Filled with activities that mom, dad and both the children can enjoy, the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival offers fat tire fun for all. Mass start point to point cross country events, children's bicycle parades and rodeo, bicycle toss, log pull, and bicycle bowling are just a few highlights. With a combination of fat tires, friends and family, it is not just a race — it’s a really great time
Fat Tracks, the journal of the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival is published in a pre-race event information format in early May and as the post-race results issue in mid-October each year. Click here for the latest electronic issue of Fat Tracks.
Friday consists of bib pickup for Saturday's events, Pasta Feast, adult Friday Fun events, Bicycle Bowling, Bicycle Limbo, Angry Minnow beverage service, exhibitor's expo, live music, retail sales, hundreds of miles of bike trails, great conversations, fresh air, clean water and countless stars.
Saturday, race day, starts off with Children’s Decorated Bicycle Parades at both the Hayward and Cable start lines. With a field limit of 2,100 participants, the Chequamegon 40 is the main event of the weekend. While a few compete for the chance to be called champion of the 40 miler, the rest of the field is made up of citizen's class athletes in it for the adventure and personal challenge inherent in the sport. A concurrently run 16-mile companion event, the Short & Fat, offers a less challenging but equally exciting back woods cycling opportunity to an additional 1,000 cyclists.
Later that day, Saturday Fun for All rounds out the weekend with fun events for whole family including the Klunker Bike Toss, Lumber Jack & Jill Log Pull, Flying Bunny Hop, Children's Bicycle Rodeo and Children’s Criterium.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14
• 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Trek Tech Service at Telemark Finish Line
• 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Pasta feast, music and fun at Telemark Big Top Tent
• 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Sponsor & Vendor Expo at Telemark Big Top Tent
• 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Concession and info stands open at Telemark Big Top Tent
• 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Bib pickup for Saturday events at Telemark Big Top Tent
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15
• 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. CHEQUAMEGON 40 bib pickup only at Primary School/Main St/Hayward
• 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. SHORT & FAT bib pickup only at Cable Community Center
• 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Trek Tech Service at Primary School/Main St/Hayward
• 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Decorating for Children’s Parade at 200 Block/Main/Hayward
• 9:00 a.m. Children’s Bicycle Parade at 200 Block/Main/Hayward
• 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Decorating for Children’s Parade behind Cable Grade School
• 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Bay City Cycles Tech Service at Randysek Rd/Cable
• 9:00 a.m. Children’s Bicycle Parade at behind Cable Grade School
• 10:00 a.m. CHEQUAMEGON 40 START at Primary School/Main St/Hayward
• 10:00 a.m. SHORT & FAT START at Randysek Rd/Cable
• 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sponsor & Vendor Expo at Telemark Big Top Tent
• 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Food and beverage stands open at Telemark Big Top Tent
• 10:45 a.m. Short & Fat First Finisher at Telemark Finish Line
• 12:00 p.m. Chequamegon 40 First Finisher at Telemark Finish Line
• 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Trek Tech Service at Telemark Finish Line
• 12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Return bus trips to start at Telemark Resort
• 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Rocking the Big Top Chequamegon with live music
• 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Children’s Bicycle Rodeo at Telemark Finish Line
• 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Adult Funday Events at Telemark Finish Line
• 4:00 p.m. Awards Ceremony at Telemark Big Top Tent
• 7:00 p.m. Bike corral closes at Telemark Finish Line
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
• 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association Sunday Tour. A non-competitive guided or self-guided tour of 8 to 12 miles exploring CAMBA singletrack. A $10 fee includes the following perks: Tour, generous swag and random drawings. Visit www.cambatrails.org for more information
The race courses are fairly consistent in routing from year to year, however, each year's actual race course may be impacted by current weather and trail tread conditions.
The Chequamegon 40 and Short & Fat courses are usually marked by Labor Day weekend. Those planning to pre-ride the course please note that at the beginning and end of the Chequamegon 40 course the route crosses private land for which we have an easement only on race day. Also sections of the race course are on shared use motorized trails. Those users do not anticipate bicycle traffic on their trails other than race weekend. Caution and courtesy is urged. Some of the grassy trail sections may not be mowed early in the season.
The Short & Fat 16 race course is permanently marked as part of the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Trail system. Only the last .75 miles or so is on private land at Mt. Telemark.
The course map is meant for a general reference and is not suitable for navigation unless you have a good sense of where the race course actually traverses. Remember that the race courses are not closed to other user traffic.
Any questions about the race courses should be directed to the race office at email@example.com .
