Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Go Climb a Hill!

IT’S HERE!!!

The Bessemer Hill Climb has been one of people's favorites. This Fat Fish Challenge can really be painful if you are racing your guts out. It also is worth every bit of sweat and tears(hopefully no blood). Climbing a mountain not quite your thing….We will have a separate climb for those in the Recreational Category, and no matter where you fall it’s a blast coming back down.

The Bessemer Bend Hill Climb directions:

-Head west out of town on hwy 220 towards alcova.
-Turn Right on Bessemer Bend (also county road 308).
Stay on pavement and about 2 miles later you'll reach the river. Hang a right. From this point on please follow the black and orange parking signs. 

*Parking is limited. Carpool!
*It takes about 15 minutes to get there from the west side walmart.
The race will start as close to 6:30 as possible. We appreciate everyones patience as we work through the logistics of late registrants and timing check in. It's new to us as well as you. Please help us by doing the following:

Each of your number plates has an RFID chip on the back inside a foam sticker. As you were instructed when you got your number plate,  you should be taking it off your bike after each race. This is to protect the RFID chip. Please check in with that number plate and no bike as you approach the timing check in area. After you’ve checked in you will have plenty of time to get it back on the bike because you're awesome and showed up early and are a well prepared racer! 

For those who did not pre-register, and you were at the last race, you most likely have not signed a waiver. Please find the table with the waivers and fill one out as we have to have these for you to race. If you pre-registered online with webscorer, then you have signed and accepted that waiver electronically and do not need to fill one out. 

If you have ordered a t-shirt, we have them and they will also be at a separate table for you to pick up before the race. Again, get there early. 

Fat Fish has acquired permission to cross the public land at the bottom of the mountain. Please remember to be courteous to traffic, neighbors, ranchers, etc. by giving a friendly wave and not taking up too much roadway as we make our way to the starting line. As such this will be the only time you’ll be able to ride to the top of Bessemer Mountain. 

The top of Bessemer sits just over 1000’ higher in elevation than the start. The course is right at about 6 miles long with the first 4 being gradual uphill before the going gets tough. Expect some rocky loose two track most of the way up and down. Our race ends at the top and we hope to have everyone make it back safely. Please take as much time as you need to make that happen and also have fun. It’s your reward for all that climbing!!

Comfort tip: Bring bug spray. The mosquitos have been terrible lately. 

Fun Tip: Stick around we have awesome prizes to give away at the end of each race.

Recovery Tip: Look for the food truck. Bring a few bucks and get some food in you. You’ve burned lots of calories getting up that mountain.

Race Tip: Have fun and go read the blog to learn all about racing with us. Especially the passing part.

Family Tip: We will have a kids race. Family is welcome to bring cow bells and cheer, fishing poles, cameras and whatever else they would like to entertain themselves.

Sponsor tip: Go see them. They have sacrificed to make FFR what it is. Please support their businesses.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Race Time! How to race with the Fat Fish.

Race time!

You just had your first race of the season with Fat Fish racing! We hope you had a good time! Our community has been so great to support such a cool race series. So, by this point you have learned how to put cream on your butt, but what’s next? Well the race of course! It can be scary getting lined up with a bunch of spandex clad people who have been sprinting dangerously around the parking and set up area for the last ½ hour thinking it helps them get ready for the race that they didn’t train for. Fatfish would like to help you learn the ins and outs of how to make a bike race fun.

The starting/Race area

Let’s cover the starting area. This is a staging area where people do lots of bike gazing and sizing up to see if their new bike is cooler, lighter, shinier, than the person who parked next to them. In short, none of that matters. You are here to have fun. It doesn’t matter how much you spent on your bike, or how clean it is. Find a person with a smile on their face and go ask them any questions you have. Okay, if you will follow me through the dance of bike racing for just a minute I promise you’ll be leading by the end of the song. Also remember to keep this area clean and tidy as it is public (and often times private) land, it’s our responsibility as users to keep it clean so we can continue to enjoy this wonderful activity.

Arrival

Show up ON TIME. aside from the fact that nobody likes a race that starts late, it puts you in the instant frantic vibe and that’s when bad things start to happen. If you show up late and in a hurry, you forget your helmet, gloves, or shoes. It’s just not good to be in a hurry before  the race, you’ll have plenty of time to hurry once they say go! If you show up on time you have a minute to collect yourself and be ready to get to the start of the race on time. This also delays the race start for the other people who planned ahead and made it to the race on time.

