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.
Tag: <span>Aaron Rogers</span>
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.
Pump tracks/bike parks
- Elm Creek Bike Park: Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists, Maple Grove, MN
- Hobbs Hollow Flow Trail: Hoosier Mountain Biking Association, Brown County, IN
- 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.’
This June article in Mountain Bike Review titled POC and MIPS Collaborate on New Styles sums it up nicely:
The 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.
By 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.
One 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:
- March Gizmag: Helmets inspired by brain fluid to offer better impact protection
- Feb. GearJunkie: New Type of Sports Helmet Mimics ‘Brain Fluid’ to Protect
This 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.
Update: Here is IMBA Midwest Director Hansi Johnson’s Great Lakes Summit report (PDF) on the meeting.
I 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.
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.