Race Rules & Emergency Plan

Friday, February 17, 2017


In planning the event, the Race Directors have considered a full spectrum of incidents and injuries that may occur. The nature of long distance fat bike races is such that competitors need to be self-supporting in remote areas. They will be instructed to carry a cell phone (they will be urged to keep the phone inside a jacket to maintain an operable battery) and to utilize 911 in case of an emergency. 

Date:  February 18th, 2017 – February 19th, 2017

Venue: Ishpeming, Michigan. Both races will start in downtown Ishpeming from the Ishpeming High School and finish back at the high school. We’re proud to partner with the City of Ishpeming, the residents and supporting businesses. 

Saturday Schedule

6:00 AM-7:30 AM  Last chance packet pick-up

7:50 AM                    Announcements, National Anthem

8:00 AM                    13-Mile Race Roll-out

8:15 AM                    25-Mile Race Roll-out

3:00 PM                    We’re hoping everyone is off the course!

Event Staff:

Event Directors

Name: Todd Poquette, Ryan Grim

Volunteer Director:

Name: Tara Gluski

Aid-Station Coordinator:

Name: Tara Gluski

Road crossing/Safety Training

Name: Todd Poquette/Ryan Grim 

Event Timing/Registration

Name: Chris Andersen

Grooming Team 

Name: Danny Hill, Range Area Mountain Bike Association 

Course Officials (responsibilities):

  • Competitor, support crew and public safety.
  • Support vehicles.
  • Reinforcement of ROAD RULES
  • Assistance to competitor’s if/when required.
  • To communicate an injury or emergency to 911.
  • To act as a source of information for public/competitor/support crews.
  • Direct media inquiries to Event Director (Todd Poquette).

Allocation of Resources:

  • First Aid Kits, blankets/additional clothing, heat at Aid Stations.
  • Mobile phones with all race officials on racecourse.
  • Race Number plates: allocated to participants before the event. 
  • Timing: Superior Timing
  • Race sweep to confirm the course is clear of riders.

Search and Rescue: 

  • Search and Rescue is aware of the event and will have staff on standby the weekend of the event. 
  • All participants MUST take responsibility for the decision to participate in such a demanding, high exertion event. Portions of the course are remote and access is limited to snowmobile only. 
  • All participants will be advised to contact 911 in the event of an emergency. 

Event and Traffic Management Signage

Polar Roll course signage, traffic management signage and safety signage will be strategically placed throughout the course route. Signage will be up the day prior to the event and removed the day following the event. All racers will be advised 

“Road Rules” apply – traffic will not stop for racers, bikes must yield to traffic

Competitor Briefing

Athletes will be briefed prior to the race start. 

Race brief will include course details; identify known hazards, race rules and emergency procedures.  In the event of a significant injury, participants are to use their phone to contact 911. In the event of no coverage they should relay information to the nearest course official or aid-station. 

Volunteer Briefing

Volunteers will be briefed prior to the race. Race brief will include course details; identify known course hazards, race rules and emergency procedures. In the event of a significant injury they will be advised to contact 911. Volunteers will also be advised to watch competitors as they pass through various check points for things such as potential frostbite or a racer who appears to be struggling with the elements. 


The sole person to communicate to the media will be the race director.

Clearly Identified checkpoints

Event volunteers will man clearly identified aid-stations. Volunteers will not leave their designated post until the race sweep has passed and given the “all clear” signal, indicating all competitors have cleared the course up to that point.

In the event of an accident or injury

  • All race participants will be notified at the race briefing that if an accident occurs, to contact 911 or a race course official who will then contact 911 and notify them of the accident, location and circumstances. 
  • Non-threatening or minor injuries should be reported directly to the Race Director or other another course official. 


Aid-stations will be established across the race route to provide fluids, food, heat and shelter if necessary for participants. Expect two aid station locations.

Ear buds/Audio devices

No audio equipment of any type should be used by any participant taking part in the 906 Polar Roll. Participants found to have audio equipment at the race start will be asked to remove it or be disqualified from the race. 

Snowmobile Trail Etiquette and Safety

When coming into contact with snowmobiles please be respectful. If crossing a snowmobile trail yield the right of way.  


Shuttle services will not be provided. 



Drop bags will not be handled by race officials. 

