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Much like the ski and snowboard industry’s constantly changing camber and shape variations, mountain biking has undergone a similar shift. Fat bikes, with monster tires good for ripping through more aggressive terrain, are becoming more commonplace. Ellicottville and western New York have a pretty strong mountain bike community fueled by passion, people and associations like WNYMBA (Western New York Mountain Bike Association).

On Saturday, February 23rd, HoliMont will host FrostyCX - a fat bike race. 

“Fat bikes are becoming super popular,” said Greg Culver, HoliMont’s Marketing Director. “There are a huge amount of people from Pennsylvania to Dunkirk/Sherman to Buffalo that really have a passion for mountain biking and fat bike riding, so this event aims to bring all of that together.” 

HoliMont’s new General Manager, Ed Youmans, has a vision to expand on the private resort’s four season draw. With the success of the Mont’s previous cyclocross races, creating one for the winter seemed like a no-brainer. 

“No one does a fat bike race like this,” Culver said. “Typically, a mountain bike race is a 3 to 5-mile loop. People can see riders at the start/finish and cheer them on, but once they disappear into the trail, they can’t watch anymore. The cyclocross is unique because you’re doing multiple laps on a shorter race loop and you can see most of it.”

The race will take place on HoliMont’s Sunset slope, an ideal location because of the vast sightlines. Culver and the HoliMont mountain crew are planning on blowing snow and building banks to add some technicality to the race - rollers, berms and tight turns. 

“You go for as many laps as possible in the time allotted,” Culver said. “Each lap is under a mile and a half. Riders will head out onto the cross country trail for a bit. We’re excited because this is an event that’s kind of a first for the area.” 

FrostyCX has three categories: open men’s, open women’s, and open kids. It’s a race, but it’s really a chance to come together with other fat bike enthusiasts.

“Dee (Dibble, owner of Loud Performance) will be on-hand, and there will be fat bike demos,” Culver said. “And Marshall from East Aurora’s 42 North Brewery will be handing out beer samples. We’re still putting together a vendor list, and it’s going to be a great day.” 

Registration is now live at BikeReg.com (just search for Frosty Cross). The site has a built-in waiver which you can e-sign before paying for the race. It’s not a sanctioned race, but it’s an affordable way to get out on your bike and have some fun. 

“If the weather holds, it’s going to be an awesome event,” Culver said. “Just the fact that it’s winter and we’re doing a fat bike race alone makes it great, but the people will take it to the next level. There’s been a ton of support on this from local riders and especially WNYMBA. We’re really excited to se.e the turnout and hopefully grow it into something much larger.” 

FrostyCX takes place at HoliMont on Saturday, February 23rd. For more information, head to www.holimont.com