Mountain Bike Geezer Posts

I published a post yesterday to my local mtb club’s blog titled, CROCT’s Sechler Skills Park continues to evolve.

The skills park is my primary responsibility as one of CROCT’s many volunteer trail workers. My motivation to work on it?

  • Our in-town Sechler Park MTB Trail is a river bottoms trail and doesn’t have a lot of challenging terrain. So having a skills park in the middle of it is way for local riders to practice their skills and challenge themselves
  • It’s handy to have a local skills park for instructional clinics. Kids who live in town can ride their bikes to the park via the local network of paved trails
  • I’m always working on my own riding skills and being able to construct features that are appropriate for my own development is a treat

Last summer, my interest in learning to jump via Ryan Leech’s Jumping with Confidence online course (affiliate link) spurred me to learn how to build beginner and intermediate level table top jumps. I had the full-time use a tractor with a bucket, free street reclamation dirt from the City of Northfield, a budget from CROCT to have it hauled in, and labor from other trail worker volunteers to help me shape, learn, test, and rebuild the jumps until we got them ‘good enough.’

By the end of the season, I’d gotten to where I could consider myself solid at beginner-level tabletops. Here’s a 1-minute video clip of me riding the 7 jumps that we built:

And the jumps proved to be a hit with kids and adventuresome adults, of course.

In addition to the 7 tabletop jumps (6 beginner-level, 1 intermediate-level), the skills park also now has:

  • 3 berms (1 large wood berm, 2 dirt berms)
  • 2 wood drops (1 beginner-level, 1 intermediate-level)
  • 2 large log piles
  • 1 line of 8 small rollers
  • 1 log skinny/logover obstacle, configured for several levels of difficulty
  • 2 railroad ties configured for uphill steps
  • 1 large boulder
  • Several skinnies (intermediate-expert) with changing configurations

We’ll be adding more features to the skills park this year.

Trail work

Learning to ride

Last week, Welch Village General Manager Peter Zotalis hosted two test sessions for two of their lift-served gravity flow trails (total four to be built). I was there for both days, and got to ride with two experienced local guys, Clay Haglund (MAMB) and Jason Decoux (CROCT).

Grand Opening is July 29. They expect to be open one or two weekends prior. I’ll be teaching beginner-level downhill clinics (for experienced XC riders who are new to bike parks) there soon.  Watch for details on the Welch Village Facebook Page and on General Manager Peter Zotalis’ blog.

See the album of 20 photos:

Organizations People Photo album Trails

Trails Video streaming

On my recent MTB trip to northern Minnesota last week, my main goal was to put some of my beginner-level bunny hop and manual skills to use on the trails at Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Cuyuna Lake Mountain Bike Trail System, and the vast network of COGGS MTB trails in Duluth.

I also wanted to A) experiment with cornering, primarily on bigger bermed corners since I’ll be instructing riders on those at Welch Village’s new MTB park in a few weeks; and B) ride lots of drops and gnarly stuff to see what it’s like on my new full-suspension Kona Process 134 Supreme from Michael’s Cycles.

Here are several videos from the trip, with some commentary on each:

Facebook video Learning to ride

Michael Knoll & I rocked and rolled our full squish Kona Process bikes on some fun and challenging COGGS trails in Duluth last week.

We spent the most time in Piedmont’s NIMBY cluster of X & XX technical trails as well as Admiral Rockbar. Then it was over to Home Brew with a stop at the Kissing Booth before ending the day with a run down the Keene Creek trail — 1.5 miles/500 ft of elevation change — an amazing whoop-di-doo run.

Here are three videos of me following Michael on Admiral Rockbar, Kissing Booth, & Keene:

Facebook video Group rides Trails Video