by Noah on September 30, 2012

Success!  One word, that’s all I could come up with at the end of Saturday.

Here are the results – DEER FLY CHASE 2012 RESULTS (pdf)

On Saturday September 29th, Hickory Ridge Trails was the site of the 2nd Annual Deer Fly Chase.  The race takes place in the Chippewa County Forest, on dirt roads, ski trails and singletrack mountain bike trails.  The trail system is a collaboration between Chippewa County, Friends of Hickory Ridge Trails and Chippewa Off-Road Bike Association.  The race is held to benefit the trail system and the two organizations that support the ski and mountain bike trails. Both systems are maintained by a 100% volunteer commitment, and this race is a testament to the hard work that they do annually.

Saturday’s weather was picture perfect.  Attendance was up from 56 racers in 2011 to 79 in 2012.  According to racers the course offered challenges in the forms of rolling hills and climbs, tight and twisty singletrack and a quick pace that kept them motivated to finish.  Long course racers did 26 miles and Short course racers did 17 miles – no loops here – just one big LOOP, you gotta give them what they want, a RACERS RACE COURSE!

Thank you’s go out to the following groups, individuals, etc:

  • Racers – For all those that came to the race and helped spread the word about the ‘great thing’ we have going – I cannot tell you what effect that has had and will continue to have.  For those racers that did not race – you missed out, but there is always next year!
  • Volunteers – On race day and the weeks and months leading up to the race.  CORBA members and FOHRT members for giving your precious time to have an impact and allow for this race to happen.
  • Chippewa County – Without a great relationship and mutual interest in outdoor recreation this trail system would not exist in its present form.  Thank you, especially to Mike Dahlby, for the willingness to work with mountain bikers and skiers to keep our trails great.
  • Sponsors – Thanks to Angie Bowe and family at Park Ridge Distributing in Eau Claire for the support this year.  Partnering with Park Ridge and New Belgium Brewery was a perfect match.  The post-race beer, beer glasses, SWAG, etc. was all donated to the race and made a GREAT impact with the racers that came.  I heard from one racer, “if you want people to come back, this is how you do it!”.  Also a huge thanks to Spring Street Sports, Joe and Dave, and Nate.  They came through with all of the bicycling SWAG and donated it to the race.  They are the best bike shop in the area and this is evidence of that!  Please support both our sponsors, so we can have them back next year, drink beer and ride bike!
  • Registration & Timing – Thanks to Bob Schwartz for keeping track of all the race day details and making it look so easy.
  • Food & Tent – Thanks to Kelley Chiropractic for providing the post-race food and manning the grill!  Wow I needed that hot dog!  And, the weather was amazing so we didn’t NEED the tent, however it is great that the Young Family & Bloomer Tent Rental donated again this year.
  • Parking – Again, amazing to have the local support of Mark Kolowitz and access to his field for parking.  Our venue is perfect only because of his willingness to be so accommodating.
  • Trail builders – The stellar singletrack is all possible because of CORBA members, tools, and equipment.  We are especially thankful for Brian Kelley and his ability to make kick-ass singletrack with the excavator.
  • Horseback riders – I did not hear of any incidents this year – so communication and planning is working better between the user groups.
  • Personal thanks – To my wife Denise, and kids for putting up with my insanity in the month of September.  I could not organize this race without them having my back.

So I raise a glass of Fat Tire to this year’s race, and I will see you all next year at the DEER FLY CHASE ( WE WILL ALWAYS BE 2 WEEKS AFTER CHEQ 40, SO MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!).  SUCCESS!  And Thank You!


Noah Michaelsen, Race Director

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