Wilmington, NC | Wrightsville Beach, NC – Invented for winter transportation in Alaska, and later used in mountain biking and touring the deserts of New Mexico, the sport of fat bike racing is speeding around the globe showing no signs of slowing down.
From March 13-15, fat bike racing rolls into Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina with the US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship.
“As the home of the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon, Quintiles Marathon and Carolina Cup SUP, it is only appropriate to introduce fat bike racing to the east coast in the sports hub of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach,” said event chairman and multi-sport racer Shawn Spencer.
Historically custom-made and used for off-road transportation and adventure riding, fat bikes have only recently gained wider visibility. Fat bikes typically feature four-inch wide tires, the pressure of which can be adjusted up or down. Thus, fat bikes are capable of traversing unstable terrain, including snow, desert bogs, mud and sand.
The race course in North Carolina will feature different landscapes to test the mettle of the bikers. The course will be a large kidney-shaped area between the Wrightsville Beach piers with a variety of beach surfaces, from thick, soft and difficult sand to hard-packed sand along the water’s edge. Course layout will be finalized and available for preview after race check-in, on Friday, March 13. Start and finish lines will be located at the host hotel, Blockade Runner Beach Resort.
“Environmental impact of the fat bike is very low due to tire size and weight distribution,” said Spencer, citing the results of a local test race on the beach in November. Spencer, a Certified Body Geometry ‘bike fitter’ and owner of Bike Cycles, works with cyclists around the United States and other countries to set up and fit their equipment.
The race will feature Expert, Sport, and Beginner divisions to accommodate different skill and experience levels. For the expert division, the course will run for 25 miles, 15 miles for the sport division, and 5 miles for the beginner category.
Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers from each age category in each division.
Saturday’s race will be timed using RaceSplitter. Racers wishing to track their performance relative to other racers are encouraged to pre-load the Strava smartphone application.
On Sunday, March 15, racers will have the opportunity to visit a nearby, uninhabited island for a 9-mile pleasure ride on the beach.
Shawn Spencer, Chairman
US Open Fat Bike Beach Championship
Phone: 910-256-2545 or 910-264-5382