There are two web-based problems with the mountain bike trail system in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area that have become apparent the more I’ve blogged about it.
Problem #1: The variety of names for it.
Online and offline among the mountain bike crowd, the shorthand ‘Cuyuna’ is widely used, eg. "Hey, when are you heading to Cuyuna again? I didn’t get to ride Yawkey last time I was up there." I see no problem with this in casual conversation, comment threads, forum posts, tweets, Facebook Wall posts, etc.
But when it comes to web sites, there’s a wide variety of phrases in use:
- The DNR calls it the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System. Interestingly, they omit the word ‘lakes’ even though 1) the URL for that page uses the word ‘lakes’ in it; and 2) the paved state trail nearby is called the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail.
- The DNR’s map of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area (widely distributed in print form in the Crosy-Ironton area) avoids using a name for the trail system altogether, referring to it generically as a ‘mountain bike trail.’
- Likewise, the DNR’s video avoids a name, referring to it as a World-class mountain biking at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.
- The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce doesn’t use a name for the trail system on its outdoor biking page at all.
- The Chamber has a companion organization, the Cuyuna Lakes Trail Association, which refers to it generically as "a mountain biking trail."
- The highway billboard outside of Crosby-Ironton uses the word ‘country’ instead of ‘lakes,’ referring to it as Cuyuna Country Mountain Bike Trails.
- The City of Crosby uses the word ‘park’ in its page navigation menu: Cuyuna Mountain Bike Park.
- MORC refers to it in the forums as simply the Cuyuna Trail with the tag line "Discussions relating to the new Cuyuna trail system." Same with the MORC Wiki listing for Cuyuna Trail.
- IMBA uses Cuyuna Lakes Ride Center
- IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson also uses Cuyuna Lakes Ride Center in his blog posts here and here but sometimes drops ‘lakes’ from the phrase or refers to it as the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail system.
- This Facebook community page uses the words ‘lakes’ and ‘system': Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System
- The Fat Tire MN blog refers to it as Cuyuna Country Singletrack.
My preference: Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails (CLMBT). Including the word ‘lakes’ is preferable because lakes are part of the area’s identity. ‘Country’ is a lesser used word that’s more marketing oriented. ‘Trails’ is better than ‘trail’ because there are many trails, not just one. ‘Trails’ also implies ‘system’ which is more of technical/engineering term and not really needed.
Problem #2: The lack of a website dedicated to it.
The variety of names and phrases for the trail system wouldn’t be a problem if there was one major website dedicated to it that everyone linked to and that the search engines (primarily Google and Bing) would list first in a search.
But right now, there’s no such site and therefore, it’s difficult for the average person to easily get information about the trail system that’s complete and up-to-date. Some important web pages are out-of-date (Chamber here) or incomplete (MORC’s trail guide and Wiki).
If someone asked you, "Where do I go on the web to get all the info about Cuyuna?," what would you say?