The Starting Line

The starting line is an intimidating beast all in its own. Fat fish’s first and foremost goal is to grow the cycling community and make this fun for everyone. Don’t let this single aspect of racing/riding bikes in a group deter you. The first part of being successful at the starting line is knowing your own ability. You can gauge this a few ways. Lining up next to people with similar ability as you is a good start. So, if you whipped the 3 year old’s butt last week, maybe jump ahead of him in the pack at the start. The flipside of this is don’t line up ahead of the dude (or dudette) who’s currently beating everyone by a lap each race. Scope your crew, and line up with people who match your ability. This will make it more fun once you start the race because you can all have your own ‘mini’ race within the race.

Another way to know where to line up is by Bib or number plate. They are usually color coded so get in with a group of people with your same number plate.

The last way is to ask the race host, they might be busy trying to manage the person who didn’t follow their parking instructions so be patient with them okay? They’ll tell you where you need to be.


GO!
It’s almost go time and you’re in the right place. What happens when they say that word GO!? A great deal happens at that very moment. About ⅓ of the group will drop a water bottle or some important piece of their race stuff, if you’re one of those people don’t panic. If you really need it, stop and snag it. If not, forget it and don’t let it ruin your race. Remember, you’re here to have fun and you probably will survive without your water bottle, but if you think you might fall over and create a block in the trail just ask someone for a drink and they’ll probably share.

Early in the race

The first 10-15 minutes are going to be the most hectic. THis is when all the people who didn’t read this article who lined up in the wrong place suddenly realize their heart rate is about 20 times higher than ever before because they’re trying to keep up with the people at the front of the pack, and they are about to explode. When they do, you’ll be able to casually go around them and still breathe enough to ask them, “are you okay?”  

Passing, Getting passed

Never be too stubborn to get passed. Sometimes we pass and get passed multiple times in one race so make it a friendly experience.

If you only read one portion of this article, read this. Passing in a bike race is a source of much frustration for both fast and slow riders alike. It shouldn’t be though and here’s why: If you are the person getting passed (this doesn’t make you slow by the way), all you need to do is pull over (not stop) when and where you feel comfortable. This doesn’t mean that when you hear that fire breathing monster on a bike behind you that you should get nervous and crash trying to get out of the way. Communication is HUGE for this. It’s easy, if you know they are back there wanting to get around you, it’s more than okay to say, “go ahead and go around me” or “You can pass me now.” anything like that. If you’re comfortable you can gesture a hand showing them where to go. If not no worries, they can figure it out.

Passing

This is to say that you are the fire breathing monster in the aforementioned paragraph. If you need to pass here is what you do. Let me back up, if you don’t think you need to read this because you are fast enough and get around people just fine, then you are the person I’m talking to.

If you need to pass there are a few things you neeeeed to know. 1. You have already intimidated the person ahead of you that is trying to get out of your way, so be nice. 2. BE NICE. 3. Communicate, lots and sooner than you think. Don’t wait until you’re right on their wheel and shout, “TRAILLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!” That’s what we call being a jerk.

So, When you know you are close enough that the rider ahead of you can hear you, maybe 10 yards, it’s a good time to alert the person you are back there and approaching. It’s also a great time to encourage a new rider so try something like, “Hey good job you’re doing great!” That way you have not made them panic and allowed them to still have fun while you get around them.

As you get closer, since you’re clearly faster and more experienced just tell them what you need to do. “Right up here I’m gonna go on your left.” Then on your way by, you again should say something encouraging to the rider, “Thanks tons, you’re looking good!” As the faster, more skilled rider it’s your job to make this fun for new-comers, otherwise you’ll be racing by yourself.

In short, be polite, pass with care, enjoy the ride. If a slow pass is the difference between winning and losing for you, then you should be in better shape anyway so be nice and courteous when you pass a slower rider and we’ll continue to have a growing group of riders all having a blast, and who knows, maybe someday they’ll be passing you!

