Minnesota Global Fat-Bike Day Activities

Global Fat-Bike Day is a worldwide grassroots campaign that started a couple of years ago to bring people from the fatbike community together to ride and make new friends.  In honor of Global Fat-Bike Day there are several rides scheduled here in Minnesota on December 6th that you may want to get in on as well as the Winter Bike expo and Superfat Crit to start or finish off the day.  I have complied a list of them so you can get your "fat on" and ride with others of the "well-endowed tire crowd".

Image Credit: Jack Pine Brewery
Global Fat Bike Day/Brainerd Lakes 2.0 will start and finish at the Jack Pine Brewery in Baxter.  Organizer Mike Spencer states, "We're developing a new route for the Global Fat Bike ride. There will be some PBT, some cross country, some surface streets, a couple stops at local businesses and of course we'll end up where we started at Jack Pine Brewery! More details to follow after a pre ride this weekend!"  Approximately 25 miles, ride starts at 11:00am.

Image Credit: Joe Sacco
Global Fat Bike Day on "Da Range" is organized by my buddy Joe Sacco up in Hibbing.  Him and his family are avid fatbikers, even the kids have 9:Zero:7's!  Probably an 11:00am start with more details to come in the days leading up to the ride.  "Nothing huge, no big bonfire, no drinking of beers, just our young "FatBiking Crew" and I doing a lap somewhere around town. Pedaling our local summertime loop in and out of the the old Whitney Tails pond area sounds like a plan. Very low key, and fun for all.  If anyone has more of an idea.... speak up! Thinking 11:00 am would be a good starting time. I'll post a concrete plan as the time nears."

Image Credit: Jonathan Bistodeau

Jonathan Bistodeau will be hosting his weekly Faturday ride with a special Global Fat-Bike Day edition that will start at the Russell A. Sorenson Landing (Lyndale Ave. lot) in Bloomington and follow the river bottoms trails to the Sibley House in Mendota and back.  Ride starts at 10:00am and is approximately 20 miles.  "This ride is put together for you, the riders. We are not about racing, we are about enjoying the trails, nature, and the company of other riders. As always, stay safe, ride at your own pace and within your own abilities. Dress for the weather, bring plenty of water, and food." - Jonathan Bistodeau.  Post a comment in MN Fatbike Group Rides if you can make it.

Global Fat Bike Day 2014 Twin Cities is being hosted by Nate Moore and starts at the Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington at 10:00am.  "Plan to ride your fatbike with us! Starting at The National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington and Ending at the Winter Bike Expo in Minneapolis. This is a public event, invite your fatbike homies! The Wildlife Refuge has parking on site for those who have to travel, it is adjacent to the Blue Line Light Rail for those who want to travel in from elsewhere in Minneapolis, and adjacent to the 494 non-motorized bridge for those coming from St Paul.  Please Plan to bring your own water and food, as access to these items will not exist until late in the ride. From the Expo, it will be up to riders to decide their exit. If parked at the Wildlife visitors center, The Light Rail stations at Franklin or Lake Street are easy access. You might also consider parking near the Expo in the morning and riding the light rail down to start the day. Plan for an Easy Pace, but a long ride. Some considerations are in the route for those who need to dip out."
See the Global Fat Bike Day 2014 Twin Cites Facebook Event Page for more information and details of the route.

Image Credit: Nicollet Bike Shop

Nicollet Bike shop in Mankato will be hosting the Nicollet Bike Global Fat Bike Day Group Ride at 12 Noon.  Ride departs from the shop located at 607 N. Riverfront Dr., helmets and fat bikes are required.  "Join us for a Fat Bike group ride to celebrate Global Fat Bike Day. We'll start from the shop at 12:00pm and ride out towards Mount Kato ski area to check out the trails at Ft. Le hillier and surrounding area and finish back at the shop. We'll be stopping during the ride at some point to warm up at Mt. Kato so bring a few bucks if you want a warm beverage. This will be a casual paced NO drop ride. All are welcome to attend! Contact us for details or with any questions."

