Spend Valentine's with your 'fatty'

Fat bike cyclists take to the snow-covered course during a race at Nordic Valley Resort this January. The firs
Fat bike cyclists take to the snow-covered course during a race at Nordic Valley Resort this January. The first ever Fat Bike National Championships will take place on Saturday, February 14 at Powder Mountain. (Source: Matthew Christensen/Fatbike Brigade)

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for you and your special someone this year. This year, the first ever Fat Bike National Championships are taking place on this special day at Powder Mountain.

For the first time this event will be taking place in Utah. This is an event where amateur competitors ride a 12 mile course across Powder Mountain’s Hidden Lake. Professional and open class riders will follow the amateur riders. Events like this have been happening locally with much success, Dew Tour is one example.

The race is not only for biking enthusiasts. Families are also invited to watch and participate in the events according to Richard Koski, Director of Sales for Visit Ogden. “We want everyone to come up and watch. It will be a fun event,” Koski stated. There will be bike shops offering demos for fat bikes for people to try. “If anyone hasn’t been on a fat bike, they should take the opportunity because they’re fun,” Koski said.

Visit Ogden is a destination marketing organization whose job is to bring visitors to the area, according to Koski. “We have responsibility for the entire county,” he added.

Fat bikes were originally created to handle rough Alaskan terrain. Koski said fat bikes became very popular in the Midwest and that’s where the first manufacturer came from. Coming in many styles, fat bikes have emerged as the fastest growing segment in the cycling community.

These bikes are built specifically to handle snow, mud and ice with their wide tires. The bikes offer a low impact ride because the tires are very stable, and the snow provides a cushion for falls. “Usually when you see someone riding a fat bike they have a smile on their face,” Koski said.

Everyone who attends the event will also get the chance to enter a contest to win their very own fat bike.

According to the Adventure Cycling Association, there are at least 15 types of fat bikes as well as many custom options. Fat bike tires are about five inches and have 100-200 millimeter rims.

Rebecca Rusch, a holder of world titles in whitewater rafting, adventure racing, orienteering, and many mountain bike accomplishments will be at the event teaching women how to ride fat bikes with professional tips. Rucsh is also set to meet with the public to sign her book ‘Rusch to Glory’ the evening before on February 13.

Online registration for the event is open through February 11. Registration is also available on February 13 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ogden. On the day of the event registration is also happening at Powder Mountain Resort. Koski mentioned that if they can get 150-200 people at the event, they can consider the event a success.

There are events scheduled starting on February 12 that will lead up to the main attraction on the 14th. Fat bike demos are available as well as a Fat Bike Kick-Off party at Alleged on Historic 25th Street. The kick-off party is free and open to the public.

This event is happening with the support of USA Cycling, the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States. USA Cycling sanctions competitive as well as non competitive events throughout the U.S. every year. Visit Ogden is also involved in making this event happen.

An event like this is bound to happen in Utah again, however USA Cycling likes to move the event around to expose as many people as possible.