Tag: Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew

I spent a few days with some buddies at a cabin near Lutsen over the weekend. We hiked the state park trails at Temperance and Cascade but I brought my 29’er in case any of the COGGS mountain bike trails around Duluth opened up/dried out in time for my drive back home to Northfield. Alas, no such luck. The trails were all too soft yet because of the late-season heavy snowfall and cold temps.

Northfielders Todd Orjala, Ken Drivdahl, Steve Schmidt at CuyunaI was going to head back home to ride the metro-area MORC trails but torrential rains there closed all the trails that had just opened up a week ago.  So I sent a text to CLMTB Crew president Aaron Hautala in hopes that Cuyuna Lakes would be open. YES!  They had heavy rain overnight but the trails dried out quickly and were tacky fast.

I got there by 3:30 on Saturday and promptly ran into fellow Northfielders Todd Orjala, Ken Drivdahl, and Steve Schmidt.  After riding all the trails in the Mahnomen Unit (see inset B on the DNR map), I pooped out by dark and was planning to make the drive home but got rescued by CLMTB Crew member John Schaubach who offered me dinner at his cabin and a place to pitch my sleeping bag for the night. YES!

John Schaubach with a section of Cuyuna Gold Cuyuna Gold placed on top of clay clay trail
John and I went for an early Sunday morning ride in the Yawkey Unit. He showed me how the CLMTB Crew had painstakingly spread a layer of Cuyuna’s red dirt/gravel mix on top of many sections of the trails that were primarily clay.  John said that they refer to this mixture as ‘Cuyuna Gold’ because of its ability to harden the surface of a trail while still providing good traction. It’s amazing the amount of work that’s gone into doing this and what a difference it makes, especially after it’s rained. Props to Cuyuna Dirt Boss Nick Statz, Yawkey Unit  Dirt  Boss Dave Taylor, and their team of CLMTB Crew volunteers for working with the DNR to make this happen.

Heartland Kitchen and Cafe, Crosby MN Jim and Maureen Christopher, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MN Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg

Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Sunday buffet, Heartland Kitchen & Cafe, Crosby, MNg Maureen Christopher and John Schaubach, Crosby, MN
The rain ended our ride at 9 am so we promptly headed to the Heartland Kitchen & Café in Crosby for their stunning Sunday buffet.  I’d blogged photos of proprietor Maureen Christopher before but this was the first time I’d met her sweetie, Jim Christopher, who was the beauty on duty for the buffet. After two hours of gorging ourselves, John and I staggered out and I departed for home, sated and grateful for yet another Cuyuna weekend.

Businesses Trails

The trails in Cuyuna’s Yawkey Unit are about as good as it gets: reasonably hard-packed, just wide enough, and fun. Haul Road trail is truly amazing, almost as fast as riding on dirt. And you really can get some speed on Bobsled. Wheeeeeeee.

John Schaubach John Schaubach20130301_104004
However, there are a just a handful of spots on Yawkey’s south-facing trails where there’s a little bit of ice from snow melt so this morning, Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC) member John Schaubach and I rode around and put dirt on them.  That’ll make things a little less tricky  for tonight’s s Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout group ride.

Tom Osborne, Dave Taylor, John SchaubachJohn SchaubachJohn Schaubach, Griff Wigley
What a gorgeous day.

Maintenance

John Schaubach, CLMTB Crew volunteer Trek X-Caliber - raffle prize
John Schaubach, a fellow geezer and a volunteer with the CLMTB Crew (responsible for maintaining the Trout and Man Cage trails) was one of many local volunteers helping to put on the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival this weekend.  Evidently he’s been one of the many Cuyuna locals who has put in countless volunteer hours to help make the park a reality.

So a big cheer went out on Saturday night when his name was drawn for the raffle of the Trek X-Caliber 29er. Nice bike. I have one and love it.

Events People

Jordan Vandal, John Schaubach, Dan Cruser, Aaron Hautala, Steve Weber, Jenny Smith, Nick Statz, Maya Statz  Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew logo

Many of the members of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, the local IMBA club, were at yesterday’s IMBA’s Great Lakes Summit. L to R: Jordan Vandal, John Schaubach, Dan Cruser, Aaron Hautala, Steve Weber, Jenny Smith, Nick Statz, Maya Statz (front).

Technically, DNR park manager Steve Weber is not a member of the Crew but I think they’ve adopted him.

Surprise discovery: Dan Cruser rode motorcycle trials years ago and competed at events on our UMTA club grounds near Northfield.

Organizations

whiteoutstickerlogosmall

I got hooked on mountain biking after attending the grand opening of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails last June.  So it’s only fitting that my first race be at another Cuyuna festival and a winter one to boot: the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout on March 2-3.

The Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout is a winter festival to celebrate the new Sagamore Winter Trails and to benefit the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC), a division of MORC/IMBA. (Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists / International Mountain Bicycle Association). All event profits will fund continued expansion and maintenance of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails in Crosby-Ironton.

The organizers have a terrific Tumblr blog site for the event that they’re updating regularly. I signed up for the Cuyuna Lakes Avalanche Pass ($40) which covers all events and includes some swag. The online registration via the NGIN platform is fast and easy. I’ve put myself in the beginner class for both the Sagamore SnowXross Country Race in the morning and the Serpent Lake Ice Bike 500 Race in the afternoon.

Looking at the schedule, my dilemma will be whether or not to skip the afternoon Ice Bike 500 Race in order to have more time to play in the Yawkey Unit as it’s only open for riding on Saturday, sunrise to sunset.  I only had a little time to ride in the Yawkey last year during the Squirrel Fest when the dewpoint was 80 degrees.

Here’s a teaser video created by Aaron Hautala, Creative Director at RedhouseMedia in Brainerd and newly elected president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC). The video features CLMTBC Director of Trail Maintenance Nick Statz. (See Aaron’s blog post on how the video was created: Worst winter ever. Best winter riding ever?):

 

QBP
I’m not surprised that QBP is the Presenting Sponsor for the event, given how much Gary Sjoquist, QBP’s Director of Advocacy, has been involved in getting Cuyuna off the ground.

Competition Trails