FATTER IS BETTER ON THE BEACH
Sixth Annual Fat Bike Championships
IT’LL BE early spring, and the tubby tires will be coming out in droves, all vying for the top spot
in the sun on Wrightsville Beach. Of course, we’re talking about the Sixth Annual U.S. Fat Bike
Beach Championship on March 28, 2020.
Fat bikes started making an appearance on the beach a few years ago and have become quite
popular among both hardcore cyclists and those looking for an alternative way to get exercise and
explore the sandy shores. The name comes from the enlarged, oversized tires — approximately 4 to 5
inches wide — fitted to a more traditional-looking mountain bike-style frame. The wide tires aid in soft
conditions like snow, mud and sand, where they are most typically used.
Viewed by some as a fringe offshoot of mountain biking, fat bike racing has become popular at
Wrightsville Beach. Some 200 competitors showed up for the event in 2019. With the two-hour race,
two-hour relay and one-hour events on offer for riders of varying abilities, the 2020 event at the
Blockade Runner Beach Resort is expected to draw even more cyclists and spectators.
The first race
starts at 2 p.m., with
at 12:30 p.m. the day
of the event. The
relay encourages cor-porate
teams of up
to four participants.
Entry fees range from
$65 to $200 for the
relay. Spectators can
participate in sand-castle
with other activities.
What better way is
there to start the
spring than by soak-ing
up some sun and
enjoying a spirited
bike ride along the
— Peter Viele
Ed Stilley (front), Adam Knierim, Tom Verellen and Noah Pierson compete in the Really Fat
1.5-hour race at the 2019 U.S. Open Fat Bike Beach Championships in Wrightsville Beach.
WBM FILE PHOTO