adventure. Here we're sharing Brian Davis' list which takes us all over Wisconsin and then ends up in Maine. Enjoy. Brian Davis is a Wisconsin-based YouTuber who wants to bring down the learning curve for bike races. He documents his races with videos that bring a lot of fun and positive race vibes. Check out his YouTube channel or some of his other projects including Hollow Socks, Fix It Sticks, and the Back Bottle. Brian Davis Races on YouTube and Instagram. Brian Davis' Top 5 Fat Bike Race Picks 1. Fat Camp | Feb 3 Suamico, WI [Snow Crown Series] A fatbike race at night on a wide open cx ski track under the lights sounds like an amazing experience AND IT IS! I love racing fast and in large packs, it's extremely fun, exhilarating, a little dangerous and very, very, very fast. Most of the race is on a wide course, but about 1/3 of each lap dives off into single track, tight riding with trees surrounding the racers and a little bit less light in those areas and it makes each lap a battle for position as we head into the tight section, then it opens up again and it's game on - full gas repeat, repeat. After the racing the chalet provides a really nice place to talk smack, warm up and enjoy a beverage. Lovely race in a lovely place. Learn More. 2. Rip, Zip, & Sip | Minocqua, WI This race does things a little differently and that can be a great way to change up the program. Nearly the entire race is on tight single track through the gorgeous northwoods. The rolling elevation changes starts to take its toll on your legs after the first lap and then it's a battle with yourself to stay on the gas as you are constantly distracted by the insane beauty of the landscape. Lots of tight turns and a few ripping downhills keep you on your toes. FInishing the race with a sled finish is a perfect reminder that no one should be taking fat biking too seriously; it's just so fun. Following the race, all participants get access to the zipline and then of course a whole bunch of beer and food is available afterwards as well. Always a good time! Learn More. 3. Shelltrack at Silver Creek | Dec 16 Manitowoc, WI [Snow Crown Series] This was my first fat bike race ever and it still holds a special place in my heart. The course is used during cyclocross season too and it gives a really nice mix of tight single track and open field areas making passing possible. It's a quick lap so you get to see the adoring fans every 8 or 9 minutes. My biggest challenge at this race is keeping track of my own laps (I’m terrible with numbers anyway and even worse when my lungs are exploding). The views along lake Michigan give you a little something to look at while you are exploding your heart. The finish party at this race is always fun and the Le Mans style start is funny to watch, so much scrambling to find your own bike its hilarious! Learn More. 4. Fat Bike Worlds | Jan 26-28 Leadville, CO This was my first road trip for a fat bike race and it did not disappoint. The organization behind FB worlds chose the group out in New Richmond, WI as hosts and I headed out to see how FB worlds works. I found out it works great. Really passionate local hosts put on an incredible race with multiple days of events, a welcome party, a finish party and a whole lotta fast riding. While I usually don’t love golf course races, this one mixes up a lot of terrain changes to provide an exciting race dynamic. I enjoyed the fellow racers and having such large fields allowed you to always be chasing someone down and that keeps things pretty fun even if you are in the back of the results page. Learn More. 5. US Fat Bike Open | Feb 10 Green Bay, WI [Snow Crown Series] As a part of the amazing Snow Crown series as well, this race is so well organized it just makes you feel like you are a world-class racer. US Open jerseys with stars & stripes are on the line and there is most certainly a lot of talented racers toeing the line to bring that jersey home. I am not in the running for those things, but I sure give it everything I have and the course pushes my limits. The hills are short and steep and just enough to kick you into cardiac arrest as you try to navigate the fast downhills. Ups and downs punctuate this course but the real star of the show is the after party in the golf course club house. Dancing, drinks and a very generous raffle provides a lot of off bike entertainment. Bonus - I won the major raffle and walked out with a brand new fat bike last year! Learn More. Bonus Death Bed Fat Bike Adventure: Hut-to-Hut in Main I have no real knowledge of how this trip would work, but oh man I would love to find out. I think packing up for a hut-to-hut trip in Maine would be the cats pajamas. I would especially look forward to not racing and just enjoying the scenery along the way. I can imagine having access to some support if needed would be a major stress-reducer for that type of adventure. I think I would pick one friend to ride with in similar fitness but more importantly a similar mindset to just go enjoy the moment with no rush to acheive anything in particular. I spent a vacation in Maine last year and really enjoyed the people and the vibe of Maine. I’d be up for this one! Learn More.
- Longsleeves & Thermals [Holiday Drop 4 of 4]
Today we're sharing our fourth and final holiday merch drop. We're re-opening our long sleeve jersey store for the final time of 2023. These come in standard and thermal versions and are made by Borah Teamwear in Coon Valley, Wisconsin to keep you warm (and looking GREAT!) while fat biking this winter. Shop Long Sleeves & Thermals.
- "Coldest Known Time" Tees [Holiday Drop 3 of 4]
Today we're sharing our third of four holiday merch drops. We're dropping a new design, new styles, and some sold out favorites this holiday season. Patrons save 20% on all merch from our Nxrth webstore for the entire holiday season. Join Patreon to save 20%. The third drop is a brand new "Coldest Known Time" tee on a cozy triblend in Men's and Women's tees for fat bike season. This shirt loves the cold snow snow and doesn't mind the dark nights. Grab a tee before our holiday store closes on Christmas Day. Coldest Known Time tees sales end on Christmas Day 2023. Shop Men's Cut and Women's Cut.