COGGS will have two group rides on December 6th for Global Fat Bike Day.  
"To celebrate Global Fat Bike Day, we are planning a group ride followed with food and bonfire with some good cheer!
Saturday, December 6th
-Short ride leaves at 1:00 pm (Mission)
- Long ride leaves at 10:00 am (Brewer, Piedmont and Mission)

The plan is to leave the Mc Fadden’s house at 10:00 am and ride Brewer and Piedmont, then swing by the Mc Fadden’s and pick up those who want to ride Mission.  The trails are all packed and are in fantastic riding condition, plus the forecast is favorable.  We will provide brats on the grill and some adult beverages. Bring something to share…Please respond to: tmcfadden@bernicks.com and let Todd Know if you will make it! Thanks!  Hope to see you all on the 6th."

The Winter Bike Expo presented by Freewheel Bike returns for its fourth year December 6th & 7th to the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center.  The expo draws hearty cyclists from all over to see and demo all that manufacturers have to offer for winter commuters & fatbikers.  Admission is free and the fun kicks off at 9 am each day.  Winter biking seminars will be held throughout both days and there will be fatbike demos, raffles and beer!  For a schedule of events, click here.

Image Credit: Freewheel Bike

Stick around after the Winter Bike Expo for the 45NRTH Vinterhammer Superfat Crit, a criterium race for fatbikes set up on a feature laden course along the railroad trench of the Midtown Greenway.  Racers must have fat tires of at least 3.7" or wider and lights since the race will be conducted in the dark.  Racing starts at 6:00pm and entry requires a non-perishable food donation to Second Harvest Heartland.  Freewheel Midtown Bike Center is located at 2834 10th Ave. S. in Minneapolis right on the Midtown Greenway.


Brookview Golf Course Opens to Fatbikes This Winter

Brookview Golf Course in Golden Valley will be welcoming fat tire cyclists this Winter by grooming trails for riding and holding two fatbike races.  There will be two trails to ride, 3/4 and 3½ miles in length.  It is no charge for cyclists to use these trails and the Brookview Clubhouse and Grill will be open on the weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).  Trails will be available for use during the weekdays but the clubhouse and grill will be closed.  Opening date is set for December 12th, weather permitting and the trails will be groomed through the end of February.  Fatbikes will also be available for rent during open clubhouse hours.

Northwest Community Television-Channel 12 recently did a story on the new Winter recreation activities coming to Brookview

Winter Grill, Clubhouse & Fatbike Rental Hours

Brookview will be hosting two fatbike races this Winter, one in January and one in February.

Race Information
When: Saturday, January 3, 2015
First Race Starts at 10 am
Where: Brookview Golf Course, 200 Brookview Parkway, Golden Valley, MN 55426
Check In: Friday, January 2, 12:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, January 3, 7:30-10:00 am
Format: Categories will include Beginner (1 lap), Sport (2 laps), and Expert (3 laps). Each lap is approximately 3.5 miles. Races will be timed using computer chips with a mini-wave start format. Bike tires must be a minimum of 3.8” wide.
Fees: $20 per participant for pre-registration (limited to 160 participants)
$25 registration day of race (if space is available)
Registration and Payment to Brookview Golf Course
Questions? Call 763-512-2305

Race Information
When: Saturday, February 21, 2015
First Race Starts at 10 am
Where: Brookview Golf Course, 200 Brookview Parkway, Golden Valley, MN 55426
Check In: Friday, February 20, 12:00-8:00 pm and Saturday, February 21, 7:30-10:00 am
Format: Categories will include Beginner (1 lap), Sport (2 laps), and Expert (3 laps). Each lap is approximately 3.5 miles. Races will be timed using computer chips with a mini-wave start format. Bike tires must be a minimum of 3.8” wide.
Fees: $20 per participant for pre-registration (limited to 160 participants)
$25 registration day of race (if space is available)
Registration and Payment to Brookview Golf Course
Questions? Call 763-512-2305

For more information on fatbiking at Brookview Golf Course visit the Fat Tire Biking page on their website, for updates visit their Facebook page.


Save The River Bottoms Flyer Available for Download

From the Save the River Bottoms Facebook page:

"We....meaning the multi-talented Porter Million....created a flier that we will have down at the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Expo. See the link below.

