One of my favorite snowmobile events of the year happened this past weekend at
ERX Motorpark in Elk River, MN – The Midwest Ride-In. This event is the world’s biggest family-friendly vintage snowmobile get together. Held annually at ERX, this 500-acre facility features trail rides on genuine groomed wooded trails that twist and weave through rolling hardwoods. You can enjoy the warm indoor show space, silent auction, plentiful food and drink options and bonfire pits for congregating. This was probably my favorite year, as the machine focus was on Triple-Cylinder snowmobiles…Triple Braaap Symphonies sang from all corners of the acreage both Friday and Saturday. Put this one on your calendar for next year and bring ANY sled you have…youll appreciate riding it around the park. Here’s a look at our day that went far too fast. -Kale
We unloaded next to a group of fellas into old Scorpions…one fella told my son he was cheating, and that his Blast XR wasn’t vintage, but he dug the Rewind ZR Wrap.
Our first stop was the swap meet that was plum full of Arctic Cat goodies.
It wasn’t for sale, but this guy looked to have scored an Arctic Cat bicycle. Nice.
Im not entirely sure what this is, but I dig the patina and vintage Arctic Cat Snowmobile graphic.
My major score was finding this original packaged Tootsie Toy Jeep/Snowmobile/Trailer combo from 1970. The unpackaged snowmobile to the left was one of my favorite toys as a kid and I hadn’t seen another one like it until walking through the swap. Ive got a slight thing for collecting Jeep toys, so this made my day!
Ive never seen a red version either, so I bought that one too!
Stock looking sleeper sleds hold a special place in my heart, and this 94 ZR may be my new favorite…900, what??
Ummmmm? Hello There!! Have we met?…Yeah, Arctic Cat? Can you make us a C-TEC2 Triple and put it in the new CATALYST platform? Thank you.
There were triple-cylinders everywhere! I tip my hat to whomever owned this…after spending that much time polishing aluminum, there’s no way this one would ever leave my garage in fear of getting it tarnished. Nice work!
Temps hovered in the low single digits Saturday. It was nice being able to go inside the Carlson Motorsports Complex to warm up, grab a pork chop, visit with friends and even check out some of the most iconic triple-cylinder snowmobiles on display.
One of my favorite places to hang out at Ride-In is the bonfire…this type of social scenario was what made snowmobiling great in the early days. Here you can find fellas wrenching and roping over sleds, swapping stories, drinking Keurs and when a sexy sounding triple-triple would take a long pull down the trail, all heads would turn!
There was a group of buggies donning this awesome windshield sticker, Vintage Riders of Death…Im guessing this is a fun group to be around.
Not sure about the history of this Lynx, but the I500 race numbers grabbed my attention, and SnoPro handle bars and hydraulic brakes made me pull my phone out for a photo.
Ride-In stages one of the Worlds Longest trail rides departing around 10am for one lap around the property. There are 100s and 100s of sleds on this ride…I like to get to the Bonfire before they depart in order to watch them all ride by. Its the best way to see most every sled on the property.
A bunch of ArcticInsider page followers recognized me and pulled me aside, which made my day. The first was Richard who has a killer 78 El Tigre sleeper. CLICK HERE to read more about his custom Tigres.
A guy who always puts a smile on my face is Rodney. On this day he had his minty Model 100 and relayed the backstory that it had been in his family since the mid-1970s. In recent years he has completed a full restoration from its previous beat up patina’d yellowish/black paint job. That Kohler engine just pop-pop-popped in a perfect idle. This is the only event where you can see the full evolution of snowmobiling from its humble beginnings to modern day.