Category: <span>Events</span>

Marybeth Coyle-Frederick and Bill Metz Bill Metz stopped by my corner office at GBM yesterday morning to deliver the print that Robbie and I acquired at the Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction last week at Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar in south Mpls.  The event was a benefit for SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education).

The artist, Northfielder Marybeth Coyle-Frederick, happened to stop in for coffee so I got her to pose with Bill and her donated piece. Bill said the event raised over $3,000.

Scenes from the after-auction party:

Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction at the Angry Catfish Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction at the Angry Catfish Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction at the Angry Catfish Big Ring: 2nd Gear Art Auction at the Angry Catfish

Events People

My first-ever mountain bike race, the Sagamore SnowXross Race at the 2012 Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout, started out well for the 15 of in the Beginners Class.  After about 50 yards across the parking lot, however, soft snow created a big pileup and I soon learned firsthand what the phrase hike-a-bike meant. As Aaron Hautala wrote in this blog post:

XC race, Beginner class start, photo by Aaron HautalaEarly into the Sagamore SnowXross Race it was obvious it needed a new name.

The IRONYETI.

The snow pack turned into champagne crystal powder overnight with the dramatic drop in temperature from Friday night, which made the race course a bit more challenging than we originally intended.

After about two miles of pushing the Mukluk, I lowered my rear tire pressure from about 4 PSI to near zero—I could feel the rim by pressing the tire hard with my hand. Much better traction.  Another mile and it occurred to me to do the same to the front tire. Better yet.

Last discovery at about mile 4: I quit trying to always ride in the narrow tire ruts made by other riders.  The amount of energy required to keep my balance while riding a rut wasn’t worth it, speed-wise. Instead, I could often go faster (especially when the terrain was flat or downhill) if I rode where riders had been walking.  The low tire pressure usually gave me enough grip to get through the footprints if they weren’t too deep.  Still, I estimate that I pushed my bike for 3 of the 6 miles. Uff-da. I finished in just under two hours.  I’ve not yet seen the results posted but the top three riders (Beginners Class) finished in approximately 1 hr and 35 minutes. I’ll post a link to the results at the bottom of this blog post when they become available.)

Whiteout Festival activities in Crosby's Memorial Park Whiteout Festival activities in Crosby's Memorial Park Serpent Lake Ice Bike 500 races
After lunch at the Heartland Kitchen Cafe, I took in some of the Whiteout Festival activities in Crosby’s Memorial Park. I didn’t compete in the Serpent Lake Ice Bike 500 races (I didn’t have studded tires) but instead, opted for some solo fat bike riding in the Yawkey Unit.

  Haul Road trail, Yawkey Unit  Haul Road trail, Yawkey Unit Tugger trail, Yawkey Unit
Unlike Friday night, the Haul Road trail to the parking lot in the center of Yawkey was mostly packed down, sometimes to a width of 12 inches or more (left and center photos above). This makes for splendid riding. 

I then rode Tugger, normally an intermediate difficulty trail that’s at the base of Bobsled (see the inset on page 2 of this DNR map of the park). It’s a gorgeous trail but like Friday night, riding it was very difficult because there was only a single rut from the few previous riders.  I took it easy and just enjoyed the scenery.

Ya Betcha Bar & Grill in Crosby Aaron Hautala Amanda Scholz Women racers Cuyuna dirt boss and race director Nick Statz Yours truly with Whiteout beanie and stein
At 5 pm, everyone convened at the Ya Betcha Bar & Grill in Crosby for free appetizers, drawings for prizes, and the awards ceremony hosted by MORC Board member and Events Director Amanda Scholz. The event swag (beanie and stein) was impressive.

See the large slideshow of 50 photos of the entire two-day event (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Competition Events Photo album Trails

Don MacNaughton at Squirrel Fest Squirrel Fest 2011 poster Squirrel Fest 2011 Nick Statz at Squirrel Fest 2011
I had so much fun at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival Grand Opening that I had to go to the 2011 Squirrel Fest Mountain Bike Festival, held last weekend in Crosby, MN, primarily organized by MORC member Don MacNaughton (left photo above).

