Webster to Host Fat Tire Bike Race May 4-5

Monday, January 15, 2018 | By Steve Briggs |

WEBSTER––In the first of its kind for Burnett County, Webster will host "The Fat Fish Forty," a 40-mile Fat Tire Bike Race and associated events on Friday and Saturday, May 4-5 at the Central Burnett County Fairgrounds in Webster.

Last Wednesday at the Webster Village Board Meeting, Chamber member Bill Summer introduced the event concept to the board. He and co-presenter Alan Hane received the board’s permission for a race starting and ending at the fairgrounds.

The organizers chose the name in keeping with Webster's sunfish theme on banners and signs developed for the recent Centennial events. Webster prides itself as the Sunfish Capital.

The village board also approved tent camping and a bonfire at the fairgrounds, a spaghetti supper the night before, plus a beer garden and brats served on Saturday with a dance with DJ Saturday evening at the fairgrounds. The event will be open to riders, friends and the general public. 

Other event sponsors so far include Lake Country Pedalers and the Cog and Sprocket Bike Shop of Webster, which Summer and his wife Sherill own.

The 40-mile race will take place on Saturday, May 5. The race will depart the fairgrounds headed southwest. Racers will do some riding on the Gandy Dancer Trail, also on Burnett County-owned snowmobile trails and some private land. The organizers have secured DNR permission to race on some trails in the Amsterdam Slough Wildlife Area.

“We aren’t going to disclose the actual route until the night before because we want the trail to fresh and new to all riders on an equal basis,” Summer said. “We don’t want anyone to have an unfair advantage.” 

Camping will be available at the fairgrounds. A spaghetti dinner will be held Friday night before the race. Beer and brats will be served the day of the race and we’re planning a DJ on Saturday night in a beer garden. It’s going to be an all-around fun event.”

Bill Summer said fat tire bike races are gaining a lot of popularity. “We anticipate 80-100 racers will sign up immediately now that there is camping available,” Summer said. Discussion ensued at the village board meeting on which areas would be ideal for camping, the size of each space, facilities and power.

Village President Jeff Roberts stated that Apple Street, which runs through the fairgrounds, can be closed Friday and Saturday. Instead of a camping fee President Roberts suggested the participants make a donation to the Main Street Flower Fund.

The board also approved placing a banner across Main Street advertising the event, but Public Works Director Heyer noted the new street lights are not very heavy. Summer said he will check with the electric company for permission to hang the banner from their power poles.

Village board members expressed great enthusiasm for the vent.

More information is available at the Fat Fish Forty website.

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