Spruce Knob XC, XXC, and Ultra

New for 2022! Join us to adventure high into the mountains of West Virginia. To the Highest point in WV, in fact. At 4,863 feet above sea level, Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia. This race is being hosted at (and starting/finishing from) the Spruce Knob Mountain Learning Center, a facility near Spruce Knob, operated by Experience Learning. We picked this location for a few very important reasons. The mountain center is a beautiful and captivating location, featuring yurt and mountain structures inspired from across the world.

Register at http://www.bikereg.com/wvfatbikes

Pre-Registration Closes Thursday Night at Midnight

Sunday January 23rd, 2022  Categories: Xc Mens $25 / $35 Day Of Xc Womens $25 / $35 Day Of xXC Mens $25 / $35 Day Of xXC Womens $25 / $35 Day Of Ultra $0

Fat bike rentals from The Lumberyard and Blackwater Bikes $40

What the heck are we doing?

This is a mix of XC, XXC and Ultra style fat bike racing held on in the highlands of West Virginia.

Snow/Weather

You ought to know by now that mother nature beats to the sound of her own drum. We have no control over snow. We do know that we will run this thing come hell or high water and will have fun doing it. If you are a condition dependent type of rider……well, you might consider just riding the trainer instead. We’ve raced in blizzards, sub zero temps, warm temps, and soft snow. Thats just how it goes. We make no claims or guarantees on snow conditions, or on trail conditions that are a direct result of snow temps.

Why

The first time I borrowed a fat bike and rode it down double trouble (a local XC Skiing trail), I was sold on why fat bikes are here to stay. I bought one the next day. We put on these races as a central way to pump up fat bike stoke around these parts.

Where

Spruce Knob Mountain Learning Center (Experience Learning)
18 Woodlands Way, Circleville, WV 26804

Chances are that you will not have cellphone service near this venue, so prepare adequately before you take the trip.

Courses

  1. XC and XXC Course
    Plan on a rolling, front country style course of generally open fields and curving lines with ample, short punchy climbs. Lap length and exact location will vary based on weather, wind, and snow. Expect a 3-4 mile lap


2. Ultra Course
This one is a doozy. It was requested that we design a course with epic hike a bike sections, open water crossings, and gnarly back country riding. Check. It was also requested that we have a thousand feet or less of climbing per 10 miles….well, we couldn’t quite do that. Heart of the mountains and all. Racers will have 24 hours to complete two laps, over some 125 miles with over 14,000 feet of climbing.



3. “Back-Up” Ultra Course
If conditions are truly horrible and we are there, Ultra racers can still grind it out on our plan B, a loop created primarily of gravel and back roads. If we are using this course, there will likely be a lot of snow and conditions would be pretty bad….there may or may not be some local four wheeler or jeep use to bust a track through.

~52 miles and 5000+ feet of climbing

Ultra Rules

– This is an UNSUPPORTED event designed to test and progress riders for such classic winter races as Tuscobia, Arrowhead, Fat Pursuit, or Iditarod Trail Invitational. You need to be sure that you can safely navigate through this course. You are responsible for your own safety. Nobody is coming to get you if you get in over your head.
-Previous Experience Requirement: Racers must demonstrate past experience and expertise in long distance and especially extreme weather bike racing. This can be in the way of either 100 mile mountain bike races, 24 hour mountain bike races, and other ultra distance races in excess of 12 hours. You also need to demonstrate your expertise in extreme temperatures.
– Not completing the course, taking outside support (support from your fellow racers is perfectly acceptable), or sleeping inside during the race is all grounds for a DNF.
– Mandatory Gear: (By suggestion, we are going to borrow and edit a list from Arrowhead….they did it perfectly, so no need to rewrite it) This is not just a bike race and you will be required to carry a kit of mandatory gear that will likely prove invaluable over the course of this race. You must start AND finish with all of your gear.