Race-day parking notes
As a sizeable fleet of out of town cars descends on Cable and Hayward on race day, one question is in everyone’s mind is, “Where do I park?” On race morning, where and how you leave your car will leave a lasting impression on the area’s residents and law enforcement officials. With common sense and courtesy prevailing, you can make that impression a positive one.
First, please avoid filling up the local business lots in Cable or Hayward with your vehicles. The area businesses will need their parking spaces for their regular customers while you are out cycling from Point A to Point B. In addition please observe all posted restrictions and respect private property access when parking on residential side streets.
To provide assistance on race day, yellow vested Race Official parking monitors will help direct you to designated large lots in Cable and Hayward. To help minimize the parking confusion, please note the parking recommendations and no parking restrictions. All recommended lots are within a short bike ride from the start lines. All area church parking areas are pending race weekend restrictions that may be required for church activity events (funerals, etc).
Parking lot recommendations in Hayward
> Click here to view the Hayward parking map
• Parking Lot - Fifth St & Wisconsin Ave.
• First Lutheran Church lot – Nyman Ave near Main St.
• Hayward Wesleyan Church lot – Hwy 27 & Nyman Ave
• People’s National Bank lot – Second St. & Dakota Ave
• Hayward Primary & Intermediate School lot – Sixth St. & Minnesota Ave
• Hayward City lot – Hwy 63 & Hwy 27
No parking areas in Hayward
• Main St between Railroad St and Wittwer Rd
• East side of Nyman between Main Street & Hwy 27 (it’s a bike lane)
• Please do not leave your vehicles in local business lots during the event
Parking lot recommendations in Cable
> Click here to view the Cable parking map
• Cable Community Center Lot – Cty Hwy M east of St Hwy 63
• Chequamegon Communications Coop – St Hwy 63 north of Cty Hwy M
• Cable Town Park – Sunset Rd east of St Hwy 63
• Old School Mall – First Street & First Avenue
• St. Ann’s Catholic Church – Cty Hwy M east of St Hwy 63
No parking areas in Cable
• North and south sides of County Highway M near the Short & Fat start area
• First Street east of First Avenue to Randysek Road
• Randysek Road south of Cty Hwy M
• United Church of Christ lot next to the Short & Fat start line
• Trinity Lutheran Church – Spruce St & Randysek
• Please do not leave your vehicles in the local business lots during the event
• Chicago: 8 hours
• Dubuque: 5 hours
• Duluth/Superior: 1.5 hours
• Green Bay: 5 hours
• Madison: 6 hours
• Milwaukee: 7 hours
• Minneapolis/St. Paul: 3 hours
• Rockford: 7 hours
• Wausau: 3 hours
Only rider support vehicles with vehicle passes, race official vehicles, local residents and hunter traffic will be allowed on the following roads from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during the running of the Chequamegon 40 and Short & Fat events:
Town of Spider Lake
• Telemark Road/Spider Lake Fire Lane from Clear Lake Road north to the town line
• Boedecker Road from the town line east to Spider Lake Fire Lane
• Janet Road from the town line north to Boedecker Road
Town of Lenroot
• Boedecker Road from Northern Lights Road east to the town line
• Janet Road from OO north to the town line
Town of Cable
• Spider Lake Fire Lane from Telemark Road south to the town line
• Randysek Road from the Town of Cable south to SMT 22
These road restrictions have been implemented to increase the safety of the riders during the event.
PLEASE NOTE! Those providing nutritional support for elite racers along the race route will be required to obtain a vehicle permit from race headquarters prior to race morning to access the course.
Contact the event headquarters in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org or stop in the race headquarters up until Friday the night before the event to obtain your vehicle pass. Thank you for observing the road closed signs and the instructions of the course monitors along the race route.
While many experienced racers and riders show up on the Chequamegon start lines, there are quite a few who fall into the race-day rookie category. In fact, for some, the Chequamegon point-to-point events may be their very first mountain bike event. For those race rookies, here are a few broad target, first time tips to consider.
Prepare your muscles, machine and mind
To get the most of your Chequamegon experience it’s a good idea to have some long miles in the saddle before race day. Build your endurance and bicycle handling skills with frequent training rides before the event. You’ll have more fun if you are physically prepared for the race distance.
Come to the race with your bicycle in good mechanical condition. Either visit your local bike shop to have them give your bike a check up or do it yourself.
Finally, don’t get caught up in pre-race hype and first time anxiety. You are here to have fun. Relax and enjoy the day, terrain and ride with those around you.
