My Interview with AJ Mooney

2-Time Champ AJ Mooney
I got a chance to interview AJ Mooney who won the very first two IditaFAT’s on the men’s side for the long course. He’s the team captain and my teammate at Tryon Bike.

STICKBOY: I don’t think I have ever admitted this to you. When I realized you signed up for the IditaFAT in year one I really wanted to beat you, hahaha. I was out in ahead of you for a few seconds before you passed me. YES, hahaha. This leads me to my first question, how did you hear about the IditaFAT in year one?

AJ: Ha, that is funny. I fall back in the beginning because I can’t run. You now know this is true! I actually do not remember how I first heard about this incredible race. That year I had bought my first fat bike so that I could get outside more and enjoy winter, instead of spending it at the gym and in my basement. Well, that ended up being an EPIC winter and I was hooked! I think I saw some mention of the race on social media and when I looked at the trial map of Winona and thought of the professionally groomed fat bike opportunities I WAS ALL IN!

STICKBOY: Where does winning the very first IditaFAT rank in your career?

AJ: It was one of my best and most rewarding wins because it was a new and incredibly unique event. We also had huge late season snows that year, so it was DEEP in the forest. You really had to know how to handle a fat bike to do well in those conditions. I will never forget the super cool “fat bike tires snow podium” which was the coolest thing I had ever seen for a podium. Thanks Pat!

STICKBOY: How great was it when we decorated your number 1? Didn’t see that one coming did you? Hahaha.

AJ: It was really unexpected and definitely made me feel special. I love that you do it each year and think it’s great!

STICKBOY: Why did you start fat biking?

AJ: Get outside more to enjoy the beauty and solitude of winter. It is incredibly peaceful to be in the woods in the quiet of winter. I also wanted to be able to stay motivated to ride year round and be more competitive in my summer race season.

STICKBOY: You have been doing this racing thing for a while now. What motivates AJ?

AJ: Personal satisfaction and growth not only as an athlete but as a person. Training has become a lifestyle for me and I feel that it enhances ALL the other aspects of my life. I also love to compete and have consistent goals to work towards each year. Racing also puts me “in the moment” more than anything else as, it takes all of your thoughts and focus to the immediate task at hand!

STICKBOY: What advice would you offer to someone that is just starting off in cycling?

AJ: Smile, have fun and RELAX! Seriously, if this ever stopped being fun I would not do it. There is enough stress in life. Racing should be a chance to let it all go and just go for it!

STICKBOY: Who’s the coolest person on the Tryon Bike team. It’s me isn’t? I knew it. Hahaha.

There’s lots of cool cats on Team Tryon Bike. You did not seriously expect me to answer that did you?

STICKBOY: No I didn’t expect you to answer that question but I had to ask, hahaha. When are you going to do the Hardcore 24 solo with me? Come on! Hahaha.

AJ: Maybe this year. It’s a great event at one of my favorite places to ride. Same weekend as the Wilderness 101 though, so we will have to wait and see.

STICKBOY: Last question. What’s your favorite part of the IditaFAT?

AJ: Winona Way – the way (haha no pun intended) that trail flows and undulates through the forest is SO FUN AND SO BEAUTIFUL! Fast, swoopy downhills, punchy little climbs and twisty rolling GROOMED terrain is really special. Thanks for the interview Tom and I can’t wait until the weekend of March 3rd! YES!!!

Thank you to all of our sponsors:
Used Car King
Stickboy Coffee
Tryon Bike
Roth Racing
Fast Eddies Cycles
Feather in Flight Productions
Munk Pack
Cerow Agency
Kingdom Trails
Munk Pack
45 North
Dumonde Tech
Back Bottle
Old Man Mountain Rack
Fleet Feet
JA Mechanical
Dr. Burke
45 North
Back Bottle
Old Man Mountain Rack
Fleet Feet
JA Mechanical
Dr. Burke
Schmit Trucking
Organic Protein
Oveja Negra
Chamois Butt’r

My Interview with the 3-Time Champ

3-Time Champ of the IditaFAT
I got a chance to interview Helene Roth Schmid of Roth Racing as she was preparing for the Fat Bike Nationals.