The Finish

Congratulations! You just finished a bike race! That’s a success that nobody can ever take away from you so be proud of your efforts and seek more of that feeling because it only gets better! Encourage people coming in after you and tell them how good they have done. This is a community effort and you are now part of this community and your voice matters. If you have to leave right away that’s totally cool! We are glad you made it! If not, go ask the race host if there is any way you can help clean things up, or see if anyone on the trail needs a hand. Heck, go take some pictures!

We hope you have enjoyed this month’s Fatfish post on how to be in a bike race and that you will continue to help us max out your fun meter every other Monday for the rest of the summer! Yehaw ride bikes!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Friday May 20, 6pm - 8pm. Don't miss it!



Monday! Monday! Monday! Only 5 more days until the first Mountain Bike Race!

May 23rd, 1986, the first Stampede of Squaw Creek took place. Not the way you think, the first Squaw Creek Stampede actually involves a coupon dispute in Bill, Wyoming at the Squaw Creek Grocery & Cowbell Emporium on 21st and Bellview. Mr. Arthur Trumbull (Artie to his friends) claimed the clerk was not honoring his coupon for one dollar off a bag of pork rinds so he reached across the counter and started choking the poor woman. The man in back of him said, “Hey, wait a minute Bub” and tried to help but Mr. Trumbull grabbed him by the neck as well. A fracas ensued. Luckily a stray herd of cattle stampeded through the store and Arthur was trampled. The headline read, “Artie Chokes 2 for a Dollar”. You can’t make this stuff up, stray cattle herds run amok in Bill all the time.

Speaking of stampedes, did you know that this Monday, May 23, Fat Fish’s first race of the 2016 season is taking place? And it’s called the Squaw Creek Stampede? You can’t make that up either. Below are the true facts, the important facts, the facts I didn’t make up.

Squaw Creek Stampede
Registration is open from 4:30-6:15 (This part will be easy if you pre-registered like I begged you to do)

Kids Race starts at 6:10 and will involve a few laps in the parking area so we can all see and cheer them on. After the kids finish, parents are encouraged to take them down to the ranch area to cheer on the adult racers near the finish area and play in the green grass. Squaw Creek does have a lot of fast moving water right now and the abandoned structures will most likely have some loose nails laying around. It would be a lot of fun to play by but could be dangerous as well. Please watch your children and enjoy the area. At least you’ll be out of the wind there.
Fat Fish does not guarantee the absence or abundance of moving air on May 23, 2016.

Sport/Competitive/Expert race starts at 6:30. The course starts with a 2 mile long Prologue, sending you up the long two track climb to break up the racers before the 180* turn onto single-track. The single-track descent is rippin’ fast! Pedal your butt off on this descent to gain seconds on your competitors. Once down to the ranch, you’ll do a 180* right turn and go under the timing truss to begin your lap(s).
Sport: 1 prologue + 1 lap = 4.5 miles
Competitive: 1 prologue + 2 laps = 7miles
Expert: 1 prologue + 2 laps = 7 miles

Recreation course begins and finishes in the same spot and starts after all the other categories finish their prologue lap which should be around 6:45pm. The loop is exactly 1 mile long and there will be 4 laps.

To get to the venue from town, drive west on CY and turn onto Coates Road and head south for 1.2 miles to the parking area. Park tight to the car next to you. Carpool if you can.
Parking and the Kids Race area in green. The areas shaded in pink will make for great parking and allow for more vehicles in the small space.  Please be kind to the parking attendants and listen to their instructions when you arrive on race day. They may move your vehicle someplace different while you’re riding if you’re mean to them.:::FINAL kids and parking.jpg

FOOD
The food at this race will not be free. We’re sorry for this change. Essence of Life Catering will be serving hamburgers and hot sandwiches, they’re the guys at the Nordic Lodge, they have good food. Expect to pay around 7 bucks for your meal, not sure if artichokes are on the menu or not. Once again, sorry for this change and we hope this doesn’t deter you from joining us.