Please feel free to download, print and disperse responsibly. We ask that you NOT st
ick them randomly under windshield wipers and such. We want to Save the River Bottoms...not pollute it."

Steve for Save the River Bottoms

Download Link:


Download, print and post responsibly. 
Sign the Petition

MORC has started a petition that will be presented to the MN DNR, Bloomington City Council and Representative Ann Lenczewski.  Please visit Change.org to let your voice be heard that you want to stop the plan to put a paved trail in the Minnesota River Valley between the Bloomington Ferry Bridge and the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge.


My Favorite Fatbike Accessories-Part One

Winter is here and to quote Guitar Ted, "White is the new dirt".  Cold weather brings on a whole different experience and there are a lot of fatbike accessories to make riding a little more comfortable and easier to carry the gear needed for those longer rides.  Below are some of my favorite items that I use regularly throughout the Winter.

Pogies and Heated Grips

Hands are usually the first to get cold and there are a couple of ways in addition to gloves to keep them warm.  Warm fingers are more dexterous for shifting and braking and using pogies (handlebar mitts) and/or heated handlebar grips do the trick nicely.  I have a pair of Stellar Bags pogies made by a local Twin Cities cyclist who no longer makes and sells them but there are plenty of others out there on the market.  Some of these include 45NRTH, Revelate Designs, Dogwood Designs, Bar Mitts and Gup Gum Gear.  Pogies do a great job of protecting your hands from the elements, especially the wind which can cool down hands fast and they let you ride wearing lighter gloves.

A'ME Ergo Tri Heated Mountain Bike Grips do a great job at keeping hands warm and toasty on very cold rides.  These grips feature bluPulse™ ‘Adaptive Thermal Regulation’ technology with six different temperature settings that can be selected by pushing a button.  They are powered by a rechargeable 11.1 volt Lithium-Ion Polymer Battery Pack that can be mounted to a frame tube or handlebar stem and have watertight connectors.  Battery life varies depending on the setting chosen, but I usually get about three hours using the lowest setting that keeps my hands comfortable.  For more information, read my full product review.  These grips in combination with gloves and a good set of pogies will keep hands warm for hours in bitter cold temperatures letting you ride longer and more comfortably.

Frame Bag

A frame bag allows me to carry gear, snacks and my tool kit for those times I want to travel light.  Access to bag contents can even be done while riding without having to stop.  I will sometimes stash my water bottle in the main compartment of the bag giving it a little protection from the cold so it doesn't freeze up as quickly.  A good bag should be made with fabrics that have a durable water-repellent finish to keep contents dry on rides in slushy or wet conditions.  Frame bags can be purchased for specific bike models, custom made for a perfect fit and some are universal fit.  I had mine custom made by a local cyclist (Gup Gum Gear) for my mountain bike but the triangle on my 9:Zero:7 was so similar that it fit perfectly. 


Pinned flats or clipless for Winter riding?  I will use both depending on the trail conditions.  Most of the time I like to clip in for the increased pedaling efficiency and power transfer but when conditions turn icy I switch to flats in case I need to put a foot down in a hurry.  The flats I use are actually a downhill mountain bike pedal by Xpedo, the Face Off 18.  I chose this pedal for its large platform with an open cage that doesn't build up with snow and ice.  They also have 20 replaceable pins on each pedal that helps me maintain a firm grip even when they become icy.  I'm currently using a set of Crank Brothers Candy 3's which I like for the easy in and out clipping over SPD pedals.  I am thinking of  switching to Crank Brothers Eggbeaters to eliminate the platform that the Candy pedals have to prevent ice and snow build up. 


I have two pairs of boots for Winter riding, Columbia Bugaboot Plus II Omni-Heat and my newest addition, the 45NRTH W√∂lvhammer.  I rode with flat pinned pedals all last Winter and the Bugaboots gripped the flats really good and the Omni-Grip outsole grabbed nicely on a variety of ice and snow covered surfaces. They are very lightweight and flexible making them a good choice for cycling.  The Bugaboots kept my feet warm on rides which usually lasted two to four hours.  During extreme cold where temperatures were sub-zero, my feet would start to get cold and toe numbness would set in.  To help extend ride time I would pair the Bugaboot with Grabber Toe Warmers and Foot Warmers.  For More information on the Columbia Bugaboot Plus II Omni-Heat, read my full product review.

