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Off-road cyclists take to Credit Island Park for Frozen Fat Fondo Fest – Quad City Times

Off-road cyclists take to Credit Island Park for Frozen Fat Fondo Fest

Bikers take off during the Friends of Off Road Cycling 2021 running of Frozen Fat Fondo Fest on Credit Island in Davenport, Jan. 30, 2021. The festival is held on the shores of the Mississippi River at the Credit Island Lodge in Davenport. Riders take on a circuit featuring many technical challenges through thick lowland forest and chunky river shoreline on this three-hour endurance ride.


Brooklyn Draisey

Weather is looking good this weekend for the Friends of Off-Road Cycling Frozen Fat Fondo Fest. The cold snap that has dropped temperatures into the single digits will help keep the Credit Island Park track from becoming a muddy mess, even with snow. 

“I think it’s going to be a good year,” Friends of Off-Road Cycling Race and Event Director Mandy Griesenbeck said. “This cold weather will make the course much faster, more solid.” 

Snow or shine, freezing or temperate temperatures, the race will go on. 

Off-road cyclists will test their endurance Jan. 29 at the Frozen Fat Fondo Fest, where they’ll spend three hours trying to get in as many laps as they can around the 3.6-mile-long course in Credit Island Park. 

Those interested in participating must have Fat Bikes with 3.5-inch tires or larger, as Griesenbeck said they were built to handle snowy terrains. They must register online by noon Jan. 28, which costs $25. There will be no same-day registration.

Single cyclists or teams of three can sign up for the endurance race to make it a relay. Team members can be co-ed and share a bike, and must register separately. 

Course pre-riding opens at 8 a.m., and packets will be available for pickup from 9 to 10:15 a.m. The endurance race will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. There will be a raffle after the race has ended, and trophies for top male, female and team will be given out. 

Revenue from the event will go toward Friends of Off-Road Cycling’s efforts to maintain the nine trails the group handles care of. 

Almost 70 people have signed up for the fondo so far, Griesenbeck said, and she’s expecting more to come in throughout the week. The group had record participation last year, with 107 people registered. 

Some riders were getting in as many as 10 laps last year, she said, which is impressive given the rough terrain and all the other riders trying to make better time. Griesenbeck and others have put picks in their tires to help with riding over ice. 

They haven’t seen any injuries beyond scrapes and bruises so far, Griesenbeck said, and the occasional tree collision. 

“I would expect these faster guys to be doing 25 minutes (per lap) in the snow and the ice, and going over trees through the woods,” Griesenbeck said. 


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