STICKBOY: I think the first IditaFAT was the first time I met you. Right? If not, let’s just lie and say yes for this interview. Hahaha.
HELENE: I’m not sure 🙂 I think we may have met when we came up to ride with Brian Hill from EPIC?? Were those rides before the first IditaFat??? Who can remember that far back??? 🙂

STICKBOY: It’s exciting that you came back after year two to defend your title. A little bit of a growing pain that year as race director. Sorry for making you run a marathon to get to your bike. Promise to never do that again. Hahaha.
HELENE: That was my least favorite part of that race!!! 🙂 I HATE running 🙂

STICKBOY: Being the three time champ you get the number 1 this year. We are getting ready to decorate it. How excited are you for that?
HELENE: I cannot tell you how excited I am for this!!! Last year was so exciting to see my decorated number 2, I don’t think I’ve ever been given a number 1 race number, that’s usually given to the guys, so I am SUPER STOKED to see and race with my cool number this year!!!! My number 2 race number is still hanging up in our garage at home 🙂

STICKBOY: You’ve been doing this whole bike thing for a while. Why do you think it has stuck with you for so long?
HELENE: I really enjoy all of the options with biking….road, CX, single speed, hard tails, full suspensions, enduro, fat bikes, etc. I love getting to choose what bike
and terrain to ride each day (although I usually pick off road something :-)))).

STICKBOY: When did you start fat biking?
HELENE: I think I started fat biking about 5 – 6 years ago??? I feel like I’ve always had a fat bike! Once we moved up here from Brooklyn, we started seeing these fat bikes, and I wanted one immediately!!!

STICKBOY: What advice would you offer to someone just starting off in cycling?
HELENE: BE PATIENT!!!! I started really riding a bike when I started racing triathlons almost 20 years ago, and I just couldn’t understand how to do it efficiently!!! I came into triathlon as a swimmer, so I would be out of the water first and I could count HUNDREDS of people passing me on the bike! SO FRUSTRATING!!!! Then I started riding with CYCLISTS, rather than just alone, or with other triathletes, and I started to understand shifting and bike handling more, and it started to click! It’s a fabulous sport, because I believe we get better as we get older (as long as you’re still staying strong) due to learning how to be more efficient on the bike.

STICKBOY: What motivates you to carry on?
HELENE: Changing what I’m doing often. Coming from triathlon, I started with road bikes and road racing, crits, etc.. Then came Cyclocross which was so fun and different!!! And then came MTBing, which I continue to fall more in love with every season! First there was a hard-tail MTB bike and Cross Country races, then came a single speed hard-tail which is so much more challenging and fun! Then I got an Enduo MTB which is really helping me to gain confidence on more technical terrain, and now I have a full-suspension race bike to do some technical terrain but in a cross country setting!!! And of course Fat Biking mixed in whenever the feel is there (and all winter!!!).

STICKBOY: I saw you at the Hardcore 24 this year. Will you be one of those crazy people that does it solo this year? Yes. I label myself crazy. I don’t want to be normal, hahaha.
HELENE: YES SIR!!! I LOVED that race, and doing it as a relay was fun, but I’m an endurance athlete, so the challenge of riding for 24 hours solo is MADE FOR ME!!!! What fun is it to be normal???? I’m with you :-))))

STICKBOY: Last question. What’s your favorite part of the IditaFAT?
HELENE: Honestly, I love the small town feel of this race. The volunteers are AWESOME, the food is AWESOME, the raffles are AWESOME, and come on, where else do you get a DECORATED race number???? It’s the best small town, but biggest distance fat bike race around!!!!

