Tag: <span>Tim Wegner</span>

I was in St. Paul yesterday morning for the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota’s Day on the Hill which their web site described as:

Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota… a great opportunity to network with other park and trail supporters from around the state, learn about the issues, and hear from park leaders and legislators. Whether you come as a member of a Friends group, a concerned citizen or a student looking to learn about the process, you’ll leave informed and your involvement strengthens our efforts to preserve and enhance Minnesota’s special places! The morning will equip you with the necessary tools to meet with your legislators.

Minnesota Trails magazine, Winter 2011 - Tim Wegner Mountain biking as a way of lifeI first blogged about the Parks and Trails Council back in Nov. of 2011 when Tim Wegner’s contributions to mountain biking were profiled in their Minnesota Trails magazine.

That piece focused on Tim’s work on the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails, which, as readers of this blog know, is the mountain bike park that changed my life.

MN Parks & Trails Executive Director Brett Feldman DNR State Parks Director Courtland Nelson Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota's Day on the Hill 2013 
So it was cool yesterday to see and hear from two of the people mentioned in that article, Executive Director Brett Feldman and DNR State Parks Director Courtland Nelson, because of the role they played in Cuyuna’s creation.

Team Cuyuna: Jenny Smith, Jim Mayne, Judy Erickson, John SchaubachBetter yet, my Cuyuna pals Jenny Smith and John Schaubach from the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails were there and introduced me to two of their colleagues, Jim Mayne (Deerwood Technologies, Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce) and Judy Erickson, former Government Relations Director for the Parks and Trails Council, now a lobbyist on her own with a new client: Cuyuna!  A little history on Judy is in order.

After I blogged about the article on Tim Wegner, I attached a comment to it about Judy’s departure from the Council, linking to the Nov. 2010 article titled High-Energy Judy Erickson Leaving Parks & Trails Council.  Pertinent Cuyuna quote from the article:

Wegner recalled that once he and others were glumly discussing the fact that they didn’t have the necessary state money to match the potential federal money when Parks & Trails Government Relations Director Judy Erickson approached them and asked what was wrong. They explained and she took them to the sixth floor of the State Office Building, told the people there that she wanted a bill written and what she wanted it to say and then took it to DFL Rep. John Ward and Republican Sen. Paul Koering and told them to sponsor it. Eventually, the $150,000 was appropriated. “The state is getting a million dollar trail for $150,000,” Wegner said.

Tim chimed in with this comment:

Griff, I remember that conversation with Judy very well. It was amazing to me how much Judy was respected by everyone that she spoke with. Everyone from the people that wrote the bill to Rep Ward and Sen. Koering treated her with respect and obvious appreciation for all the work she did to lobby for state parks.

The energy that Judy exudes is infectious, she has such a positive attitude and full of attitude of we can get this done. She was also critical in holding my hand as I testified in front of the house committee in support of the bill. What a scary experience but, I knew that Judy was there and could always help me with a difficult question.

I asked Judy to send me a blurb about her role. She wrote:

A veteran lobbyist, sharing her strategic legislative and communications skills, and passion, to help communities secure state investments for economic development, tourism and infrastructure. For Cuyuna, helping them develop a community wide approach to state investments in the Cuyuna Lakes Trail and CSRA and turning the area into the place for active recreation year-round; and creating business opportunities along the way. "One ride on a mountain bike was all it took.  The adrenaline and the scenic beauty of Cuyuna combine for an amazing memory." Unique signature, besides working really hard, is sharing apples and apple pies or two from our Pleasant Valley Orchard.

You can also contact Judy via her profile on LinkedIn and her firm, Conservation Strategies, Inc.

