Only three spots remained Wednesday in the field for the first FatBike race on the American Birkebeiner Ski Trail, adding further confirmation that the new winter sport has taken hold.
In the past few years, FatBike sales and races have ballooned almost as big as the tires. The bikes once viewed as gimmicks are rolling on trails from Marquette, Mich., to Hayward, Wis.
Organizers of the American Birkebeiner created the Fat Bike Birkie to expand the use of the trail, and the demand shows they hit on a solid idea. The three remaining slots in the 45K and 18K races can be had by calling the Birkie office, 715-634-5025.
The growth of Fat Bike riding as a sport, and the use of cross-country ski trails has created some conflict. Mark Parman writes in Silent Sports Magazine that some trails should be kept off limits to wheels in winter, but overall skiers and bikers are finding common ground.