‘Fat Bike’ Riders to Descend on Woodbury

The Cold Catfish Cup is set for Jan. 27 at Carver Lake Park.

They are called fat bikes. Beefier frames and oversized tires make these special mountain bikes, pioneered in part in Minnesota, ideal for off-road winter conditions.

Fat bike riders will be out in force in Woodbury on Sunday, Jan. 27, for the Cold Catfish Cup—a 15-mile winter bike race organized by the city and Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar. It will be held at Carver Lake Park.

Weather permitting, riders will begin the race with a lap around frozen Carver Lake before entering the single-track trail for a couple laps, said Reed Smidt, Woodbury recreation specialist and designer of the Carver Lake bike trail.

The Cold Catfish Cup started last year as a three-event race, but has since been consolidated into a single event.

“This year we decided to just have one day and make it bigger and better,” Smidt said.

The race is open to both fat bikes and traditional mountain bikes, but snow conditions on race day will determine which bike will be best suited for the course. (Many riders will bring both kinds of bikes.)

“If we have an inch or two of fresh snow, the fat bikes will have the advantage,” Smidt said. “But if we have hard-packed snow, the skinnier mountain bike tires will have the advantage.”

The benefit of fat bikes is their four-inch or larger tires.

“They make a huge difference,” said Smidt, a first-year fat bike rider himself. “That big tire offers a larger footprint to keep you above the snow so you can travel much easier.”

Angry Catfish Bicycle will provide a limited number of fat bikes for demonstrations at the event.

Smidt said he expects close to 100 riders will compete in the race, but he also encourages the public to come and watch.

“I think if we get a lot of people out here just enjoying themselves, in addition to the riders, that would be awesome,” he said.

Registration costs $12 in advance, and $15 on the day of the event. Check-in begins at 11 a.m., with the race starting at noon.

Riders can register online on the city’s website.


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Margaret Wachholz January 07, 2013 at 06:25 PM
I would love to do this event Irving...got to have you doctor up my bike. I've very thin wheels - can't image putting sheet metal screws into the bike tires. Sounds interesting.
Irving January 08, 2013 at 03:18 PM
The tires I had back then were very aggressive with very heavy ridge and side lugs. I would put very short sheet metal screws (the ones with edgy heads) into the heaviest lugs and they would then grip on ice. I also wore neoprene booties because the cold air down at pedal level was incredibly cold. Add a pair of gortex lined Cabelas gloves and I was able to commute to work 10 months out of the year. I've not done much winter single track - I'm not sure how the screws would work for that. Good luck Margaret!
Margaret Wachholz January 09, 2013 at 10:58 PM
I feel I've learned a trade, just as soon as I can decipher the information! You could teach us well Irving. We need more people like you. So interesting! Let me not forget to say 'thanks' to Mr. Michael ...'tis a great story to highlight and it will be a marvelous event!
Jim Brun January 14, 2013 at 07:23 PM
I discovered the new bike trails at Carver last summer and was amazed at how extensive and well thought out they are. I look forward to Mike's follow up images from the race.
Kris Janisch January 14, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Cool Jim! But are you going to hit the course on the 27th?


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