Frequently Asked Questions
When is the race? Usually the second Saturday of September, this year it’s Saturday September 12, 2015
What time does the race start?
8:30 am at the new Lower Dead Mountain Trailhead on RD 24, Salmon Creek Road.
What is the schedule? Check the schedule here: http://www.fatfiftyfive.com/fat-55-race/schedule/
When do you mark the course?We will mark the course the week prior to the event. The first markings will go up the Saturday one week before the race, more markings are added throughout the week, final marking happens in the final hours prior to the race. We use red arrows on a white background, orange and pink flagging and flour on the ground. Signs marked with an X and the word NO means you have taken a wrong turn!
Where should I stay? Is there camping or a good deal on lodging? If you’re looking to camp we suggest Salmon Creek Falls Campground, just 4 miles up RD 24 (Salmon Creek Road), from the race start.
There are also some excellent lodging options. The Oakridge Lodge is a great bike friendly, clean and welcoming accommodation located right in the heart of Oakridge. They offer you a great place to stay, a tasty breakfast and a hot tub to soak your bones after a long trip or ride. If you’re looking for a homey atmosphere, great food, and good company at a good price, the newly reopened Westfir Lodge adjacent to the Office Covered Bridge in Westfir has a relaxing atmosphere and plenty of character right at the trailhead of Alpine Trail and North Fork Trail. Double Diamond Lodge offers a nice VRBO “basecamp”, lakefront, just 5 miles outside Oakridge, and it is run by two local mountain bikers, and outdoor experts. You will enjoy the best view around from their hand build basecamp. All three lodgings offer exceptional food, extremely hospitable hosts, and a taste of the local flavor. All of the local hotels are run by friendly locals. The Blue Wolf gets the best ratings as a budget motel, the Cascade Motel also gets good reviews and the Best Western is the standard by which others are judged.
What type of bike should I ride? Personally I like to ride a trail bike with 5 to 6 inches of travel with powerful stoppers and a dropper seatpost. However many champions have been aborard single speeds; the winner of year one back in 2010 didn’t even have a suspension fork!
Am I going to have to walk? Probably, a pro might clean it all, but most of the field is going to have to dismount on some of the steepest pitches—both going up and coming down. There is probably about a half mile of walking for in intermediate rider throughout the length of the event.
Will I have to navigate my route? No. All the corners and turns are marked and will be staffed by volunteer corner marshals.
What’s in it for me? We provide food, hydration, and navigation, a tasty meal afterwards and live music. All you have to do is ride your bike! If you go fast, you go home RICH! Well, OK, maybe not quite, but at least you can fill your tank and pay for your weekend in Oakridge. We’ve designed this course—and this event—to bring you as much Oakridge adventure as we possibly can. No need to carry a heavy pack, worry about getting lost, you don’t have to wait for anyone in your group, and they don’t have to wait for you… Just go ride your bike!
What does FAT 55 do for the community/area? The FAT 55 organizes trailwork parties to brush back the undergrowth before it takes over the trails, maintain the tread, and repair damaged areas of trail before the race. We average 200+ hours of trailwork, per year on the trails ridden in the course. We advocate for getting kids’ cycling and work in the community to get kids out on the trails. We partner with GOATS to coordinate these efforts.
What’s the elevation gain/loss? There’s about 6000′ of elevation gain and loss throughout the length of the course. Woot woot!
I’m a beginner. Can I do this race? It is up to you to determine your ability level, but generally speaking, this is definitely not a beginner’s race. However, many people have taken on this event as their first mountain bike race, finished, and had a lot of fun doing it. If you are up for a challenge, give it a shot! We highly recommend pre-riding the course bit by bit to get acquainted with the individual trails, and familiarize yourself with the more difficult sections.
Is there a map of the course? Here ya go: http://www.fatfiftyfive.com/fat-55-race/race-course/