Category: Businesses

Ryan LeechI’m pleased to announce that I’m teaming up with pro mountain biker Ryan Leech at his Performance Mountain Biking & Coaching website, RyanLeech.com. As a longtime customer and student of Ryan’s, I’ve seen firsthand how his instructional philosophy mirrors my beliefs that:

  • Online instructional modules should make use of videos, graphics, text, so you can pick your preferred ways to learn.
  • Online instruction should emphasize how you can learn more directly from your experience, guiding your attention to what happens when you do different things so that you become more confident in your ability to learn.

His first two online courses (30-Day Wheelie Challenge; and Baseline Balance Skills) live up to his site’s tagline: “Creating the highest quality, most comprehensive and effective online technical skill training programs for mountain bikers.”  The depth of the instruction (yes, LOTS of drills and exercises) and the superb production quality are impressive.

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I finally got together with Advocate Cycles founder Tim Krueger last week at the company’s headquarters in south Minneapolis (photo by Advocate’s general manager Adam Blake).

I first heard about Tim last year in a MORC Board meeting when there was a discussion about him taking over the MN Rusty Ride, given his history running the Chequamegon 100 for several years with 100% of the registration fees donated to CAMBA.  At a subsequent board meeting, I think there was some mention about him starting a new company called Advocate Cycling Productions and adding more races but that was about it.

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Sam Raymond and Hansi Johnson Keweenaw Adventure Company Keweenaw Adventure Company Jerry Smith, Jeff Squires, Sam Raymond - Keweenaw Adventure Company
Sam Raymond owns the Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor. He offers a shuttle service to mountain bikers who come to ride the Copper Harbor Trails system. Why?

Because there is no ski area with a chairlift in Copper Harbor, the KAC shuttle is the next best way to get you and your mountain bike to the top of the mountain without having to pedal! An activity that is most commonly associated with ski resorts out west, mountain bikers enjoy bombing down Copper Harbor’s sustained vertical descents along the miles of sweet singletrack that connect the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, Brockway Mountain and the village, nearly 600′ vertical and up to 3 miles below.

mountain bike shuttle service, Keweenaw Adventure Company mountain bike shuttle service, Keweenaw Adventure Company Jeff Squires, Keweenaw Adventure Company
On the Sunday of the Ride the Keweenaw weekend, the shuttle was busy. They put up chains in front of the shop to provide some first-come, first-served structure to the riders waiting to get taken to the top. Once everyone piles inside the 14-passenger van, the driver (either Sam or one of his two trusty bike mechanics Jeff Squires or Jerry Smith) yells out “Where to?”

Keweenaw Mountain Lodge mountain bike shuttle service, Keweenaw Adventure Company Sam Raymond, Keweenaw Adventure Company
A consensus quickly emerges as the choice is simple: either the parking lot at Keweenaw Mountain Lodge or the top of Brockway Mountain, both about a mile from town.  If you miss the shuttle, it’s no biggie. It can make a round trip in 15-20 minutes.  And Sam’s getting another 14-passenger this summer to speed things up even further.

Hansi Johnson, top of Brockway Mountain Griff Wigley, top of Brockway Mountain Stairway to Heaven trail, Copper Harbor
The shuttle currently runs noon-5:00pm on weekends and 5:30-9:30pm on Tuesdays. If you want to ride the trails at other times, team up with someone else for a DIY shuttle service with two vehicles like I did with IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson and his snazzy Subaru Outback.  Of course, you can also pedal to the top.  Hansi said that riding up the Stairway to Heaven trail (that’s a link to a recent YouTube video) is the easiest route to the top.  Nearly all trails at Copper are two-way, and riders going up have priority over riders going down, although I mainly experienced the opposite.

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Lori Hauswirth, Caleb Wendel, Hansi JohnsonI arrived in Houghton yesterday afternoon, all psyched for this weekend’s Ride the Keweenaw.

First stop: The Bike Shop in downtown Houghton where IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson, Lori Hauswirth, Executive Director of the Copper Harbor Trails Club and I paid our respects to co-owner Caleb Wendel. (I first met Caleb at Ray’s Indoor Bike Park in Milwaukee back in Feb. when he took a video of me riding the hamster wheel.)

The Bike Shop, Houghton, MI The Bike Shop, Houghton, MI The Bike Shop, Houghton, MI
The Bike Shop (and companion boardshop Rhythm) has expanded this year from the basement to the entire first floor and mezzanine. It’s huge and classy. I’m likely to spend some money there today.

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