Tag: Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout

The 2013 Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout is history.  And it was a fabulous weekend. I competed in all the events, pretty much sucked at all of them, but smiled the whole time. And riding the Yawkey Unit just for fun was the best. Thanks to the CLMTBC for putting on a great event.

See the large slideshow of 58 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Events Photo album 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

Cuyuna Lakes billboardAaron HautalaAaron HautalaGriff Wigley (eyes wide shut), Aaron Hautala

I came up to Cuyuna yesterday to get in a little riding before this weekend’s Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout. I met Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC) president Aaron Hautala at 2 PM and we rode every trail in the Yawkey Unit, some twice. He and his fellow CLMTBC members had snowshoed the entire network of trails in Yawkey last weekend when the snow was sticky and their timing could not have been more perfect.  With yesterday’s colder temps, the trails are hard and fast. In some areas, if you wander too far off the center (the ‘bacon strip’), your tires find the softer snow and you’ll slow down quickly.  But generally, it’s primo.

FYI, Aaron was the guy who teamed up with WCCO TV reporter Mike Binkley for the Finding Minnesota: Cuyuna Lakes Yeti segment that aired earlier this week.

This morning I’m meeting CLMTBC  member John Schaubach to do it all over again. Saaaaweeeet. And tonight we’ll do it all again for the night group ride, when Aaron, John and I will be escorting the beginners around Yawkey.

People

XC-race-Beginner-class-start-photo-by-Aaron-Hautala whiteoutstickerlogosmall_2013 Iron Yeti Sagamore Snowxross course

It was just about this time last year that I made the decision to go to the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout and compete in my first-ever mountain bike event.  The whole event was a hoot (see all 5 blog posts with photos and video), despite the difficult snow conditions.  So I’m going again this weekend.

Judging from yesterday’s blog post with photos of the Iron Yeti Sagamore Snowxross course and the weekend weather forecast, the snow conditions should be much better. The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC) has been busting their collective butts to get the trails and other events ready, as the whole weekend is a club fundraiser. I’m way out of shape for racing but in good enough shape to ride the Yawkey unit for fun.

I still don’t own a fat bike but I’ve got one on loan again, this time from Ben Witt at Milltown Cycles in Faribault where I spend a considerable amount of my children’s inheritance. I’m not likely to blog from the event but plan to tweet regularly @mtbikegeezer and will blog when I get back.

Competition Events

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

Rumors of the Cuyuna Lakes Yeti were confirmed last Friday via this video which quickly began circulating on the intertubes:

httpv://youtu.be/PGlD-FNYmFQ

I was among the mountain bikers assaulted on the Friday night ride in the Yawkey Unit, part of the Cuyuna Lakes Whiteout. Yesterday afternoon, the Yeti was captured after this stunt on a fat bike:

httpv://youtu.be/GxleCHMzjCI

Cuyuna Lakes Yeti being assaulted Cuyuna Lakes Yeti being assaulted
Event organizers forced the creature into duty at the awards ceremony at the Ya Betcha Bar & Grill in Crosby where male and female mountain bikers took turns assaulting the brute. Payback, baby!

Amanda Scholz and Isaac Ohman (AKA the Cuyuna Lakes Yeti) Isaac Ohman (AKA the Cuyuna Lakes Yeti)
MORC Board member and Events Director Amanda Scholz stopped the mayhem and with a little feminine charm, got the Yeti to reveal its inner self in the form of Isaac Ohman, Graphic Designer and social media geek at RedHouseMedia in Brainerd.  Isaac’s famous for this 2009 YouTube video (1.2 million views thus far) in which he passes out and smashes his face after doing a deadlift:

httpv://youtu.be/k8RcDb_wZfQ

People