Homer Cycling Club held its third-annual Big Fat Bike Festival over the weekend, and had 55 registered participants for Saturday’s “Big Ride.”
Icy rocks left over from the outgoing tide added a slippery challenge to the ride, but a prevailing tail wind assisted riders on their way. Sea otters, cormorants and eagles greeted visiting bikers as they braved the 16-mile beach ride from Anchor Point to Homer.
Along the way, organizer and Cycle Logical owner Derek Reynolds acted as a one-man clean-up crew, hauling a large buoy back to town strapped to his backpack.
Bjørn Olson, along with some pint-sized helpers, scrambled down Diamond Creek Trail to start a fire to greet riders before the final six miles to Bishop’s Beach.
Even the newly crowned Mr. Homer reportedly participated in the bike festival in full-on regalia — including tiara and sash.
Salt and sand are particularly harsh on bikes, so the Big Fat Bike Wash hosted by Joe Martin and Southwest Alaska Pilots Association was a welcome site with spray hoses, drying rags and chain lube — all supplies were provided by Cycle Logical.
Plenty of weary riders also enjoyed Alayne Tetor’s yoga class on Sunday morning.
About 30 bikers converged on the Bishop’s Beach obstacle course Friday evening, navigating the ride by the light of tiki torches. Timed rides were planned for Sunday morning, but a stiff wind and stinging snow made huddling around the fire munching Bagel Shop treats more appealing.
The Big Fat Bike Festival is intended as a social event to increase participation and awareness of fat biking. Fat Bikes can take riders into wilderness and critical habitat areas, thanks to the floatation afforded by the four-to-five-inch tires.
Funds raised will be used for various cycling activities in the Homer area.
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