Largest Mass Start Off-Road Race in the Nation, Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival, Set for Sept. 14

September 9th, 2019

Largest Mass Start Off-Road Race in the Nation, Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival, Set for Sept. 14

In its 37th year, the “adventure ride” stays true to its roots; expo expanded and receives facelift

Cable, Wisc. Sept. 9, 2019 — More than 3,000 cyclists of all experience levels will hit the dirt next Saturday to ride the American Birkebeiner ski trail from Hayward to Cable, Wisconsin for the Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival, owned and produced by Life Time. In addition to ski trails, the 40 mile dynamic course will also take riders on scenic ATV / snowmobile trails and forest lined gravel roads, exhibiting the beauty of autumn in Northern Wisconsin. Previously titled the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, Life Time made the decision to change the name to Mountain Bike Festival this year to honor the many bicycle types represented in the race.

“This event really stands apart from other races,” said Peter Spencer, Race Director for the Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival. “Not only does it have a colorful history and recurring characters who continue to show up year-after-year, the course is a rare gem. It has the essence and challenge of mountain biking, gravel, and road racing without being exclusively categorized as just one of those race types. The mixed off-road route is picturesque, gritty and fun, which I believe aids in its attractiveness.”

New features of the 2019 event include the addition of an elite start at 1 p.m. Starting the elites later allows a greater amount of race participants to watch the professional group of riders battle to finish. Notable elite riders in this year’s race include:

  • Jenna Rinehart – Mankato, Minn.
  • Leia Schneeberger – De Pere, Wisc.
  • Melisa Rollins – Apline, Utah
  • Brian Matter – Prescott, Ariz.
  • Corey Stelljas – Madison, Wisc.
  • Jorden Wakeley – Grayling, Mich.

Riders, drawn from nearby metropolitan areas such as Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicagoland, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisc. and Des Moines, Ia., in addition to thousands of spectators and more than 500 volunteers, will find an expanded Festival and Sponsor & Vendor Expo that will feature food trucks along with Bent Paddle and Fulton breweries. The festival is free and open to the public on Friday and Saturday. Also new this year, each participant and volunteer will receive one complimentary beer from both breweries.

About the Chequamegon Mountain Bike Race

Started in 1983 as a way to draw tourists to the area post-peak season, Cable, Wisc. resort staff Tom Kelly, Dan Hunt, Mike Cooper, Phil VanValkenberg and Phil Rasmussen conceptualized a bike race along the American Birkebeiner “Birke” Ski Trail. The event hosted 27 riders in its first year and under the Race Direction of Gary Crandall has grown exponentially each year since. With an added “Short and Fat” 16 mile course and “Little Loggers Kids Crit”, the festival now brings in more than 3,000 today and remains a beloved tradition in Northern Wisconsin. Chanhassen, Minnesota based Life Time, Inc. acquired the event in 2011.

About Life Time® – Healthy Way of Life

Life Time champions a healthy and happy life for its members across 144 destinations in 39 major markets in the U.S. and Canada. As the nation’s only Healthy Way of Life brand, Life Time delivers an unmatched athletic resort experience and provides a comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment experience that goes well beyond fitness to encompass the entire spectrum of daily life for individuals, couples and families of all ages. For more information visit

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Life Time, Healthy Way of Life

Largest Mass Start Off-Road Race in the Nation, Chequamegon Mountain Bike Festival, Set for Sept. 14

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Jordan Titus

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