According to this post on Facebook, employees at QBP “spent weeks turning this year’s copious snow into a fat bike demo course” for their annual Frostbike dealer show at their headquarters in Bloomington. (I was there yesterday, doing board member booth duty at the MORC booth.)
Last Thursday and Friday, I attended the IMBA Midwest Fat Bike Access & Grooming Workshop in Cable WI, a gathering of practitioners devoted to improving off-road cycling and fat biking in winter.
Following a late Thursday afternoon/evening fat bike ride by approximately 15- 20 riders on the newly groomed Esker trail in the CAMBA trail system’s Cable cluster, participants gathered for the opening reception at the Lakewoods Resort. QBP’s John Gaddo showed Cold Rolled, the documentary by Clear & Cold Cinema featuring the 15-mile winter singletrack Snow Bike Route (SBR) that’s part of the Noquemanon Trails Network in Marquette, Michigan.
I got this email today from Gary Sjoquist, QBP Advocacy Director, asking for help to get the word out. I’ve added a few links and photos to it.
I attended last night’s first annual Twin Cities Motion Picture ‘evening of bicycle films’ at the Pepitos Parkway Theater in Mpls, a benefit for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. They showed Bikes over Baghdad and The Cyclist, but the featured film was Salsa Cycle‘s Racing the Sun, a story about one of their sponsored riders, Tim Ek, and his participation in last year’s endurance gravel road race, the Dirty Kanza 200. (Tim’s blog post about the event: Racing the Kansas Sun.)
More about Tim:
- Salsa’s Meet Tim Ek YouTube video
- Tim’s posts on the Salsa Cycle blog
- Tim’s website, Eki Chronicles: A “blue collar”cyclist’s adventures from the saddle of a bike
Yesterday I lubed up the chain, took the Horsey off the hook in the garage and pointed it toward my local trail system in Duluth, known as the Piedmont Trails. Piedmont has a whole section devoted to big drops and air. I’ve always avoided it, pretending to be too cool for it as us cross country guys need to get our laps in, there’s no time for goofing off. So, I skipped the work out for some “goofing off”. Thing is, for me it wasn’t playing around. I was dead serious and quietly worried that I would end up in the E.R. right in the middle of race season. Oh well, one can’t worry about getting hurt, because what would ever get accomplished? I spied the first jump, a boulder in the shape of a ramp jutting out of the middle of the trail. “That’s where I’ll start”, I thought. (continued)
A good piece of writing. Inspires me to learn to ‘fly,’ too. Gotta get me to Duluth soon.
Update 5 pm:
About 5 hours after I published the post above, my wife Robbie and I paid a visit to The Blue Door Pub where two of my sons, Graham and Tyson, are managers.
With no prompting, Graham, also a mountain biker, proceeds to tell me that he struck up a conversation with a Salsa Cycles-sponsored rider named Tim Ek who paid a visit to the pub a week ago and then again with his wife Amy yesterday, that Tim wrote up a blog post while at the bar, that he took Graham outside to show him his Horsethief, that he wrote the URL of his blog site on a napkin, etc etc.
I just stared at him, probably with my jaw dropped. A coincidence of sizeable proportions.
Freewheel Bike held their 2nd annual Winter Bike Expo ("the world headquarters of winter riding fanatics") yesterday at their Midtown Bike Center. The fat bikes were everywhere (Surly and Salsa each had a big presence) and since I’m doing some work on the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Winter Summit & Festival coming up in January, the Expo gave me a picture of how much enthusiasm there is here in Minnesota for fat biking.
I hadn’t planned on going but on Friday night, I had dinner with Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew and while I was under the influence, he influenced me to go. I got to chew the fat (heh) again with former Northfielder John Gaddo, Outside Sales Rep at QBP (Quality Bicycle Products). He introduced me to Joe Meiser, Q’s Product Design Manager who, just a few days ago, had sent me all his photos from the 1st Annual Fat Bike Summit for posting on the site. I also got to talk fat bike advocacy with IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson.
I took a photo of Hansi and Aaron, two guys who, unlike me, actually know what they’re doing with a camera. (See some of Aaron’s photos on his Sweet Cuyuna Living’ blog; see some of Hansi’s photos on his Universal Klister blog.) Alas, I was laughing when I took their photo and ended up with a very blurry image. So I’ve covered up my mistake with a stylized version of it. My choice of red was influenced by red accent that Aaron has used all over his Cuyuna Series G Surly Moonlander, which he had just outfitted with monster 4.8" Bud and Lou tires from Surly, complete with red valve stem caps.
See my large slideshow of 56 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
The MN High School Cycling League held their inaugural season awards party yesterday at QBP headquarters in Bloomington. League director and QBP Director of Advocacy Gary Sjoquist and his talented team put on quite a show. Steve Flagg, founder and president of QBP, was on hand to make sure Gary wasn’t goofing off.
16 teams and 146 student mountain bikers competed during the season (official results here). In the team competition (combined boys and girls):
See the large slideshow of 135 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
QBP and Fitzgerald’s Bicycles are teaming up to host the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Winter Summit & Festival, Jan. 25-27 in Island Park, Idaho. The Summit (Friday) is for land managers, parks staff, and policy makers to learn more about fat biking in winter and to discuss possible changes in policies. The Festival (Sat/Sun) is for anyone.
I’m part of the team working on this event, helping with the blog, Twitter, webinars, Facebook, etc. And if all goes as planned, I’ll be at the event posting updates throughout… and hopefully doing a fair amount of fat biking in between.
We started started sending out this media release today and we’re starting to do a little online promo.
If you’ve got suggestions or questions, fire away.
