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      Participation grows in snow bike race

      Bikers from across the U.P. and Wisconsin lined up for the start of the 14k and 25k races.

      This is the second year of Great Bear Chase snow bike race. Officials say it's grown in participation with up to thirty people competing.

      "I really wanted to just support snow biking. It's a new sport up here. It gives some of us who aren't skiers the opportunity to stay fit all winter long," said Jason Vayre, 25k first place winner.

      Officials say this new winter sport is growing in popularity. There were some who recently took up the sport making this is their first snow bike race.

      Everyone agrees it's a challenging trail.

      "Probably the first 5-8k there were a lot steeper hills in that area. So the fitness level had to be there, which mine wasn't today, but after that there was a lot of rolling and gradual hills," said John Durocher, first year participant.

      However, with the recent weather, there were some concerns with the trail conditions.

      "We got six inches of wet snow and rain. It turned out we started grooming the trails at 2 a.m., and it turned out really nice," said Patrick Szubielak, race director.

      Raffle prizes were given out by local sport shops and awards were given to the best overall and the first three places.

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