- Bikes, Canoes, Islands, & Driftless Gravel on "The Drifty" Adventure This Summer.
The Drifty is an 8-day, unscripted adventure that takes place in the beautiful Driftless Region of Southern Wisconsin. Including live music, bikepacking, canoeing, and a community of adventurers, it packs a lot of variety and natural beauty into one unforgetable week. Here we chat with Jake Gafner, Founder of The Drifty and Lost Travel. Learn more at The Drifty. Why the Driftless area? You're doing Sicily, Vietnam, and Wisconsin's Driftless region. How did the Drifty originate and what makes it a destination worthy adventure? Sometimes you don’t have to go far from home to find a good adventure. The Driftless region is a beautiful landscape with an interesting geological history. It’s home to hills which lead to fun (read: grueling) biking routes but it also leaves you feeling like you’re truly disconnected from the real world. The southern edge of the Driftless region features the Lower Wisconsin River which, at 92 miles, is the longest free-flowing stretch of river in the Midwest. It was on the Wisconsin river, during a Labor Day paddling trip with our dog that we first dreamt up the concept for the Drifty. We had been traveling around the world quite a bit that year and seeing our home state with fresh eyes made us want to create a local trip for others. People are on their own but it's also a coordinated community doing this together. Where does this fit on the spectrum of an unscripted, unguided adventure and community awesomeness? The Drifty is community awesomeness x10. In the words of a participant Tom Lacy, “it’s a bunch of people heading in the same direction, by different routes. Shared misery, shared satisfaction.” There is a lot of camaraderie, particularly at the kickoff, during the river section, and at the finish. Most people do the Drifty in small groups of 2-5. We provide the framework for an incredible adventure. We’ve arranged the hard stuff, coordinated some fun stuff along the way and do our best to make sure people have a rad time. Everybody comes together for a kickoff camp (food, drinks, live music, camping). The Lost Gear wagon will meet you at each of the transitions, and we finish with a party called Drifty Fest; with live music, a food truck, awards, and drinks. The unscripted nature is because every day of our lives we’re told what to do. When we’re on PTO we don’t want our hands held which is why the Drifty is unguided and not fully planned out for you. If you want to camp the entire time, you can do that. If you want to plot the least hilly route through the Driftless region… go for it. Make it your own and share your stories at the finish line. We do use a GPS tracking system to make sure people aren’t royally lost. What are your top 3-5 favorite parts of this adventure? It’s type-2 fun and for many people, the Drifty is a truly life-changing experience. Some people have quit their jobs, made the decision to go back to school, left relationships, had their perspectives change, and more… after completing the Drifty. Camping on the sandbars of the Wisconsin River is a highlight of this trip. The way that people organically come together throughout the trip makes me really happy; at Missouri Tavern, Wisconsin Riverside Resort, at random campsites, etc. This is what it’s all about. The situations that people get into can’t be predicted. People have hitchhiked with DNR agents, stayed at nudist camps, went bowling, biked into Minnesota, gotten very lost, and drank fresh milk from a cow tank. Everybody makes it their own. Some people coordinate their own SAG vehicle. Some people have friends/family camp with them during the biking portion…. Who should do this? ALL people and ALL bikes are welcome. You can do the Drifty on a tandem bike, e-bike, longboard, pennyfarthing… whatever. We’ve had people as young as 18 and as old as 77 do the Drifty. You should do the Drifty if you want a serious challenge AND you don’t take yourself too seriously. It is certainly a physical challenge; you should know how to paddle and swim as well as being capable of biking ~40 miles per day with bikepacking gear. That said, The Drifty is not a race, it’s an adventure. People fly in from around North America for the Drifty; we’ve welcome folks from over 25 states and Canada for the trip. If you sign up solo, you’ll meet friends to travel with at the kickoff camp. Groups are also welcome and we welcome bike clubs, travel groups and more to sign up. We have even had people coordinate guided trips within the Drifty… anything goes. Anything else you want to add? For Drifty 10 we’re crowdsourcing a theme. The official ballot for people to vote for a theme is HERE. Voting is open now through the end of the year. Bike rentals are available for people that are flying in. To see the itinerary and learn more, visit lost.travel/drifty.