“Road Rules” apply – traffic will not stop for racers, bikes must yield to traffic

Mandatory Equipment

1. Cycling specific helmet. CPSC, ANSI or SNELL approved.

2. Number plate attached to the front of the bike with timing chip on the back of the plate.

3. Fat Bike* (Tires 3.7” or wider)

Not allowed:

1. Ear buds or audio devices of any kind. Our racers will need to be dialed into their surroundings. For part of the race you will be riding on snowmobile trails. You need to know when a snowmobile is approaching you. Riders attempting to use ear buds, headphones etc. will be removed from the starting line.

2. Tandem Fat Bikes.

3. MTB Bikes or any bike with tires less than 3.7” wide.

*Anyone attempting to ride on what we deem to be non-fat bike equipment, a MTB bike or anything we cannot anticipate someone might try to use that would harm the overall experience of the race for other will be removed from the race at the starting line.


906 Polar Roll Safety Culture

1. Eye protection is strongly recommended. Goggles work best to avoid fogging. Polarized lens will help reduce glare. Tinted lenses would be recommended to reduce glare.

2. Chinstraps must be fastened and helmet properly fit.

3. Handle bar ends must have plugs.

4. Do yourself and everyone in the race a favor – confirm your bike is in safe working order BEFORE the race.

5. Do not use any sort of glass container – if found race officials will take it.

Wear proper winter hats, balaclavas and gloves. Bring an extra pair of gloves!

6. Bring a cell phone. Keep your phone stored inside your jacket to keep it warm and extend battery life.

7. If you drop out of the race, call the number on your race plate.

8. If you register and check into the race but decide not to race, call the number on your race plate.

9. Pay attention to course signage.

10. Use common sense and safety at road crossings. ROAD RULES APPLY; I.E. Cars will not stop for bikes. 

11. If you come across a racer in need of help, CALL 911.

Single-track Etiquette

1. On the snow groomed single-track stay within the middle of the groomed surface for the best experience. The snow is both soft and deep to the immediate left and right of the groomed footprint.

2. If you find yourself walking and pushing your bike, walk on the LEFT and push your bike on the RIGHT.

3. If your bike has a mechanical breakdown and is not ride-able please walk your bike out to the nearest walk-out/mountain bike patrol station. If you are unsure which walk-out/mountain bike patrol station is the closest, please walk forward. Please avoid walking directly on the trail to avoid damaging the trail for other participants. When racers catch up to you please remove yourself and your entire bike from the trail footprint.

4. As snow is made from nature it is not possible to guarantee its solidity throughout an entire race event. Please keep an eye out for deteriorating trail conditions throughout the race. Please alert the race official and/or mountain bike patrol at the nearest walk-out/mountain bike patrol station.

Passing: If a racer has caught up to you please stop and remove yourself from the trail in order to allow the faster cyclist passage. The approaching racer is to yell “On your RIGHT.” As a 20” snow groomed single-track trail does not allow appropriate space for passing, the slower racer is asked to respect this request.

In the event of an accident or injury

1. All race participants will be notified at the race briefing that if an accident occurs, to contact 911 or a race course official who will then contact 911 and notify them of the accident, location and circumstances.

2. Non-threatening or minor injuries should be reported directly to the Race Director or other another course official.

We’re going to avoid trying to outline a one-size fits all contingency plan. As the race approaches, should a contingency plan be necessary, we will base said plan on the current weather conditions.

Weather Contingency Plan

With the general unpredictability of winter weather in the Upper Penninsula there will always be a chance the race may be adversely affected by an exceptional weather event. The race committee and grooming teams feel very strongly that aside from a particularly unusual weather event the Polar Roll should always be able to proceed as planned. The 

Polar Roll Ethos: We race in whatever weather the day offers us.  Due to the belief we should allow you, the racer, to decide whether or not you race – registration fees will not be refunded. 

In the event operation of the race would put people at risk… we will find some way to take you on an adventure… Let's hope it never comes to that. 

Todd Poquette
Todd Poquette is the Polar Roll Race Director. He is passionate about creating events that inspire and engage riders of all ability levels. When he’s not race directing you’ll find him mentoring and coaching high school cyclists to enjoy a lifetime of cycling and wellness.