Thank You to Our Early Sponsors:
Used Car King
Stickboy Coffee
Tryon Bike
Roth Racing
Fast Eddies Cycles
Feather in Flight Productions
Munk Pack
Cerow Agency
Kingdom Trails
Munk Pack
45 North
Dumonde Tech
Back Bottle
Old Man Mountain Rack
Fleet Feet

2017 Results

2017 Results

Male 36k Results

1 32 Raymond Willard Empire Brewing-Syracuse Bicycle – Oneida, NY 49 1:50:03.9

2 1 Aaron (AJ) Mooney TRYON BIKE Hoselton – Rochester, NY 47 1:54:21.6

3 14 Matthew Doyle Tryon Bike – Rochester, NY 41 2:07:42.9

4 12 Robert Dietrick Velo Racing Solutions p/b Verge Sport/GV – Farmington, NY 49 2:08:14.7

5 8 Scott Casella Crankskins – Rochester, NY 40 2:17:23.4

6 13 Jonah DiPasqualeGrowler Bikes – R ochester, NY 46 2:17:23.7

7 18 Wesley Hadzormello velo/BTB – Lafayette, NY 36 2:17:41.4

8 5 Ray AdamsCamp Hill, PA 39 2:20:18.0

9 23 Timothy Rowland Fayetteville, NY 35 2:24:10.8

10 28 John Underhill Tryon bike – Rochester, NY 47 2:25:32.4

11 16 Benjamin Freer Roth Racing – Syracuse, NY 33 2:29:07.8

12 17 David Grieves MaxPower Cycling – Baldwinsville, NY 56 2:33:14.0

13 29 Bill Volkomer Oswego, NY 48 2:35:36.7

14 7 Richard Camping Team Towpath powered by Rochester Solar – Victor, NY 64 2:36:14.4

15 30 Sam Ward Rochester fitness and cylce – Pittsford, NY 59 2:44:14.4

16 Marc Bigsby Rochester Fitness and Cycling – rochester, NY 48 2:58:05.8

17 Pat McFallsNuns With Knobbies – Pennellville, NY 57 3:27:33.4

– 10 jack cufariTryon bike – Pittsford, NY 32 DNF

– 22 Daniel PoneConstantia, NY 49 DNF

– 33 Steve WinslowManlius, NY 55 DNF



Female 36k Results

1 2 Helene SchmidRoth Racing – Fayetteville, NY 46 2:28:46.5



Male 25k Results

1 66 Ben Rabin Rabin Law Firm/Syracuse Bike Racing Team – Manlius, NY 48 1:28:15.3

2 60 Justin Frontuto Empire Brewing Company – Elmira, NY 40 1:29:20.7

3 65 Michael Mattessich Memphis, NY 35 1:38:17.1

4 69 William Solt Elmira, NY 44 1:39:26.4

5 24 Richard Shumway Stickboy Coffee Racing – Pulaski, NY 45 1:40:33.6

6 31 Matthew Westerlund Winona Adventure Racing – Lacona, NY 44 1:41:25.8

7 63 Nate Kaercher Fayetteville, NY 42 1:44:07.8

8 57 Rick Cote SOS Fayetteville, NY 53 1:44:40.8

9 11 Daniel DeFreesRoth Racing – Chittenango, NY 61 1:48:30.9

10 61 Craig Goetzmann Skaneateles, NY 57 1:49:01.5

11 55 Brenden Belge Collegeville, PA 34 1:50:25.2

12 73 Dan Babcock 52 1:55:30.9

13 20 Rick Konvicka Fayetteville, NY 65 1:55:55.5

14 72 Joe Thiel 50 1:55:56.2

15 64 Mike Kester Blue Dog Adventures – Fayetteville, NY 47 2:02:19.2

16 62 shaun griffith Winona Adventure Racing – pulaski, NY 37 2:19:48.3



Female 25k Results

1 74 Katrina Haker 49 1:58:16.2

2 71 Annette Fentress Syracuse Bicycle Women’s Race Team – Brewerton, NY 50 1:59:21.6