My photos of others who spoke during the morning session:

 Parks and Trails Council Executive Director Brett Feldman Luke Skinner, Deputy Director of MnDNR Parks and Trails Division Erika Rivers, Assistant Commissioner of MnDNR
Brett Feldman, Parks and Trails Council Executive Director; Luke Skinner, Deputy Director of MnDNR Parks and Trails Division; Erika Rivers, Assistant Commissioner of MnDNR

Greg Mack, Director of Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Tom Ryan, Superintendent of Olmsted County Parks Greg Mack, Erika Rivers, Tom Ryan Rep. Alice Hausman, Chair of House Capital Investment Committee
Greg Mack, Director of Ramsey County Parks and Recreation; Tom Ryan, Superintendent of Olmsted County Parks; Rep. Alice Hausman, Chair of House Capital Investment Committee;

Rep. Leon Lillie, Assistant Majority Leader, Vice-Chair Legacy Committee Rep. Jean Wagenius, Chair of House Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance Committee Jean Wagenius, Alice Hausman Sen. David Tomassoni, Chair of Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division
Rep. Leon Lillie, Assistant Majority Leader, Vice-Chair Legacy Committee; Rep. Jean Wagenius, Chair of House Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance Committee; Sen. David Tomassoni, Chair of Senate Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division.

Sen. Dan Sparks, member, Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division Rep. Phyllis Kahn, Chair of House Legacy Committee Rep. Denny McNamara, member, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance Committee Joe Bagnoli, Government Relations Consultant for Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota 
Sen. Dan Sparks, member, Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture Division; Rep. Phyllis Kahn, Chair of House Legacy Committee; Rep. Denny McNamara, member, Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Finance Committee; Joe Bagnoli, Government Relations Consultant for Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota.

Advocacy People

The entire Lebanon Hills MTB Park will be closed most of the day on Friday August 10 until 3 PM as the Leb Dirt Bosses and Dakota County Parks staff prep for the opening of the new trailhead and skills/terrain park.  The current parking lot will be closed and the new one (paved) opened for the first time. Access to all the trails at Leb will then be behind the new trailhead building.

South/adjacent to the trailhead building is the new skills/terrain park.  I got a chance to pre-ride it a bit on Monday with the guy who constructed it, Tim Wegner, owner of Trail Source.  (Last fall, I blogged about Tim and his contributions to mountain biking, as did Chance Glasford in his blog.) Dave Tait, one of the Leb Dirt Bosses, joined us for the photo/video shoot.

Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park DSC02373 copy Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park DSC02381 copy Tim Wegner, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
Above: Dave and Tim riding some of the separate beginner and intermediate level skinnies, rock sections, and logs.

 

Tim Wegner, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
All of the advanced rock sections have multiple lines. The series of photos above shows Tim (left) riding an intermediate line down the one side of the rock pile, Dave (center) riding an advanced line down the middle of the same pile, and me (right) riding up the pile.

 

Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
Riding down these three rocks (above) is challenging because of the gaps between them. Weight back, wheelie, unweight, repeat. Dave made it look easy. Ride up the rocks for a bit less of a challenge.

 

Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
The same rocks (above) can be criss-crossed in a variety of ways, intermediate-to-advanced. I predict they’ll be popular with intermediate level riders looking to advance their skills as the rocks 1) have round edges and 2) are surrounded by strategically-placed wood chips to soften the, um, unplanned landings.

 

Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
This rock section (above) is considerably more difficult when ridden this direction because of the slight downward approach to the extremely narrow skinny of rocks in the middle. Dave was able to clean it a couple of times. The video (see below) of him riding it the other direction (easier) also shows the right-turn, then left-turn narrow wooden skinny approaching the rocks section.

 

Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Griff Wigley, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Griff Wigley, crashing at Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
Two other tough obstacles: 1) the skinny made of uneven upright logs (left photo above) has a couple of slight bends in it; and 2) the large round bolder in the middle of the field can be tackled from all directions, not all of them successfully (right photo) I discovered.

 

Tim Wegner, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Tim Wegner, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
There are two connected bermed turns in the NW corner of the park. Beginners can take them slow but there’s room to get a good run at them if you want to go fast.

Tim Wegner, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park Tim Wegner, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park
The south end of the park has three lines of rollers and jumps. Tim shows that you can have fun just riding down the them  at various speeds; riders can pump and manual over them, too, of course.  The back two runs end with two large berms.

Dave Tait, Lebanon Hills MTB skills park DSC02493 DSC02494 DSC02495

DSC02497 DSC02500 DSC02501 DSC02502
Dave shows (photos above in the 50-second video below) that you have fun jumping there, too.

 

See a large slideshow of all the above photos.

Trails