World’s Largest Fat Bike Race Rolls Out on Birkie Trail

Hayward, WI (March 3, 2016) – The Birkie Trail is widely known as a destination for cross-country skiers, however, once a year, the iconic snow-covered trail plays host to fat bike riders from all points north, south, east, and west. On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) will greet one thousand fat bikers to Cable, Wisconsin to test their expertise and skill at the Fat Bike Birkie, the world’s largest fat bike race.

While normally groomed exclusively for cross-country skiers during the winter months, the Birkie Trail is open to fat bike riders for three days only during the 45NRTH Fat Bike Birkie, presented by Freewheel Bike. The Fat Bike Birkie offers both 45K & 20K options, a criterium course for youth and adults, and a camaraderie filled festival atmosphere where riders of all levels of expertise adventure their way through the woods on their fat bikes.

“Now in its fourth year, the Fat Bike Birkie has grown consistently from less than 200 riders in 2013 to 1000 riders in 2016. The growth has been exponential and the excitement much the same! We capped the race at 1000 participants this year, however, there were still riders clambering to get in on the action,” said Ben Popp, ABSF Executive Director.

A festival atmosphere will greet riders and spectators alike, as fat bike enthusiasts gather in downtown Cable, Wisconsin, for the start and finish of this year’s race. The festivities begin on Friday, March 4 and extend through Sunday, March 5, with three days of fun, food, demos, and riding. While race registration has long since closed, there is still opportunity to register and ride in the criterium races, a short track, snow-covered, obstacle course of sorts. Interested riders can register on Friday in Cable, WI, space is limited. A full schedule of events is available at

What was once thought of as a fad or craze is now said to be the fastest growing bicycle sector with industry leaders like Salsa, Surly, Trek, and Specialized offering a wide variety of fat bike frames, sizes and styles for all types of riders. The sheer number of fat bike manufacturers grew from an estimated 50 in 2013 to over 100 at the end of 2014. The beauty of the fat bike is that its over-sized tires allow riders to cruise in all types of conditions including groomed single-track trails, frozen lakes, firm trails, or fresh powder. Fat bikes have extended the biking season and added a whole new twist for winter adventurers.

“While fat biking may have started as a fad, now even major manufacturers include them in their cycling offerings,” Popp continued. “We’re really proud to promote the sport as part of a healthy active lifestyle option and to welcome riders to the Fat Bike Birkie to enjoy the beauty of our north woods.”

For anyone interested in trying out a fat bike, there will be on-snow demo rides on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The manufacturer demo rides provide everyone the opportunity to see what all the fat bike fuss is about.

Wisconsin consistently ranks as one of America’s best places to bike and Northern Wisconsin is fast-becoming a destination hot spot for fat bike riders. In fact, ranked the CAMBA trail system in Northern Wisconsin as one of the top 10 in the nation. It’s no wonder as Wisconsin boasts more than one thousand miles of great off-road bicycling opportunities throughout the state, available by season, and offers riders a wide variety of experiences and terrains.

About the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation and Birkie Events

Located near Hayward and Cable, Wisconsin, the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF), a 501(c)(3) organization, is known for its signature American Birkebeiner Ski Marathon held each February. Today, the Birkie has grown to encompass a variety of year-round, silent sport events that promote a healthy, active lifestyle for thousands of outdoor fitness enthusiasts. The ABSF also acts as steward of the legendary Birkie Trail, providing year-round grooming, mowing and maintenance to all 107 kilometers. From the iconic American Birkebeiner ski race, to the Birkie Trail Run & Trek, and Fat Bike Birkie, the ABSF and the Birkie Trail attract skiers, runners, bikers, trekkers, and hikers, from casual day-trippers to elite athletes. Learn more at BIRKIE Ski. Run. Bike. Live!

2016 Fat Bike Birkie Riders to Watch


Jenna Rinehart

  • 2015 Fat Bike Birkie 47K winner

April Morgan

  • 2015 2nd Place Fat Bike Birkie 47K
  • 1st Place in Great Lakes Fat Bike Series

Amber Stull

  • 2015 3rd Place Fat Bike Birkie 47K

Sheryl Loan

  • 2015 4th Place Fat Bike Birkie 47K

Diana McFadden

  • 2015 5th Place Fat Bike Birkie 47K

Rebecca Ireland

  • 2015 Fat Bike Birkie 20K winner

Sara Kylander-Johnson

  • Top Mountain Bike Rider from Duluth

Danielle Musto

  • 2nd in Great Lakes Fat Bike Series


Will Ross

  • 2015 Fat Bike Birkie 47K winner

Brendan Moore

  • 2015 3rd Place Fat Bike Birkie 47 K

Jeff Hall

  • 2015 4th Place Fat Bike Birkie 47K
  • Winner 2015 Chequamegon 40
  • 2nd Place in Great Lakes Fat Bike Series

Justin Piontek

  • 2015 5th Place Fat Bike Birkie 47K

Bjorn Selander

  • Pro cyclist for Optum Procycling

Matt Acker

  • 1st Place in Great Lakes Fat Bike Series

Corey Stelljes

  • 3rd Place in Chequamegon 40 2015

Posted March 4, 2016 at 12:04 pm