- RESTOCKED: Gravel Charcuterie Boards [Holiday Drop 2 of 4]
Earlier last summer we wanted to do some gravel charcuterie rides but didn't have any hardwood that fit in a frame bag (or any hardwood actually) so we designed one for our own rides plus a few extras that are now RESTOCKED. Details here. NOTE: We only made a small batch and they are for sale HERE. My friend Tim Brudnicki from Tree Purpose of Eau Claire, WI helped turn this idea into reality and here are the details. If you have any thoughts on whether these seem neat or if I'm just overthinking this, shoot me at email at josh at the nxrth dot com. About the angled cutout I've tried shoving a few different pieces of wood into my frame bag but always run into two problems. First, my bike is very small which makes my half frame bag also really small so it's hard to find a piece of wood that fits and second, the angles of a bike aren't conducive to wood with right angles. So we cutout the corner giving it a nice angle that mirrors the common angle on a bicycles down tube. About the notches Not everybody rides with a frame bag. We put notches along both sides so that it's easy to strap to anywhere you have room on your bike such as under the saddles or on a cargo cage. About the wood The wood is from a black walnut tree that came down about a mile from my house and probably lived a jolly life. It was milled, kiln-dried, and machined in Eau Claire. Black walnut is great for cutting boards because it is hard wood and has tight pores that resists bacteria and is easy to clean. About the Sizing One size fits most.These are 4" x 11". If you're looking to show up at your in law's house with a big spread of exotic meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, and organic jalapeño cranberry spread, this is probably going to be too small. Also, if you're wanting to put this in a half frame bag and don't have 4 inches of vertical space, you're out of luck. 3 Ways to Carry it On Your Bike Have fun with it. Ride like a hooligan and eat like royalty. 1. In Your Frame Bag This board was born for frame bags. You're going to slide it in and just feel good about having a little living piece of the northwoods tucked right in where it fits beautifully. 2. Strapped Under Your Saddle Every saddle is different: rail length, rail angle, room between the rails and the seat post, etc. So the fit will be different for every bike. But no worries. We're gravel bikers. We're ok running to garage for a few Voile straps and taking the time to get it right. 3. Strapped to a Cargo Cage If you're lucky enough to have triple mounts on your fork blades, you're going to look real nice with a charcuterie board and a chunk o' meat hanging on for dear life under a pair of bikepacking straps. Want one? These were recently restocked and are available HERE.
- 24 Global Fat Bike Day Events to Crash in MN, WI, and the U.P.
Global Fat Bike Day is coming up on Saturday, December 2. Around the world it's a day to celebrate the beginning of the winter riding months (norther hemisphere) in snowy regions that are great for fat biking. We rounded up all of the Global Fat Bike Day events that are on our radar for you to find an event to join in on this year. Cover photo from Two Rivers, Wisconsin Global Fat Bike Day Minnesota Minneapolis, MN [Adventure Coffee] Join us for adventure coffee on Global Fat Bike Day. Minneapolis Bike Parks, Angry Catfish, and Bone Saw Cycling Collective will have a fire, donuts, hot chocolate and coffee from Northern Coffeeworks on the banks of the Minnesota River. We will be posted up at the old overturned car between the Sibley House and the 494 bridge, you won't miss us. It's 2 miles from the Sibley House or 5 miles from the Old Cedar Bridge. Hit us up at the start of your ride or the end of your ride or anywhere in between, it doesn’t matter when you get there (but the goods will go fast), we just want to provide you with one more reason to get out and ride.We will have a limited number of disposable cups, so please bring your own cup. LEARN MORE. Duluth, MN [Winter Trails Season Kick Off Party] In celebration of Global Fatbike Day, Coggs and our trail partners are kicking off the winter trail season at Hartley Nature Center! Join us for a morning of group rides, Festivities, and more! LEARN MORE. Cuyuna Lakes, MN Group ride, swap meet, and sunset ride to Cuyuna Christmas. LEARN MORE. St. Cloud, MN Come join us for Global Fat Bike Day Ride and the MMCC Annual Meeting! More details to come, so check back! LEARN MORE. Prior Lake, MN [Michael's Cycles] Shop opens at 8:30 with free coffee and small pastries. The long and fast ride leaves at 9. The middle distance and pace ride leaves at 9:30. The short and sweet ride leaves at 10. The distances are 22, 13 and 5 miles (approx. and dependent on conditions). All 3 rides are NO drop. Free pancake breakfast starts at 11.. post ride. The free swag raffle starts during breakfast. The $10 raffle starts directly after. Fat bike rentals available - call shop. 20% OFF everything in store! LEARN MORE. St. Paul, MN Celebrate Global Fat Bike day with a group ride from Crosby Farm to Hidden Falls Demo loop and back. Hangout and enjoy a fire, food and drinks afterwards. BYOB. More Details coming soon. LEARN MORE. Two Harbors, MN Check the Facebook event for details. LEARN MORE. Whitebear Lake, MN Join ROAM Bike Shop, Rocket Racing, White Bear Lake Adventure Cycling Club and Trailbot for an all-levels fat bike ride. Any bike that can handle various terrain/conditions are welcome. Short (10-15 miles) and long (~25 miles) routes at a casual party pace. Depart from ROAM Bike Shop at 9:30am, shop opens at 9am to gear up and grab a cup of coffee and a pastry. LEARN MORE. Moorhead, MN Global Fat Bike day is a day for getting out on our fat bikes and celebrating both winter and how awesome our local trails are. Save the date for December 2nd. More information to come. LEARN MORE. Circle Pines, MN Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Singletrack (MORC) crew are hosting a Global Fat Bike Day ride, partnering with NOW Bikes, with hot drinks and group rides to see the two (!) different official Singletracks and other user-created trails within this system. Something for everyone, from gentle flat riding on paved surfaces to sporty machine-built singletracks. Rides roll out at 9AM! If there's