The pandemic has put a serious halt on bike racing. For months, we’ve been watching our inboxes stack up with canceled events and postponed races. In so many ways, we’ve been kicking our fun a bit further down the line in the hopes that, at some point, we’ll be able to get back in action safely.
That keep-on-holding-on attitude has been especially tough on non-profits, most notable trail associations that rely on events to raise money. Membership certainly helps, but those dues aren’t usually enough to take on the ambitious trail projects associations plan. What makes it even more difficult is that many of these projects are on the books months, even years out, with trail proposals often taking two to four years for approval.
With that in mind, Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association is making the most of another event cancelation to cook up a fun way to combine the best of fat biking and raise money to keep their trail projects on track. In lieu of the canceled North American Vasa Fat Bike Race on February 13, they’re offering members and visitors a chance to explore the thirty-plus miles of groomed trails and seasonal roads at a whole new pace.
The PhatVenture is part scavenger hunt, part geocache, and all fun. Just days before the week-long window opens on February 6, registered riders will get a map with a number of coordinates. At each location will be a marker, some man made and some natural landmarks. Each spot will be worth a varying amount of points based on how far from the ride start point it is and how tough it might be to spot. It’ll combine fitness, navigation, and an intimate knowledge of how all of these trails connect to get a high tally.
That’s the kind of challenge we love, and we’re getting involved. The top five points earners from the PhatVenture will get a chance to customize their very own Segment Marker sign. What goes on the sign will be totally up to them, but we’ve got a few ideas to get them started.
The Best Quote From Your PhatVenture. NMMBA is hoping riders will go it alone on their ride, or keep their crews small and agile. That means somebody is bound to say something memorable, funny, or predictable...like, “Where the heck are we?”.
The Name Of Your Ride On Strava. One of the things we’re looking forward to the most about the challenge is seeing different riders make their attempts over the course of the week. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for some clever names, and with such a unique challenge, getting your ride title etched in steel is a neat way to make sure you never forget your big day in the woods!
The Name Of Your Favorite Trail. We’ve all got a favorite section of trail in the summer, but when the snow flies, it’s like having a new playground. Put your favorite section of groomed trail on a sign, put in the woods, and bring it home with you once the season ends.
100% of proceeds from the PhatVenture will go to support Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association in their winter grooming efforts and help them to build and maintain new winter trail in 2021-2022 and beyond. To learn more, and to get signed up, head here.