Words by: Ryan Thibault
Having hosted many a fat bike fest, I can tell you it always tends to be nerve-racking over the countdown to an event. I keep a vigilant eye on my favorite weather sites, watch the pre-reg numbers and chew my fingernails. But over time I’ve learned that you can’t compete with Mother Nature, only prepare for whatever she has in store.
Another thing I’ve learned is that human nature, particularly that of fat bikers is a bit more predictable. Rain, sleet, hail, snow, if you build it, they will show!
Despite a manic weather report, Winter Woolly 2018 brought out 250 of us! Upon arrival Saturday morning, we were greeted with a parking lot full of smiling faces. It was apparent who had already taken laps by the snow packed into their helmet vents.
“How is it up there?” we asked. “Deep!” they exclaimed.
On the hill we found the trail crew making laps with their 2017 model custom fab’ drag plow and as the morning progressed the trails started to clean up into pristine packed ribbons… in the middle 18″. Stray from the blue groove and be ready to auger up to your hubs and launch headlong.
The Racecourse was no different barring riders going as fast as they could. Much like 2017, we watched riders descend at full speed on in the narrow packed channel. Only the most adept made it down without rag-dolling in the deep.
By day’s end, rising temps made for a softer and slipperier riding. As the Highland Pub filled up with party people the lift line wained. I’m proud to say that we were having so much fun that we actually caught the last few chairs up the hill for one last hurrah.
Woolly number two is in the history books and I’m already looking forward to next year! Thanks to Highland for being such gracious hosts and to all the pedaling people for the support.