snow, we will have groomed trails to ride on. 3 or wider tires recommended: it's more fun to float over the snow! NOW Bikes will be grilling at their Arden Hills store after the ride. LEARN MORE. Rochester, MN Come celebrate the made up holiday Global Fat Bike Day. It's really just an excuse for fat bike riders to kick of the winter season and enjoy each other's company. We'll meet at the Douglas Trail Head behind IBM and ride the snowmobile trail (or paved if you would really rather) as far as your heart is content. Maybe you can make it to Douglas, maybe you'll turn around at the shelter just a few miles North. Let's fill the parking lot and trail with fat bikes!!! Old Abe's Coffee Shop will be providing coffee and a donuts and is an amazing place to eat in general. On another note, this event is hosted by the fine folks at My Bike Guy and Bicycle Sports, proving that the Rochester cycling community is bigger than a single bike shop. All are welcome! LEARN MORE. Tioga Recreation Area in Cohasset, MN Warm Up with some Hot Apple Cider or Hot Chocolate before a group night ride through the Tioga Rec. Area. After the ride, we will be gather around the fire for will some food as well as that Hot Apple Cider and Hot Chocolate. Note* This event is the Monday after Global Fat Bike Day on Dec 4. LEARN MORE. Champlin, MN Global Fat Bike Day 2023! Meet up at Trailhead Champlin for a 10 am roll out. Dress for the weather. Helmets required. This year we'll roll south and ride thru the new Rice Creek Trail tunnel, go up and over 169 then south again towards Dunkin Donuts and Omni Brewing in MG. after a brief reprieve we'll head into the Elm Creek Park, hoping to catch some snow at the Chalet. From there is a sweet ride back to Trailhead. All n all 15 miles round trip. Back in time to tackle your saturday honey-do list! LEARN MORE. Hopkins, MN Please join us for GFBD 2023 on Dec. 2nd. We will have a couple of different rides which we will plan out with ride leads and sweeps. There will be fire pits plus food and drinks to follow. Will post more once details are fully planned. Please join Tonka Cycle & Ski at our new location 416 11th Ave S in Hopkins off of Excelsior. LEARN MORE. Northfield, MN [Sunday, Dec 3] Global Fat Bike day is coming! We’ll do one here in Northfield on Sunday December 3 at 11:00 am. Meet at Central Park. Bring snacks and libations. There will probably be a fire, there might be some snow(fingers crossed, during the ride!). We’ll for sure ride bikes. LEARN MORE. Wisconsin Seeley, WI Join us to kick off the winter fat bike season! We’ll have guided rides for all levels. Following the ride, enjoy a light lunch with gourmet soup and refreshments. Receive a pair of wool CAMBA winter-design socks. DISCOUNT for CAMBA members! Location: OO Trailhead, SC Johnson Outdoor Center. LEARN MORE. Two Rivers, WI Join us for Global Fat Bike Day 2023 in Two Rivers, WI! We’ll have two rides planned for the day. Ride one starting at 7:00am and ride two starting at 12:30pm. Both rides start and finish at Port Sandy Bay. Need a rental bike? Broken Spoke will have rentals available! Please call the downtown shop to reserve yours at 920-634-2040. A limited supply of bikes are available. Fat bikes can be picked up Friday or Saturday morning from the downtown shop and returned Saturday afternoon at the event. Food and beverages will be available for purchase after the ride at Port Sandy Bay. LEARN MORE. Eau Claire, WI Join us to celebrate riding phat in the Chippewa Valley! 🍩 ☕️ 😊 Donuts, coffee, and warm smiles! LEARN MORE. Amery, WI 9 years of fat fun, who would have guessed?? Can you slow your roll and ride for fun with some fab folks? Smile watts count! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell your crazy neighbor lady, tell the kid down the street! ALL WELCOME! Pace will be easy/friendly, so respect the ride. Dress for the weather of the day and 70-90 minutes pedaling. We will meet up in the UW Wanderoos west overflow parking lot and depart at 10am. Heading west on the Stower Trail to its end past Nye, then turn around and head back. Round trip back to the UW is 14 miles. Some may continue east to Amery and back for 28 total. Most will gather in the UW after 14 miles for lunch, snacks, Bloody Mary’s, higher education or whatever you like. The trail is a rail trail (flat) gravel so we'll ride no matter the trail conditions. It is a state trail and I advise a day pass, available online or at one of the State Parks. Contact Brian Headlee via messenger with any questions. PS: if you don’t know who the crazy neighbor lady is….it’s probably you. LEARN MORE. Rhinelander, WI Join us in celebration of Global Fat Bike Day, the beginning of the Fat Biking season and our local trails! Group ride begins at 3:00pm, potluck around the campfire to follow. Bring a dish to share. All are welcome! Whether you are an experienced rider, new to the sport or merely considering buying your first bike, come meet others who like to ride and learn about the trails in the area. Free event; donations to help groom and maintain trails are welcome. Donate online: https://rastatrails.org/fundraising/ **Spoiler Alert** We will be announcing and celebrating the addition of several miles of groomed trail at Washburn this winter! Learn More. River Falls, WI Fattie Ride and Party. LEARN MORE. Steven's Point, WI Where: BOORC (lodge) at the Standing Rocks Trail Head 7690 Standing Rocks Rd, Stevens Point. Come out and ride fat bikes on the mountain bike trails at Standing Rocks Park (hopefully snow covered and groomed). Everyone is invited to get together and join in the fun! LEARN MORE. Neilsville, WI It's that time of year folks! Dec. 2nd. Tentatively set for 10:00am meet and greet and "stuff" drop-off for shuttle (to THE site), GFBD fire commences at noon at said site, BYO snacks to share, comradery and rides, wrap up at 2:00-3:00ish. Any volunteers for food distribution welcomed. Good will offerings accepted for the trail! Anyone know a good taco soup recipe???? LEARN MORE. Upper Peninsula Ironwood, MI Global Fat Bike Day is the first Saturday in December. Join us at Miners Park to celebrate with a group fat bike ride on our groomed fat bike trails. Later in the day is Ironwood's annual Jack Frost Parade where you are also welcome to join us in the parade to ride your bike adorned in lights! LEARN MORE.