On Saturday, local dirt boss and MORC member Nick Statz (right photo above) led the morning ‘fast’ ride group, mainly through the Yawkey Unit. (See this Silent Sports article featuring Nick: Cuyuna Lakes Reclaimed.) I’d not ridden Yawkey before so I was thrilled when we rode through its fabulous technical area.

Yawkey Unit technical area, Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System Troy Lawrence, Yawkey Unit technical area, Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System Troy Lawrence, Yawkey Unit technical area, Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System Troy Lawrence, Yawkey Unit technical area, Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System
I went back later in the afternoon to further explore the technical area of Yawkey and met MORC member Troy Lawrence who showed me how to do it without crashing. Some day when I get a little older…

DSC07101 Joyce Hoggarth, Louie Hoggarth DSC07097 DSC07104
For dinner, my wife Robbie and I paid a visit to Louie’s Bucket of Bones in the adjacent town of Ironton. We met owner Joyce Hoggarth and her son Louie and of course, feasted on BBQ ribs, as Louie’s is among the top ten BBQ joints in Minnesota according to this article in the July, 2010 issue of Minnesota Monthly.

sled competition at the Squirrel Fest sled competition at the Squirrel Fest sled competition at the Squirrel Fest
In the evening, Don MacNaughton organized squirrel sled competition. Here’s his promo for it:

Have more in the tank? Did you drop your nuts? Let’s take it up a notch! Here are some details. Miniature bike, a sled, and the desire to pedal until you puke! Do you have what it takes? Can you pedal longer than your fellow squirrels? Game on!

With the dewpoint nearing 80, I declined but most everyone else punished themselves to the delight of the crowd.

Dave LaChapelle has an album of Squirrel Fest 2011 photos on his Green Body Facebook page.

Events Photo album

Hans Rey, Griff WigleyAs I got ready to dig into my plate of lasagna at Maucieri’s in Crosby last Friday night, in walks Hans “No way” Rey, “considered the world’s leader in extreme mountain biking… a former trials riding world champion, a showman, a stuntman and an adventure mountain biker.”

He was the featured stunt rider for the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival, brought to the event courtesy of GT Bicycles, with financial support from MORC, IMBA, and Bloomington, MN-based QBP (Quality Bicycle Products), one of the largest bicycle parts distributors in the world.

Gary Sjoquist, Hans Rey, John Gaddo, Jeff VerinkHans is a god, even in my world of motorcycle trials, so I was thrilled to be invited to join him and some other mountain bike industry guys for dinner and beers. In the photo, L to R: Gary Sjoquist, Advocacy Director for QBP; Hans Rey; John Gaddo, Inside Sales rep at QBP; and Jeff Verink, sales rep with GT Bicycles and the talented master of ceremonies for the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival.

While chatting with John Gaddo, I learned that he grew up in my hometown of Northfield.  Many locals might know his dad, general manager at the former WCAL-FM. John mentioned that he was also a trials bicycle rider but I had no idea the level of his skills until he teamed up with Hans for the bicycle trials exhibition on Saturday night.

I borrowed my son Graham’s mountain bike for this trip, but it’s safe to say I’m hooked on this sport and will have one of my own soon. Blog on!

See my album of a dozen photos of the John Gaddo bike trials exhibition, view the large slideshow (recommended), or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

See my album of 28 photos of the Hans Rey bike trials exhibition, (and photos of Hans signing posters and speaking about his Wheels 4 Life non-profit), view the large slideshow (recommended), or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

See my album of 40 miscellaneous Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival Grand Opening photos, the large slideshow (recommended), or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

See my album of 26 Cuyunda Lakes Mountain Bike Festival Grand Opening Kids Bike Races, the large slideshow, or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Events Photo album