Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

Sometimes it’s nice to wander off the main road. This weekend I’m up in Hayward, Wisconsin for the 30th annual Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. The main event is a point to point 40 mile mountain bike race. The event attracts thousands of riders, and through a lottery system 1850 are selected for the 40 mile course and another 900 are selected for the Short n Fat, a 15 mile race which starts in Cable, Wisconsin. The gun goes off at 10AM Saturday morning and all 2750 riders will begin an amazing race.
There are few surprises in store for Cheq veterans, but one major change is the starting corrals. In past years, a select few were given a preferred start, allowing those riders to head to the front of the field moments before the start. Those without a preferred start, but not wanting to start behind a few thousand riders would get up before dawn and leave their bikes on the start line. That meant a decent start position, but no chance for a warm up. This year there are 4 corrals of 100 riders each. Based on previous results, the top 400 riders will be seeded into each of the corrals. The remainder of the riders will fill in behind the corrals. It takes some effort to move that many riders through downtown Hayward and out to the trails, but I believe this new start process will enhance the experience and keep riders safe. Click here to see the 2011 Cheq 40 start video.
The Northwoods may be your destination this weekend, but if you’re at home in the Chicago area, there are still plenty of activities. See below for a list of rides and races.
Rides:
Saturday No Drop Ride. This 2 hour ride departs from Higher Gear Wilmette at 7AM. Riders enjoy a scenic ride along Sheridan Road.
Sunday Ride. Our Sunday ride will pick up again starting Sunday, September 22.
Tuesday Women’s ride. This ride departs from HG Wilmette at 9:30AM. The 1.5 hour ride is split into groups based on ability.
Fredo’s Ride. Join Fredo on a fast paced group ride each Thursday night during the summer. The ride departs from HG Wilmette at 5:30PM and averages 20+mph.
Races:
Sprint double Sprint. Head down to the Chicago Velo Campus this weekend for a two-day sprint series. For more information click here.
Chicross Cup Race #1 – Jackson Park. There’ll be a lot of action on the south side of the city this Sunday with the first Chicross cup race. For event details click here.
Off the Beaten Path:
Open Streets Chicago. This is the second Sunday for Open Street Chicago. This week the activities will be in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhoods. The event closes down city streets to encourage car-free activities. For details click here.
Have a great weekend!

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