Tag: Aaron Rogers

Griff Wigley, Aaron Rogers, Karl Erbach, Hansi Johnson Lori Hauswirth, Hansi Johnson, Aaron Rogers, Mike Brunet, Lyle VanderSchaaf Jay and Claire
During last week’s Ride the Keweenaw, Copper Harbor’s restaurants provided opportunities to do some scheming about IMBA’s Upper Midwest region (Facebook page).

Left photo: Friday night dinner at the Harbor Haus with Aaron Rogers, Karl Erbach, and Hansi Johnson.

Center: Monday morning breakfast at the Pines Restaurant with (L to R) with Lori Hauswirth, Hansi Johnson, Aaron Rogers, Mike Brunet, and Lyle VanderSchaaf.

Right: The conversation at times turned to mountain bike tourism for the Upper Midwest region, as epitomized by Jay and Claire, two college students visiting Copper Harbor from Vermont. They were traveling to Montana, trying to visit as many mountain bike parks as possible on their way. For their next stops after Copper, I told them that the sequence (heading west) would be to ride CAMBA, Spirit Mountain, COGGS, and then Cuyuna. Alas, due to the wet and cold spring, only Cuyuna would work for this trip.

People

With only a short amount of time to ride the trail system at Copper Harbor during this year’s Ride the Keweenaw, I didn’t want to spend much time taking trail photos or shooting any video. 

hansi_photo_T_w hansi_photo_curve Interactive trail map - Copper Harbor 
Plus, I knew that there were plenty of photos and videos of this IMBA Silver-level Ride Center online already. A good place to start for photos: the Keweenaw Adventure Company‘s Epic Rides page which has several photos by IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson.  For videos, start with the stunning interactive Copper Harbor Trail system map by the Trail Genius.

As this April 8 2013 reviewer wrote on MTBR about the trail system:

There’s a little for everyone, with technical rocky areas, long flow rides, extended downhill tabletop jump sections, climbs that make you whoop if you manage to scramble up, boardwalks, simple trails next to dropoffs… just spectacular.

Flying Squirrel trail at Copper Harbor Flying Squirrel trail at Copper Harbor Flying Squirrel trail at Copper Harbor On the Edge trail at Copper Harbor
Among my goals: I wanted to try some of the smaller table top jumps and advanced berms. Much of the big stuff on the double black diamond trails was over my head but even on runs like the Flying Squirrel and On the Edge there was still plenty of fun stuff that I could ride. 

dual suspension Kona Process - rental from the Keweenaw Adventure Company But it wasn’t till I rented a dual suspension Kona Process from the Keweenaw Adventure Company that I got a taste of what’s possible.

I was shocked how much easier it was for me to pump the rollers and go fast on the downhill gnarly stuff than with my hardtail 29’er.  Full squish has just moved ahead of a fat bike on my bike quiver priority list.

Hansi Johnson, recovering from his crash on Danimal 20130526_135439 Griff Wigley, photo by Hansi Johnson
I didn’t see it but Hansi crashed twice on one of jumps on the Danimal trail, taking a hard whack to his head and miscellaneous other body parts. I wore my POC Cortex DH MIPS full-face helmet for the first time and if I ever get better at the jumps, I can see a neck brace in my future. (Hansi’s photo of me above is included in his blog post titled A Copper Harbor fish story: Ride the Keweenaw 2013. His narrative and photos are riveting.)

Hansi Johnson, Aaron Rogers 
Copper Harbor Trails Club president Aaron Rogers has led the creation of this amazing trail system. That page says:

Aaron Rogers, MTB trail builderAaron came in search of epic snowboarding at Mt. Bohemia and stayed to build epic bike trails in Copper Harbor. A man with a vision for greatness, Aaron built upon a foundation of great trails on great terrain and turned them world class. Now a contracted professional trail builder with IMBA Trail Solutions, Aaron’s heart remains in Copper Harbor.

Fortunately for us (and his wife Amanda), he prefers to build trails in Copper Harbor but also dabbles farther south on the Peninsula. If you find Aaron, it will be at the end of a newly built trail at the controls of the mini-excavator or with Pulaski in hand. If you can’t find him, it is most likely because you can’t catch him. He’s as good a rider as he is a trail builder.

Like most everyone else who’s ridden Copper, I can’t wait to go back.  And I’m thrilled that some of the MTB parks here in Minnesota are learning from what’s been done there.

Events Trails

Last fall, Bell Helmets and IMBA announced the Bell Built Trail Building Grants and the 12 finalists were named earlier this year.

