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  1. #1
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    2017 Fatbike Birkie Thread

    Who is racing?

    Is anyone from the Cable/Hayward area, who can give us up to date trail reports and tire suggestions?

    I'm in Appleton, our snow is all but gone except for a few lonely piles.

  2. #2
    sluice box
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    I know the birkie was canceled as a race and they had a 5k loop for the skier to play on for fun. maybe try Husker Du's or Jumbo Jims? or +bike if you can.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Who is racing?

    Is anyone from the Cable/Hayward area, who can give us up to date trail reports and tire suggestions?
    I was up there for the Birkie and it is way too soon to say about conditions for FBB.
    On Saturday there was still actually a lot of snow. (and quite a bit of ice) I rode a lot of the singletrack, and the Birkie trail was covered in snow/ice at most crossings. The problem for skiers is that there were huge spots of bare grass on many south facing slopes. I have no idea if they'll let us ride if conditions are still like that, or if they figure we will do damage to the trail. I'm hoping it will work out.

  4. #4
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    I have been monitoring:Winter Fat Biking

    For trail info.

    Despite having studded tires, I hoping trails are not super icey. It was fine on the lead out/in last year, but bombing down some of those hills on ice... I'm a wuss.

  5. #5
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    I am going to ride my studded turbo e-bike.
    2015 Trek Farley 6
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  6. #6
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    If trail cam looks this bad tomorrow, I am going to bag it.

    Webcams | American Birkebeiner

  7. #7
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    I have to look at my hotels.com reservation cancellation rules. Its not looking good. Sucks being out the registration fees, but the hotel was too expensive.

    I hope they make the call one way or the other soon. It is 52 degrees and raining here in Appleton.

  8. #8
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    I cancelled. It is just not worth the 10 hour drive to ride ice. It should be firm enough down here to go ride the Kettle Moraine or other trails.

  9. #9
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    I have until midnight Wednesday to cancel hotel. I don't have studded tires either. It's not looking good right now. We were looking forward to the family vacation.

  10. #10
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    Does anyone have suggestions for studded tires for this event? I wanted to hold off buying studded tires until summer, but I really want to do this race. With the combination of glare ice, mud, grass, mashed potatoes, etc... would an aggressive tire be better? Or a fast roller?

  11. #11
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    I did the race last year with 4" studded Dillingers. There was way more snow and they did fine. The studs were simply for 1 mile section on the streets to start and end the race that were fairly icey.

    I would expect things to be hard enough that big knobbies will not do much. Mashed potatos should not be much of an issue with low temps all week and a race starting temp of 6 degrees.

  12. #12
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    I missed the race last year. 2 years ago I attempted the long course. My legs cramped so hard they had to carry me off on an ATV. For that race I was on a Mongoose Vinson with 26x4.7 Bulldozers. Every moderate to big climb was hike a bike due to the mashed potatoes. The temps started out cold that day, but quickly got above freezing. I did not manage my layers properly, but I'm sure the tire situation did not help.

    Also, I've not ridden 4" tires on snow because I'm a fat pig. Currently on a Trek Farley 7 with Barbis. If I find a set of studded tires in the next 24 hours, I'm guessing they will be 4" tires. Will I have significant issues in the snowy patches?

  13. #13
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    I don't think they are going to have the race on glare ice. Sounds like they will either attempt to break it up, or reroute the course.
    2015 Trek Farley 6
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    I missed the race last year. 2 years ago I attempted the long course. My legs cramped so hard they had to carry me off on an ATV. For that race I was on a Mongoose Vinson with 26x4.7 Bulldozers. Every moderate to big climb was hike a bike due to the mashed potatoes. The temps started out cold that day, but quickly got above freezing. I did not manage my layers properly, but I'm sure the tire situation did not help.

    Also, I've not ridden 4" tires on snow because I'm a fat pig. Currently on a Trek Farley 7 with Barbis. If I find a set of studded tires in the next 24 hours, I'm guessing they will be 4" tires. Will I have significant issues in the snowy patches?
    I had no issues last year with 4" tires and I tipped the scales at 210+, without gear and my 2015 Mukluk is no lightweight. It will be significantly colder this year. Any snowy patches will be have a grove packed down by the leaders.

  15. #15
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    I just saw a Facebook post from Camba/American Birke. They are rerouting on about a 10K loop that wasn't groomed over the winter, so very little ice, a little snow and grass. Goal is to make it safe.

  16. #16
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    I've been calling my local bike shops. Studded tires are flying off the shelves. I know I should have bought them a few months ago.

  17. #17
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    Studded Wrathchilds are mounted and ready for the weekend

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    Studded Wrathchilds are mounted and ready for the weekend
    Sounds like there might be an interesting story behind that... Stud them yourself?

