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Thousands gather for fall ritual ride

Saturday was the annual fall motorcycle ride which starts at the Mallalieu Inn in North Hudson. Dubbed the "Frost Your Nuts" ride, the weather was anything but cold. Photo by Margaret A. Ontl1 / 3
The ride starts at the Mallalieu Inn. Every spring and fall the proprietor Sandy Moelter puts out the welcome mat to thousands of bikers. Saturday 3,500 rode into town.2 / 3
Every manner of motorcycle arrived, most of them Harley Davidsons. Photos by Margaret Ontl3 / 3

Saturday, October 8, was exceptional and the corner of Hwy. 35 and Wisconsin St. N was once again the busiest intersection in all of St. Croix County. It was the annual fall "Frost Your Nuts" motorcycle ride. From 10 a.m. until nearly 2 p.m. 3,500 riders converged on the tiny Mallalieu Inn, host of the event since 1981.

The ride was started in late 1970s, in '75 or '76. It originated at The D and L, now the location of the Village Inn. Originally 13 riders, including Don Ward the owner D of L, took to the highways every Friday and Saturday. On one of the late season rides, it was snowing. That was all it took for one of them to create a cardboard sign, welcoming others to the "Frost Your Nuts" ride. The name stuck and before long a tradition was born.

The first official ride made stops in Somerset, Star Prairie, New Richmond and ended up at the Hammond Hotel. A spring ride became known at the "Defrost Your Nuts" ride.

In 1981 the host location changed to the Mallalieu Inn, remaining in North Hudson.

When the present proprietor, Sandy Moelter and her late husband Gary, aka the G-man, brought the Inn in 1985 they kept the tradition going. They both rode as well -- Harley Davidsons of course.

"I was a secretary for an insurance agent in Stillwater," said Moelter, "Gary was looking for a bar to purchase and when an offer for one in Bayport fell through, he found the Mallalieu Inn." Sandy joined him in the business and has continued to manage it since his death in 1998.

"Rides are every April and October," said Moelter, who sells hot dogs, pop and coffee outside and beverages from inside. "It is a free ride, and traditionally the last one of the season."

Each year Moelter plans the route and the stops.

"I set it up and we change the route every time we have it," said Moelter. "I specify that each stop has to sell food. The stops change each year as well."

This year's route was 76 miles and with four stops, the first one in Beldenville and ending in Roberts.

This year 3,500 enjoyed Moelter's hospitality. The largest number in the history of the ride was 5,000.

"The bikers get along really well," said Moelter. "I have had no problems at all. It is more likely to have a fight over the pool table."

The tradition continues and as Moelter said "There is no advertising needed, it is truly by word of mouth."