I'm The 47th Fastest Fat Bike Racer In the Entire World!!!1!

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That's what it means when I come in 47th at the Noquemanon Snowbike World Championships, right? 

So yeah, it's a good thing my folks came into town to say hi, otherwise I never would have made it past L'Anse. Apparently they got pounded with nearly 18" of snow the night before. 

What? No, I would not have skipped a bike race to go skiing!

I, um.... don't like to drive in the snow.  Yeah, that's it.  

But hey, it was cool to say hi to all the Marquette peeps and check out all the snowbikes.  Lots of stock Mukluks and Pugsleys, but also a lot of cool, customized rides. Even amongst the horribly uncool folks like like me without a totally custom setup, it's nearly impossible to find two bikes alike (check out my red cables, yo!) 

But hey, it's race start time- everybody line up! 

Now ok, I'll admit it. I'm not really very good at this snowbiking thing. I'm totally squirrelly. I spin out a lot. I go shooting across the trail in weird directions without warning. I like to crash a lot.  And I'm slow. Real slow. 

So I took a nice conservative spot towards the back and didn't dive into the melee at the start. Which is a good thing. Because we immediately started making sharp right turns before getting to a stretch of ungroomed soft snow.   Where we all had to jump off our bikes and start running....

...and running...

...and running... 

...I guess it's a bike race in that, yes- I am pushing my bicycle. Nobody ever said anything about riding it. 

There was one stretch that wasn't so bad, but man- nearly the entire first half of the course was basically unrideable. But hey, it was beautiful day, and we got to hikeabike past some stuff that looked like it might be good fun to come back and ski.

But then, finally- the course went from unrideable to perfectly groomed, nearly entirely downhill racetrack, packed in even more by the 50-odd people in front of me. 

Holy man. It's a good thing those ski trails are wide, I was going faster than I'd go on my mountain bike in the summer. I went flying past maybe 6 people in the last 7k and finished just behind a 7th for 47th out of 67 people.   And I thought I'd never use the big ring on my Pugs... 

Hung out at the finish hoping to score a new set of tires in the raffle, but no dice. Had a couple hours of daylight to kill on the way back home, so stopped off to check out a potential route into some new ski terrain we've been eyeing up and get my favorite kind of fatbiking in- exploring new territory while taking in the natural beauty of the UP.

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