Diamond Bluff, Wis. (KMSP) - A tight-knit group of bikers took a ride to remember one of their own Sunday.
Mike Fitch, 45, died earlier this month in a crash in Burnsville. His passing marked the first motorcycle-related death in Minnesota this season.
Fitch’s widow, Rachael Fitch, was moved by the show of support provided by hundreds of bikers who knew and loved her husband.
“It was really different not riding with him, because we did that a lot,” Rachael said. “But with all these people it’s just amazing.”
Fitch was killed May 5 when his bike crashed along the Highway 13 frontage road in Burnsville.
He sold bikes at St. Paul Harley Davidson where he had worked for 15 years. Now, the Harley community is rallying around Fitch’s family and his 8-year-old daughter Sadie. They organized a memorial ride from the St. Paul Harley Davidson dealership to the Nauti Hawg Bar and Grill in Diamond Bluff, Wis.
“Whenever somebody falls, we just got a ton of people that step up and help out,” said Dennis Johnson, director of the St. Paul HOG chapter and one of the organizers of the ride.
“I’m used to going down to the show floor and seeing Mike walk across toward me, laugh, tell each other a few stories and talk about what’s going on,” Tom Giannetti, the owner of the dealership said.
Giannetti said Sunday’s ride is a way to keep Fitch’s memory alive.
“I don’t think Michael would have anticipated all of this,” he said. “I don’t think he realized so many cared about him. I hope he’s looking down on us and he’s happy with what he sees.”
Sunday’s ride raised money that will be put into a trust fund for Fitch’s daughter Sadie.