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Bike Across the Bay 2023

The Story
As near as anyone can recall 2023 was the 9 th annual BAB . The idea of a race started back in 2014
although people have always been taking there bike out on the big lake for adventures, the rise of the
fat bike has made a race on ice a little better than just a clown show. Studded tires sealed the deal.
Early races were started by a local group of bikers, not NCCA, who exactly I am a little foggy on, but I do
remember the first race I witnessed from Maslowski Beach which was in a zero-visibility gale with wind
chills that had to be below minus 20. The race was on the Saturday of the Book Across The Bay and I
recall there were six riders.
Every ride since has been characterized by a different type of wind snow or ice condition. The routes
have changed locations, sometimes Washburn and sometimes on the beaches in Ashland. Recently we
limited the race to Fat bike tires only but have never required studs until 2023.. On a beautiful sunny
day with no wind and temps near 5 degrees F. with glare ice and patchy snow I was passed by a big guy
riding a nearly flat 3 inch tire mountain bike. He was plowing through with what he had and having
good time. One year I walked through 6 inches of slush on the Book Across the Bay course. . It got cold
that night and by our Sunday BikeACB race we had new thick and completely smooth ice. The riders
who participated in that event looked like ballet dancers on ice.
2023 Race
The insane and the wonderful about this race is the risk that it will occur at all. Will we have a course,
will we have ridable weather? This year was no different with a warming week in a warming winter that
even discouraged all but the most intrepid ice fisherman . Conditions looked ok on Monday prior and
we had a plan in place to pay Bayfield Nordic to groom the course if necessary on Saturday. Two days
before the race we had a rain event that eliminated about a five inch base of snow and subsequent low
temps for three days converted the entire bay to ice. No one remembers anything like it in February.
By Raceday, no snow, so we regrettably had to limit the race to studded tires. I rode without studs for
several years and took many falls, I can attest to the absolute hardness value of bare ice. We had to
disqualify about five riders. We gave a strong caution to the remaining riders to slow down and ride to
the conditions. Apparently, the advice was not heeded, and we saw some of the fastest times in the
history of the race.

Superior Vistas Tour 2023

Currently In Planning- Tentative Date June 24 th , 2023
Superior Vistas is an early Summer tour of the roads and byways of Bayfield – Ashland Counties.
It is a sample ride of just a portion of our cycling roads in Bayfield-Ashland counties. We offer a
variety of routes for all types of biking and bikers. We have short routes for family rides on quiet
country roads to and longer routes up to 100 miles for the dedicated road rider. We will also
include a couple of backcountry fat bike ride (See Below for Fat Bike details). All supported by a
sag wagon and support personnel.
*Fat Bike Route #1: The Long Lake/Beaver Pond Route starts at The Long Lake
parking lot 8 miles west of Washburn off of Wannebo Road (F.R. 251). This 12.4 mile
route is recommended for beginner to intermediate riders and possibly mtn. bike
riders.  This route is almost entirely on hard packed forest roads including some
minor hills.  Some deep sand may occur. The route includes an active beaver pond
and ( of course ) a welcome dip in Long Lake after the ride.
*Fat Bike Route #2: Mt. Valhalla Fire Tower / Sunbowl Overlooks Route route
starts at the parking lot at Mt. Valhalla Recreation Area, 8 miles west of Washburn
on County Highway C. This 8.8-mile route is recommended for intermediate to
advanced riders.  Fat bikes ONLY. No mtn. bikes, because of the occasional deep
sand. The challenging route includes steep hills, hard – packed and sandy forest
roads and grass – covered trails.  Route highlights include vistas from the Fire
Tower and from the top of the SunBowl trail , (a remnant of Ice Age glaciation).
Pre-Registration is online at our registration site or day– of at West End Park in
Washburn.  Water and refreshments will be available at both launch sites. Launch
time window : 8-10am. Parking is free in Washburn, but Valhalla routes are$5/ day
/vehicle – pay at parking area.
*All subject to change prior to ride day.

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