3 53 Trish Welsh Roth Racing – Syracuse, NY 48 2:35:04.3



Male 12k Results

1 43 Thomas Hall Stickboy Coffee and Tryon Bike – Pennellville, NY 33 52:25.4

2 37 Chris Cavanaugh MaxPower Cycling – Fayetteville, NY 45 56:02.6

3 75 Rich Schenosky 59 57:42.5

4 48 Lance Stonecipher Bike Loft, LLC – North Syracuse, NY 55 58:01.4

5 58 John Ders South Otselic, NY 67 1:01:05.2

6 46 Brian Levendusky Team RWB – Oswego, NY 43 1:02:14.6

7 49 David Wolfe Baldwinsville, NY 46 1:04:05.6

8 56 Ken Birchenough Croghan, NY 31 1:06:00.0

9 70 Rob Toole Manlius, NY 49 1:08:15.2

10 68 Andrew Schmid Roth Racing – Fayetteville, NY 51 1:11:50.9

11 41 Stinius Dahl Wolcott, NY 48 1:14:55.7

12 45 Tim LeBlanc Oswego, NY 50 1:16:49.1

13 39 John Cheney Highlander – Redfield, NY 64 1:18:59.9

14 67 David Rodgers North East, PA 66 1:21:15.5

15 40 Vince Claps Phoenix, NY 38 1:35:45.9

16 44 Greg Henning North East, PA 62 1:47:58.5

– 38 Bruce Chamberlin Vestal, NY 58 DNF



Female 12k Results

1 51 Kelly Dietrick Cyclewe Rx of Rochester – Farmington, NY 42 57:35.9

2 76 Jessica Blake 32 1:07:20.9

3 4 Trish VantucciHilton, NY 51 1:08:08.6

4 36 Ashley VanBrocklinWinona Adventure Racing – pulaski, NY 34 1:16:44.3

5 50 Cheryl Cook North Syracuse, NY 37 1:18:16.1

6 52 Amy Lembo Webster, NY 52 1:37:32.8

7 54 Bev Ziegler Ontario, NY 54 1:37:33.0

8 34 Alissa Belge Collegeville, PA 31 1:50:02.4

9 35 Renee McfallsNuns With Knobbies – Pennellville, NY 57 2:03:15.3

Registration is now OPEN!!!

The Winona Forest Recreation Association (WFRA) is a non-profit organization that maintains and grooms Winona State Forest trails. WFRA is excited to announce that on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, 2018, these trails will be the site of a winter festival that features both our annual IditaFAT bike race and the annual SnoFatShu race, offering winter enthusiasts and families an unparalleled opportunity to compete in a weekend of fat biking and snowshoe running.

We have extended the IditaFAT to a 50-60k “ish” this year depending on the conditions. Please note: We are asking a lot of our volunteers to stand out in the cold, so when you sign up for the long course one of the race directors will be in contact with you to make sure you have the ability to finish the race within the cut-off time. As race directors, we reserve the right to move any 50-60k participant to the 25k race if we feel he or she would not be able to finish the 50-60k race.

You may register at:
As for the SnoFatShu, you may register at:
We are in dire need of volunteers this year. We are looking for course marshals and individuals to work registration. If you know of anyone that would like to volunteer, please have them contact me.

There are still sponsorship opportunities available for this race. If you know of any businesses that would like to attach their name to this awesome event, please feel free to contact me.
Tailwater is booking up fast; hurry and make your reservations today.

If you have not already done so, please consider joining the Winona Forest Recreation Association and identify yourself on the membership as a fat bike rider as our funding is generated largely by memberships. To become a member please visit us at:

Thank you everyone!!!

Thank You Murdock’s!!!

Thank you to Murdock’s Bicycles And Sports for their sponsorship of the IditaFAT. They carry a lot of cool things so the next time you are in Oswego make sure to check them out!! Thanks again!!! Location and Phone Number: Address: 177 W 1st St, Oswego, NY 13126
Phone: (315) 342-6848


Thank You Tryon Bike!!

Thank you so much to Tryon Bike for the sponsorship! If you get a chance pick up a Tryon jersey. I have done the calculations; it makes me 2.7984563% faster!!! If you are new to cycling, this is the shop for you because there is NO high-pressure sales!! Everyone that works at Tryon is friendly and able to answer any questions you may have. We strongly encourage you to consider doing business with them because without their support, this race would not be possible! Thanks again for the sponsorship! Location and phone number: 80 Rockwood Pl, Rochester, NY 14610 Suite 112. Go to the back of the building and you will find them. (585) 413-4444.


