One thing you need to understand about the Black Hills, is that the hills hold snow. Even with the exceptionally dry winter we had, and no snow on the ground in town, there was more than enough snow in the high country for Fat Biking at the 2016, 28 Below. This year was the 3rd Annual event, and even though the race takes place in mid March, so far 2 out of 3 races have been full on winter events!! In all actuality we tend to get some of our biggest storms of the season in March, and this year was no exception! With the race set to take place on Saturday, the snow started falling on Thursday and didn't stop until the race was over. Due to the fact that the state Groomers had already called it quits for the year with the low snow, we decided to bring in a 30 inch groomer to pave the way for riders. We spent all day Thursday and Friday out grooming, only to have it dumped on and covered with 5+inches of fresh snow by race day.
|Riders head up the Wagon Canyon Reroute.|
|Back on Course, Snowmobile Trail #3 climbing to Cement Ridge.|
The race started with 57 riders toeing the line, at 8am Saturday morning, and temps in the low teens. In all everyone had a great time even though most riders water tubes froze up instantly, and there was a lot of hike a bike through the soft, new powder that covered much of the trail.
|When in doubt let air out, was the theme of the day.|
The 28 Below race, is the only permitted event in the Black Hills that takes place on groomed snowmobile trail. It consists of a roughly 30+ mile lollipop loop, with an out and back on a spur trail up to a fire lookout called Cement Ridge.
|Cement Ridge Aid Station.|
|The first sign of blue sky as riders leave Cement Ridge.|
|Thanks to Kirk Munro's mad driving skills and Legend Air Suspensions|
beast of a vehicle, for getting staff and supplies safely to the top!!
|A steamy shot of Jameson will heal what ails ya!|
|Bacon drop at Cement Ridge!|
The racing itself was close as riders vied for position, letting out pressure, trying to find the best line, often crashing in the soft white powder, and growing some beautiful white frostaches and ice-beards.
|Second Place Women's, Paulette Kirby finishes with a smile.|
|Zach Stone takes the win!|
|Zach Stone takes home the Fatbike Quarq Powermeter!|
|Top 3 women take home the cash!|
|Golden Egg Found|
A special thanks to all of our awesome volunteers, and the sponsors who help make this race possible.
Quarq Powermeters/Sram, Dirtbags, Salsa Cycles, Twin Six, Spearfish Canyon Lodge, Crow Peak Brewery, Spearfish Lumber, Visit Spearfish, Two Wheeler Dealer, Rushmore Mountain Sports, Acme Bicycles, Munro Earthmoving, Black Hills Vision Care and Dykstra Pottery!!