Bikes and beers!? Heck yes! Make it fat-bikes and a couple of growlers, and now you have a party in Alaska. Last weekend I participated in the epic fat-bike race called the Trio – Fatbike World Championships in Talkeetna put on by Speedway Cycles and Denali Brewing. The name Trio is symbolic of the three mountains you can see during the ride, Denali, Mt. Hunter and Mt. Foreaker. The sixth annual bicycle and beer super party celebrates the life of Mike Sterling who passed away from liver disease a few years back.
The weather couldn’t have been better! The sun was out, and there was plenty of fresh snow to validate the use of my 5-inch wide tires. I felt fast and also pretty glad I opted out of the 60-mile race and settled for the 30-mile loop. Next year, I will attempt to do the sixty, but will have to do some upgrades to my bike. The last ten miles were a bit rutted and pretty soft. My single speed was not in the proper gear for climbing, but it looked like it was pretty impossible to ride up most of the bluff trail anyway, so like everyone else, I pushed. I was pleased with my 20th place finish.
For those less serious about racing and more serious about partying there was a 20-mile party lap option with beer, whiskey, and other treats provided around a raging bon fire half way down the trail. There was even a helicopter that landed right on a patch of snow on the river next to the party. Its mission was to deliver some more beer! As I passed the partiers, I should have stopped for a beer, but at the moment I rode through I thought I could actually get a pretty decent time, so I forewent one of my favorites — free PBR, to save drinking points for the delicious after party beer that Denali Brewing brewed up –Trio Pale Ale. The beer is a wonderful 6.5% ABV and 52 IBU pale ale that was brewed with cryo Mosaic and Citra hops. At the big after-race-party everyone was starving, and good Indian food was served up, and the band Hope Social Club played right after the awards ceremony. Racers still had plenty of energy left for dancing.
The next morning Denali came out of the clouds for the first time that weekend, so we went to Talkeetna River and took the photos for this painting. Denali never looked better! If this painting looks familiar, that’s probably because you saw the one that is very similar on the big office window at Speedway Cycles. I created that one several years ago and Greg Matyas printed it on the privacy screen.
This painting depicts three things I love: fat-biking, beer, and Talkeetna! Cheers to good times with good friends!