2016 Results

Male 25k Results

1 1 Mooney, Aaron (AJ)Rochester, NYTryon bike  Male 25K 46 M 50:43.5
2 14 Arvidson, JoshuaFayetteville, NY  Male 25K 45 M 51:10.1 +0:26.6
3 6 Cufari, JohnPittsford, NYTryon bike  Male 25K 31 M 51:38.7 +0:55.2
4 7 Doyle, MatthewRochester, NYTryon bike  Male 25K 40 M 51:54.7 +1:11.2
5 16 Price, RobLake Ariel, PAAction Bikes & Outdoor  Male 25K 30 M 54:50.0 +4:06.5
6 11 Leonard, TimNew Hartford, NYNYCROSS p/b Craft  Male 25K 64 M 56:09.2 +5:25.7
7 15 Pender, KevinHonesdale, PA  Male 25K 57 M 56:12.8 +5:29.3
8 5 Camping, RichardVictor, NYTeam Towpath powered by Rochester Solar  Male 25K 63 M 56:13.8 +5:30.3
9 13 McFalls, PatPennellville, NYNuns With Knobbies  Male 25K 56 M 56:14.2 +5:30.7
10 27 Winslow, SteveManlius, NY  Male 25K 54 M 56:15.0 +5:31.5
11 3 Bond, JesseSyracuse, NY  Male 25K 36 M 58:00.2 +7:16.7
12 30 HazeldenBloomingdale, NY  Male 25K 56 M 58:03.8 +7:20.3
13 31 Bolton, RobVermontville, NY  Male 25K 55 M 58:33.9 +7:50.4
14 21 Underhill, JohnRochester, NYTryon bike  Male 25K 46 M 1:00:56.1 +10:12.6
15 55 Malehorn, RichardVictor, NY  Male 25K 53 M 1:00:57.1 +10:13.6
16 25 Westerlund, MattLacona, NYWinona Adventure Racing  Male 25K 43 M 1:00:59.7 +10:16.2
17 2 Bigsby, MarcRochester, NY  Male 25K 47 M 1:03:11.9 +12:28.4
18 26 White, ChuckFayetteville, NY  Male 25K 43 M 1:04:22.3 +13:38.8
19 29 Hill, BrianFayetteville, NY  Male 25K 36 M 1:06:00.1 +15:16.6
20 28 Yarah, EricFayetteville, NYRed Rooster Racing  Male 25K 43 M 1:06:19.8 +15:36.3
21 19 Shumway, RichardPulaski, NYTeam Stickboy  Male 25K 44 M 1:08:21.0 +17:37.5
22 10 LaPoint, MikeCentral Square, NY  Male 25K 54 M 1:12:28.8 +21:45.3
23 20 Treadway, StevenSherrill, NYOmbr  Male 25K 54 M 1:12:33.5 +21:50.0
24 22 Walker, JeffTully, NY  Male 25K 53 M 1:14:36.3 +23:52.8
25 12 mattessich, michaelmemphis, NY  Male 25K 34 M 1:24:38.8 +33:55.3

Female 25k Results 

1 18 Schmid, HeleneFayetteville, NYMaxPower Cycling  Female 25k 45 F 57:59.5
2 23 Walker, KatinaTully, NY  Female 25k 48 F 1:04:21.9 +6:22.4

Male 12k Results 

1 57 Rabin, BenManlius, NYMaxpower/Rabin Law Firm  Male 12K 47 M 29:08.0
2 53 Frontuto, JustinElmira, NYCorning Race Team/ Stan’s NoTubes  Male 12K 39 M 29:12.2 +0:04.2
3 54 Kaercher, NateFayetteville, NY  Male 12K 41 M 32:43.5 +3:35.5
4 51 Debrucque, RonCanastota, NYEmpire Brewing  Male 12K 45 M 33:01.5 +3:53.5
5 9 Hall, ThomasPennellville, NYStickboy Coffee  Male 12K 32 M 36:56.4 +7:48.4
6 52 Duffy, Jordanwatertown, NY  Male 12K 25 M 46:16.1 +17:08.1
7 58 Kester, MikeFayetteville, NY  Male 12K 46 M 1:07:06.1 +37:58.1

Female 12k Results 

1 56 Mcfalls, ReneePennellville, NYNuns With Knobbies  Female 12k 56 F 1:15:29.0