Peninsula - Snow bikes are the hottest thing to hit the bicycling world since the mountain bike boom of the 1980s. The Brandywine Country Club wants to help everyone get a taste of this new trend by opening up their golf course terrain to snow bikes on Jan. 17. Century Cycles bike shop is joining to provide demo bikes for participants to test-ride.
A snow bike is like a regular mountain bike, except with a frame that is specially designed to accommodate extremely wide tires, as wide as four or five inches. The bikes also have a very wide range of gears to help riders navigate over rough and steep trails. Because of the very fat tires, snow bikes are sometimes referred to as "fat bikes."
In keeping with the theme of riding fat bikes on a golf course, the event is called "Fattyshack." It will take place on Jan. 17 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Brandywine Country Club golf course located at 5555 Akron-Peninsula Road, Peninsula.
There is no charge to attend the event. The Fattyshack registration area will be at the Brandywine Wine Bar, also known as the Brandywine Par 3 Clubhouse, located on the west side of Akron-Peninsula Road. Attendees can park at no cost in the club's main parking lot near the main clubhouse on the east side of Akron-Peninsula Road, and use the tunnel walkway over to the Brandywine Wine Bar.
The Brandywine Wine Bar will be open, where participants may purchase beverages and snacks. The fire pit outside the Wine Bar will be going, where you can huddle for warmth in-between snow bike rides and trade tales of epic winter cycling adventures.
There will be two off-road snow bike courses marked on the golf course, a mostly flat "Beginner" course for novice riders, and a hilly "Expert" course for experienced mountain bikers. All riders must stay on the marked courses.
Participants that have their own snow bikes are free to ride the marked courses as many times as they wish. Bikes must have tires at least 3 inches wide. Attendees test-riding Century Cycles' demo snow bikes may ride one lap of either the beginner or expert course at a time, and may return later for repeat laps as allowed by time and the number of participants. All riders must sign a waiver and release of liability form. All riders must wear a helmet CPSC-approved for bicycling; helmets will be provided with demo bikes.
All attendees will be eligible to win door prizes provided by event sponsors and snow bike pioneers Salsa Cycles (www.salsacycles.com) and Surly Bikes (www.surlybikes.com).
Northeast Ohio-based SpinDktor (www.spindoktor.com) will also be an event sponsor; they will provide door prizes and samples of their hard root beer beverage.
"We sold our first snow bike back in 2007, and their popularity has snowballed ever since," said Scott Cowan, owner of Century Cycles. "With the notoriously harsh winters of Northeast Ohio, the snow bike has allowed casual riders and hardcore cyclists alike to extend their riding season. We're excited to join Brandywine Country Club to bring the idea of snow biking to a wider audience and open up new terrain to avid snow bikers."
The event will be cancelled if there is rain or a lack of snow. Call the Century Cycles store in Peninsula at 330-657-2209 for the latest updates. Event information can be found on the world wide web at: www.centurycycles.com/goto/fattyshack, or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/events/738411002915069/