  • 0 degrees sleeping bag or colder rating. Be able to prove your bag is a 0 degree bag at gear check. Bag must be in a waterproof stuff sack.
  • 1 pair of handwarmers,  insulated mittens/gloves, and backup insulated gloves.
  • Insulated sleeping pad – minimum 20″ by 48″
  • Bivy sack or tent (space blankets/tarps don’t count).  Hammocks count but if you bring a hammock, you will be required to also have web tree savers and under-quilt. We don’t like seeing new gear that has never been tried.
  • Firestarter (matches or lighter).
  • Stove.
  • 8 fl. oz. fuel at ALL times (either gas, alcohol or 2 canisters of propane/butane 100 g. each)
  • Pot (min. volume is 1 pint)
  • 2-qt (64 fl. oz.) or just under 2 litres, insulated water container. (Yes, Camelbacks count).  Not freezing your drinks in a cold year is a real challenge.
  • A quality Paper Map and Course Cue Sheet is required. This course is NOT marked, and you are responsible for navigating correctly. We recommend the purple lizard map. If unfamiliar with the area, a GPS or Geo-referenced map and back up batteries is recommended.
  • Packable hip waders. There are multiple water crossings on course, some potentially thigh high!
  • Headlamp or flashlight. Suggest minimum ~100 lumen good for 12 hours. Bring a spare, the cold eats batteries.
  • Flashing red LED lights (and spare batteries), both on back of bike or racer. Don’t show up with single LED key chain lights…bring real safety lights or you will not pass gear check.
  • Whistle on string around neck to call for help, because your mouth is too numb to yell.
  • 1-day of readily edible food at ALL times (3000 calories)


– Mandatory Pre-Race Meeting: 10 AM at race headquarters
– Sign-in/gear check is either on Friday Night (February 4th) from 6PM – 8PM or Saturday morning (Feb 5th) from 9- 10:00 AM, at race headquarters at the Mountain Learning Center (18 Woodlands Way, Circleville, WV 26804).
-Weekend Food and Lodging is available

Proceeds

Race proceeds will go towards keeping up with grooming some of our local trails. Check out the Locations that we are grooming for the 2021/22 season.

Schedule

Friday 6pm – 8pm – Ultra Sign in and Gear Check
Saturday 8-10am – Ultra Sign in and Gear Check
Saturday 10am – Mandatory Ultra Racer Meeting
Saturday NOON – Ultra Race Start
Saturday 3-8pm – XC/XXC Pre-Ride
Sunday 8am – XC/XXC Check In
Sunday 9AM XC/XXC Race start
Sunday NOON – XXC Course cut off
Awards at 2pm

FAQ’s:

What kind of bike do I need to participate?? You must ride a fat bike at this event – 3.8″ or bigger tires. ·

What if I don’t own a fat bike? Beg and borrow, (but don’t steal) a bike from anyone you know. Or rent local.

Local Rental Options:

The Lumberyard has a small rental fleet of fat bikes that will be available for the races. Book Online @ ________.

Blackwater Bikes will be offering their rental fleet to reserve before the event. ·Call into the shop to make reservations. (304)259-5286

Is it timed? Yes, this race will be timed and results will be posted. Awards (no prizes, no cash) will be classy and cheap.

What kind of support is out on course (XC?XXC)?  Consider this a self supported race; you are responsible for any food and drink during your ride. We do have a “comfort stop” with a couple supplies to help you feel more comfortable during your ride/race, but it is by no means meant to fuel you on your ride/race..  ·

What if I am not the “racer” type? Not a problem – feel free to enter anyway. Think of it as a chance to ride kick ass groomed trails with new friends! ·

What about the weather? This is not a snow only event. Chances are good for this date, but if there is no snow it will still happen. We are hardy West Virginians and will ride no matter the condition…unless it’s just stupid out. Then individual races will be cancelled as needed. ·Weather updates will be posted on the Facebook site in the weeks preceding the event and final decisions will be made by Friday evening.

So how do I stay warm? Dress appropriately in layers, ready for temps that can be well below zero. Watch the weather. If your feet get too cold, walk. Walk to the side of the groomed trails. If you walk on the trails it screws up the surface, so be respectful and walk off the edge! . Be prepared, I don’t suffer fools. ·

What if I register but can’t ride?? We will miss you but, sorry, Registration fees are non-refundable. Registration can be transferred through your bikereg profile for a $5 exchange fee.

Have more questions? Maybe, they are answered below. If not, email me Zach at two9er@gmail.com. ·