50 Ways to Ride the Chequamegon Essay Contest

April 7th, 2014

With a random lottery drawn limit of 3,100 riders, hundreds of applicants will fall short in the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival selection process. Shortly after the March 15 entry submission deadline race applicants learned if they made it or not in the annual registration lottery. Those unlucky in the draw or late in the application process still have a chance to ride in the sold out cross county events taking place September 13.

The Chequamegon Festival, presented by Trek and produced by Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company, will award 50 guaranteed reserved entries to the winners of the “50 Ways to Ride the Chequamegon” essay contest.

Despite the contest title, you do not need to list 50 individual reasons for wanting a race spot. Past contestants have submitted Chequamegon event or bicycle themed stories, songs, poems, drawings, parodies and even children’s chunky crayon notes. Submissions may be written, drawn, photographed, filmed or recorded.

Previous essay contest winners have used tales of personal relationships, lifestyle motivations, historical connections, advocacy efforts, competition goals, personal demographics, geographic location and countless other reasons to sway the contest judges. What ever the reason, the authors of the winning essays will receive a guaranteed race spot in the sold out event.

A multi-point scoring system is applied to each contest submission. Originality, creativity, humor, sincerity, special effort and other factors will produce the essay score.

Essays must be legible, with a 500 word maximum (most are much less) and, if three dimensional in nature, submissions must be less than two foot by two foot in overall size. All submissions must be postmarked, emailed or otherwise delivered to the Chequamegon office no later than July 1. After the submissions are judged, winners will be selected and all contest participants will be notified of the outcome by July 15.

Contest winners will receive a reserved entry code that they use to apply and pay for a guaranteed entry. Those who are not among the winners will be encouraged to join the spectator or volunteer fun over the Chequamegon event weekend. The decision of the judges is final in this last-chance-at-an-entry-spot essay contest. All essays become property of the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, will not be returned and may be reproduced at some future date without further notification.

To be included in this year’s “50 Ways to Ride the Chequamegon” essay contest postmark your submission by July 1 to the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, PO Box 267, 13460 Spruce StreetCable, WI54821. Emails are acceptable if received by July 1. Email submissions to cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com.  

Registration Lottery Results Announced

April 3rd, 2014

On April 1 the results of the 2014 Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival registration lottery were announced via Email to all applicants.

As in previous years because of the cross country event field limits not all applications were accepted.  If you did not receive an email from us confirming your application status first check your spam folder to see if it was directed there. If you still can’t find the results email contact our office at cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com  with your name and contact information with “Lottery Confirmation” in the subject line.

Those who were picked in the registration lottery drawing first received a congratulations email from us.  Please note that those who were picked will also receive a second email from Chronotrack our online registration provider that contains a secure URL and unique participant code to use to go online and input current charge card information so that the appropriate entry fees can be billed.  This is a different procedure than before and we thank you for your tolerance in this second step.  Accepted applicants must complete the billing step to complete their registration.  Once the entry fee is charged to your card a transaction receipt will be sent.

Those who were not picked in the registration lottery received notification that they were not chosen.  In the regrets email several options are outlined for possible participation in this years event including:

Entry in the Short & Fat that has a few race spots available on a first come first served basis.  Visit this link to register for the Short & Fat: https://register.chronotrack.com//reg/form?eventID=6492&lc=en

50 Ways to Ride the Chequamegon essay contest.  Visit this link for further information  http://cheqfattire.com/fiftyways.html

GU Clean Up Crew volunteer opportunity.  Visit this link for further information  http://cheqfattire.com/gucleanup.html


Registration lottery goes live 1-1-14

December 21st, 2013

CABLE, Wisc. (Dec. 20, 2013) – New Year’s Day will kick off the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival’s online registration lottery process for the coming year.  The thirty second running of the event, presented by Trek and produced by Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life Company, will be held Sept. 12-14, 2014.  Applications for the annual registration lottery will be accepted at www.cheqfattire.com beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

The race spots for the weekend’s main cross country events are limited to a total of 3,100 riders.  Split between 2,100 participants in the Chequamegon 40 and 1000 in the Short & Fat, the event sells out every year. Online applications will be taken from the launch date on January 1 to midnight on March 15, 2014.  Shortly after the March 15 close of registration, an electronic lottery drawing will take place to select the cross country event participants. Participants will be notified of their selection via email following the lottery drawing.