Below is the view of the overall venue. It includes the prologue lap in blue, the red loop for the Sport/Comp/Expert categories and yellow loop for the Recreational categories. Parking will be inside the kids green loop.:::SQUAW overview.jpg


The RECREATIONAL course is in yellow. :::SQUAW rec final.jpg


Below is a view of the Ranch Area. Notice where the REC category will start next to the telephone pole on the west side of Squaw Creek. AWARDS and hang out area will be down here at the ranch this year to avoid potential wind. Again, Fat Fish does not guarantee the absence or abundance of moving air. We hope this works out and makes it more enjoyable to hang out afterwards. :::SQUAW ranch area.jpg


Please take time to thank our sponsors! If it wasn’t for them, you all would be winning stuff that we just find laying around our houses. Who wants to win a pizza box that’s been living under my couch since Milli Vanilli was in the Top 40? Who is Milli Vanilli anyway?

:::sponsors 2016.jpg

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rattlesnake Rally Gravel Grinder May 21th 2016

Hit the link above for information about this years 4th Annual Rattlesnake Rally Gravel Grinder. 

Rattlesnake Rally Gravel Grinder May 21, 2016

THIS JUST IN....

Parkway Plaza Hotel and Convention Center is offering one free drink, $2 bud lights and $70 room rates to all racers!!  The awards party will be at the Parkway at 7pm the night of the race.  Almost all of their rooms have just been renovated with new everything.  It is so awesome to have a host hotel who wants to go above and beyond!!  Cycling on Casper rules!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

2016 Mountain Bike Series Category Review

Registered or thinking about registering but not sure what category you should ride? Let's review categories and help you decide. Ask us through Facebook if you have questions. 

RECREATIONAL

The recreational category is for beginner level mountain bikers or for those who enjoy a more leisurely pace without rubbing elbows with other racers.  Anyone can ride this category, but if you are in it to place or win it, we suggest moving up a category.  The distance will vary between 3-6 miles and the time we hope to have riders finish in is about 30 minutes.

SPORT

The sport category has  longer distances than Recreational.  The racers in the sport category are only slightly competitive and enjoy having a fun time on the trails without making their lungs bleed.  Distances will vary between 6-10 miles and racers should finish within 50-80 minutes

COMPETITIVE

The competitive category is for the racer with advanced skill and fitness, that is just not quite ready for the longer distance of the expert category.  The course and distance of the competitive race may be the same as the Sport race, but the racers themselves are much more cutthroat than the Sportsters.  Racers in this category are competitive and want to ride fast with the skills and fitness they have worked hard for.  Distances and course will be between 6-10 miles, but finishing times should be faster, around 40-60 minutes.

EXPERT

The expert category is for the most advanced racers with skill and experience. The distance and the competition level is tough.  In some races there will be different sections of the course that are more advanced and technical than the Competitive and Sport categories.  Course distances will range from 10-15 miles (Except for the 6 mile hill climb race and the short track race).  Finishing times should take anywhere from 60-90 minutes.  

Saturday, April 30, 2016





Date Change for the Powder River Gravel Grinder

FFR Powder River Gravel Grinder Race #2
Powder River, Wyoming
May 7, 2016 @ 9:00 AM

Details
30 & 50 mile out and back or a 70 mile lollipop loop option. All rides will start in Powder River, 27 miles west of Casper from the airport on 20/26. The further you ride, the more you amazed you will be with this beautiful country we have in Wyoming.

From Powder River, all racers will head north on Natrona County 106. 3.5 miles - you will cross the south fork of the Powder River. 6.2 miles - take the right fork in road (Do Not take 107). 8.8 miles - take the left fork in road and continue on Natrona County 106. 10.1 miles - continue straight. 13.5 miles - take the left fork in road (do NOT go right, this is a private road). 15.1 miles - This is the turn around for the 30 mile course (30 mile riders, ride thesame route you just rode back to Powder River). 50 & 70 mile riders turn left on Natrona County 108 (Baker Cabin Rd). 20 miles - continue straight. 20.5 miles - continue straight. 23.7 miles - Arminto (Buffalo Creek Rd.) - This is the turn around for the 50 mile course (50 mile riders, ride the same route you just rode back to Powder River. 70 mile riders turn right on Buffalo Creek Rd (paved road). 24.6 miles - pavement ends, continue straight on Natrona County 105. 37.7 miles - turn right on Natrona County 108 (Baker Cabin Road), Road starts to get rough. 39 miles - Caution, cow land mines start! 42.3 miles - ranch house, take the left fork in road. 45.5 miles - road starts to improve. 47.9 miles - continue straight. 52.2 miles - turn left on Natrona County 106 and follow it back to Powder River.

