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Fat bikes the focus of second annual race in Cedar Rapids

GO CR Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride set for Dec. 8-9

Ron Harriman of Robins rides across a field as snow falls during the GO CR Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. The Enduro Ride was on a 3.75 mile course where riders rode as many laps as possible in the 3 hour time limit. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Ron Harriman of Robins rides across a field as snow falls during the GO CR Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016. The Enduro Ride was on a 3.75 mile course where riders rode as many laps as possible in the 3 hour time limit. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Cedar Rapids is going to have a second chance to get fat this holiday season.

The tourism bureau, GO Cedar Rapids, is presenting GO CR Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride. It’s the second in what is planned to be an annual fat tire bike ride.

“We kicked this off last year thinking, ‘Let’s do something to get people outdoors in the winter,’ ” said Aaron McCreight, chief executive of GO Cedar Rapids. “We know it’s tough in the Midwest, and we have a great bike community.”

The event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8-9 at Indian Creek Nature Center.

Friday night features a fun ride beginning at 7 p.m. at Comfort Inn and Suites, 2025 Werner Ave. NE, and ending with a party at the Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE. On Saturday, the endurance ride goes from noon to 3 p.m., followed by an after party.

McCreight said the event also caters to those not riding. Vendor booths will feature bike shops, food and drinks, and fat bike demonstrations. Fat tire bikes, which feature beefy, knobby tires and suspension systems, are intended for sloppy, adverse conditions but have become increasingly popular among a wider audience.

Spectators, meanwhile, get into the race cheering on riders and dinging cow bells.

“It’s a cool, fun atmosphere,” McCreight said. “I had a blast last year.”

Participants will compete to complete as many laps as they can in three hours. Laps are 3.75 miles along trails on Indian Creek Nature Center grounds, as well as the Sac and Fox system near the confluence of Indian Creek and the Cedar River.

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Given the challenging nature of the event, participants can compete solo or in groups of up to three. Registration costs $85 for both rides and both after parties, or $20 to $40 for individual components. Registration is available at gocrfatbike.com.

The first year of the event drew 139 participants, which was nearly triple what was expected. More than 85 have signed on so far for the 2017 installment, McCreight said.

With the growing bike community around Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa, such events have become increasingly popular. The first year had a regional draw with the heaviest registration spanning the Iowa City to Waterloo corridor, but some coming from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois.

Participants love that it’s in winter, McCreight said.

“They love it,” he said. “The colder the better. The harder the ground the better. They don’t want 70 and sunny. Part of the fun is the elements.”

l Comments: (319) 339-3177; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

If You Go

What: GO CR Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride

When: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8-9

Where: Indian Creek Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids

Cost: $85 for two rides and two race parties; $20 to $40 for individual components.

To register: gocrfatbike.com

Info: (319) 398-5009

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