The W√∂lvhammers, though a bit spendy are very well insulated, waterproof and breathable, three things I want in a Winter cycling boot.  When riding clipless, which is most of the time now, these are my go to boots.  I bought the next size up from what I normally wear to accommodate thicker wool socks for when it really gets cold.  These boots are new for me but I already love the comfort, feel and warmth they provide and would recommend them for cold weather fatbiking.

I will continue with more of my Faviorite Fatbike Accessories in two more upcoming posts.


Get Phat With Pat Winter Fatbike Races Coming to the MN River Bottoms in January

Penn Cycle & Fitness will hold the Get Phat With Pat Fatbike Races for a third year at the Minnesota River Bottoms in Bloomington on January 17th and 24th.  They are co-sponsored by and are a part of the Bloomington Winter Fete which runs from January 17-25.

Flyer Link

The Details: 

Both races will be held at the Russell A Sorenson Landing at the end of Lyndale Ave. S. in Bloomington, MN underneath the 35W bridge.  Registration will start and 9 am the morning of each race and closes 30 minutes prior to race start. Registration will require a $10 entry fee and also a $5 donation to MORC (Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists) which will help the non-profit volunteer organization pay for trail maintenance, equipment and fund their 2015 season.

All bike styles, fat or skinny are welcome to participate.  There will be three race classes for each race day; Beginner, Recreational and Advanced.  The Beginner class race will start at 10:15 am and consist of one lap, the Recreational class race starts at 10:00 am and is also one lap, the Advanced class race starts at 12 noon and will be two laps.
Nine Mile Creek Crossing

The race course will be similar to last year's race with a few areas that will be different.  Start and Finish will be under the 35W bridge with the course heading west past the railroad swing bridge before returning.  There will be an ice crossing for Nine Mile Creek but if the ice is deemed unsafe due to warm weather, the cottonwood tree crossing will have to be used.  The lap will be a loop of about eight miles with one section of trail heading out and another heading back.

An agreement with the City of Bloomington will allow many temporary sections of trail for the races.  The race course will be groomed and ready to ride one week before the first race.


Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers in each category.  There will be plenty of swag given away to race participants at the conclusion of each day's races.  A Grand Prize Drawing for a 9:Zero:7 fatbike frame and fork will be held at the January 24th race for race participants*.  All prize winners must be present to claim their prizes.  *To be eligible for the Grand Prize you must race in both races.

Top 3 Advanced Class Women - 2014

Pat was recently on Mountain Bike Radio and talked with host Ben Welnak about the upcoming Get Phat With Pat races.  Click here to listen to that segment of the show. 

See all of my photos and some video from last year's Get Phat With Pat races on Flickr.
Race #1
Race #2 

Get Phat with Pat will not only be fun but the weather will also make it challenging.  Thanks to Pat Sorensen and Penn Cycle & Fitness for organizing these races and the City of Bloomington for allowing them to take place at the Minnesota River Bottoms.  I'll see you there.

Facebook Event Pages


Pat Sorensen Of Penn Cycle Interviewed On Inside Mountain Bike Radio


Penn Cycle President, Pat Sorensen recently went on the Inside Mountain Bike Radio Show on Mountain Bike Radio to talk with host Ben Welnak about some of the history of Penn Cycle, events Pat has coming up and the long-standing tradition of Thursday Night at the Races.

Inside Mountain Bike Radio-November 5, 2014
Pat Sorensen of Penn Cycle
Pat starts the interview with how his father Elmer got Penn Cycle going back in 1957 and details some of the history and growth of the business.

 Elmer at the Richfield store back in the early 1960's
Image Credit: Penn Cycle

Pat tells Ben about the upcoming Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists' 20th Anniversary Gala on November 9th, Penn Cycle's commitment by being the Title Sponsor and the great work that MORC does for mountain biking in Minnesota.  Tickets are available at bit.ly/morcGALA.