Bell Helmets is providing $100,000 to fund three, mountain bike trail projects, one each in the categories of bike park/pump track, flow trail and downhill/gravity trail. Out of the 12 selected as finalists, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite project in each category on Bell’s Facebook page, beginning March 5.

Bell BuiltThree Midwest parks are finalists in three separate categories:

Pump tracks/bike parks

  • Elm Creek Bike Park: Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists, Maple Grove, MN

Flow trails

  • Hobbs Hollow Flow Trail: Hoosier Mountain Biking Association, Brown County, IN

Downhill trails

  • Overflow Trail: Copper Harbor Trails Club, Copper Harbor, MI

The big push here in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions has been to vote for all three Midwest parks (you can only vote once in each category). The deadline is this Friday, April 12.

Copper Harbor Trails Club at Wheel & Sprocket's Bike Expo Sale Copper Harbor Trails Club at Wheel & Sprocket's Bike Expo Sale Copper Harbor Trails Club at Wheel & Sprocket's Bike Expo Sale
Last weekend, Aaron Rogers and Lori Hauswirth from the Copper Harbor Trails Club had a booth at Wheel & Sprocket’s Bike Expo Sale in Milwaukee where they cajoled passersby into logging into their Facebook accounts to vote. Very cool.

I’ve been doing a little work behind the scenes on this because A) Elm Creek is in the Twin Cities, about an hour away my hometown of Northfield; B) I’m a member of MORC; C) my riding ability has improved immensely because of the Eagan pump track so having more bike parks around is great for the sport; and D) I expect to be making frequent trips to Copper Harbor to take advantage of their downhill trails.

Because the Bell Built Facebook voting process can be a little cumbersome, I created this 3-minute how-to video/screencast:

httpv://youtu.be/j5S-1y8g3z8

So don’t delay. Vote now for:

  • Elm Creek Bike Park/Maple Grove, MN in the Pump Track Category
  • Overflow Trail/Copper Harbor, MI in the Downhill Category
  • Hobbs Hollow/Brown County, IN in the Flow Trail category

We Midwest / Great Lakes mountain bikers would appreciate it.

And now that I’ve blogged about this, I’m going to nag, harass, and bother my non-mountain bike Facebook friends into voting. My message:

As you probably know, I’ve fallen in love with mountain biking the past two years. (You can read more than you’ll ever want to know on my blog, Mountain Bike Geezer.)

Right now, three Midwest mountain bike trails have a great opportunity to win a large grant from the Bell Helmet company. Most area mountain bikers on Facebook have already voted but because you can only vote once, it is critical to get our non-mountain biking Facebook friends to vote. Which is why I’m harassing you!

Step 1 (optional): See my short YouTube video on how to vote.

Step 2: Go to the Bell Built Facebook page and vote for:

* Elm Creek Bike Park/Maple Grove, MN in the Pump Track Category

* Overflow Trail/Copper Harbor, MI in the Downhill Category

* Hobbs Hollow/Brown County, IN in the Flow Trail category

If you vote, come on back here and ‘like’ this post and I’ll find a way to thank you.

Advocacy

When I attended IMBA’s Great Lakes Summit back in June, Aaron Rogers, president of the Copper Harbor Trails Club and Trails Specialist with IMBA Trail Solution showed a video about the IMBA Bronze-level Ride Center that had just opened in Copper Harbor, Michigan.

httpv://youtu.be/rN9btRzqsvA

Bike magazine included the video in a June 22 article titled Andrew Shandro at Bronze-Level IMBA Ride Center Opening In Copper Harbor, MI. Aaron Rogers was quoted in the article:

We’ll be building medium- and small-sized jump trails–Flying Squirrel trail is considered a large-sized jump trail–as well as a true flow track to increase our scoring.

Some of those guys going down the Flying Squirrel jump trail in that video (as well as another one here) are wearing full-face helmets.  And so when I started experimenting with the jumps at the Lexington Ave. Pump and Jump Park, it occurred to me: I’m going to like doing this. I want to ride that trail at Copper Harbor. But I don’t want to end up in a hospital bed, paralyzed, thinking ‘Dang! I should have purchased a full-face helmet.’

When I started poking around the intertubes, I discovered that there are new helmets equipped with the Multi-directional Impact Protection System technology, or MIPS.

This June article in Mountain Bike Review titled POC and MIPS Collaborate on New Styles sums it up nicely:

untitledThe Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, MIPS, was developed by a Swedish neuroscientist to improve protection from oblique impacts to the head. Concussions and brain injuries are often caused by angled head impacts that create rotational violence to the brain, causing strain on the brain tissue.

MIPS utilizes either a low friction layer on the inside of the helmet liner for inmold helmets or a low-friction layer between the outer shell and liner for hard shell/two piece helmets to absorb much of the energy created by both unilateral or oblique blows to the head.

