Fat tire bike race Jan. 19 on frozen Lake Minnetonka

Now that the ice has thickened over Lake Minnetonka, it’s time for bike races.

The Excelsior Brewing Co. is hosting the first-ever “Arctic Fat Fever Bike Race” Saturday, Jan. 19, on Lake Minnetonka. In conjunction with the three-city Arctic Fever event, the bike race will begin at 2 p.m. at the brewery, 421 Third St., in downtown Excelsior.

The 15-mile course winds its way across the frozen waters of Lake Minnetonka and ends at the brewery. Registration is free, says Excelsior Brewing Co. President, John Klick, and as of Jan. 2 he had about 75 riders already signed up. Klick expects up to 150 riders. There is a 200-rider limit. Bike tires must be three inches in diameter, and studded tires are not allowed.

There will be separate races for men and women, with winners receiving free Excelsior Brewing merchandise, with the possibility of a trophy as well

Along with an exhilarating ride, there will also be food provided by Deli by the Bay and live music 6-9 p.m. in the tent. Running the event in conjunction with Arctic Fever means another way to contribute to the fun, Klick says.

“We always like to have an event going on, and we get a lot of bikers so we thought this would be a really cool event to throw into the mix, Klick said. “It’s off the wall a little bit, but we have had a lot of positive response so far.”

Klick says a lot of fat tire bikes come through the brewery, which helped them with the idea for the event.

With a team of 25-30 volunteers, Klick says safety and making sure the riders are taken care of is a top priority. Snowmobile chasers, icehouse checkpoints and volunteers will help with course routes.

The cities involved have been friendly to the idea.

“The cities have been really receptive and accommodating in helping set this up,” Klick said. “Now we just have to pull it off and make it a really fun event.”

To finish off the race the brewery will also showcase the new Oak Stout brew, bor loc.

The event as a whole Klick says is meant for people who share a passion to come together for some fun and maybe a little competition.

“We’re really excited to work with bikers all season and do all-season events like this one,” Klick said.

For more information and to register, visit excelsiorbrew.com/fatbikerace.

If You Go: Excelsior Brewing Co. “Arctic Fat Fever Bike Race” is 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, beginning and ending at Excelsior Brewing Co., 421 Third St., Excelsior