I have a little story to tell but if you want to get all the info about the MORC 20th Anniversary Gala coming up on Nov. 9, CLICK HERE. More on the Gala’s Facebook event page here.
I took up the sport of mountain biking in serious way in June of 2011 after attending the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival Grand Opening. In the photo above, I’ve added an arrow pointing to the MORC and IMBA tents in the back of the parking lot at Cuyuna that weekend. I’d never heard of either organization but I became a member a few days later shortly after purchasing a a 2011 Trek Gary Fisher X- Caliber 29’er from Penn Cycle in Bloomington, courtesy of Ben Witt at Milltown Cycles in Faribault. (If that makes no sense to you and you’re curious, click here.)
I’ve been hooked on mountain biking ever since, as evidenced by the 250+ posts to this Mountain Bike Geezer blog. And in those 3 years, I’ve done 90% of my year-round mountain biking on MORC trails in the Twin Cities metro area. I feel a kinship to the organization like no other because of what it’s given me: the enjoyment of a sport I love and the opportunity to meet and spend time with so many great people. Being a MORC board member this year has been an honor, especially since it’s MORC 20th anniversary season, topped off with this big fundraiser Gala,
I’m also pleased that Penn Cycle, where I bought the bike that I still ride nearly every day, has stepped up to be the Title Sponsor for the Gala. That’s founder/owner Pat Sorenson handing a check to MORC Executive Director Matt Andrews in the left photo. Continue reading
Yup, voting is now live. Deets here, including photos and videos of all the candidates.
Stage 1 voting ends midnight on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014.
It was an all- MORC weekend. I rode Murphy-Hanrehan & Lebanon Hills by myself on Saturday. And then I rode Theodore Wirth and Elm Creek on Sunday with Chris Heineman and Mike Loerzel.
Can you tell that a certain someone was out of town?
I attended the Woolly Bike Club‘s 2nd Annual Woolly Day in Saint Croix Falls, WI last Sunday.
I’d never ridden their trails and they were using the occasion to open their brand new flow trail, Erratic Rock. They timed it right: blue skies, warm temps at the peak of fall colors.
WBC club vice president Mark Fisk (@markbfisk) greeted the 2 dozen+ riders and sent us out en masse to ride the nearly 3-mile trail. (I’d forgotten that I’d met Mark back in June of 2013 at the IMBA Upper Midwest Regional Summit in Cable. Duh.) Among the group were my fellow MORC members Issac Niebeling and Michael Guinee. Continue reading
I’m trying to get better at climbing, especially rock-strewn uphills and stairs. Two videos of my recent failed attempts:
The rock stairs at Carleton College in Northfield:
Riding up a downhill rock garden at Hillside Park in Elk River:
I finally cleaned this log skinny both ways at Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail yesterday. It turns out that the instructional series on ‘holding a line’ I’m doing for Thick Skull Mountain Bike Skills is actually benefiting the instructor. Whodathunkit?
I visited the Cottage Grove Bike Park today to ride the new beginner (green) jump line. However, since I suck at jumps, I first practiced the very small tabletop that’s in the middle of the larger pump track until I felt like I was getting the hang of it.
I then spent about a half hour on the new beginner tabletops and jumps. Way fun. I can barely get any air but the kids say I have potential. It’s pretty neat that you can ride the beginner jump line and get back up to the top in less than a minute.
Here’s my 84-second video:
I cleaned The Browner stockade skinny today at Hillside Park Mountain Bike Trail in Elk River. Toughest skinny I’ve ever ridden. Props to designer/dirt boss Rich Omdahl and the rest of the Dirt Wirx crew for building it. Rich wrote in the MORC forum:
The Browner is in its own class of evil. I’ve never even made it half way across it. I designed that thing to have 8 layers of difficulty. The first one you contend with is that I built it at the top of a climb on an uphill slope with an off camber entry. Then it gets harder.
The Browner is named after Ray Brown who was the first one to clean it (YouTube video here). I’m the second. I’m particularly pleased to accomplish this on my 65th birthday.
Here’s my one-minute video. I only show two of my dozen+ failures:
FlowRide Concepts and MORC volunteers have been putting in long hours this past week to build the dirt jumps at Cottage Grove Bike Park.
In the past month or so, I’ve managed to go riding with guys 25-40 years younger than me. Yeah, that’s a bit of bragging as they’re all very good riders and I’m able to more or less keep up with them, which makes me feel younger.
But putting that ego stuff aside, it’s one of the things I really like about mountain biking as a geezer: I get to meet and participate in a recreational activity with a younger crowd that I don’t normally have much contact with.
Update October 28: I’ve added several more riders, with photos and videos. The list now includes AJ Peterson, Chris Knight, David Starrs, John Gaddo, Manny Paulino, Marty Larson, Michael Guinee, and Miguel Masberg.
After a hard ride, I seem to recover faster when I’m greeted by, um, these types of mountain bikers.
I was riding at Carver Lake Park Off-Road Cycling Trail yesterday and ran into fellow IMBA Instructor Certification Program classmate Amanda Dekan and colleague Kristin Kielsa Palmer in the parking lot.
Here’s a 40-second video clip of some pump track action at the Cottage Grove Bike Park last Saturday, featuring Clay Haglund, Brandon Charboneau, and Josh Sipma.
My apologies for the shaky video. I was, um, breathing hard.
Twice in the past week I did some sessioning with guys who wanted to depart from their usual ride-the-trails-as-fast-as-possible routine: fellow MORC members Chris Knight and David Starrs.
When they both made remarks during and after about how it was a completely foreign experience, it occurred to me to create a short video to show that sessioning a technical obstacle (in this case, a rock) typically involves a lot of failed attempts. Continue reading
Last week’s 2nd Annual Party at the Park fundraiser at the Cottage Grove Bike Park was a hit. I was pleased to be there as a MORC board member and it was a hoot to be riding the two pump tracks with so many others. Props to Dirt Boss/Trail Steward Chance Glasford, Kelly Glasford, and all the other volunteers who worked so hard on the event.
See the large slideshow of 71 photos or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
Finally! Part 1 of my new ‘holding a line’ video series is now available. Subscribers to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills newsletter get it for a special price this week.
And as you can see here, there are other advantages to being a subscriber.