Helena's first fat tire bike race, The Fleur de Fat Chance will be Feb. 10 at the Vigilante Bike Park.

Helena's first fat tire bike race, The Fleur de Fat Chance, will be Feb. 10 at the Vigilante Bike Park.

Jason O'Neil photo

Let the good times roll this weekend at Helena's first-ever fat tire bike race, The Fluer de Fat Chance at the Vigilante Bike Park.

"We have been feverishly working toward Saturday," Shannon Stevens, outreach coordinator and event planner for the Montana Bicycle Guild, said. "One of the things we are really passionate about is riding bikes in every season, so we are really excited to bring the race to Helena this winter."

The Mardi-Gras themed race will be a time-limit race over multiple laps. Competitive classes will race for 45 minutes and fun classes will race for 30 minutes on a groomed course with obstacles. Racers will be adorned with a beaded necklace after each lap.

"In terms of a fat bike race, this weather is great," Stevens said regarding the recent bout of wintry weather.

The main race categories require fat bikes. However, racers are welcome to ride any bike in the open category and organizers say they will even have an award for least appropriate bike.

The public is encouraged to come watch. Racers are asked to arrive no later than 10 a.m. and can register online.

Organizers say the race will reoccur annually with hopes to take it to the South Hills in the future.

A fundraiser party and awards ceremony will be at LaPa Grill starting at 3 p.m., where organizers will hold a silent auction, raffle off a fat tire bike and award the winners.

A part of the fundraiser will be a pale ale contest, in which local breweries Lewis and Clark, Ten Mile Creek and Blackfoot River will compete in a blind taste test competition. Funds raised will go toward trail work in 2018.

Stevens says the mission of the Montana Bicycle Guild is to "build the momentum of community advocacy and trail work."

The Montana Bicycle Guild was created as a nonprofit in January 2014 to advocate for mountain bikers in Montana. The guild also organized the Montana Enduro Series, a series of mountain bike races throughout western Montana.

Thom Bridge can be reached at Thom.bridge@helenair.com

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Photo editor at The Independent Record

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