- Riding on the Wind: Review of Tailwind Rapid Hydration
Tailwind Nutrition recently launched their Rapid Hydration with 5 flavors and a light flavor to support athlete hydration during endurance activities. We've been dumping some in our water bottles this fall and are sharing a few thoughts and photos here. To get 25% off a Starter Kit, head to Tailwind and use code THENXRTH25 First, the Taste Test Tailwind Rapid Hydration has a nice range of fruity but not overpowering flavors - orange, strawberry lemonade, lemon lime, raspberry, and berry that all have a clean, subtle taste. One nice thing is the absence of artificial flavors like sucralose. Instead, Tailwind opts for a touch of real cane sugar, aiming to let the natural flavors shine through. If you have a go-to energy mix, it's easy to have too much of a good thing and quickly get sick of flavors and I've been enjoying the light taste of these that isn't over the top. Hydration Efficiency With a Forgotten Bottle There's a lot of nerdery in the energy industry and I do not claim to understand the necessary nutritional mix for endurance rides so this is just from an average guy's experience going on gravel and road rides this summer. Staying hydrated can often be the difference between loving spending hours on the trail and hitting the wall. Tailwind's claim of hydrating faster than water alone definitely intrigued me. By incorporating electrolytes and sugar, it supposedly activates the body's active transport mechanism, resulting in significantly increased water absorption. During my rides, I didn't notice any amazing magic or voodoo but I did accidentally forget to bring more than 1 small water bottle on my recent 2 hour ride and my only hydration was a 20oz water with 1 packet of Rapid Hydration and I felt pretty great on the ride. I'm someone who normally brings all 3 bottles if I'm out for 2 hours or more so I was happy with how hydrated I felt despite being undergunned. Decoding the Ingredients Again, I'm not exactly an expert on nutrition and ingredients. I just need it to work. The ingredient list is short and hits on several proven winners. There is 320mg of sodium, a light 10g of sugar, vitamin C and the balance of electrolytes and vitamin C accelerates what they claim is faster hydration than water alone. One packet mixes with 18-24 ounces of water which works together to replenish what you lose during your workout. The Flavor Palette Tailwind Rapid Hydration's variety of flavors - orange, strawberry lemonade, lemon lime, raspberry, and berry - offers options for diverse taste preferences. Our testers found the flavors to be a refreshing departure from the monotony of traditional hydration solutions, adding an enjoyable aspect to the hydration routine. Tailwind Rapid Hydration Review Tailwind added this new product into their endurance energy mix with efficient hydration and a flavorful twist. Most of my rides are in the 2 hour range and only occasionally extend beyond that for longer gravel races or multi-day bikepacking. Regardless of the ride, I almost always need 2-3 bottles of water and Tailwind's Rapid Hydration helped boost my energy and keep me hydrated with some flavors I enjoy. To get 25% off a Starter Kit, head to Tailwind and use code THENXRTH25.
