The Kodiak Lounge Winter Bicicle Shredfest event is back and this year there is snow. Over the weekend of Feb. 6 and 7, there will be two fat bike events planned at Fernie Alpine Resort (FAR) to get people riding and enjoy the resort.
While this is the second year the event has been planned, it will be the first year the event will come to fruition. Last year’s event was cancelled due to poor snow conditions.
The events are open to all ages and are also open to fat bikes or mountain bikes that are equipped with store bought studded tires. Helmets are mandatory and all participants must also sign a waiver. Anyone under the age of 15 will need a parent or guardian with them during registration.
On Feb. 6 there will be a fat bike race where competitors will do a 4.5 to 6 km race. The trails that are expected to be used for the race are the Hobbit Trail and Boom Creek Trail. There will be a $10 entry fee for the race. The race will have two categories, open men’s and open women’s. If there are enough riders there may be more categories added by splitting fields into age groups. The race will have a number of laps; the final number will be decided day of to factor in weather and snow conditions. There will be an elevation gain and loss but will not feature any sustained climbs or descents. Registration opens at 8:30 a.m. at the day lodge and the rider meeting is at 10 a.m. at the start line next to the Elk Chair loading area.
On Feb. 7 there is a “Social Group Ride” where riders pay $5 to enter and will receive a post-ride refreshment at the Griz Bar. According to the event’s Facebook page, hosted by FAR, “the social ride is aimed at bringing together riders in a relaxed atmosphere to share their love for the sport. The ride will explore the cross-country trails (Silk Trail, Manchuria). As the group ride is designed to be fun and social, the group leader will set a modest pace, so experience on a mountain bike is recommended.”
The registration starts at 12:30 p.m. at the day lodge and the group ride leaves the rental shop at 1:30 p.m.
FAR also welcomes Sunday’s participants to stay for the live music at the Griz.
The Raging Elk Hostel is a title sponsor of the Winter Bicicle Shredfest and is looking forward to this weekend’s activities.
“We are the title sponsor for this event, the Dummy Downhill and the Powder Pedal Paddle. It is a community series where FAR is encouraging people to come to events at the ski hill. It’s stuff that kids, locals, or a diversity of people can come to,” said Sadie Howse, of the Raging Elk. “[This event is] more than just skiing and we wanted to support that, we are a part of the community and wanted to give back.”
Howse believes that the increasing popularity of fat bikes and the trail infrastructure to support them is a positive thing for the Fernie community.
“I think it is cool that Fernie is attracting more than just skiing in the winter,” said Howse. “It’s another option to get out onto the trails.”
While the event does recommend some cycling knowledge, it is also intended for novice fat bikers. There are shops on and around the resort that rent out fat bikes and rentals are available for the day.