I’ve blogged about QBP’s Director of Advocacy Gary Sjoquist a few times because of his involvement in various mountain bike-related activities and projects.
This week, he and his QBP colleagues hosted a group of civic leaders from Utah to share what’s been done in Minneapolis to earn it Bicycling Magazine’s #1 ranking as the best bicycling city in America for 2011 and Walk Score’s #1 ranking of the 10 most bikeable large U.S. cities. The plan:
This two-day trip will examine their recipe mix of new infrastructure, education, and advocacy that won this accolade. Special attention will be given to how cycling is being integrated into the transit community, and look at the economic impacts of cycling within the MSP area.
Ogden, Utah’s bicycling infrastructure is particularly important to QBP because they opened their western distribution center, Q-West, there in 2011 (press release) and their Bike Commuting Program for employees is a big deal.
I joined the delegation on Thursday as they toured Minneapolis on Nice Ride MN bikes, starting out at the Holiday Inn Metrodome.
We biked down to Mpls City Hall and ate lunch while hearing from Shaun Murphy, Minneapolis Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator; Ethan Frawley, Bicycle Coalition of Minneapolis; and Dorian Grilley, Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota.
We then worked our way over to Freewheel’s Midtown Bike Center on the Midtown Greeway where we heard from Bill Dossett, Executive Director of Nice Ride MN, and Soren Jensen, Executive Director of the Midtown Greenway Coalition. From there, it was back to downtown Minneapolis during rush hour, and then across the Stone Arch Bridge to St. Anthony Main where we had dinner at Pracna on Main.
See the large slideshow of 72 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
Utah delegation members
City of Ogden: Mayor Mike Caldwell
City of Ogden: Josh Jones
UTA: Matt Sibul
UTA: Darci Taylor
Bike Utah: Scott Lyttle, Executive Director
Bike Utah: Brad Woods, Board President
WFRC: Andrew Gruber, Executive Director
WFRC: Jory Johner
Salt Lake County Planning: Max Johnson
Davis County: Commissioner Louenda Downs
Utah County: Commissioner Larry Ellertson
Eagle Mtn: Mayor Heather Jackson
MAG: Shawn Seager
UDOT: Evelyn Tuddenham
SLC Transportation: Dan Bergenthal
A visually stunning adventure by bike: Reveal the Path explores the world’s playgrounds in Europe’s snow capped mountains, Scotland’s lush valleys, Alaska’s rugged coastal beaches and Morocco’s high desert landscapes…
Filmed across four continents and featuring Tour Divide race legends, Matthew Lee & Kurt Refsnider, this immersive film is sure to ignite the dream in you.
Left: John Gaddo, QBP Outside Sales Rep
Center: Andy Palmer, Salsa Customer Service
Right: John Gaddo and Jason Boucher, Salsa General Manager. See Jason’s ImagineGnat blog ("Bicycles – Photography – People – Exploration")
Left: Curtis Ness and Ben Witt, Milltown Cycles, with Mike “Kid” Riemer, Salsa Marketing Manager.
Center: Ben Witt with Mryna Mibus, blogger, freelance writer, and future mountain biker who was there with her husband Owen and kids.
Right: Mike Dion, producer and director of Reveal the Path and its predecessor Ride the Divide.
See the large slideshow of 17 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:
Here’s a Slideshare view of Gary’s Powerpoint presentation that can be viewed while listening to the audio. Or you can download the original Powerpoint file now available on the Kick-Off Open House page.
Gary said that the League’s first initiative is to form a high school mountain bike racing league in here in MN. Other cycling sports might be supported at a later date but that the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) believes that mountain biking is the ‘T-Ball’ of cycling. The League’s events will be open to individual student riders but organizers also believe that forming high school teams is the best way for students to learn the skills and how to ride safely.
Organizers helped the attendees meet each other in geographic groups to facilitate planning. I got together with some guys from Cannon Falls and Red Wing and we’re exploring the possibility of forming a Cannon River Valley regional team, to include those towns plus Faribault and Northfield.
Here’s a Slideshare view of a presentation that can be used when presenting the concept to school administrators. Or you can download the original Powerpoint file now available on the Kick-Off Open House page.
Props to Erik Saltvold, CEO and founder of Erik’s Bike and Board Shop and Pat Sorenson, President of Penn Cycle, for signing on to be Founding Retailers/Platinum Level Sponsors. See the League’s Feb. 28 press release for more details.
I met Erik Saltvold back in 2000 when we were both members of an Inner Circle business group. He paid a visit to Northfield in 2008 for the annual Jesse James Bike Tour, as his shop is a Tour sponsor and provides mechanical support for the 1,000+ riders. I didn’t realize it till I looked at photos from 2008 but Libby Hurley, Marketing & PR Manager for Erik’s Bike Shop, was also in Northfield that day and there last night as well (on the right in the right photo above), helping to staff the the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) booth. Libby’s also doing PR work for the MN Cycling League. See the Media Center page for contact info.
I attended the Feb. MORC Board meeting on Monday, held at QPB headquarters in Bloomington. I’m interested in getting more involved in the organization, though I’m not sure yet what it might be. I asked about the existence of MORC committees (eg, membership, volunteers, marketing, finance, events, etc.) and evidently some are in the works.
MORC’s About Us page has info about the board and the organization, though it looks like that page needs some updating.
Gary Sjoquist, QBP’s Director of Advocacy, graciously hosted the meeting and provided pizza. Gary’s got a new mugshot on the newly revamped QPB website. I had a chance to meet with him before the meeting. He had the upcoming Frostbike on his brain, of course, followed by developments with the Minnesota High School Cycling League. More on that to come.