Three, two, one, and they're off. Over 20 bikers rushed over the first hill. Bikers hit the Swedetown trails Sunday morning for the first-ever Great Bear Chase Snow Bike Race. Race officials said despite the warm temperatures, the trails looked good.
"We got a little bit of new snow on top of a really icy underlying structure, so everything should remain solid throughout the morning even though we are going to be pushing 53 degrees today. Things might break up a little bit on top and make it a little bit tricky, but we don't anticipate anyone needing to get up to walk," said Schmidt.
Participants had the option to choose between the 25k or the 10k race. Some say snow biking is becoming more popular because it adds variety to winter sports. "It's really fun to see it just explode this year, and I think next year you will look for another tenfold number of entries in these races," said Brett Hamlin.
Kathy Abott is an avid mountain biker; this was her second snow bike race, and she dove into the 25k. "Snow biking is just totally different because it's almost like riding a tractor. It's slow, you stay on top. It's a lot of fun," said Abott.
First place finisher, Mike Brunet, said it was a close call. "I kind of thought it was the last hill towards the finish line, and it was about seven hills from the finish line. I kind of had to work pretty hard from there, and the second place guy was right on me, close and fast. Kind of barely made it to the finish line on time," said Brunet.
The winner of the bike race gets brand new snow bike tires.