2021 Ride & Rally
ATV Minnesota State Convention
Like miners of the 1800s, the Prospector Alliance hit gold…twice.
After scaling back the 2020 Ride & Rally due to COVID, the Prospector Alliance, undaunted, kept digging, offering to hold it again in 2021. This year, five weeks before the event, lightning struck, sparking the Greenwood fire in the heart of the Superior National Forest.
Smoke filled the Ely area for days. Highway 1 from the North Shore was closed. The fire grew, closing the Jackpot Loop. Fortunately, winds shifted, temperatures cooled and rain helped firefighters contain the blaze. The 2021 Ride & Rally was on!
360 Riders Hit Pay Dirt On Prospector Trail
The Ride & Rally, aka ATV Minnesota State Convention, was held in Ely, MN, September 17-19. It kicked off Friday morning in Embarrass with a pancake breakfast, rider registration and two waves of riders that included many guests and elected officials. Twenty dust-free miles on scenic trails later, everyone parked their ATVs at the site of a future State Recreation Area, part of the new Lake Vermilion-Sudan Underground Mine State Park. The first of its kind in a Minnesota State Park, it will feature plenty of space for parking and unloading ATVs or snowmobiles, and a campground designed for off-highway vehicles riders. Campsites will accommodate their RVs, trucks and trailers, and provide direct access to trails now open to ATVs, off-highway motorcycles and snowmobiles. A short bus ride took everyone to a group camp in the Park, where lunch was served, and county, state and federal elected officials and DNR representatives spoke about the outstanding work of the Prospector Alliance, the importance of motorized recreation and the economic impact it brings to the area.
Look! Up In The Babbitt Sky!
Upon returning to Embarrass on their ATVs, riders trailered or rode to Babbitt to watch 90 minutes of big jumps, backflips, RZR launches, crowd games and music. It was the ATV Big Air Tour’s final show of the year, free and open to the public, compliments of ATV Minnesota and the Prospector Alliance. Thanks to Derek Guetter, his stunt riders and crew for putting on a great show at Ride & Rally!
New Trails & Bridges Saturday
On September 18th, ATV Minnesota members from across the state took to the trails on 12 guided rides, or rode on their own in the Ely/Tower/Embarrass/Babbitt area. “Since last year, there has been over $2.5 million in improvements and new sections of trail opened,” said Nick Wognum, president of the Prospector Alliance. “The Taconite State (snowmobile) Trail got $1 million in work done on it, so the section from Ely to the Purvis Lake shelter is now open to ATV traffic.” Lively Banquet and Membership Meeting
Held at the Miners Dry House at Ely’s historic Pioneer Mine, the dinner banquet and meeting included a legislative update from ATV MN Lobbyist Ray Bohn, and approval by the membership of amendments to bylaws. Kevin Anderson with the North Metro Trail Riders was elected 2nd VP, and Erv Kleinschmidt was re-elected treasurer. Speakers included Bruce Beste with Voyageur Country ATV, Dan Kleen with the Iowa OHV Association, and sponsors Chris Gamache with Ride Command and Craig Smith with All Balls Racing. Perry May, 1st VP, announced that next year’s convention will be held in the City of Fifty Lakes, and hosted by his club, the Over The Hills Gang. Lots of ATV MN clothing was purchased. Raffle winners were announced. A lively live auction rounded out the banquet.
Phase 2 will connect to the adjacent trail systems of Quad Cities, Ranger Snowmobile and ATV, Voyageur Country ATV and Northern Traxx ATV clubs. -Ron Potter, ATV MN president
New Challenges & Regional Directors
The ATV MN executive board and other state board members met on Sunday to review the Ride & Rally, and discuss important issues they’ll be tackling in the future. New regional directors were nominated and approved: Justin Schley in the Central Region, and Peter Murch in the Northwest Region.
To all the clubs, businesses and organizations that sponsored the event. All the ATV Minnesota members who attended. The many legislators, local agency, and Minnesota DNR people who rode or assisted on the rides. The many great ride leaders and sweepers. Everyone who donated cash and auction items, and those who bid on the auction to help raise funds. Most of all, thanks to the Prospector Alliance for putting in long hours over many months, building new trails for all of us to enjoy, and for organizing and hosting two consecutive Ride & Rally events under challenging circumstances.
More Gold To Come
The Prospector Loop is now over 250 miles long, and that’s just Phase 1. The Prospector Alliance is on track to build a bridge over the Beaver River this winter, and build four more trail connections in 2022 and 2023. “Phase 2 will connect to the adjacent trail systems of Quad Cities, Ranger Snowmobile and ATV, Voyageur Country ATV and Northern Traxx ATV clubs,” said Ron Potter, ATV MN president. For ATV Minnesota, its members, member clubs, and the riding public, the gold just keeps coming.