The Mountaineer - Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, Canada
© 2007 The Mountaineer Publishing Company Limited.


Pedal- powered fun and friendly competition
By Laura Button
Editor

For more than a quarter of a century, Frontier Lodge has drawn mountain bike enthusiasts to its wilderness retreat for an annual weekend celebrating all things two-wheeled.
The 26th annual Fat Tire Festival got underway on Friday, Aug. 4. This year’s event saw about 100 participants take part in workshops, guided rides, races and competitions.
It’s the most fun you can have on two wheels.
“We really try to make it a family event,” said Frontier Lodge Executive Director Joel Barrett.
“We’d love to see it grow, and maintain the family-friendly atmosphere of the weekend.”
While the high jump competition – this year cinched by Anthony Heidelberg – and the fan favourite lake jump are thrilling for spectators and riders alike, everyone cheers on all levels of riders at each event.
The youngest were invited to decorate their bikes and participate in a strider bike foot-down race. The dual slalom included a masters class for riders over the age of 35. And everyone was welcomed to hop on a mini bike on Sunday evening for a comical turn around the basketball court.
The whole weekend is about camaraderie – not just competition – and that keeps families coming back year after year.
“A lot of people put a lot of time into making this happen,” said Barrett. “These volunteers – they love the Lord and they love people and being a part of something like this.”