Only those who are selected in the lottery drawing will be billed for the event’s entry fee.  A $5.00 registration lottery application fee will be charge to all who sign up with the total collected forwarded to the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association to support their local trail advocacy.

For complete details of the registration lottery procedure and other event information visit www.cheqfattire.com. Direct all correspondence to CFTF, PO Box 267, Cable, WI 54821, 715-798-3594 or via email to cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com.

About Life Time Fitness, Inc.
As The Healthy Way of Life Company, Life Time Fitness (NYSE:LTM) helps organizations, communities and individuals achieve their total health objectives, athletic aspirations and fitness goals by engaging in their areas of interest – or discovering new passions – both inside and outside of Life Time’s distinctive and large sports, professional fitness, family recreation and spa destinations, most of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Company’s Healthy Way of Life approach enables members to achieve this by providing the best programs, people and places of uncompromising quality and value. As of Dec. 20, 2014, the Company operated 108 centers under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information about Life Time centers, programs and services is available at www.lifetimefitness.com.


Places to view and do rider support

September 11th, 2013

There is a designated Road Closed area accessible only if you have an authorized AccessPass.

We do not allow spectators to drive to the interior of the race course on Saturday.

To view a map of these spots click: 


There are four accessible spots, mid-way and late in the Chequamegon 40 course that you can reach without driving your vehicle into the closed area:

After the Main Street start of the Chequamegon 40, drive Highway 63 north from Hayward to Seeley.

“OO” and Birke Trail – @ 15.92 miles from the start in the Chequamegon 40.

Drive north of the start in Hayward on Highway 63. In Seeley, take Cty “OO” east to the

American Birkebeiner ski trail crossing. Park on the north side of “OO” in the large lot. You can watch or provide racer support on the north or south side of the trail. Exit the area via Cty “OO” west back to Seeley.

Janet Road & Snowmobile Trail 71 – @ 17.02 miles from the start in the Chequamegon 40. Off Cty Hwy “OO” in Seeley take Janet Road north to the intersection of the race course on Snowmobile Trail 77. Janet Road is marked as Road Closed Ahead and at the intersection is closed to vehicle traffic.

Boedecker & Winding Pine Trail - @ 20.14 miles from the start in the Chequamegon 40. Drive north of Seeley on Highway 63, turn east on Northern Lights Road, the first road north of Seeley on the east side of 63. Proceed a hundred yards east to the T intersection with Boedecker Road. Boedecker should be marked with a Road Closed Ahead sign. Turn left onto Boedecker and follow the gravel forest road to the


Snowmobile Trail 22-Winding Pine trail intersection. Here you will see the Chequamegon 40 course entering Boedecker from the south, your right, after they ride through Martel’s Pot Hole. The riders will turn right onto Boedecker and ride east to

Telemark Road. This is noted by CAMBA land marker S-6 on the north side of Boedecker. Do not drive your vehicle on the race course. Park safely on Boedecker west of the race course crossing. You can watch or support riders at this spot which is at the approximately 20.14 miles from the start point.

Winding Pine Trail & Birke Trail – @ 31.35 miles from the start in the Chequamegon 40. From this position, the fourth spot is accessible if you walk or ride your bicycle north on the Winding Pine Trail. This is noted by the CAMBA land marker S-6. Walk to the intersection with the American Birkebeiner Ski Trail at CAMBA land marker S-7. This area is approximately 31.35 miles from the start. Personal vehicles are not allowed on this trail. Return via foot/bicycle to your car and Boedecker and proceed to the finish line via Highway 63 and Cty Hwy M in Cable at Telemark Resort

Chequamegon Race Courses Marked

September 3rd, 2013

Friday August 30, 2013

Just in time for Labor Day weekend preview, both the Chequamegon 40 and Short & Fat 16 mile races courses were marked in advance of the September 13-15 event weekend.

