Weather Forecast


Like snowmobiling? You'll love ULTRA

Do you love snowmobiling? Would you like to help maintain and improve Becker County's trail system while at the same time, getting together with a group of fellow winter riding enthusiasts at least once a week during the season -- just to have a little fun?

Then you might want to check out the ULTRA Snowmobile Club's annual chili feed and membership drive, scheduled for this Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Soo Pass Ranch south of Detroit Lakes. Starting at 7 p.m., club members Brian Lund and Mark DeMay will be serving up bowls full of their award-winning, secret recipe chili. There will be a short business meeting to discuss upcoming ULTRA events and fall trail work, as well as to meet and greet the new club officers and board members. After the meeting, there will be door prizes and of course, more chili.

ULTRA, which stands for United Lakes & Trails Riders Association, currently has about 100 members, but there's always room for more, according to club president Mike Lahlum.

"Our members are all ages, from the very young to the old timers," Lahlum said, adding, "I've been interested in snowmobiling since I was 4 years old."

The reason why being part of a club like ULTRA makes the experience of snowmobiling even more enjoyable, he continued, is because of the people.

"I enjoy all the people," Lahlum said. "It's just a lot of fun... we have weekly (Thursday) night rides as a club, where we meet at 6 p.m. in the Holiday Inn, then just take off and go riding for the evening."

But ULTRA does more than just getting together to go riding. The snowmobile club helps Becker County to build, maintain and upgrade its snowmobile trail system, and holds safety training seminars for young riders every fall.

"We have between 70-100 students a year (take the safety training)," said board member Ryan Weum.

"To test the riders' newly acquired skill, as well as just have some fun, "We try to have at least one ride for our younger riders every year," Lahlum added.

Through fund-raisers such as the annual chili feed, the club also raises funds to assist the county with trail improvement and grooming, participated in the purchase of a Becker County rescue sled, and donated a trail shelter to Becker County, Weum noted.

Past events hosted by the club have included Snofest, Snowball and Radar Runs. For the past three years, the members have been putting together a vintage snowmobile rally every February, and this year is no exception. The Old-Timers Run and Vintage Snowmobile Rally is tentatively set for Feb. 17, 2007.

Other upcoming club events are as follows:

• Monthly meetings (fourth Thursday) will be held at the DL American Legion on Oct. 26, Nov. 30, Dec. 28, Jan. 25, Feb. 22 and March 22.

• Youth Safety Training: Nov. 20 and 27, Dec. 2.

• Fun Time Night Run: First and third Thursdays, starting at 6 p.m. in front of the DL Holiday Inn.

• Progressive Ride: Jan. 6.

• Family Day/Take a Kid Riding: Jan. 20.

• L.O.S.T. (Ladies Only) Ride: Jan. 27.

• MNUSA Convention, Fergus Falls, Feb. 9-11.

• Old Timers Run: Feb. 17.

• ULTRA Ball (still tentative): March 24.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454