- Saddle Up For Santa! 4 Santa Cycle Rampage Events To Spread Yuletide Glee
It's time to join hundreds, or thousands, or fellow santas on one of the region's 4 Santa Cycle Rampages! Enjoy dressing up, riding through town, and spreading holiday cheer on bikes. These events take place in early December and are sure to keep your wheels spinning with comfort and joy. All photos are from the Eau Claire ride and are courtesy of Volume One. The original Santa Cycle Rampage was started by Dave Schlabowske in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew into a big fundraiser for the Wisconsin Bike Fed. The Milwaukee event now attracts 2,000+ riders to ride together in a sea of red suits and white beards and has also inspired other Santa Cycle Rampage rides all over the country. In The Nxrth's regions, there are 4 Santa Cycle Rampage rides taking place in early December. If you want to join in on the original Santa Cycle Rampage, you can head to Milwaukee for the world's largest event of its kind. Or check out the newest and coolest (according to this heavily biased Eau Claire writer) Santa Cycle Rampage ride in Eau Claire, Wisconsin that had ~100 santas on its inaugural ride last year. Milwaukee, WI | Dec 2 Welcome to the world's largest holiday themed costume group bicycle ride for charity! This ride is a fundraiser for the Wisconsin Bike Fed. It raises key matching and unrestricted funds that support education and advocacy efforts to make biking better in Wisconsin! To find out more about our programs and mission please visit their website. This is a Slow Roll-style, Police-Escorted, 12ish mile looped route. Two ride start options are available. They both end at the Bike Fed office. 1. Join the start and do a full loop ride from the Bike Fed office in Bay View and back. ~12 miles or 2. Join the at Hollander Grand Cafe on Downer Ave and ride the 2nd half. ~6 miles. Learn More. Eau Claire, WI | Dec 2 Last year, roughly 100 folks turned out for the first-ever Eau Claire Santa Cycle Rampage. How many will we see this year? Come be part of the fun! While Santa costumes will rule the day at this family-friendly event, anything jolly will do! Holiday sweaters, elf outfits, Christmas tree costumes, jingle bell jammies, or whatever you’ve got! Feel free to glam up your bike too! Enjoy an approximately 6 mile route at a casual and friendly “slow roll” pace. Hop on or off the ride at any time! All inspired by our friends at the Wisconsin Bike Fed and the original Milwaukee-based Santa Cycle Rampage. Learn More. Minneapolis, MN | Dec 2 Dress like Santa. Decorate your bicycle. Drink a beer. Spread some cheer! This event has a little info but the Facebook event promises a pretty good time visiting different breweries and bars so if you're in Minneapolis area and need a reason to wear the read suit, this is your ticket. Learn More. Madison, WI | Dec 9 Sleigh what?? That's right folks, the Madison Santa Cycle Rampage is BACK for it's third annual biking tradition! Your are invited to come celebrate the festive season and support Dane County youth advocacy and education! This year's ride will be a 4-5 mile slow roll with kids at the lead. We highly encourage everyone to dress in festive attire or your favorite holiday-themed costume -- we'll be jingling all the way! Learn More.
- Gravel Bear Sweatshirts [Holiday Drop 1 of 4]
Today we're kicking off the first of four new holiday merch drops. We'll be dropping a new design, new styles, and some sold out favorites. Patrons save 20% on all merch from our Nxrth webstore for the entire holiday season. Join Patreon to save 20%. The first drop is the iconic Gravel Bear now on a cozy charcoal heather sweatshirt for winter. Gravel Bear loves long rides in the woods, evenings by the lake, and never complains about the cold winter snow, even when it sticks around until May. Gravel Bear sweatshirt sales end on Christmas Day 2023. Shop HERE.
- The 348 Names Who Are Riding This Year's Up-North Winter Fat Bike Ultras
Our region of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Upper Peninsula has five winter fat bike ultra races this winter. Here we share every single name that is registered for a race this season as well as how many ultras they're each signed up for. Cover photo by Jamison Swift Jump to Section St. Croix 40 Green Bay Winter Ultra Tuscobia Arrowhead 135 Polar Roll Winter Ultra Color Code: Black Name = Registered for 1 ultra this winter Orange Name = Registered for 2 ultras this winter Blue Name = Registered for 3 ultras this winter *Did we goof any names or races up? Email info at the nxrth dot com with any fixes. St. Croix 40 | Jan 13 [LINK] [40 Miles] Hinckley, MInnesota The St. Croix 40 Winter Ultra is a winter survivalist race in the same spirit as the Arrowhead 135 and Tuscobia 160. Participants travel roughly 40 miles through St. Croix State Park on foot, ski, or fat bike, carrying all essential survival gear through a cold Minnesota night. Roster Thomas Allen Jules Ameel Matt Amundson Kristine Benjamin Lisa Byrne Wil Chapple Michael