The Chequamegon 40 course is marked with blaze orange arrows from the Highway 77 entrance to Rosie’s Field at Fish Hatchery Road all the way to the Telemark Resort finish line.

The Short & Fat 16 mile course is marked with hot pink arrows from Randysek Road at Cty Hwy M in Cable to the Telemark Resort finish line.

Rosie's Field - The Race is On

Rosie’s Field – The Race is On

Riders should note the race courses are not closed to traffic or other trail users.  Be aware that you will encounter on coming or same direction traffic on the multi-use trails, forest roads and other trails used on race day.

Please remember that the both race courses share trails and routes with other users.  Traffic will be encountered and should be expected.  Caution is urged as many route sections have two-way traffic from the other users.

Please notify the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival office at cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com if you encounter any downed trees, other obstructions or any alterations to the normal course marking signage.

For further information visit www.cheqfattire.com or consult the event blog at www.blog.cheqfattire.com

Event, Competition Class, Start Gate change requests due by Sept. 1

July 15th, 2013

Remember registered participants who wish to change events (Chequamegon 40 to Short & Fat only), change competition classes (for instance into or out of singlespeed) or would like to have a start gate assignment review must forward their requests in writing via letter in the mail to Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, PO Box 267, Cable, WI 54821 or via E-mail  to cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com .

 We would appreciate knowing of your requests as soon as possible.  In any event, all requests must be received no later than September 1, after which we will make no further changes.

 Requests for any changes must be accompanied by a $10.00 processing fee. The fee can be paid via a check in the mail to the address noted above or by providing charge card information over the telephone at 715-798-3594.

Registration confirmations that included start gate assignments were sent via email to all participants on May 31.  If you did not receive your confirmation E-mail cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com with the subject line “Registration Confirmation”.  Be sure to include your complete contact information in the body of the email.

New and Improved 2013 Chequamegon Start Gates

January 24th, 2013

Here is the updated information replacing previous on the new Chequamegon 40 and Short & Fat start gate system we will be using this coming September- (revised 3-1-13)

This September’s Chequamegon 40 and Short & Fat 16 start lines will feature an expanded start gate system allowing additional spots for rider placements and providing a safer roll out in both events.

In the Chequamegon 40, the number of start gates will be expanded from five to seven.  In the Short & Fat, five start gates will be offered up from the traditional two.  In both events placement criteria will be the best of the past two year’s finishing times in each event. Start gate assignments will be assigned regardless of gender or competition class.

Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival

Start gate time splits for the Chequamegon 40

Start Gate 1      race time less than 2:16:00

Start Gate 2     race time greater than or equal to 2:16:00 and less than 2:31:00

Start Gate 3      race time greater than or equal to 2:31:00 and less than 2:46:00

Start Gate 4      race time greater than or equal to 2:46:00 and less than 3:01:00

Start Gate 5      race time greater than or equal to 3:01:00 and less than 3:16:00

Start Gate 6      race time greater than or equal to 3:16:00 and less than 3:31:00

Start Gate 7      race time greater than or equal to 3:31:00

Start gate time splits for the Short & Fat

Start Gate 1      race time less than or equal to 1:02:00

Start Gate 2      race time greater than or equal to 1:02:00 and less than 1:07:00

Start Gate 3      race time greater than or equal to 1:07:00 and less than 1:12:00

Start Gate 4      race time greater than or equal to 1:12:00 and less than 1:17:00

Start Gate 5      race time greater than or equal to 1:17 and less than 1:22:00

Start Gate 6      race time greater than or equal to 1:22

Automatic Gate Assignment

Individual rider start gates will be automatically assigned utilizing the finishing time criteria loaded into the registration data base. Those without previous two year’s event results will by default be assigned to the last gate in each event.  At the time of registration if the rider requested preferred gate assignment and provided previous verifiable race results, those previous results will be considered in assigning a gate.

