The 28 Below Fatbike race is a 50k lolly-pop loop with around 2,800 ft of climbing. It is the only race in the Black Hills that is permitted to take place on groomed snowmobile trail. Although the race takes place in mid March, the snow conditions tend to hold in the high country of the hills. This course will test your will and winter riding skill. It is challenging, and very remote, so we ask that you come prepared, with some experience fatbiking in winter conditions.
Equipment and items you should be carrying:
Bike with a minimum of 3.8″ tires required, no smaller tires allowed.
Helmet is required for all riders
Suggested you have a warm, insulated, winter riding shoe, tennis shoes are NOT recommended
A variety of layers for warmth and to keep dry
A pair of warm, winter riding gloves (a pair of extra gloves as back up)
A headlamp for emergency
Insulated water bottles and camelback that will keep water from freezing
A spare tube and pump, with experience fixing a flat in cold winter conditions
The 50k lollypop loop starts and finishes at Spearfish Canyon Lodge, near Spearfish SD and follows the groomed snowmobile trails that are permitted by the USFS. Race day is the only day of the year that riders are permitted on the groomed snowmobile trail here. The first 10k is a beautiful stretch winding up a Canyon with a mild and gentle uphill grade. The course then takes a turn into a more rolling section which eventually gets steeper and tops out at the beautiful Cement Ridge Fire Lookout, where every rider is required to check in. This is the only checkpoint/aid station on the entire course, where you will be provided with water and some food items. From here you get to do a little descending until you run into what we like to call “Schoolhouse Snowpit.” This snowpit is just over a mile long and may consist of a lot of hike-a-bike, depending on snow conditions. It is the only section of the course that is not on groomed snowmobile trail. Once out of the snowpit, or Schoolhouse Gulch road, you will jump back onto snowmobile trail and back onto Roughlock Falls Rd., for a steady descent, which is a backtrack of the first 10k stretch you rode, that will take you back to Spearfish Canyon Lodge and the finish line.