It may look a little funny, but people who have tried fat biking know that it’s actually incredibly fun. And there’s no more stunning place to pedal than Jasper (no bias at all, promise).
Whether you're just getting into the sport or are an expert snow cyclist, Frosty's Fat Bike Race is a great way to experience the best fat biking that Jasper has to offer. Frosty’s are a series of fat bike races around North America, and this weekend marks the sophomore year of their only Canadian race. With three pro racers gracing the Jasper trails and an informative fat bike summit being held at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, 2018's events promise to be an exhilarating celebration of winter endurance, beauty and play. This year there’s also more prizes to be won. Tourism Jasper is sponsoring a total cash purse amount of $5000 for the top three men and women finishers of Saturday’s endurance race.
Cash purse notwithstanding, race organizer Randal Gibb says part of fat biking’s allure is “the adventure of it.”
“You’ve got such a small window through the year that you can do something like this. A lot of cyclists don’t want to put away their favourite sport just because the season’s changed.”
Starting at 4:30 p.m. (registration starts an hour earlier), this short course race will lap Jasper Park Lodge’s golf course for about an hour. This race allows for maximum spectator engagement and will pass by the golf house so people can even watch from the warm indoors. This is a great race for first timers.
Leaving bright and early Friday morning, this 1.5 - 2 hour group ride will be attended by the visiting pros: Ami Stuart, Ty Hopkins, Emma Maaranen. Traversing about 20 kilometers of easy, beautiful trails, experienced riders will give some instruction to participants. With tickets running only $20, this is also the most cost-effective option for people interested in getting into fat biking; it is also a fundraiser for Jasper Parks Cycling Association, which works to build and maintain great trails in the Jasper area. Riders will meet at the Maligne Canyon trail head near the 5th bridge. Later in the day, join like-minded folk at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge for the Fat Biking Summit, presented by Gary Sjoquist.
Starting before the sun gets up, this premier event of the weekend will take riders out of town and up to the trails at Pyramid Lake. Although it’ll make for a touch ascent, the scenic views will be reward enough (not to mention the speedy descent). The endurance cross country race has different levels of competition, and includes both a 50 kilometer option and a 27 kilometer option. Cash purse prizes from $375 to $1500 will be awarded to the top three finishers in the Abominable men's and women's categories.