Christie John Cooper Lauren Cronbaugh Raven Dewitt Brandon Eddy Jonathan Erber Brian Geisler Elina Gilsvik Michael Grussing John Harris Jake Hegge Curtis Helmer Russell Hill Sylvie Hyman Preston Kalis Adam Kazilsky Tim Kordula Joseph Kreitzer Amber Krueger John Lambe Rich Lambe Ryan Lipski Andrew Lutz Bridget Marchesi Bobby Marko Joshua Martin Nigel McKay Sam McRickard Rosie Miesner Elliot Moravec Ryan Noonan Peter Premkumar Kyle Rooney Veronica Rourke Daryl Saari Allen Sanborn Jess Sedivy Gunderson Steven Smith Jonathan Swedin Ryan Swift Adam Swift Evan Uribe Vanessa Van Cleve Megan Veldkamp Chad Velta Pieter Ver Steeg Svetlana Vold Matt Wheeler Jim Wilson Rebecca Wyckoff James Yost Green Bay Winter Ultra | Jan 7 - Feb 25 [LINK] [50 or 100 Miles] Green Bay, WI *Since this is a do-it-on-your-own-time event, there is no mass start and the participant list will continue to evolve throughout the winter. The ultra must be ridden in 18 hours or less and on a fat bike with a tire width of at least 3.8″. You will need to follow park and road rules. All trail venues must be open to riding the day you decide to take on the ultra. It is the rider’s responsibility to verify the venues are open. 50 Mile Roster (so far) Stephanie Fallahee Kris Maxwell Koreena Renard Ross Renard Titus Seilheimer 100 Mile Roster (so far) Jason Baseman Aaron Broadrick Paul Howard Veronica Kruse Kris Maxwell Brian McWilliams Levi Pingel Jacob Steadman Jamie Zarda Tuscobia | Dec 29 [LINK] [80 or 160 Miles] Rice Lake, WI The Tuscobia Winter Ultra is a human powered run, bike or ski event held on the Tuscobia and Wild Rivers State Trails in Northern Wisconsin, in the middle of winter. There are two options: an 80-mile one-way route or a 160-mile out and back. The 160-mile requires completion of a qualifying event, and is itself a qualifier for the Iditarod Trail Invitational. Both distances have required gear and are largely self-supported, with minimal checkpoint support. No outside help is allowed from family, friends, or random strangers. 80 Mile Roster Sam Adler Kate Ankofski Tim Bauer Kristine Benjamin Sam Bertsch Justin Bethke Brian Black Gordon Blackburde Cayden Boll Steve Brady Greg Bruno Christopher Button Mike Campbell Andrew Clithero Greg Crites Janalyn Dahl Joseph Dean Brent Devitt Raven Dewitt Andy Dybvig Norman Ehrentreich Scott Erlandson Bill Grau Joshua Grenell Leah Gruhn Chris Gudmastad John Haak Adrian Halme Scott Henderson Morgan Hendricks Ron Hendrickson Dave Henry Russell Hill Joseph Hlebain Jenny Huster Andrew Jondreau Jacob Jondreau Lisa Kapsner-Swift Kevin Kinney Cassie Kottke Andrew Kraft Amber Krueger Kristian Larsen Timothy Linder Peter Loewenson Bridget Marchesi Sean Mattner Nathan McCorkle Rebecca McVay-brodersen Jere Mohr Chris Nelson Emily Nordahl Scott Pariseau Dale Peters Mark Punzenberger Kent Rodgers Veronica Rourke Kevin Roytek Jason Ruesch Mark Seaburg Marcie Thole Ellie Thompson Josh Torrans Robert Tuma Ryan Urban Bryon Vordermann Mike Wallace Ryan Wanless Matthew Webb Klaus Weber Chad Weberg Josh Weigel Lauren Weigel Ragan Weigel Jesse Wilcox Timothy Wilt Kelly Wonder Jennifer Youngwerth 160 Mile Roster Bob Bahr Matthew Battiston Gary Boesenberg Matthew Bosman Casey Bredeson Gregory Byrd Kate Coward Chase Davis Charlie Farrow Beth Freymiller Dan Frusher Ryan Haug Robert Hingtgen Laura Hrubes Kelly Jedynak Ken Krueger David Lynch Patrick McDermott Steve Mcguire Rob Mosimann Daniel Perry Don Roppolo Bryan Sampson Derrick Seys John Spartz Melanie Splitgerber Andrew Thompson Billy Volchko Ben Zvan Arrowhead 135 | Jan 29 [LINK] [135 Miles] International Falls, MN The Arrowhead 135 is recognized in the book “The World’s Toughest Endurance Challenges” by Richard Hoad and Paul Moore as one of the 50 toughest races in the world. It is a human powered Ultra Marathon taking place in the coldest part of winter in the coldest city in the lower 48 states. Our average finish rate is less than 50%, the finish rate for new racers is much lower. 2014 finish rate was 35%. Roster Pat Adrian [Unsupported] Zachary Anderson Matthew Battiston [Unsupported] Brian Behrendt Aaron Benetti Chip Berniard Gordon Blackburde Ken Blakey-Shell Gary Boesenberg Matthew Bosman [Unsupported] Casey Bredeson Jeffrey Bruzek Joaquin Candel [Unsupported] Chad Carroll Jason Carter Joe Clark [Unsupported] Kate Coward [Unsupported] Joseph Dean John Despres Will Edmonds Fred Egge Lynn Estes Charlie Farrow Paul Fickle Aga Fine Jesse Fletcher Terry Fletcher Beth Freymiller Adam Froemming Dan Frusher Jim Gerhardt Bill Grau Leah Gruhn Aaron Hagen Pete Hansen [Unsupported] Grant Hartley [Unsupported] Amanda Harvey [Unsupported] Ryan Haug Seth Heimermann [Unsupported] Robert Hingtgen [Unsupported] George Hollerbach Jamie Hollingsworth Laura Hrubes Scott Jensen Cassie Kottke Andrew Kraft Corey Kronser Kenneth Landgraff [Unsupported] Ryan Lipski Peter Loewenson Jill Martindale [Unsupported] Sean Mattner Patrick McDermott Steve Mcguire [Unsupported] Jay Millas Jere Mohr Tiziano Mulonia Chris Nelson Emily Nordahl Nick Nygaard Rick