There was a great turnout for the soft opening of the new trail at the Theodore Wirth Off-Road Cycling Trail on Wednesday night. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), Minneapolis Off-Road Cyclists Association (MOCA), and MORC put on the event. Tyler Pederson, who works at the MPRB and blogs at Bicycle Kismet, made some opening remarks and was the entrance gatekeeper so that things didn’t get jammed up at the start.
The one-way flow trail segment (less than a mile) is multi-use (open to walkers, runners and snowshoers) , is hugely fun—lots of rollers and berms and table tops in a very compact area.
Tim Wegner at Trail Source LLC was the primary builder and I’m guessing he had more than a little help from the MOCA/MORC dirt bosses.
As you can see from the photos above, the trail loops up and around a big hill, so you’re pretty much either climbing or ripping. The view from up top is stunning, with a great view of Wirth Lake and the downtown Minneapolis skyline. There’s a picnic table up there, too, a perfect spot to catch your breath after the first big climb.
I didn’t take photos of any of the rollers, berms, jumps and table tops but to me, they seemed perfect. An intermediate rider can roll them all slowly and advanced riders can get plenty of air. I’m far from advanced on this type of trail but there were a couple areas where I could manual over two small rollers and a couple of table tops that I could almost clear. I can’t wait to go back.
I followed a group of young riders who were doing a shorter loop so that they could repeatedly ride the first big downhill segment without descending back to the start and having to do the big initial climb. They would push their bikes straight up one of the construction trails and then take a short cut on top (right photo) which connects to the start of the downhill segment near the picnic table. It seems like a logical option to add, much like the shortcut loops at Leb that the dirt bosses there have added in several places.