A statewide summit on fat bike trends, issues and best practices as well as the debut of a Vertical World Championship for Fat Bikes debuts this spring in Valdez as part of the effort by Levitation 49, a new non-profit sports commission, to use mountain sports events as an approach to economic diversification in this small mountain town on Prince William Sound.
The Inaugural Chugach Fat Bike Bash will be held March 18 – 20, offering a wide spectrum of all things fat. The event opens with a Fat Bike Summit on March 18, co-hosted by the nation’s leading fat bike advocacy brand Quality Bike Parts. The Valdez event is one of just four regional summits QBP will host hoping to create more locally relevant conservations about the fastest growing segment in the bike industry. Other regional Fat Bike Summits in 2016 will be held in Crested Butte, CO, Marquette, MI and Ogden, UT. Other bike manufacturers, retailers, public land managers, parks and recreation directors, trail advocates and riders are invited to the event.
“With variations in who owns public lands, and differences in snow textures and compaction rates, we think it makes sense to partner with existing fat bike races or festivals to host smaller, regionally focused Summits,” explains QBP’s Advocacy Director Gary Sjoquist. “We want to continue to drive fat bike access on behalf of the industry. Summit content will focus on introducing public land managers to fat bikes (including demo rides), quantifying sales and demographic info of riders, and providing an overview of best practices for fat bike singletrack grooming techniques.”
While the Summit will appeal to the core fat bike industry and advocates, the Vertical World Championships will have broad spectator appeal beyond fat bike enthusiasts. The first of its kind event is scheduled to be held on Thompson pass on March 20. Levitation 49 leaders hope the event puts Valdez on the map for fat biking in much the same way the World Extreme Skiing Championships did for Valdez in the 90’s.
“We are really hoping to show the world the freshest and boldest new faces of fat biking. We know riders are getting air and launching big tricks on snow. This event is designed to help propel the visibility of the emerging athletes driving this new direction,” said Levitation 49 Executive Director Lee Hart. Prize money will help attract riders too, as local Valdez businesses and sponsors are contributing to creating a purse designed to attract riders from Alaska, the lower 48 and fat bike hotbeds around the world.
Other events during the Chugach Fat Bike Bash include a Northern Lights Criterium, a night event the follows the conclusion of the Summit. Saturday will feature a cross country race in the morning followed by the family- and spectator-friendly Fat Bike Rodeo on the harbor in the afternoon. The Summit agenda, Bike Bash agenda, as well as other L49 projects and events can be found on the organization’s website, http://Levitation49.org.
About Levitation 49. Levitation 49 is a non-profit sports commission dedicated to economic diversification through the development and promotion of events and projects that support the mountain sports lifestyle. For further information about the Chugach Fat Bike Bash and other Levitation 49 events and projects, visit the Levitation 49 website or call Executive Director Lee Hart, 303.898.4141
About Quality Bike Parts. With distribution centers in Minnesota, Utah, and Pennsylvania, Quality Bike Parts serves a network of more than 5,000 independent retailers. From extensive advocacy efforts to energy efficient facilities, everything QBP does is aimed at making the world a better place and getting more butts on bikes. For more information about QBP, visit our website or contact Director of Marketing Ryan Johnson at 952-941-9391, ext. 1236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.