Fat Bike Birkie Debuts to Sold-Out Crowd

American BirkebeinerMarch 11, 2013
2013 Fat Bike Birkie (Photo: Kelly Randolph)
2013 Fat Bike Birkie (Photo: Kelly Randolph)

First-Annual Event Welcomes 300 Riders to the Snow-Covered Birkie Trail

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The American Birkebeiner’s first-annual Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike, held Saturday, March 9, in Cable, WI, was a great success with 300 registered riders. The main event, the 45K Fat Bike Birkie was won by Jorden Wakeley, Grayling, MI, while Danielle Musto, Grand Rapids, MI, won the 45K women’s race. All races were held on the expertly groomed Birkie Trail system. The event was capped at 300 riders to ensure a great snow-biking experience on the Birkie Trail for everyone involved.

There were four races: the 45K Fat Bike Birkie, an 18K Fat Bike Birkie, a 45K mountain bike race, and an 18K mountain bike race. All races started and finished at Telemark Resort, with the long races reaching the Birkie “OO” trailhead.

Congratulations to all riders who participated in this first-ever event! The overall champions in each bike and distance category are listed below.

Please see complete race results at


45K Fat Bike Race:

Jorden Wakeley, Grayling, MI, in 1:48:30

Danielle Musto, Grand Rapids, MI, in 2:14:11

45K Mountain Bike Race

Leo Kendrick, Minneapolis, MN, in 2:38:54

18K Fat Bike Race

John Riley, Cross Plaines, WI, in 00:42:45

Cindy Bijold, Hayward, WI, 00:48:52

18K Mountain Bike Race

Tom Gaier, Hayward, WI, in 00:43:18

Elsa Hansen, Duluth, MN, in 1:03:11


The Fat Bike Birkie is a once-a-year chance to ride a fat bike or mountain bike on the world-famous, snow-covered, and beautifully groomed American Birkebeiner Trail system. Fat bikes and mountain bikes are otherwise not allowed when there is groomed snow on the trails. In fact, this new Birkie event took place just two weeks after the 40th annual American Birkebeiner ski marathon, which hosted 13,000 skiers from February 21-23.

According to columnist Tom Held, who regularly reports on endurance sports in the Upper Midwest, “Interest in fat bikes has increased dramatically over the last three years, from a couple races to about 80 in the Midwest alone. Fat Bikes are the fastest growing segment of the bike market, with sales reported as increasing from a couple hundred a year to nearly 10,000 in that same three-year time period.”

Of course, snow was mandatory for this to be the kind of fast, fun event that got everyone so excited about heading for the Birkie Trail on their bikes. After low- to no-snow conditions in the Hayward/Cable area in much of January, the tables turned. The snow started in February and has kept coming, all the way through the beginning of the week leading up to the Fat Bike Birkie. Even though temperatures reached the low 30sF by Friday, the Birkie Trail was offering some of the best corduroy of the season.

Saturday morning, race day, opened with a “winter mix” of rain and sleet that quickly changed to light snow. It did change to a rainy mist later, but by then most participants were already swapping stories and digging into the post-race lunch of brats and burgers provided by the Birkie at Telemark Lodge.

“Riders reported the course was firm and fast, and the trails held up well to the fat bikes,” said Ned Zuelsdorff, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, who added, “This is a great crowd who made this a very fun event for everyone, and we will do it again next year!”

For more information about the Fat Bike Birkie and other American Birkebeiner events, like the Birkie Trail Run & Trek on September 21, 2013, visit www.Birkie.com, email birkie@birkie.com, or call the Birkie office at 715-634-5025.

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