  19. #19
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    They rerouted it, and the course should avoid much of the glare ice on the actual Birkie trail. Sounds like mostly grass and dirt, with a little snow and a little ice.
    2015 Trek Farley 6
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  20. #20
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    no interesting story. Broken Spoke Bike Studio in Green Bay hooked me up. George, the owner, is a great guy. I called at 4:30 and he recommended the tires. I was there by 6:00. They had 3 guys working on studding them and mounting them on my rims. I was out of there in about 30 minutes even with them having to retape the wheels. If you are ever in the area check them out. I've worked with George on a few projects and wish I lived closer so Broken Spoke could be my LBS.

  21. #21
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    course looks crusty and fast from the videos just posted on facebook
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    no interesting story. Broken Spoke Bike Studio in Green Bay hooked me up...
    Glad to hear they got you sorted! Sounds like a great place.

  23. #23
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    5 loops? I already know I am old and slow. I don't need to be lapped twice to rub it in.

    To all that are going, enjoy.

  24. #24
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    As of this morning think frozen dirt. Hard as a rock. Not much ice.

  25. #25
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    So lets hear a race report. How was it?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    So lets hear a race report. How was it?
    Brutal.
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  27. #27
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    I was happy with my new tires. I made a goal to not put a foot down the entire race and I didn't. I cleared every climb and didn't have so much as a slip on the icy sections. I saw at least 2 broken collar bones and possibly a broken leg. Dozens of riders went down around me. Countless riders walked the climbs. I finished, which was another goal. Next year I'll try to actually be at a reasonable weight and be somewhat competitive.

    The downhill sections were awesome. My GPS told me I hit 39mph at one point.

  28. #28
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    Thanks for the report. Given I have a cycling trip planned out west in April, it sounds like a I made the right call to bail.

    Finishing times seemed to be about 15 minutes slower than last year (granted, different course). 39mph, wow that's hauling, let alone on sketchy conditions. Well done.

    Given the firmness of ground, what pressure did you run?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    . I saw at least 2 broken collar bones and possibly a broken leg. Dozens of riders went down around me
    Sounds like a great time.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    Thanks for the report. Given I have a cycling trip planned out west in April, it sounds like a I made the right call to bail.

    Finishing times seemed to be about 15 minutes slower than last year (granted, different course). 39mph, wow that's hauling, let alone on sketchy conditions. Well done.

    Given the firmness of ground, what pressure did you run?
    8psi in front and 9.5psi in back. I could have gone a little lower, but not much given the high speed corners on frozen bare ground. The downhill sections were white knuckle and super fun. I blew by many people who passed me on the climbs including some of the race leaders who had lapped me. Heels down, heavy feet and light hands and don't even think about touching the brakes...WEEEEEE!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowride454 View Post
    8psi in front and 9.5psi in back. I could have gone a little lower, but not much given the high speed corners on frozen bare ground. The downhill sections were white knuckle and super fun. I blew by many people who passed me on the climbs including some of the race leaders who had lapped me. Heels down, heavy feet and light hands and don't even think about touching the brakes...WEEEEEE!
    Well done! A friend of mine that did the race reported that "it was great...now that it's done." Sounds like it was a more varied course and more hills compared to the standard route. Uggh. I did a hilly computrainer ride on Saturday and cramped 1 1/2 hours in. I would have been ill-prepared this year.

    Glad to hear your tires worked well. Studs do inspire confidence.

  32. #32
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    I rode tubeless studded D4's at 10-11 psi front and 11-12 psi rear. I probably could have run lower since there were at times little contact with the studs and I had to be careful in only one or two spots. The downhills were awesome and I feel like the higher psi along with the studs just grabbed like no tomorrow and I was passing everyone on the downhills.

    It was all pretty awesome save for the fact my camel back tube froze and putting it inside my jacket did not unfreeze it so I was carrying around a 4 lb weight. The upside was the pit zone with plenty of gels, water, and electrolytic beverage to refuel after each lap.

    Naturally there were very fast people and very slow people and as you can imagine it caused a few problems especially on the short icy uphills after a long fast downhill where you want to carry your speed up the hill but there are people literally falling backwards down the hill.

    Definitely not for the faint of heart and it showed since it looked like a lot of people did not show up and numerous people DNF'd.

  33. #33
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    Sorry for the late post. I had registered for the race but decided not to go late the night before the race (sick kid - wasn't worth the 3+ hour drive (one-way) not knowing how she was doing). Was to be my first bike race. Was getting excited but as I was getting the daily reports I was getting more worried than excited.

    I saw there are/were some YouTube videos up - must be GoPro videos - I haven't watched them yet.

    Maybe I'll try next year. I'll see how it works out -maybe I can plan it to have a hotel room the night before.

    Right now I'm signed up for the Lutsen race in late June (I think) - I'm only doing the 19-mile race - I'd never be able to handle the longer distances. It is a mountain bike race but I'll be riding my Farley, just to be different, I guess.

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