Sugarloaf’s First Fat Tire Festival

Weather at the Sugarloaf Fat Tire Festival eventually cooperated.

John riding shotgun
John riding shotgun

I was able to put together a decent ride on Saturday, after the thermometer dropped below freezing.

Hard packed and ready for rolling fat.
Hard packed and ready for rolling fat.

Friday afternoon, when the air temp rode to above 50 degrees, the riding was less than ideal. I only racked up about five miles – the distance from our rented condominium, on the slopes, to the Nordic Center, which was the base of operations for the action here on fat wheels this weekend.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA The cross country trails here are well groomed, wide as a highway, and fairly solid underneath, but I had trouble on the uphill segments, my rear wheel sinking in the softness on Friday.

Fifty riders paid $40 each to race early Saturday. It looked to be a slog up the slopes, with a good deal of hike-a-bike to reach the high point and then a good slide down. None of us raced- the surface looked to be too loose and soft.

The cold came back Saturday afternoon. By 2 pm, it dropped under freezing, so I decided to head out with Buck, Ian, and Blaine and ride around for a couple of hours. Much better surfaces, allowing for some very fast downhill swoops.  photo 7

As long as you stayed on the packed track, you were smiling, but veer off the snow highways and you were going down into the deep snow.

Ian, halved !
Ian, halved !

The Bubbas represented well, with a dozen of us occupying the condo- I had a clean bed in a room with Tom P., John Anders and Tim Sewall sharing snoring shifts with me.

It cost each of us $100 for our share of the rental for the weekend, a most excellent location, and place to hang for the weekend. Thanks to Blaine Curtis for setting it up.

I volunteered to cook breakfast for the gang on Saturday- eggs, bacon, home fries, English muffins, coffee. Suzie Cooke organized the most excellent Saturday night dinner in the condo. On Sunday, John Anders whipped up an excellent batch of breakfast burritos, with Buck kicking in a massive plate of bacon sausage from Maine Street Meats in Rockport.

Sunday was the day of my longest ride.  Maine Huts and Trails hosted a Stratton Brook Lunch Ride on Sunday.

Suzie, Buck, and Rick ready to flow
Suzie, Buck, and Rick ready to flow

We sampled their winter trail system with a ride up to Stratton Brook Hut where we congregated with fellow Fat Tire riders, before heading back down a spectacular descent of close to two miles on the Oak Knoll Trail.

Ian and Buck enjoying the Stratton Hut
Ian and Buck enjoying the Stratton Hut

I am pleased to work in 27 miles of winter riding this weekend.  Who knows how the riding will go back home, beside Penobscot Bay this week?

This was not my first time fat biking Maine Huts and Trails.

Here’s my  October 26, 2013 blog post from my maiden voyage on a cold October day,   from Route 27 to spending a solitary night at the Flagstaff Lake Hut.

I’ll be back for next year’s Fat Tire Festival and plan to hit up the Maine Huts and Trails again in 2015.

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