Fat Tire Challenge- June 16th, 2012

The Fat Tire Challenge in Sigel, PA is in its 7 year and has an official uni class for the second year!

Last year we had 6 unis. Forum members who rode it last year: Archknot, MuniMag, Unipsych0, MuniOrBust and myself.

Challenging course, great race, great support.

If anyone wants to make more of a weekend out of it, Archknot and I live about 1 1/2 hours away. You’re welcome to ride with us on Sunday (or even Friday).


The organizer did a great job last year of including the unis, but not putting us in the way of the bikes.

Marked my calendar! I won’t really commit until much closer.

Anyone else have an interest?

I might be, what wheel size would you recommend?

Sorry the reply took so long.

Any size except for 20 or 36 would be fine.

There is a tendency for things to get a bit slippery so a nice knobby tire is in order.

Last year 3 people rode 24s (one w/Schlumpf), 2 rode 26, and one rode a 29.

Course Map

I’m getting more excited about this race as it approaches.
Anyone else thinking about going?

You mean they don’t let you do the 24 mile option? The beauty of the MTB races that i can enter here in Australia is that you are treated like any other rider out there on the trails. The MTB events provide the challenges that all other Unicycling specific events are unwilling to promote (distance/technicality).

Hope you get a good unicycle showing there. Be sure to post a write up of the results once you are done!

Count me as probably maybe :slight_smile:

I had originally planned on being in the Rockies for June, but the snowpack is way down, so I have the time.

So if I make it a long weekend, will anyone be up for some riding before and after the race?

Also, are we really racing or is just a longer ride with friends (and a bunch of bikers)?

Pencilled in…

Last year the race started on a dirt road, after all mountain bikers. There was a bit of chatting for a minute, but then the pack (of 6) separated, especially when we got onto the trail. I only occasionally saw the guy in front of me (MuniMag) when the sight lines allowed. I saw a few broken down bikers, hikers, and spectators.

So we’re really racing each other, not just having a group ride.

I might be up to riding the day before/after the race. I’ll have to figure out the details… family, kids, school, travel time, camping will likely have an impact.

Maybe we could even do the group ride immediately after the race? If up to it, those who finish the uni section of the race could refuel and continue with the rest of the course as a group? Dunno. Maybe we’ll be too spent. It’s easy to forget the pain after a year. Maybe not enough time?

@MuniOrBust- thanks for pulling this back to the front burner. It is a great race- as you well know. I’ll get more of a response below-it fits in with the next part.

@Mark- The 24 Mile option would be very difficult. I’m not sure what your terrain is like in Australia (unfortunately haven’t had the chance to visit), but 24 miles around here can be brutal. We don’t really have long drawn out mountain climbs as much as we have killer hills. And rocks. And roots. And clay based mud. I really am not trying to downplay your terrain, I’m just trying to give a perspective of what’s around here. In 2009 and 2010 I did the 14.5 mi. (about 23.4km) Sport option. In 2009 I tore a tire sidewall (fixed it) and finished in 3:02. In 2010, it was over 90 degrees F with 90+% humidity. I finished in 2:46. I totally respect doing the long distances with the bikes. The local cycling scene has been incredibly willing to accommodate unicycles. From my experience many unicyclists are not ready for super long events (hope this doesn’t offend anyone).

Last year’s course was about 7.7 mi. It was a challenging but mostly rideable course. The 14.5 mile option gets into some pretty nasty technical uphill rock gardens that really encouraging walking a lot more than what most people would like.

@Ben- hope you can make it! Don’t forget about trying to make NAUCC- an easy way to make a several day journey even though it won’t all be Muni.

On my end of things I’d really be up for a ride the 17th. Unfortunately I have 2 weddings vying for the 16th. I will be racing, but most likely have to head back mid-afternoon or so to catch the second of the two. The first I will have to miss. Archknot will be out for the race though as that’s his sister’s. Both she and her future husband unicycle though.

Once I find out more about the second wedding (by Wednesday or so) I can get a bit more details on my end. Regardless of the after the 16th race, I can ride the 17th no problem. If anybody wants to roll in here the 15th (Butler, not Sigel), we can make something work for sure.

As far as trails to ride go, the race is actually about 1 1/2 hrs away from my locale. If anybody would want to travel a bit further to here (Butler, PA) I know things a lot better. I’m also familiar with the trails at Yellow Creek near Indiana, PA. They have a great race series there too www.rideyc.com- and they welcome unis! Their trails are a great mix for unicycling- they have some nice rock gardens but aren’t too brutal. Most of it is rideable.

Moraine State Park is 1 1/2 hours away from the race (East on I-80). It was rated as one of the 10 Most Dangerous Mountainbike Trails in the World. There is a lot of very rideable terrain there. Tons of fun. They’re a blast to ride, and I’d love to get some feedback from some non-locals.

Last year after the race I stopped on my way back to Maryland at Raystown Lake, PA which is about 2 ½ hours southeast from Sigel, PA. I rode about 12 miles on the Allegrippis Trail system and really enjoyed it. The Allegrippis trails are very different from the race course trails at Sigel. They are fast and flowing – lots of fun on a 29er. These trails are very popular with mtbers so I was a little concerned about what to expect. I started riding at about 6 pm and was surprised to only see 4 riders in 2 plus hours on the trails.

I’m not sure yet whether I will be able to make it to the race this year. If I do I will probably stop again at Raystown on the way home.

I’m planning to visit Hershey, PA in August. I’m hoping to also stop by Allegrippis. Sounds like a cool place to ride.

I don’t want to dissuade anyone from the Fat Tire Challenge, but Raystown Lake is the site of DirtFest from May 17-20.

We’ll have several uni riders there the 18th-20th. We will have a learner bar and a few trials obstacles (a few sandwich boards, gapping rails, and a bit other stuff). We also plan on taking several wheel sizes to let those who can already ride try something else. Unis are definitely welcome.

We’re trying to get a lot of options for Muni racing in PA by tagging on to established biking events. Almost all of the racing in this region welcomes unicycles. Very cool.

Dirt Fest went well.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you at the Fat Tire Challenge!

I’m not going to make it, nine hours each way for a race…it’s just too far.

Have fun!

wish i could go!!!

My registration is in the mail!

Anyone else committed at this point?
Dave, any word on how many unicyclists are registered?


I’m in. Unipsych0 indicated he was hoping to make it. I haven’t seen anything from Munimag. Andy I’ll check with this week. There are some others who ride, but this weekend is really bad for them with weddings on that day and such.

Note to all others: We’re looking to maybe get a ride in Sunday morning at an alternate location. I can make some of it work but unfortunately this is one of the busiest weekends of the year. It would be a good idea to check out some PA terrain for those who aren’t familiar with it.

There may be a big reason to head this way next year.

Yeah Dave you at least better be there. Imagine I come all that way and find I’m the only rider in the muni class! :stuck_out_tongue:

It will be a good time no matter what the turnout.

I won’t be able to make it this year. Have fun guys!