If we could control the Winter Woolly conditions every year, we would choose to repeat 2020 until the end of time. For once the weather was entirely on our side, with a week of wet snowfall followed by a deep freeze just in time for the event. Trails were firm, fast, and fresh. The morning of Winter Woolly itself started out cold, but temperatures warmed up comfortably throughout the day. With plenty of sunshine and no wind, you could avoid catching a significant chill even on the chairlift.
Clif kicked off the day with a free breakfast bar that spotlighted their energy granola, and kept everyone in the backyard well-fed with the incomparable warm Clif bars. (A warm Clif bar by the fire at Highland on a perfect fat biking day? Sign all of us up.) Riders showed up early to take advantage of the good conditions (and good snacks) on the frozen trails. By the evening, the pub was filled wall-to-wall with everyone from Highland regulars to Northfield locals to downhill first-timers in a whirlwind of pizzas, beers, live music, and good times.
Limited demos in the backyard from our friends at Goodale’s Bike Shop helped keep fat biking newcomers on two wheels, and the Highland family values were on full display as riders lent out their own fat bikes to friends, alternating laps so that everybody could get a taste of the trails. Around mid-morning a guided group ride departed from the summit, following a route via the downhill trails, XC network, and local snowmobile trails all the way to downtown Northfield.
The afternoon saw 100 riders registered to participate in the downhill fat bike race, tearing through Upper NE Style to Lower Happy Hour. Beyond being an opportunity for some rowdy fat biking fun, this race was an opportunity for us to test our new chip timing system, which by all accounts was a huge success. The top three racers walked away with some pretty awesome custom trophies, and we walked away with fresh enthusiasm and the groundwork laid for a totally revamped Friday Night Race League this summer.
Huge thanks to the nearly 300 riders who came out to ride at the Winter Woolly this year. We’re already crossing our fingers and doing our snow dances in the hopes of the same glorious weather next winter. In the meantime, mark your calendars for Thursday, April 30th, 2020—Opening Day!
Read the original recap here