Tag: Rice County Parks

I occasionally put on my mountain bike advocacy hat (helmet?) and in the past few of weeks I’ve had it on quite a bit in my role as a board member of my local IMBA chapter, Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT). One issue I’ve worked on has been addressing  the concerns of some citizens who’ve had some objections about our mountain bike trail-building activities in Rice County’s Caron Park.

Rice-County-logo

While we are reaching out to these citizens to meet face-to-face, I’ve used our CROCT blog to address the main issues and invite further comments and discussion from anyone who might be interested. The idea is not so much to communicate to our CROCT members about the issue but rather:

  • to give elected/appointed officials and staff something they can see/read so that they can better understand what’s been done
  • to provide a link to a blog post that those officials can send to others who contact them with concerns
  • to help defuse the issue for some of the opponents who may feel that at least they’ve been listened to, even if we don’t agree with them.

See my post: Impact of CROCT’s mountain bike trails in Caron Park

You can actually get similar products that are almost exactly the same, and half the price on Amazon

 

 

Advocacy

L to R: Rice County District 5 Commissioner Jeff Docken, Marty Larson, Jeremy Bokman CROCT Board members Marty Larson, Jeremy Bokman and I had lunch yesterday at Tandem Bagels with Rice County District 5 Commissioner Jeff Docken.

It was a follow-up to the meeting that Marty, Jeremy and I had last August with Jake Rysavy, Rice County Parks & Facilities Director in which he expressed support for exploring the possibility of mountain bike trails at Caron Park and McCullough Park/Campground.

McCullough Park is in Jeff Docken’s district and he seemed intrigued about the possibility of having mountain bike trails on the large tract of park property across from the newly remodeled campground on Shields Lake.

See the August 21 photos in this CROCT blog post when Marty, Jeremy and I did a walk-through of McCullough. As you can see, the property has both a large sloping prairie and many ravines, making it ideal for mtb trails of all ability levels. And being adjacent to a trail head on a lake with a campground, picnic shelter, rest rooms, showers, boat access, etc, one could imagine McCullough becoming a destination mountain bike park someday.

We’ve expressed our preference for creating beginner-to-advanced mtb trails at Caron Park first. It’s situated half way between Faribault and Northfield, a more convenient (15-minute drive) for CROCT trail workers from both cities who would be investing hundreds of volunteer hours in constructing trails there. And after gaining a season’s worth of experience with trail-building at Caron, we would be in a better position to assess what we could accomplish at McCullough, a more demanding venue.

The next step will likely be for this to be an agenda item on an upcoming meeting of the Rice County Board’s Parks and Facilities committee before it goes to the full Board. The wheels of government don’t always move quickly but it’s possible that we could be authorized to dig at Caron Park this year.

Advocacy Trails

Back in January, I blogged about mountain biking at the River Bend Nature Center (RBNC) in Faribault. I subsequently learned that there are officials trails and unofficial trails, making for a delicate situation.  As I wrote in a comment, the RBNC website doesn’t mention mountain biking specifically but #18 on their rules and regulations page says:

it shall be unlawful to… Operate a bicycle except on official trails and in designated areas;

Next week, there’s going to be a meeting to discuss mountain biking. On the RBNC website:

RBNC mtbCalling All Mountain Bikers

On Thursday, April 19, from 7 to 8 pm, River Bend Nature Center will be hosting an informational meeting regarding the trails that are being used for mountain biking. The meeting will take place in the Interpretative Center. Snacks and beverages will be provided!

Thanks to Curtis Ness at Milltown Cycles in Faribault for alerting me to this meeting. I’ll be there. 

Trails