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MITCHELL COUNTY MOUNTAIN GOATS: North Iowa bikers keep winter fun alive

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Fat tire bike riders begin from downtown Osage Iowa

OSAGE, Iowa (KTTC) -- With restrictions on many businesses and cold temperatures outside, it can be hard to get together with friends this winter.

Every other Saturday, one northern Iowa community welcomes a group of outdoor enthusiasts who have found a way to keep going with few changes to their routine.

They are just a group of guys from the top of Iowa who fat tire bike around Mitchell County.

"I don't think we're special. I think you'd find this anywhere," said fat tire bike rider Rich Richardson.

"I love being outdoors but yet I was looking for a different thing to do outdoors," said Osage resident Adam Nieman.

Fat tire biking is not just a temporary trend.

"When I bought my first fat bike, I was told by people that it would be a fad and I wouldn't be able to find parts in five years," Richardson said. "They were wrong."

The group grew over the past few years, but numbers have been slimmer with COVID concerns. Even so, the friends enjoy getting together in some way.

"Riding together makes us all better riders, seeing everyone's riding style," Richardson said. "Some people are hardcore. A lot of guys like to race. We don't."

They do also support local business, meeting every other week at Limestone Brewers.

"Definitely when the ride is here, that's our business for the day. If it wasn't for them, we would have some very, very slow shifts here," said Laura Wynorhad, taproom manager at Limestone Brewers.

Her husband is one of the group's members.

"He actually bought me a fat tire bike for my birthday last year so I like to do it to when I can," she said.

The group rides almost 20 miles of trails, Some of the trails are difficult while others tailored for beginners.

"Nothing to it but to do it," Richardson said.

"It's open to everyone. We welcome strangers. We welcome others," Nieman said. "That's what we're here for."

While the riders enjoy the biking and the beer, they cherish bonds made along the way the most.

"We're from different walks of life but when we come together, we're one group," Nieman said. "We're Mitchell County Mountain Goats. That's what people are calling us. That's what we are."

"We could fish together but this is the crowd we like hanging with and this is what we like doing," Richardson said.

In addition to bikers, the brewery has seen many customers from Minnesota coming down to Iowa. The taproom manager credits this as well as the popularity of Limestone's pizza for so far helping them stay afloat during the pandemic.

For more information on getting involved in the rides, check out the event here.

Alex Tejada

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