POC Cortex DH HelmetBy mimicking the brain’s own protective mechanisms, MIPS can significantly minimize brain injuries in connection with angled impacts and rotational violence. The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) of Sweden has conducted tests concluding MIPS helmets can significantly minimize brain injuries.

Griff Wigley, POC MIPS helmetOne of my local bike dealers, Mike Bikes here in Northfield, gave me a great deal (considerably better than anything I could find online) on the Cortex DH Helmet from POC (full list price $500). QBP had it in stock and shipped it to Mike’s within two days.

I know, pricey. And more helmet than I really need for my current skill level. (There are other MIPS helmets on the market that aren’t full-face, so shop around.) But when it comes to protecting my geezerly body, I’d rather err on the side of too much.

If I can get the hang of doing the beginner table-top jumps at Lex and Leb, I’ll start wearing the helmet.  I’m hoping to get to Copper Harbor this fall.

Other article links:

Protection

I attended the IMBA Great Lakes Summit in a conference room at the Heartwood Center here in Crosby yesterday, hosted by IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson.  The promo blurb:

Schedule: Great Lakes Summit at IMBA Cuyuna Lakes Ride CenterThis season our Summit is focused on IMBA Chapters and clubs looking to become Chapters.  So if you are either an existing Chapter or are with a club that is seriously looking to become an IMBA Chapter please pre-register.  All other clubs or individuals feel free to contact IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson if you are interested in attending.

The Summit is a one day event.  We will be meeting and discussing various advocacy topics and issues that pertain to the IMBA Chapter Partnership.  Later in the afternoon we will ride the Cuyuna trails and then we will have a social at Ya Betcha’s Bar & Grill later in the evening.

IMBA Great Lakes Summit 2012 IMBA Great Lakes Summit 2012 IMBA Great Lakes Summit 2012 IMBA Great Lakes Summit 2012

 Hansi Johnson, IMBA Midwest Regional Director Andy Williamson, IMBA Great Lakes Region Director Aaron Rogers, IMBA Trail Specialist Steve Weber, DNR Land Manager

Aaron Hautala, Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails Reed Smidt, MORC Ryan Lieske, MORC Jordan Vandal, CLMBT Crew

Aaron Rogers, Ryan Lieske, Reed Smidt,  Hansi Johnson leading a group ride at the end of the day

Update: Here is IMBA Midwest Director Hansi Johnson’s Great Lakes Summit report  (PDF) on the meeting.

Great Lakes Summit report 2012 - Hansi Johnson

Advocacy Organizations Photo album

bridge on the Switchback trail, CuyunaI pitched my tent in the Portsmouth Campground in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area at about 8 pm last night. I’m here for the 2nd Annual Cuyuna Lakes MTB Fest on Saturday but came up early for IMBA’s Great Lakes Summit, too.

There was just enough daylight left to get a ride in on some of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails, so I took Switchback from the campground over to the Mahnomen Unit and rode Crusher, Miner’s Mountain, Chute, Ferrous Wheel, Trammer, and Rocky Flats.

Early this morning, I took Drag Line from Portsmouth over to the Yawkey Unit, riding Man High Hill and Haul Road on the way and then Bobsled a couple of times.

Cool discovery #1: I had assumed both Switchback and Drag Line were just plain old connecting trails. Wrong. They’re both hugely fun intermediate level trails. Lots of rollers and a surprising number of berms for  two-way trails.  Non-stop pleasure riding, both directions.

Cool discovery #2: I took it a little easy on all the trails, as I was by myself, but it was so much more fun riding these trails than last year, I couldn’t stop grinning. Why? I’m in better shape, of course. But my skills are better, due mainly to A) what I learned about braking, turning, and ‘the attack’ position at the Leaders’ Summit skills class; and B) spending about an hour at Eagan’s Lexington Pump & Jump Park where I learned (thanks to Chance Glasford), how to pump, ie, accelerate without pedaling.

Andy Williamson, Aaron Rogers, Hansi Johnson, Maureen Heartland Kitchen Café Heartland Kitchen Café
By 8 am this morning I was starving so I headed over to the Heartland Kitchen & Café, my favorite breakfast spot in Crosby. I lucked out, as some of the IMBA guys were there: Hansi Johnson, Midwest Regional Director;  Andy Williamson, Great Lakes Region Director; and Aaron Rogers, Trail Specialist.

I coaxed the café’s proprietor, Maureen Christopher, into posing with them for a photo, since Maureen is such a fan of the mountain bikers who’ve helped her business thrive since the park opened last summer.

Learning to ride Trails