For the love of snowmobiles
It was the love of family, friends and snowmobiles that brought over a 100 people together for the Annual David Rysavy Memorial Vintage Snowmobile Run.
Snowmobiles, new and old, took off from Finch’s Pub in Hope at 11 a.m. on Jan. 23 for a ride approximately 30 miles long. The first stop was Geneva Barand Grill. The second stop was
Ellendale Liquor, and then they rode back to Finch’s Pub by 4 p.m. for food, drinks, turkey bowling and door prizes.
The ride honors David Rysavy, father to Ty Rysavy and Shannon Rhoades. David was riding snowmobile near Blooming Prairie in 2010 when he was struck and killed by a truck as he was crossing the road. David raced sleds and had a passion for the sport that he shared with his children. Ty recalled many hours toiling with antique snowmobiles in the garage. Shannon was actually wearing her father’s old racing jacket that he wore while racing as she rode in his honor that day. The ride was started by David as one of the original founders about 10 years ago, and they have continued it in his honor.
“He’d be happy that we all get together and ride,” she said. “He wasn’t a big crowd person, but he loved family. So he is smiling today.”
The ride felt an awful lot like a large family get-together, as Shannon greeted most of the guests with hugs. Shannon said that even more family than usual were able to attend this year’s event because the family suffered the loss of their grandfather, Jerry Paul Rysavy, on Jan. 15. Family members that now live in Chicago and Wisconsin were able to attend this year’s ride.
With more family members present plus many people just looking to ride, the group hit one of its largest amount of participants ever. “It has grown a lot. The first year, I think there were ten sleds,” said Ty. “Now a ton of friends and family come and there are people here that we don’t even know.”
Katie and Jake Boyd of Owatonna rode this year for the first time ever. They were riding new sleds, but the other two members of their party were riding antique snowmobiles. Katie said that they heard about it from her brother.
“We haven’t had something to do on a Saturday for three months or so,” said Jake. “It wasn’t so cold, so it was jus something fun to do as a family.”
Shannon said that the weather probably also had a lot to do with the successful turnout. “It warmed up a little bit,” she said. “There have been years where it is just freezing, so we are really happy that we had good weather.”