Category: <span>Organizations</span>

With a big assist from the City of Northfield Public Works staff, the CROCT MTB skills park in Northfield’s Sechler Park got some improvements this year. Workers brought in several truckloads of dirt to improve six of the seven beginner and intermediate jumps in the main jump line and expand the launch mound. In addition, they moved the giant boulder lurking along the park’s swampy edge and reinstalled the kiosk next to the launch mound. Slideshow:

CROCT (Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails), our local mountain bike club in Rice County, has partnered with the City of Northfield to have a multi-purpose trail in the City’s Sechler Park since the club was founded in 2014. I’m one of the CROCT volunteers who helps to maintain the skills park.

Organizations Trail work

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

Update March 7, 2018:

IMBA’s Instructor Certification Program (ICP) has transitioned to the Bike Instructor Certification Program (BICP) and is no longer part of IMBA. It’s still led by Shaums March, but under a new non-profit organization. They’ve also reconfigured their courses/certifications with new pricing to: Ride Leader, Level 1, Level 2, Level 1-2 Combo, Level 3. And they’ve added recertification, prep, and refresher courses, too.  Their new logo:

I’ve not updated the links or information in the blog post below.

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This spring  (2016) I’ve gotten certified as both an IMBA ICP Level 2 and PMBI Level 1 mountain bike instructor (blog posts with photos here and here).  The competing certifications are similar in that they’re designed to equip one with the ability to instruct beginner and intermediate-level riders in basic skills. (IMBA’s ICP Level 1 is a Ride Guide course; PMBI’s Ride Guide course doesn’t use a Level number.)

PMBI Level 1 IMBA ICP Level 2

I wasn’t planning to take either one this spring as IMBA wasn’t offering a Level 2 course locally and PMBI’s Level 1 course at Spirit Mountain in Duluth sold out quickly.   But I got lucky.

Jeff Milbauer, owner of nearby Valley Bike & Ski,  had contracted privately with IMBA to offer the course to some of his staff/instructors. When one had to drop out, he contacted me and I took the spot.  And then PMBI added a second course/instructor to their Spirit Mountain Level 1 weekend and I snapped up one of those openings.

My rationale for taking PMBI Level 1 having just completed IMBA ICP Level 2 two weeks prior?

  • Proximity: Duluth is only 3 hours away and I wasn’t confident that PMBI would offer the course nearby again anytime soon
  • Terrain: the IMBA Level 2 course was held at nearby Buck Hill in Burnsville, MN and neither its new mountain biking runs nor its new skills park was open yet. Spirit Mountain is a mountain bike mecca with lift access
  • Weather: it poured nearly the entire weekend for the IMBA course. I was hoping I’d get lucky for the PMBI course in Duluth
  • Collegiality: I wanted to be able to team up with fellow instructors. With everyone passing, there were 8 IMBA Level 2 instructors in the state of Minnesota.  The two courses at Spirit Mountain would mean there could be up to 14 additional PMBI instructors in the region
  • Curiosity: I’m a blogger and I was naturally curious to know first-hand what the differences were between the two competing certifications
  • Future professional development: I figured that having a foundation with both certifications would give me better options for pursuing their more advanced certification levels
  • Marketing advantage: I’d likely be the only mtb instructor in the Upper Midwest region with both certifications.

Learning to instruct Organizations

As a board member for Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT), I’ve been taking the lead on our PR and social media, not just to inform local mountain bikers about what we’re doing but also the wider community of Rice County where our IMBA chapter operates.

This is my narration to the slide presentation that CROCT President Marty Larson and I did for BikeNorthfield’s 3rd Annual Soup & Cycles meeting back in January.

It’s an overview of CROCT-related activities, events, and accomplishments in the past year.  Like most any online video, you can pause it, move the slider backwards and forwards, and watch it in full-screen mode. 23 minutes:

(Click here to view this presentation on the CROCT blog without the narration. Advantage: clickable titles to blog posts that provide more background on each topic.)

Advocacy Organizations

Last Saturday was IMBA’s Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day (#TKMBD). I’m on the board of CROCT and we got a late start on planning activities for it. But rather than doing nothing, we decided at almost the last minute to invite CROCT members to meet at MORC’s Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail where Dakota County was hosting its annual Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival.

Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day 2015 Wild-Ride-Mountain-Bike-Festival-flyer-2015

We had 5 kids and 4 adults show up and we all had a blast among the many hundreds of others who attended. We’ll be better organized for next year’s TKMBD!

See the album of15 photos and a 1-minute video on the CROCT blog post.

 

Advocacy Group rides Organizations

Back in June I blogged about the weekly youth mountain biking group rides I was co-leading all summer, one of my activities as a CROCT board member.

As part of that collaboration with the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division, we recently took the kids and some parents on an overnight youth group trip to the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System.

I’ve published a long blog post with dozens of photos about the trip here: CROCT leads an overnight youth group mountain bike trip at Cuyuna Lakes.

CROCT youth trip - trail

Advocacy Group rides Organizations