By Marianne Christy
The Fat Bike Festival at McCauley Mountain on Sunday, March 22 attracted a field of competitors and curiosity seekers amazed by the race terrain and ready to see an expansion of the relatively new sport, said co-organizer Chuck Schweitzer.
Schweitzer, co-organizer Ted Christodaro, and a team of volunteers helped to layout the trail and add terrain features, such as jumps, to a near-seven-mile course that encompassed the entire base of McCauley. They also scoped out the Bisby to Nicks Lake trail that was used for a post-event group ride.
During the post-event awards ceremony and barbecue, Schweitzer said racers expressed their excitement of the experience, and those who took part in demo rides or the group ride were left with wanting more.
Schweitzer said many of those individuals had never experienced these trails before and were anxious to explore other local riding opportunities.
Due to the positive feedback, he said he and Christodaro are in talks with organizers of similar races held at Heiberg Memorial Forest in Tully and Winona Forest in Pulaski to create a three-race circuit in 2016 that would include common sponsors and marketing.
He would also like to investigate the possibility of permanently grooming the race trail area so it could be enjoyed by fat bike riders throughout the entire winter.
The winners of the Fat Bike Fest were: Female Under 40 Division – Stacy Horth; Female Over 40 – Katina Walker; Male Under 40 – Rob Price; Male Over 40 – Ray Willard; Big Air Competition – Ben Cohen.
Schweitzer expressed his gratitude to the volunteers, and sponsors McCauley Mountain, Pedals & Petals, and EPIC Outdoor Adventures of Fayetteville who provided prizes and demo bikes.
A year-round biker, Schweitzer, along with Christodaro, are co-founders of AMBA, the Adirondack Mountain Bike Association.
All bike enthusiasts are welcome to join their effort to expand interest and the benefits of utilizing the many great biking opportunities in this part of the Adirondacks.
For more information, Schweitzer can be contacted at (315) 725-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.