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Mountain bikers and fat-tire bikers are invited to race in the 24th PreFat Mountain Bike Race presented by Freewheel Bikes and the Seeley Lions Club Saturday, Aug. 17. The race start and finish site will be at the Highway OO Birkie Trailhead. 

A new bike demo and mini-expo have been added to the event from 2 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16. Riders can try out new bike models from Trek, Salsa and Surly. There will be food, beverages, music, mechanical help and a special kids’ skill course available to get warmed up for Saturday’s races.

The PreFat event features three competitive distances: Citizen (10 miles), Sport & Fat Bike (17 miles) and Expert (25 miles). There will also be a fun “Cub” untimed event for riders ages 10 and younger. 

The PreFat provides the perfect warm-up for the Chequamegon Mountain Bike races coming up in September. The race courses go north from the Highway 00 trailhead using forest roads and singletrack and doubletrack trails. These courses allow fast speeds and easy passing, while the CAMBA singletrack will test riding skills.

Junior riders up to age 18 will receive a registration discount for the Citizen, Sport and Fat Bike races. More information about the event and registration is available at www.seeleylions.org. 

This year’s PreFat again will include competition among teams made up of three riders, including at least one rider in the Expert Race, one rider in either the Sport or Fat Bike Race and one rider in the Citizen Race. Teams are in one of three classifications: all men, mixed and all women. 

New this year is the addition of two juniors team competitions in the Citizen, Sport and Fat Bike races for riders ages 10 to 18. The winning team in each classification will be the team with the fastest total time for all three riders. 

The winning team in each classification will receive an award, and the team and members names will be added to the PreFat team plaque that is permanently displayed at the Sawmill Saloon in Seeley. There is no additional fee to be part of the team competition.

The PreFat event will kick off at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 17, with the Citizen Race presented by Louie’s Finest Meats. The Sport Race, presented by the Sawmill Saloon, and the Fat Bike Race presented by Norvado will start together at 9:30 a.m. Finally, the Expert Race presented by Hayward Area Memorial Hospital & Waters Edge starts at 10 a.m.

The Cub event will be held at 12:15 p.m. using the Birkie Trail, with the same start and finish areas as the other races. 

Awards will be presented to the top three men and top three women in each race, as well as the top three men and women in each age class in each race. 

Door prizes and a free post-race lunch with beverages will be available for participants. Lunches will feature Louie’s Finer brats and hot dogs from Cumberland, and beverages will include soda and craft brews from Bent Paddle Brewing Co. of Duluth.

Portions of all race courses use town roads. All of Janet Road and portions of Boedecker Road and Telemark Fire Lane will be signed and closed from 8:30 a.m. until noon on race day for the protection of participants. A section of Highway OO from Janet Road east to Telemark Fire Lane will remain open, but traffic will be controlled by the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department for the race starts. 

Event and registration information can be found at www.SeeleyLions.org.

The PreFat event is the major annual fundraiser for the Seeley Lions Club, which directs proceeds to numerous community projects, including improvements and maintenance of Silverthorn Park near Seeley, maintenance of the Uhrenholdt Forest Trails and Seeley Trails, support of Hayward and Cable food shelves, annual college scholarships, eyeglass collection and many others.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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