An expanded field is expected for 2019's Fat Bike Beach Championship race at Wrightsville.
Like other businesses post Hurricane Florence, event founder and race director Shawn Spencer's bike shop struggled, but he is determined not only to make the event happen, but become bigger than ever.
"This is bigger than me," he says. The race cap has doubled to 100 participants in two races, segmenting the elite category from the intermediate and beginner groups, limiting each race to 100 bikers. "The elite racers will have the track alone for the first time," Spencer says. "The elite, intermediate and beginner races will be more exciting with less congestion on the track."
This year's Fat Bike Beach Championships will be held Saturday, March 23 from noon to 4 p.m. on the Wrightsville Beach strand from Stone Street to Hanover Seaside Club. Specta?tors are welcome. The fat bike course offers an ever-changing, 2-mile loop terrain.
Sunday features an optional 18-mile social bike ride on the beach from Fort Fisher to Bald Head Island and back.
Spencer is a committed environmentalist. After each event, volunteers from the community join in for a beach sweep to close out a hard day of cycling with a little good nature.
-- John Ellis