I’m pleased to announce that MTB coach Elaine Bothe will be our first featured guest expert in my Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN) Facebook Group starting Monday Feb. 13 and continuing through the week. I’ve asked her to focus on two topics: 1) Fear; 2) Jumps.
I’ve never met Elaine in person but I’ve gotten to see her work as an online Ambassador and Coach for Ryan Leech’s online courses and community, as well as a regular contributor to his blog. She’s an Associate Coach for Wenzel Coaching, based in Portland, Oregon and is an Affiliate Instructor with Simon Lawton’s Fluidride in the Seattle, WA area.
See her Facebook profile and follow her @elainebbikes Instagram feed.
To participate, join the free Mountain Bike Skills Network (MTBSN) group.
A few months ago I noticed two small cracks developing at the top of the seat tube on the frame of my 2011 Trek X-Caliber 29’er. It gradually got to the point where seat post wouldn’t stay up. A couple of my fellow riders suggested that I check with my local Trek dealer since the Trek Care bike warranty covers “Frames for the lifetime of the original owner.”
I bought the bike from Penn Cycle (see my June 2011 blog post for the story). And although we have two Trek dealers here in Rice County (Mike’s Bikes in Northfield, Milltown Sports in Faribault) that I regularly patronize, I knew that Penn Cycle would have my original purchase info in their database.
Continue reading With help from Penn Cycle’s Michael Weiss, Trek replaces my X-Caliber frame
Peter Hark is a resident of rural Northfield, the DNR’s Field Operations Manager State Parks and Trails, and a Founding Supporter of CROCT. He joined me and Marty Larson on his first ride on the Sechler Park MTB trail on Wednesday, a day off for him because it was his birthday. He seemed to enjoy the ride and was complementary on what he saw. For a relatively new mountain biker, he’s not half-bad, and if he got a proper mountain bike with better tires he would definitely be more than marginally adequate.
Continue reading DNR’s ‘yurt guy’ Peter Hark rides CROCT’s Sechler Park MTB trail, approves
The day I rediscovered mountain biking also happened to be the day I met John Gaddo (AKA ‘El Gato’). It was the grand opening weekend of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails back in June of 2011 and he was chauffeuring Hans “No way” Rey around, one of his many duties as a QBP staffer. I happened to be at a Crosby, MN pub when he and Hans came in for beers and dinner with Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy Director for QBP and Jeff Verink, sales rep with GT Bicycles. John told me he grew up in my hometown of Northfield, was into bicycle trials, and we’ve been colleagues ever since.
Continue reading El Gato returns to his Northfield roots, draws the heat
Back in late October of 2013, I spent a couple days mountain biking in Duluth, MN. My blog post: Duluth’s XC MTB trails just keep getting better. Here’s partly why.
What I didn’t blog was on the day I met up with then IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson (he’s got a new job now) for a ride on the COGGS Piedmont trail, I got a parking ticket in the Canal Park lot near his office. I had paid for parking using the PayByPhone service but inadvertently paid for parking in stall #138 when I’d actually parked in stall #136. As you can see, the stenciling on the pavement makes the number 6 look pretty close to an 8:
I was irritated but the fine of $12 didn’t seem onerous so I planned to pay it. I lost the ticket and promptly forgot about it. But a few weeks ago I got a notice that my fine had grown to $45 and was about to be turned over to a collection agency. Previous notices had ended up in a pile of my aging mother’s unpaid medical bills that I was contesting.
So on Friday morning I visited the City of Duluth’s Parking Services web page and filled out their form with this: Continue reading City of Duluth’s parking services: Prompt, friendly, forgiving
I polled our CROCT ridership last month, asking them to indicate which weekend days in Feb. would work for them to participate in a group ride along MORC’s Minnesota River Bottoms trail in Bloomington. I announced the results and the plan on the CROCT blog.
Yesterday, ten of us showed up at 1pm at the Lyndale Ave/I35W trailhead.
The group photo in the parking lot was taken by Pat Sorenson, president of Penn Cycle who happened to be heading out on a ride with some buddies at the same time.
We opted to ride 8 miles west to the Bloomington Ferry Bridge (Hwy 169) trail head since several of the group had never ridden that route. Continue reading Organizing a CROCT group ride: my first attempt
Back in the summer of 2013, I took Myrna Mibus, a friend who lives near Northfield, and her son Ryan to the Salem Hills Mountain Bike Trail in Inver Grove Heights for their first ride on a mtb trail. They both had fun (Ryan giggled the whole time, despite a few crashes) and not too long after that, Myrna and her husband Owen bought fat bikes.
Today I accompanied her on her first fat bike ride on the more challenging sections of CROCT’s Sechler Park mtb trail here in Northfield. Continue reading O’er the trails she goes, laughing all the way: fat bikes do that to you