He then goes into how the Get Phat with Pat fatbike races got the name, the unique location where they are held (the Minnesota River Bottoms), some of the fun and prizes to be had and how these races help raise money for MORC.  Also discussed is the evolution of fatbikes in the last few years.  More information on the upcoming Get Phat with Pat races can be found here.

With the Cross For Tots race coming up on November 29th at Moir Park in Bloomington, Pat gives a little history on how this cyclocross race was started and how it will benefit Toys For Tots.

To wrap up the show Pat reflects on the 23 year history of Penn Cycle's Thursday Night at the Races at Buck Hill in Burnsville.  How the kids races started, the danger, mayhem and fun that comes along with the adults on kids bike races are also discussed.  Watch the video below to get a taste of what Thursday Night at the Races is all about.

A download link of this episode of Inside Mountain Bike Radio is also available here.


Facebook Group Brings Minnesota Fatbikers Together for Group Rides

Last Saturday night I came up with an idea that would help bring those that love to ride fatbikes together for group rides of their own.  I figured creating a Facebook group would be the easiest way to get the word out to a lot of people in short amount of time because riding fatbikes is more fun when done with others.  Thus, the MN Fatbike Group Rides Facebook group was formed.  I posted it at around 11pm that night and by noon the next day there were over 100 members.  The group continues to grow and rides are being posted.  If you like riding with the well-endowed tire crowd then I invite you to become a member of the group and post rides of your own or join in on those posted by others.

 Group Description

I created this group to make it easy for my fatbike friends and their friends to get together by posting their own group rides.  Minnesota has a lot of fatbikers with riding schedules that may not include the weekends.  This is a place where they can organize their own rides with friends and new acquaintances any day of the week.  My work schedule keeps me from joining in on Saturday group rides but I'm available on Sundays and Mondays.  Others of you may have other availabilities, that's why I created this group.  Are you looking for some Tuesday afternoon ride partners at Murphy or Thursday night ride companions at Elm Creek?  This group is designed to get fatbikers together for rides that fit their schedules.  I miss out on so many fatbike group rides because of my work schedule that I wanted to create a Facebook group that was open to the public and would allow other members, not just those with weekends off to connect and ride together.  Invite your friends and let's ride fatbikes together this Winter.

Already there have been rides and pictures posted and activity in the group is bound to increase as more members join and snow begins to fall.  Although many members may be from the Twin Cities Metro Area, I encourage those in Greater Minnesota to join as well.  My goal for this Facebook group is to see group rides from all over the state being posted on a regular basis.  Become a group member today and tell your fatbike friends about the MN Fatbike Group Rides Facebook group.


Save the Minnesota River Bottoms: Sign the Petition

For those of us that use the Minnesota River Bottoms, whether it be for hiking, running, mountain biking or bird watching, this area has been a favorite of nature lovers during all seasons for many years because of its natural beauty.  I first introduced my son to mountain biking here years ago and it was a special place for us to go and ride together.  For over 20 years MORC members have helped maintain this natural surface trail that runs between the Bloomington Ferry Bridge and Indian Mounds School in Bloomington.

This area is prone to repeated flooding and the idea of millions of dollars being used to develop a paved or aggregate trail here seems like an expensive plan that will require a lot of  yearly maintenance costs and has been one that many people have opposed for years.  Many of us would like to see this area expanded, improved and preserved in its natural state as a natural surface multi-use trail open to hikers, runners, cyclists and nature lovers.  MORC has started a petition that will be presented to the MN DNR, Bloomington City Council and Representative Ann Lenczewski.  Please visit Change.org to let your voice be heard that you want to stop the plan to put a paved trail in the Minnesota River Valley between the Bloomington Ferry Bridge and the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge.

For updates on this important issue please visit the Save the River Bottoms Facebook pageJoin MORC today to help safeguard the future of mountain biking in Minnesota through the promotion of responsible riding, establishment and maintenance of mountain biking trails, and preservation of Minnesota's natural resources.
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