Aside from Lake Macbride, the course has included bike trails, snowmobile trails, pavement, and gravel. This year it adds an extra five or six miles for 31 miles total. Depending on conditions, organizers expect the new route to take racers anywhere from 2½ to 6½ hours.
"All three team members have to finish together. If someone is slower the others have to help them with the pace. If someone breaks down or flats everyone is in it together to resolve the problem." What a great idea!
The Solon Lions Club's involvement was no accident, explained Kullbom. "Longtime SBB customer and Solon Lions club member Jay Profitt approached me with the idea of a fat tire ride in Lake Macbride State Park to raise money for the Lions Club. Right away I knew what I wanted to do and what trails and route to use. The first year the route was multiple laps of very hilly terrain in the park and was touted as too difficult by many. Over the years we have refined it to create the best event possible. But since the beginning the Lions Club and the community of Solon have been integral parts of the race and make up a vast majority of the volunteers involved.
Dress for success
Whichever event you sign up for, it's important to be prepared.
Winter riding Conditions
"Jon (Yetley, owner of SBB) spends three or four days and nights grooming the course with a snowmobile and pull behind single-track groomer while I walk or snowshoe the course with a backpack full of course markers, a drill with a two foot long spade bit to drill into the frozen ground, and a mallet to pound the stakes in. We also provide GPS route maps, but it’s good to have both. Typically every year there are one or two snowmobile or groomer breakdowns or issues getting them stuck because the course is so steep and treacherous."
Arduous work, certainly, but ultimately worth it. "We’ve had tons of people sign up all four years so far. They keep coming back. The beer and bacon checkpoint is second to none, and the after party is great."
No wonder folks keep coming back!
All photos courtesy of Hanson Photo Design. Check out the rest of their 2020 Lake Macbride Fat Tire Classic album and much more at Hanson Photo Design.