WINONA LAKE — The 15th annual Fat & Skinny Tire Fest started off with the opening ceremony shortly after 6 p.m. Friday, May 18, at the Trailhouse in Winona Lake. This was followed by the critical mass ride at 6:20 p.m. which started at the Trailhouse and ended at Mad Anthony’s Lake City Taphouse in Warsaw.
Kosciusko County Velo Cycling Club has hosted the all-size tires, family-friendly community event since 2004, in cooperation with the town of Winona Lake and the city of Warsaw, as part of the Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake initiative, to showcase high-level competitive bicycle racing in the community.
The goal for the event is to celebrate National Bicycle Month by offering healthy, fun, family-friendly opportunities in the community through bicycling education, awareness and activities.
Speakers at the event included President of KCV Cycling Club Greg Demopoulos, KCV Treasurer Mike Cusick, Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, Winona Lake Town Coordinator Craig Allebach, Zimmer Biomet Representative Monica Kendrick, Warsaw City Council Member Diane Quance, K21 Foundation Representative Scott Tucker and Warsaw Chamber of Commerce President Rob Parker.
During the opening ceremony, KCV presented a check for $5,000 to the Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake organization.
Cusick stated there was one more announcement to be made before the mass ride.
“Greg (Demopoulos) was one of three original founders,” said Cusick. “The past few years we give a ‘Robbie Gast Ride On Award’ and every year Greg excludes himself from that so we wanted to recognize Greg with a special award.” At that time, Cusick called Russell Webb, KCV board member to the front.
“For fifteen years I’ve been volunteering for this event – and every year when I think about how much time I’ve put into this, I think about this guy,” Webb said of Demopoulos. “He’s the guy who is sending me files at midnight and 2 a.m. You cannot out-volunteer this man. You cannot out-work this man.”
“The first year of this event there were 30 volunteers, 433 cyclists and four events,” said Webb. “This year there are 216 volunteers, 3,000 cyclists are expected and there are 18 events. The consistent thing about this event is this man right here. He brings passion and leadership. He brings involvement.”
A visibly moved Demopoulos said he would like to thank the community for their continued support.
“This isn’t possible without the support of the community,” said Demopoulos. “All the sponsors and volunteers – I think it shows as big as it’s grown, the support we have and the passion for it.”
The event raises awareness and funds for Bicycle Indiana, Ride+Walk Warsaw+Winona Lake, Winona Lake Trails, KCV Cycling Club and other area health and wellness organizations. Events and times for Saturday and Sunday (weather permitting) are listed below.
SATURDAY, MAY 19TH
•7 a.m. Wildman Business Group Countryside Tour & Century Registration – Village at Winona | (Green Earth Multisport)
•8 a.m. Wildman Business Group Countryside Tour & Century Grand Start (12/20/40/62/100 miles)
•10 a.m. Info Booth Opens
•10 a.m. DINO Series Mountain Bike Races – Winona Lake Trails
◦10 a.m. Pro/Elite/Sport
◦Noon Base/Fat Bike/Clydesdales/Intro/Juniors
◦1:30 p.m. Kids races
•11 a.m. Cerulean Garden Opens – Village at Winona
•Noon Fat & Skinny Expo Area Open – Village at Winona
•Noon KCH BMX Stunt Show – Village at Winona
•12:30 – 4 p.m. KCH Kids Events – Village at Winona
◦Tracy’s Trailer Bicycle Safety School
◦Decorate Your Bike
◦Family Scavenger hunt
•1 & 3 p.m. Historical Winona Bike Tour (3-4 miles) –Village at Winona
•1 – 5:30 p.m. Zimmer Biomet Circuit Road Races (Claypool Elementary School) – Claypool
◦1:05 p.m. (Men Masters 40+)
◦1:10 p.m. (Men Cat 4)
◦1:13 p.m. (Women)
◦1:15 p.m. (Juniors)
◦3:05 p.m. (Men Cat 1/2)
◦3:10 p.m. (Men Cat 3)
◦3:15 p.m. (Men Cat 5)
•2 p.m. MTB 4X (Four Cross) and MTB Short Track Practice (Hire Park, Warsaw)
•2:30 p.m. Winona Lake Mountain Bike Trails Open for Riding
•3 p.m. DINO Mountain Bike Race Awards (Expo Stage) – Village at Winona
•4:30 p.m. KCH BMX stunt show –Village at Winona
•5:00 p.m. Music, Food, and Beer in Activities Tent –Entertainment Tent
•5:30 p.m. 4X (Four Cross) and MTB Short Track Mountain Bike Races –Hire Park
•7 – 11 p.m. Live Music – Opening: Jake Allen | Headliner: WIld Skies Entertainment Tent
•8 p.m. Robbie Gast Ride On Award Presentation Entertainment Tent
SUNDAY, MAY 20TH
•7 a.m. Zimmer Biomet Road Criterium Registration – Village at Winona
•9 a.m. Info Booth and Kids Registration Opens –Village at Winona
•8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Zimmer Biomet Road Criterium races –Village at Winona
◦8:30 a.m. (Juniors)
◦9:10 a.m. (Masters 40+)
◦10:05 a.m. (Men Cat 5)
◦10:40 a.m. (Men Cat 4)
◦11:30 a.m. (Women Cat 4/5)
◦12:05 p.m. (Men Cat 3/4)
◦1 p.m. (Women Cat 1/2/3)
◦2 p.m. (Men Cat 1/2/3)
•10 a.m. Fat & Skinny Expo Area Open –Village at Winona
•10 a.m. Mad Anthony’s Beer Garden Opens –Village at Winona
•3 p.m. Ortho Cup Corporate Challenge Cruiser Race Qualifying (4 laps – 1/team rider) –Village at Winona
•3:30 p.m. Kids Races – Ages: Striders &TW/4-5/6-7/8-9/10-12 –Village at Winona
•4 p.m. Ortho Cup Corporate Challenge Cruiser Race Finals (4 laps – 1/team rider) –Village at Winona
9-11 p.m. Dos Hermanos
7-11 p.m. Opening: Jake Allen | Headliner: Wild Skies