Notification and Request for Reconsideration

Once your gate assignment has been made and you have been notified via confirmation email, you may request a further review for reassignment to another gate.  Requests for further start gate review must be made in writing prior to September 1.  Email to cheqfat@lifetimefitness.com preferred, however you can send a written request via the mail as well.  All gate reconsideration requests must be accompanied by a $10.00 administrative fee payable by MasterCard, VISA, personal check or money order.  The decision of the race officials is final.  After September 1 no further start gate re-considerations will be made.

The expanded start gate system will allow placement of more riders by quantifiable ability criteria resulting in a smoother and safer roll out in each mass start event.  At the event, each participant’s start gate will be indicated on both their Tyvek body number and laminated handle bar number provided at bib pick up. Position within each of the assigned gates is on a first come first served basis.



Little Bellas Camp Returns to Chequamegon

August 6th, 2012

Little Bellas mentoring on mountain bikes program will once again host a Mountain Bike Camp at the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival this September 14-16.

The Little Bellas camp is presented by Specialized and made possible with the sponsorship support of Becker Law Office, Primal Wear and the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival. Professional riding sisters Lea and Sabra Davison run the all girls mountain bike program open to young females ages 8 through 12. Lea will bring the added experience of being the reigning National Champion and Olympic team selection to the camp. With a focus on improving skills and having fun, the camp is a good opportunity for girls looking to try out mountain biking as well as those who are ready for the next level of challenge.

“We aim to create a community to empower women through cycling, accent the importance of goals and a healthy life style, and emphasize a positive female bond. While this program is centered around creating a female camaraderie on bikes, it is most importantly about having fun in a constructive environment.”

Wonderful mentoring and great fun with Little Bellas

Last year’s camp was well attended and received by those who participated. Rave reviews were received from the first year participants. This well organized youth mentoring program is a welcome addition to the fun family atmosphere of the Chequamegon weekend.

Space is limited in the Little Bellas Chequamegon Mountain Bike Camp. For sign up and other information visit www.littlebellas.com.

How Early Can I Set My Bike Up at the Start Line ?

February 8th, 2012

On Saturday morning, many riders who did not qualify for one of the designated starting gates hope to get the jump on a good start line position in the first come first served start gates.  An undesirable and illegal hazard exists when bikes are laid down on the city streets prior to the officially posted street closing time.

The City of Hayward and Town of Cable grant permission to close down Main Street for the Chequamegon 40 and Randysek Road for the Short & Fat event at 6:00 a.m.

It is important that bikes are not laid down on the streets before the street closing barricades go up to officially close the streets.

In both Hayward and Cable the start lines are in close proximity to fire departments and ambulance services. These essential services must be able to access their service areas via the customary roads. Since the official closures do not go into effect until 6:00 am, early morning local traffic is also inconvenienced with early bike lay downs.

At each start line there will be signed off-the-street early line up areas adjacent to each of the designated start gates. Early arrivals should line up in an orderly fashion near their designated start gate and wait until the start line chief gives the word to move to the street.  At the discretion of the start line chief, an earlier that 6:00 a.m. on street line up may be allowed.  Riders arriving early should remain with their bikes in the early line up area until movement to the street is permitted.

We ask all racers to maintain order, fairness and safety at the start line. Please do not jeopardize our valued municipal permissions and observe the posted lay down times and locations.

Placeholder Bikes at the Start Line

In the Chequamegon start line operations, placeholder bikes in the start line area that have no one attending them are referred to by the bandit patrol as “ghost bikes”. 

The unattended ghost bikes fall into two basic categories:  a bike that has NO RACE NUMBER attached to it or a bike has a RACE NUMBER attached to it. In either case ghost bikes belong to registered participants who plan on returning to them just prior to the start. 

