Inaugural Fat-Ish Weekend kicks off this Saturday

ISHPEMING — If you’ve been out on the trails this winter you’ve probably seen fat tire bikes at some point, and now there is new event in Ishpeming to celebrate riding those bikes.



The inaugural Fat–Ish Weekend will be kicking off Saturday morning at the Al Quaal recreation area with bike races, tubing, and all around family fun.

Registration for the fat tire races will begin at 7:30 and go until 9 am at the lodge, and the cost will be $25 for the Junior race, and $50 for all of the three other races.

But, unlike some other bike races, this one doesn’t have a traditional start.

“The first wave goes off at 10 and the last wave, which there’s three waves, goes off at 10:14,” said Tyler Gauthier, the race director. “What’s unique about our race is it’s going to be a Le Mans-style start, but we’re calling it a Le Mans-Tube Slide. So you’re going to start, run and grab a tube, slide down the hill, grab your bike, and then you’re off to the races.”

All of the proceeds from the weekend will be going to the Range Area Mountain Bike Association, or RAMBA, to help pay for the costs of grooming and maintaining all–purpose trails in the area.

RAMBA takes care of a 20+ mile trail system south of US-41 off of Malton road.

That trail system is a single-track system, which is used for fat tire bikes, snow shoeing, and skiing, as well as walking when the conditions are right and it won’t damage the trails.

“It takes some time and effort, and of course some money, to get the equipment and run the machines,” added Gauthier. “So this event is to celebrate the grooming that we have in the area and give back to that organization.”

If you can’t participate in the bike race on Saturday, there will be a group ride called the “Church Ride” at 10 am at the RAMBA Trailhead.

But it’s not just bike riding, there will also be free tubing provided by Gauthier Insurance until 3pm, along with other attractions for the whole family.

“Both days we’re going to have food trucks, so The Burger Bus and Superior Coney, and Velodrome Coffee will be here serving coffee. And we’ll have music and a fire pit, so we’ll have a full atmosphere.”