‘Whack Jobs’ Film Reveals Fat-Bike Obsession in Michigan U.P.

Fat tread on fresh snow has a cult following around the world. But on Michigan’s U.P., in and around the Lake Superior town of Marquette, the obsession is strong.

So is the infrastructure. Each winter, the area’s legion fat-bikers depend on a small group of snow groomers to compact and tamp singletrack to a perfect consistency.

Fat bikers shred groomed singletrack in Marquette, Mich.
Fat-bikers shred groomed singletrack in Marquette, Mich.; photo by Aaron Peterson

The result is a winter wonderland, a network of groomed fat-biking trails unlike any other place.

Snowy singletrack winds from downtown Marquette up into the hills, past old mining equipment, and even through chainsawed ice tunnels that form below massive, seeping pipes (see photo below).

It’s a strange and wondrous experience, and the new film Whack Jobs profiles the personalities (and trail-grooming technologies) fostering a winter trail network that, according to producer Aaron Peterson, “has become an example for the world.”

Fat-biking trail passes through wall of ice
Fat-biking trail passes through wall of ice; photo by Aaron Peterson

Overall, there are three trail networks and about 60 miles of groomed trails in Marquette County. Travel Marquette worked with Peterson to produce the film. See the organization’s page on fat-biking for travel info, snow-biking maps, and all you need to get to the U.P. and try the groomed riding bliss for yourself.

–Travel Marquette fosters year-round recreation on Michigan’s U.P., including comprehensive information and links for visitors looking to find fat-biking and groomed trails all winter long. See info here.