In general, registered riders leaving ghost bikes at the start line are off warming up on their race bike, standing in the portable toilet line or perhaps having just one more cup of coffee before the start.  The riders have every intention of coming back to the start line and claiming or replacing their ghost bike just prior to the start.

Bikes at the start line in Hayward

As the start time approaches ghost bikes are problematic if the owner does not return in a timely fashion. For that reason there is a specific time that unnumbered ghost bikes must be replaced with bikes with numbers and when race numbered ghost bikes must be attended at the start line.

All ghost bikes without race numbers must be removed by their owners and replaced with race bikes with race numbers no later than 9:30 a.m.

All ghost bikes with a race numbers must be attended by the rider no later than 9:50 a.m. or they will be removed from the start line.

Start Gates Added to Chequamegon 40 Start

February 2nd, 2012

This September’s Chequamegon 40 start line will include an expanded start gate system allowing additional spots for preferred rider placements. 

In the long race, five start gates will be available with specific qualifying criteria.  Start gate qualifications will be as follows for the Chequamegon 40:

Gate 1          Top 100 men, top 40 women, top 5 tandems, top 5 mixed tandems based on the better of the two previous years ranking.  Gate 1 will replace the traditional “Preferred Start” area that has existed in the Chequamegon 40 start for many years.

 Gate 2         Overall rank 101 through 200 based on the previous two years ranking.

 Gate 3         Overall rank 201 through 300 based on the previous two years ranking.

 Gate 4         Overall rank 301 through 400 based on the previous two years ranking.

 Gate 5          Overall rank 401 and above on a first come first served basis.

 Those without previous two year’s Chequamegon 40 results may submit recent race resumes for consideration for placement in start gates 1 through 4.  Gate placement is at the discretion of the race officials. 

Each gate will have some discretionary space available that will be filled solely by the decision of race officials.  While Gate 1 will include the noted men, women, tandem and mixed tandem rankings, Gates 2-4 will be based on overall finishing rank regardless of gender or competition class.

As riders are added to the entry database, the past two years overall finishing data will automatically be reviewed.  Gate placements will be assigned and riders notified on their confirmation cards sent once all the entries are added to the database.  On site, race day entrance to the specific start gates will be monitored by range specific bib numbers issued to each who qualified.

For those who do not qualify for Gates 1 through 4 there will be little change in the traditional first come first served line up in Gate 5.  For those who do qualify for Gates 1 through 4 based on the previous two year’s overall rank the line up spot will offer an improvement over the past.  Please note that the position within each of the gates will still be on a first come first served basis.

For the Short & Fat event, no change is planned in the start gate system this year.  The traditional “preferred start” will take place in Gate 1 with the balance of short race riders filling in on a first come first served basis in Gate 2.  

In the Short & Fat the top 75 men, top 40 women, top 5 tandems, top 5 mixed tandems from the previous two years will automatically qualify. Other Short & Fat Gate 1 placements will be considered based on previous finishing results on a space available basis.  Those without Short & Fat event history who wish to be considered for Gate 1 placement must submit a short verifiable race resume for review.  The decision of the event officials is final.

As with any other database change, once the assignments are made and the confirmation cards sent, any further request for consideration or further review for qualifying gate assignments must be made in writing prior to the September 1 deadline. As with all event of choice, competition class or start gate requests a $10.00 fee must accompany the request. After September 1 no further requests will be reviewed or changes made.

Our goals in the expanded Chequamegon 40 start gate system include: qualifying a greater number of top riders with a specific start gate assignment, alleviating some of the early morning line up crowding and providing additional opportunities for some discretionary placement in start gates.

Due to staffing limits, space requirements and city service logistics, it is not a goal to manage the entire start area line up or to institute a wave start.  Even with the expanded gate system, riders who do not qualify will still show up early for the first come first served spaces.  While we do not intend to manage the entire line up, we do hope to provide a better start for the greater numbers who qualify.