Cycling the solstice

One of the Yukon’s premier winter athletic events returned to Wolf Creek Campground on Dec. 18, 2021, as cyclists took part in the 5+ Hours of Light Fat Bike Festival hosted by the Contagious Mountain Bike Club.

Both a race and a recreational event, riders spent one of the year’s shortest days riding as many laps as they could during limited daylight.

Race action began at 11:07 a.m., with 10 riders – two women and eight men – tackling the approximately nine-kilometre course.

Heather Clarke, riding a borrowed bike, was the women’s winner with six completed laps.

Ian Parker rode eight laps to set the pace, but Jesse McWilliams had similar lap times after starting later due to mechanical issues, depriving spectators of a potential thrilling finish.

When the sun set on the day, riders completed a total of 67 laps – equal to a distance of approximately 600 km.

In addition to riding, the event featured a warm woodstove, hot chocolate, door prizes, music and snacks – everything needed for a successful day outdoors.