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Advocating for mountain biking to be part of Northfield’s new Meadows Park

Back in the summer of 2013, I blogged about the mountain biking-related possibilities for Northfield’s new Meadows Park. So it was pretty cool to attend the City of Northfield‘s Meadows Park community planning meeting at the Northfield Middle School on Wednesday night and have mountain biking be mentioned by the consultants (Paul Miller Design and SRF Consulting) as one of the possibilities under consideration.

Meadows Park community meeting Paul Miller Design and SRF Consulting Meadows Park community meeting

Even better, there was some support for it from citizens at the small group discussions, helped along by participation from fellow Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT) members Marty Larson and Scott Klein.  Continue reading

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Photo album: CROCT’s inaugural group ride

CROCT logoI’m on the Board of CROCT (Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails), a new IMBA chapter here in Rice County. And yesterday, we hosted our first ever group ride in Northfield’s Sechler Park during the area’s first real snowfall of the season.   Nearly two dozen riders participated.

CROCT Board member Carl Arnold made this 1-minute video of some of the rides:

After a couple hours of riding,  we convened for some refreshments at Fit To Be Tri’d in downtown Northfield.

See the large slideshow of 80+ photos (many low res, captured from video) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

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The 20th Anniversary MORC Gala: speakers and auctions and beer, oh my!

20th Anniversary MORC Gala at the Varsity TheaterThe 20th Anniversary MORC Gala at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis on Sunday was fabulous. As a MORC board member, I’m more than a little biased, of course.  So with that caveat, here’s a glimpse into the wingding.

Kristin Clark, MORC Board member, meteorologist, and 2WheelWeather bloggerThe doors opened at 2pm for the Surly Brewing Happy Hour, with live music by The Lost Wheels. MORC Board member, meteorologist, and 2WheelWeather blogger Kristin Clark (@2WheelWeather & @KClarkWx) was the Master of Ceremonies and began her duties by introducing each of the speakers.

Continue reading

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Final ranking: Top Ten Difficult MTB technical obstacles in Twin Cities Metro area – 2014

The results are in for the 2014 Top Ten Difficult MTB technical obstacles in Twin Cities Metro area.

Ranking of Top Ten difficult obstacls in Twin Cities 2014

See all the details for the whole project here.

 

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Theo’s new South Wirth flow trail: best in the Twin Cities Metro

South Wirth mapI rode the new South Wirth trail at Theodore Wirth MTB Park in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon. It’s a hoot. It’s crammed with flow features that can be rolled for intermediate level riders. But advanced level riders (or wannabes like me) will have a rollicking good time. There’s nothing like this trail in the metro area. It’s like having a slice of the intermediate/advanced flow trails at Cuyuna, Spirit Mountain and CAMBA , all packed into a very small area. Truly amazing. Props to MORC, MOCA, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for making it happen (details below).

Here’s a 1 min 45 second video clip, taken with my GoPro in a chest harness. You’ll see when I got to the drops that I stopped and walked them, turned around and walked back, then rode them but not fast enough to clear them. I sorta rolled them and was lucky I didn’t crash. I’ll be back asap to try again. Continue reading

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Guest post on Singletracks.com: How To Prepare Your Eyes to Ignore Your Survival Instincts When Riding Skinnies

How To Prepare Your Eyes to Ignore Your Survival Instincts When Riding SkinniesI have a guest blog post on Singletracks. com today:

How To Prepare Your Eyes to Ignore Your Survival Instincts When Riding Skinnies

It’s my third guest post for them. The others:

Greg HeilIt’s been terrific working with Editor-in-Chief Greg Heil.

I’m hoping the collaboration will continue.

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MORC’s 20th Anniversary Gala: why it’s a big deal to me & why you should be there on Nov. 9

MORC Gala

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.

MORC tent at Cuyuna grand opening 2011

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,

Matt Andrews and Pat Sorenson Gary Sjoquist and Pat Sorenson

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

Woolly Bike Club - Erratic Rock Trail group ride

Woolly Bike Club’s new Erratic Rock Trail

Annual Woolly Day 2014 - Woolly Bike ClubI 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.

Woolly Bike Club trailhead Woolly Bike Club trailhead Woolly Bike Club trailhead

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

Video: getting the hang of beginner tabletops at Cottage Grove Bike Park

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:

Video: cleaning the Browner stockade skinny at Hillside MTB Park

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:

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