Paoletti Scott Pariseau Christina Peek Peter Premkumar Alex Price Ian Price Cameron Ramey Todd Rasmussen Trenton Raygor Claire Richard David Ristau [Unsupported] Judd Rohwer [Unsupported] Kevin Roytek Michael Running Daryl Saari Bryan Sampson Allen Sanborn [Unsupported] Tyler Schmoker Mark Seaburg Bill Shand [Unsupported] Carl Skustad Daniel Slater John Spartz Mark Strahan Christopher Tassava Andrew Thompson [Unsupported] Charly Tri Tim Vedder [Unsupported] Billy Volchko Sveta Vold [Unsupported] Al Wade Kristen Wade Matthew Webb [Unsupported] Andy Weinzierl Dan Wiek Jesse Wilcox Ron Williams Donald Wood Christian Worby Ben Zvan Polar Roll Winter Ultra | Feb 19 [LINK] [140 Miles] Munising, MI Because you have been dreaming of a winter ultra that offers a ton of groomed bike specific singletrack, and we have it. In 2024 we intend to use the same course used in 2023, but until we release the GPX, we reserve the right to make changes. Roster Matt Acker Thomas Allen Ben Alter Joe Barker Brian Bennett Ken Bozych Dustin Breimayer Bryon Chamberlain James Comment John Despres Ben Doom Torrey Dupras Fred Egge Greg Ernest Stephen Fleming Ory Frazier David Freeman Brian Geshel Grant Getschow Justin Held Mark Hennessy Russell Hill Laura Hrubes Bradley Humphrey-Stark Travis Hutchens Kelly Jedynak Jim Johnson Barry Jones Mike Kaldy George Kapitz Heath Kaplan Roy Kranz Kahler Kranz Tara Laase-McKinney Rich Lambe Nick Leisz David Lieble Ryan Lipski David Lynch Chris Marquardt Jill Martindale Sean Mattner Benjamin McRae Aaron Nault Emily Nordahl Patrick Ogden Rodney Palmer Kendall Park Reg Peer Ryan Rollins jan roubal Marc Salm Allen Sanborn Doug Scheuerman Chad Schut Peter Senkbeil Evan Simula Kenneth Smith Melanie Splitgerber AJ Tarachanowicz Andrew Thompson Logan Tillman Barry Tilson Dana Tingley Victor Tokarski Jim Tollard Josh Torrans Al Wade Jason Wier Joe Worboy John Yonkers Brian Yost
- 5 Great Adventure Ideas for Global Fat Bike Day [And 4 Pretty Dumb Ones]
Global Fat Bike Day is coming up on December 2, 2023. There are usually a lot of great events and group rides to celebrate the day. Here we give several additional options. If your town doesn't have any organized rides or you're looking to just get out with a few friends, here are some ideas to get you started. Here in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the U.P. it's anybody's guess whether or not we'll have snow on December 2. But who cares, right? Bikes are fun and there's something special about where fat bikes can take you on snow, dirt, grass, or pavement. Today we're tossing a few ideas for ways to celebrate Global Fat Bike Day. You can turn these into formal events to invite the entire community or just enjoy a ride by yourself or with a friend. 7 Great Adventure Ideas to Celebrate Global Fat Bike Day 1. Bike and a Bonfire You don't even need to get out in the woods to have a great fire. Have your one Strava nerd friend map a local ride and end at someone's house to have a backyard bonfire. 2. Pot Luck on Fat Bikes The destination could be an overlook, park, or a bend in the river. Meet a few friends, ride a few miles, and have everyone show up with a dish to share that you can enjoy together when the ride is done. 3. Dawn Patrol Ride Get your bike and gear ready the night before because there's a good chance you're going to be grumpy when your alarm clock rudely interrupts your sleep early on a Saturday. Wake up and get rolling before the sunrise (which isn't hard in the winter) and enjoy riding in the dark as it slowly transitions to morning. 4. Trail Coffee Coffee snobs, this one is for you. Bring a boiler and a way to make coffee like a french press, pour over kit, or minipresso. Or skip the coffer maker altogether and just ride with a thermos of hot coffee you made at home. December can get a bit chilly and a hot coffee takes the edge real nicely. 5. Join a Global Fat Bike Day Official Event (Many of Them Are Free) The Nxrth's fat fat bike event calendar is full of official events in a lot of different cities. Go see if there is one near your or hop in the car and head north to join one of these fun rides. A lot of them end with some fun social gatherings and food. Enjoy. 4 Pretty Dumb Ideas for Global Fat Bike Day 1. Fat Bike Piñata Bash Attach a piñata to your fat bike and take turns trying to break it open while blindfolded during the ride. 2. Fat Bike Karaoke Ride Using only Voile straps, mount a portable karaoke machine on your fat bike and go on a ride where participants can sing their hearts out at designated stops. 3. Fat Bike Tug of War Arrange a friendly tug-of-war competition between fat bikers, with a designated line in the snow or sand. The catch? You're all on your fat bikes! *side note: Based on the laws of physics, I highly doubt this is possible. 4. Fat Bike Water Balloon Fight Fat Bike Water Balloon Fight: Carry water balloons on your fat bike and engage in a water balloon battle with other riders at a designated area. Please please please make sure the water balloons are not frozen though.