PEDALING IN HONOR OF PAT AND STEVE

HIBBING — Steve and Pat Gillitzer loved hitting the trails on two wheels.

“Over the last few years, they were among our most active riders,” said cyclist Henry Djerlev. “Pat would ride during the day, but join us on some of the evening rides. And they biked a lot on their own too, traveling to places where they could hit the trails.”

The couple was members of Cycle Mesabi, an active bicycle club that hosts evening rides during the week from Hibbing. The club has been in existence for 29 years now, and they were part of it for a large portion of those years, according to Djerlev.

The Gillitzers and two of their grandsons passed away as a result of injuries from a house fire on Dec. 26 at their home at 212 42nd St. E. in a Hibbing.

“When we got the call, it was a shock,” said Djerlev, who as wintering out of state. “It’s one of those times when you really don’t know what to feel or how to react. They were really nice people, and very active in the community.”

Cycle Mesabi will be holding a Memorial Bike Ride for Steve and Pat this Saturday, June 30.

It will start around 9 a.m. at the pavilion at Bennett Park.

The plan is to ride about 20 miles — 10 out and 10 back — on the Mesabi Trail toward Kelly Lake and then return to Hibbing.

Children and those less inclined can ride in North Hibbing.

The public is invited to participate.

Talk of a memorial ride surfaced while friends and family mourned and began processing what occurred. Plans continued and the date was chosen early on.

“In addition, we’ve also just put out a bench on the bike trail between Hibbing and Kerr Locations,” said Djerlev. “It’s on the Mesabi Trail, about half way over the hill, just as you go down the backside of the trail.”

A plaque made by family with the Gillitzers’ names and a beautiful saying will soon be added to the bench.

The route Saturday will be a similar path the club has taken in the past, noted Djerlev.

“It was one of our annual rides,” he said. “We used to call it the Bear Ride because we’d often see bears on the route.”

He’s talking about pedaling on an old mining byway known as Stevenson Road, which takes travelers to the Mahoning Mine.

Following the ride, participants will gather in Bennett Park for socializing.

“It will be a time for people to support each other,” said Djerlev. “There will be family members there and a lot of people that were in biking clubs that knew Steve and Pat.”

A second bench honoring the couple is to be installed in Bennett Park. Djerlev said the plan is to place it under a large tree between the North Pavillion and Third Avenue East toward Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center.

“This bench will be more accessible to younger kids and adults, to those using park,” he said. “Maybe it will be a place where people can reflect and think about Steve and Pat.”

There are also plans to plant a couple of apples trees near the bench. Both the bench and trees are memorials that are offered by the city through its parks programs, noted Djerlev.

“Steve and Pat had so many friends, and we have no other way or reaching them other than this (ride). We are just one circle of his friends,” he said. “ … I would image we’d do this in the future too, but maybe a bit more casually than this one.”

Hibbing Fire Marshal Bryan Fagerstrom said Thursday that the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“The house will be coming down soon,” he added. “We still have a lab examining all the artifacts that were removed during (scene) processing.”

Advertisements

Pie Burner Recon Rides

The past two days have seen me riding the 1st two legs of the 2017 Pie Burner….. snow cover isn’t horrible, but I do foresee some trail breaking on leg 3 of the ride…… I’ll know for sure at some point in the next 7-8 days.

There will be plenty of frozen water to ride upon…. plan accordingly.

Things are looking promising to be an awesome year to check out fat biking in the heart of northern Minnesota’s Iron Range!!

A few shots from the past two days…..

The Introduction to The Crust…..

I called Thomas after yesterday’s awesome crust ride, and asked if he’d like to check it out today. He gave me his typical answer…. “sure thing Dad what time??” 

I had to drive bus until 10 a.m. so we left shortly thereafter. 

Today was potentially the last day for such riding, with forecasted overnight lows in the upper 20’s and daytime highs reaching the 40’s…… so it was good to get out for a little bit.

The 2015 Pie Burner in Photo’s

image

This is a photo HEAVY post…… you’ve been warned. 😉

22 riders showed up, which was awesome!!
Thank you to one and all riders!!
Thanks also to Mr. Holgate for bringing the short route riders safely to Palmers!!
Also a huge Thanks to Mike “Big Dog” Sirjord!!

Thanks to Cindi, Zack and Jenna for putting up with me for the past months!!!

image

Love you guys!!!

Anyway….. the day started off cold, but quickly warmed up.
The one thing I always take away from this ride, is the reawakening of my eyes and senses to the beauty of this area.
I take this area and it’s rugged red rock overlooks for granted, for sure!!
It especially brings a smile to my face when a local rider, with as many years of riding this area as I have, says “Joe, how did you find this or that area??”
To me that makes all the work or route scouting and the miles totally worth it!!

I already have 2016 on my mind, but that will pass. 😉
Until mid or late September 2016 comes along, and then I’ll start the planning all over again.
I’m figuring with a minimal amount of time and effort, I’ll be able to add more loops, and eliminate some of the out back portions of the route. Some of the major downs and ups are unavoidable, and make this ride truly unique.

A short video of the Pie Burner rollout down the Carey Lake bike trail to our ride entry point, led by the rides originator Big Brian Halstensgaard!! 😉
Video thanks to Mike “Big Dog” Sirjord!!

.

A short video of the group coming down from the plane crash memorial site.
Thanks to Craig Holgate for this video!!

End of the short route, video thanks to Mike “Big Dog” Sirjord.

A few miles into the long route.
Video thanks to Mike “Big Dog” Sirjord.

Some photo’s of the day……

image 

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Even time for a little caching

Toys for Tots Donation information..

image

$65.00 in cash and 22 toys, donated for 22 riders!
Way to go people!!!
I’ve always said this FatBike crowd was full of kickass people!!

More photo’s

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image 

The Last Saturday in May

Super J was partying with some girl friends, Mom was recuperating from a hectic last week of school; and a very successful color fun run school fundraiser.

image

I'd say some fun was had here!!


image

image

image

image

Cousins...... J and Bell

So Z and I went for a pedal to our, ok ok his favorite spot to throw rocks. LOL

image

image

image

This view never gets old

image

image

FatBikes at rest??

Messing Around (FatBike Tomfoolery)

A little FatBike tomfoolery on a sunny warm Friday aftrrnoon.

I’m trying to drill it into Zack’s head about getting it into his easy gear and just using the gears to his advantage.

Jenna got it right away! Lol

Kids will be kids, and when enough people (that aren’t his parents) tell him exactly the same thing I’ve told him for a couple years now…… it’ll then seep in!!

He’s had two examples, one at Spirit Mountain last summer, and at last early November’s “Naughty Ride” in Grand Rapids was his 2nd example of someone telling him exactly what I’ve been telling him…… I thought that’d be the “clicker” BUT!! Lol

Anyway, I love riding with these two kids!!!!
image

image
Long live the FatBike!!

Six Days Later…….. Red Dirt and Less Mud

And things are drying nicely!!
For all the years I’ve ridden, the speed at which the Iron ore dumps dry out still amaze me to this day!!

image

image

People will recognize this spot from the “Pie Burner”

image

image

More and more miles will be getting put on, and I’ll be coming up with a gravel route; for 1……. getting my Cup-O-Dirt challenge miles in, and 2……. getting ready for the Heck of The North come October!!

image

image