What to wear to the party
Plan your pre-, during and post-race apparel based on the day’s fickle forecast. Layering thin apparel with a wicking base layer is always a good idea. Be sure to drop off your post race clothing needs at the start line using the clothing drop bag you will be given at bib pickup. Your bag with fresh clothes will be waiting for you at the finish line.
Everybody looks good at the starting line
To newcomers the bicycle “tricknology” can be overwhelming. When heading to the start line, don’t be intimidated by expensive bikes, flashy apparel or big bold biker tattoos. If you are riding a rigid bike with a kickstand in your tennis shoes you have as much of a chance of having a great time and finishing strong as those decked out with the latest garb on the lightest bike. Well in many cases that is.
The point is; ride YOUR race, not someone else’s. You are competing against your own physical and mental abilities. Go out easy; find your proper place in the peloton and save something for a strong finish. Have confidence in your abilities and don’t worry about anyone else’s. There is great satisfaction in riding by someone pushing a $3,500 fully suspended carbon fiber bike on the last hill before the finish line.
Murphy’s Law rules at Chequamegon
Mountain bike events are not finely scripted occasions. Anything can and will happen during the course of an off-road event. Be prepared to deal with mechanical situations that may surprise you during your ride. Having the tools and know how to fix a flat tire or broken chain can mean the difference between finishing the ride and looking for a lift to the finish line.
Drink, drink, drink
No, not like in your college days, but be sure to adequately hydrate before, during and after the event. Fluid replacement is essential as well as replacement of electrolytes lost through perspiration. Invest in a good hydration pack like a Camelbak to carry your fluids with you. The event provides water and GU Brew at the aid stations along the race courses. Don’t make the mistake of missing an aid station. If you wait to drink until you are thirsty you have waited too long.
What’s for lunch?
You’ll need fuel to keep your physical fires burning. A good sports nutrition boost like GU Chomps or the GU Brew gel products provide a good source of easy-to-digest and quick-to-burn carbohydrates. Like your hydration, don’t wait until you are hungry or hypoglycemic to eat something. Bonking from a lack of quick energy is not something you want to experience your first time out, or any time for that matter.
Yee Ha factor
Off-road riding has quite a bit of the “Yee Ha factor” attached to it. Let’s face it; this is a fun, exciting adventure. Word of caution though: ride in control at all times, especially during the fast-paced, crowded mass starts of the Saturday events. Like the running of the bulls, the rollouts are filled with excitement, speed and risky maneuvers. “Yee Ha” can change to “Yikes!!!” in a heartbeat. Relax, ride in control and talk to those around you. Get through the roll out and ride within your ability. There is plenty of time to move up or settle into your own pace.
You talking to me?
These are big events, with many people in close proximity to each other along the trail. Communication among racers is the key to a safe race. Call out your intentions when changing speed, altering directions or coming upon hazards to warn those in your riding area. Be sociable by passing along words of encouragement to those around you.
I’m finally done, now what?
Customer service is the name of the Chequamegon game when you hit the Telemark finish line. Food, clothing drop bags, bike wash, bike corral storage, hot water showers and a free bus ride back to your car await you. In addition under the Big Top Chequamegon tent and in the expo area you’ll find food and beverage service, live music, event souvenir sales and sponsor expo booths. Kick back, relax and enjoy the end of your journey with the thousands of others who shared your Chequamegon experience.
A little help from our friends
Rack up some good karma points by taking the time to thank some of the hundreds of volunteers. They tirelessly put in countless long hours to help stage the event. In addition — unless you are seriously competing for prizes or a personal best — don’t hesitate to stop to help someone in need along the trail. They may return the favor to you sometime when you could use a hand.
Enjoy the fun factor
Remember this is not just a race; it’s a really great time. Have some fun during your event weekend. The CAMBA Tour, pasta feast, sponsor expos, Saturday Fun for All events, and CAMBA single track trails are all ways to enhance your Chequamegon experience.
Give back to the sport you enjoy
While at the event, be sure to stop by the off-road bicycle advocacy booths in the event expo. There you can learn how you can give support to the sport you enjoy. Local and regional bicycle trail organizations like Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) and Wisconsin Off-Road Bicycling Association (WORBA) as well as the National Mountain Bike Patrol members will be on hand to answer your questions. CAMBA maintains a network of 300 plus miles of user-friendly trails in southern Bayfield and northern Sawyer counties. Your financial support and sweat equity will aid in keeping trails open for you to enjoy.
Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, Inc.
P.O. Box 267
Cable, WI 54821.
13460 Spruce Street
Cable, WI 54821.
Email our media team for athlete interviews, event information and credentials to the event on race weekend.