Be sure to stay on county roads while crossing private land.

All riders are responsible for knowing the course they will be riding because nothing will be marked. We will have GPX files posted soon for you to add to your GPS and print out this cue sheet too. We are planning on having an aid station with water and food in Arminto (mile 23.7) for the 50/70 mile riders.

More info coming soon on parking and other details regarding the race.

70 Mile Course (Closer to 3,500' of elevation gain)
https://www.strava.com/routes/4528592

50 Mile Course (Closer to 1,600' of elevation gain)
https://www.strava.com/routes/4742874

30 Mile Course (Closer to 1,200' of elevation gain)
https://www.strava.com/routes/4742869

The 30 and 50 mile course is fairly flat with no big hills. The 70 has more elevation and some rougher roads for about 15 miles.

Still working on parking, will let you know soon.


Registration is OPEN

for the 2016 Mountain Bike Series!


Please register BEFORE the first race at Squaw Creek.
Hit the WEBSCORER link to the right >>>> and get registered!


Powder River Gravel Grinder

With this weather and the forecast not looking so good we decided to move the FFR Powder River Gravel Grinder to May 7th. Hope the weather improves and things start to dry out next week. Please tell all your friends to come join us then.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

#askafish - Do I wear underwear with my cycling shorts?

In short, NOPE. Here is why. The material and fit of cycling shorts is designed to be a “next-to-skin” layer. If you put a pair of under-britches on before you slip into your hot cycling get-up, you’re creating a friction barrier between your skin and the shorts. Friction creates heat, and those two things are the last thing you want to be feeling while on a bike ride, leave those two feelings for later.
Now that you have gone on a few commando spandex rides, you might be asking, do I use...LUBE? AAAHHHHHH!!!!! While it is an awkward converstion, it needs to be talked about. People lather their nether regions with a host of different chemicals and solutions in order to circumvent the unwanted knotting of personal body hair (yes that happens), blistering, hot spots, etc. So, go back to your friendly salesperson at the shop that sold you the shorts and get some “shammy butt’r” or something of the like. Some people use higher end lubes for longer rides because it’s won’t dissolve as quickly when you start sweating (don’t act like you don’t!). While more expensive, products like Assos and Dznuts stay with you longer on the endurance rides that we all love.
Now you’re in your bedroom staring at spandex and a bottle of cream for your butt crack, this isn’t what you had in mind when you thought you’d get into shape by riding a bike is it.  Anyway, don’t worry it is  the norm. 99% of the people you see riding a bike at any given race, ride, etc. scooped up a handful of whatever cream they choose and lathered up their butts (and other places) with it before giving you a high five at the starting line.
A few tips on lathering: Anywhere you feel friction is a good place for it, some people put it between their toes, armpits, nipples, (Body Glide is good for this) and make sure you get any areas the bike’s seat may contact, yes I mean that. On longer rides some people will massage the cream into the shammy (the padded area of your shorts) so it’s saturated and will last for longer rides. Extreme users will even do this the night before a ride!
Using spandex and lathering yourself before a ride is a cricial part of enjoying this wonderful sport, it’s not the most glamorous, but it’s one of the most valuable things you can do to make the ride a success. Nobody likes a blister, especially when it’s a place you don’t want to have your spouse unless it's after a nice candle lit dinner!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Registration for the 2016 Mountain Bike Summer Series is NOW OPEN! The link will take you to webscorer for registration. PLEASE REGISTER EARLY and be ready to go for the first race at Squaw Creek. See You There!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 Spooky Cross is here!!!



Come Join Us!! On Oct. 31 is our fun for all ages annual Spooky Cross race. Come dressed in your best costume and check out how much fun Nancy English Park can be on a bike. Maybe you are a bigger Halloween fan than a bike fan. Maybe it's the other way around. Either way doesn't matter. Come have some fun. We will race no matter the weather. Races start at noon and carry on through the afternoon. See the picture for details, and please, please, please pre-register!
https://www.webscorer.com/register?raceid=55550&owner=1

Friday, July 17, 2015

Here are the race results from the Muddy Mountain Hypersonic!  Great job everybody!

We all had a blast!  Thanks Olive Garden and the BLM for your help and sponsorship!

http://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=46919