Recreation

Riders preparing to roll in the Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride

Fat tire bike riders could face 'OK' to ideal conditions during this weekend's event

Noel Kehrt of Marion, Linn Area Mountain Bike Association board member, walks up a hill that wasn’t packed enough for biking while checking the trail for the upcoming Fat Tire Enduro Race at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Noel Kehrt of Marion, Linn Area Mountain Bike Association board member, walks up a hill that wasn’t packed enough for biking while checking the trail for the upcoming Fat Tire Enduro Race at Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
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CEDAR RAPIDS — Soggy conditions at Indian Creek Nature Center caused by a 75-degree temperature swing and melting snow is not expected to interfere with the third annual Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride on Friday and Saturday, a race organizer said on Monday.

“It’s a little soupy right now, so that is always a bit of a concern,” said Sarah Botkin, the Nature Center event coordinator. “But, it looks like it should be below freezing again later this week. If it freezes up, we should be OK.”

Botkin said conditions could be ideal by this weekend.

The two-day event put on by the Nature Center and Linn Area Mountain Biking Association kicks off with registration and check-in at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Parlor City Pub and Eatery, 1125 Third St. SE, followed by a free, no-drop night ride at 6 p.m.

The ride is open to the public and takes bicyclists to the Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE, where each rider will be provided one hot toddy featuring Cedar Ridge whiskey. Samples also will be available. Bike lights and helmets are recommended.

Registration and check in for the endurance race begins at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A food vendor, La Reyna, and Lion Bridge beer also are slated to be available for purchase on site on Saturday.

The race begins at noon.

The objective is to complete the most laps within the three-hour time frame. Participants can compete individually or as part of a team of up to three people. The three-mile course enters woods, hills and prairie, using primarily Nature Center trails as well as parts of the Sac and Fox Trail system.

“This is the one time of the year when the ground is frozen and they can go out on their bikes without damaging the trails,” Botkin said. “They’ll have a different view than they are used to.”

Awards will be presented to top male and female finishers as well as the top team.

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People can call (319) 362-0664 to register by phone or register online at www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org. The cost per rider is $45. The event is free for those wishing to come as spectators. Past years have drawn 100 to 120 participants, Botkin said.

Local bike shops will have fat tire bikes available for rent for those wishing to test one, but rental reservations must be made before the event. Participating bike shops include Hall Bicycle and Goldfinch Cyclery in Cedar Rapids, Sugar Bottom Bikes in North Liberty and World of Bikes in Iowa City.

GO Cedar Rapids, the former tourism organization, had been putting on the event but folded last year. The Nature Center has hosted the race the past two years and this year became more involved.

“We stepped up and partnered with LAMBA so we could still have this nice event,” Botkin said. “It’s a good opportunity to serve our mission. It gets people outside and gets them out to our center.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8310; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

IF YOU GO

l What: Fat Sac & Fox Enduro Ride

l When: Free ride starts at 6 p.m. Friday; race starts at noon Saturday (registration begins earlier at both locations)

l Where: Friday night ride starts at Parlor City, 1125 Third St. SE; Saturday race is at Indian Creek Nature Center, 5300 Otis Rd. SE

l Cost: Free for Friday ride; $45 for Saturday race (free for spectators)

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l How to register: Call (319) 362-0664 or go to www.indiancreeknaturecenter.org

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