Tag: Specialized Bicycles

That’s not a typical headline for reporting about a ride on an electric mountain bike, or more precisely, a pedal-assist eMTB. But that was my frame of mind last week when I spent 3.5 hours demoing a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie at the Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail, courtesy of Rob Stepaniak at Erik’s Bike Shop.

Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie IMG_5344

I’m not in the market to buy an eMTB but I’ve been curious to see what problems I would experience on one doing the type of technical riding I like to do. When Rob saw my Facebook post about my wife’s purchase of a Pedego Commuter ebike, he contacted me to see if I was interested in a demo. Oh yeah.

(Yes, I’m fully aware of the controversy on riding eMTB bikes on singletrack mtb trails. This blog post won’t be about that but I did engage in discussion about those issues when I initially posted the photo of me and Rob on my Facebook profile here. Feel free to chime in there. Warning: I enforce civility.)

My first expectation going into the demo was that I’d appreciate the pedal-assist boost for riding uphill interim sections of the trail, i.e., those sections that don’t have any particular challenge to them. I’m rarely a racer and seldom interested in my Strava times for long segments so I’m not often in great shape.  And I don’t much like riding long uphills when it’s hot and humid.

Equipment

Hansi Johnson on Piedmont MTB trail Hansi Johnson observing the reconstruction of Haines Road Hansi Johnson's salute to the 'side effects' of the reconstruction of Haines Road

The day after my solo stint at Spirit, I met up with IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson for a ride on the COGGS Piedmont trail over to the new Brewer Park trail under construction. On way, we encountered MNDOT’s reconstruction of Haines Road which was wiped out by last year’s flood. For some reason, MNDOT has take down a huge chunk of the hill/cliff overlooking a section of the road and with it, a large section of the Piedmont trail. If you look closely at the photo of Hansi on the right, you can see how he feels about this.

Hansi Johnson, Adam Harju Hansi Johnson, Larry Sampson Brad Miller, Hansi Johnson

After making our way around the, um, destruction, we came upon a COGGS trail building crew working on the new Brewer Park trail, led by Adam Harju and Brad Miller, with assistance from Larry Sampson, Duluth Maintenance Supervisor for the Superior Hiking Trail Association. Here’s some background from a COGGS blog post:

Along with the work funded by the Legacy grant, COGGS also has it’s own mechanized trail building crew. Thanks to a $10,000 grant from Specialized Bicycles, COGGS was able to purchase a Bobcat 418 mini-excavator and a CanyCom mechanized wheel barrow. To operate this equipment we hired Adam Harju, Brad Miller and Pete Leutgeb.

Their first project was building two reroutes of the existing singletrack on the east side of Amity Creek and have since turned their efforts towards building a portion of the Duluth Traverse Trail through Brewer Park. This section of land is immediately across Haines Rd west of Piedmont and has perfect terrain for mountain bike trails. This section of the DT will connect Piedmont to the State Trail and DWP, which are both off-road, multi-use trails that a rider can take all the way to Beck’s Rd in West Duluth.

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Members of the College of Saint Scholastica track team were volunteering, hauling many wheelbarrow loads of dirt to the Brewer Park MTB trail construction site a couple blocks away. Jeesh.

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“Thanks to a $10,000 grant from Specialized Bicycles, COGGS was able to purchase a Bobcat 418 mini-excavator and a CanyCom mechanized wheel barrow.”

People Trail work Trails