Fat Tire Birkie is a Hit

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It’s a sport that has grown in more than just tire size.

Hundreds of athletes from across the nation made their way to Cable, Wisconsin this weekend for the Fat Bike Birkie.

It was chance to pedal their way to a win on the groomed, snow-covered American Birkebeiner Ski Trail.

The Fat Tire Birkie is being called a pioneer in the sport.

More than 860 riders hopped on their bikes Saturday morning to tackle the trails.

“It’s really the epicenter of this whole fat bike craze – Duluth, the Midwest, it’s fantastic,” said Ben Popp Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner.

Fat Tire Biking takes mountain biking to a new level.

“It’s fun, it’s not dangerous, you’re not riding on the road with cars. You’re in the safety of trails in the woods it’s very social and a ton of fun. It’s very similar to the mountain bike craze of the late 70’s when that grew and blew,” said Popp.

For avid cyclists the sport is another outlet to fuel their passion to pedal.

“They’re addicted to biking so if you can get out in the winter and do what you love you can’t go wrong,” said Jo Durnin, a spectator, waiting for her husband to cross the finish line.

The race had a short 12-mile route and a long 30-mile loop.

Those racing on the trails said they were stellar.

“The trail conditions were fast, the sun was out,” explained Reed Cosgrove, a fat bike enthusiast.

Cosgrove, a first time fat bike racer, finished 5th in the short race.

“For me it’s another facet of mountain biking that’s new for me, because it keeps that kind of going year–round,” said Cosgrove.

The Birkie not only drew spectators, but racers from more than 25 states including Alaska.

“To see this many riders and their families out enjoying (the race) it’s pretty awesome, so we’re excited,” exclaimed Popp.

Just one of the many Minnesotans pedaling towards the finish line Saturday, was competitive cyclist Rebecca Ireland.

“On the corners I had to remind myself to keep this bike upright, it’s not like a mountain bike where you can really rail into the corner if you do on this you will fall,” said Ireland.

Birkie organizers said they expect the event to continue to grow.

“This will be big. In 10 years there will be 5,000 people doing this race,” said Popp.


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