Mountain Bike Geezer

Syndicate content
Singletrack, gravity, bicycling issues & more
Updated: 27 min 38 sec ago

Advocating for mountain biking to be part of Northfield’s new Meadows Park

Sat, 11/22/2014 - 9:17am

Back in the summer of 2013, I blogged about the mountain biking-related possibilities for Northfield’s new Meadows Park. So it was pretty cool to attend the City of Northfield‘s Meadows Park community planning meeting at the Northfield Middle School on Wednesday night and have mountain biking be mentioned by the consultants (Paul Miller Design and SRF Consulting) as one of the possibilities under consideration.

  

Even better, there was some support for it from citizens at the small group discussions, helped along by participation from fellow Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT) members Marty Larson and Scott Klein. 

  

After the meeting, we had some informal discussions with Ward 2 Councilor David DeLongAt-Large Councilor Rhonda Pownell, and PRAB Chair Dale Gehring, as well as City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller, Community Planning and Development Director Chris Heineman, and Interim Public Works Director/City Engineer Brian Erickson.

The CROCT Board has not taken an official position on what we’d like to see in the way of mountain biking for the park.  But in our comments, we talked about the advantages of having:

  • a beginner/intermediate-level singletrack (multi-use) trail around the perimeter of the park
  • a bike park in one corner, with features like pump tracks, dirt jumps, and a skills course, all serving a range of abilities (progression) including a tot area
  • a pavilion area with bathrooms, changing facilities, picnic tables, grills, water fountains. See the West Trailhead facilities page for Dakota County’s Lebanon Hills MTB Park for a good example.

The next Meadows Park community meeting will be on Jan. 21.

Want more information about Meadows Park? See these documents that I extracted from the Nov. 20 PRAB meeting agenda packet:

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

Categories: Citizens

Photo album: CROCT’s inaugural group ride

Sun, 11/16/2014 - 3:49pm

I’m on the Board of CROCT (Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails), a new IMBA chapter here in Rice County. And yesterday, we hosted our first ever group ride in Northfield’s Sechler Park during the area’s first real snowfall of the season.   Nearly two dozen riders participated.

CROCT Board member Carl Arnold made this 1-minute video of some of the rides:

After a couple hours of riding,  we convened for some refreshments at Fit To Be Tri’d in downtown Northfield.

See the large slideshow of 80+ photos (many low res, captured from video) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

Categories: Citizens

The 20th Anniversary MORC Gala: speakers and auctions and beer, oh my!

Tue, 11/11/2014 - 5:43pm

The 20th Anniversary MORC Gala at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis on Sunday was fabulous. As a MORC board member, I’m more than a little biased, of course.  So with that caveat, here’s a glimpse into the wingding.

The doors opened at 2pm for the Surly Brewing Happy Hour, with live music by The Lost Wheels. MORC Board member, meteorologist, and 2WheelWeather blogger Kristin Clark (@2WheelWeather & @KClarkWx) was the Master of Ceremonies and began her duties by introducing each of the speakers.

Gary Sjoquist, Mountain Bike Hall of Fame (MBHOF) member and QBP’s Director of Advocacy, gave a detailed overview on how mountain biking got started in Minnesota, and how MORC came to be. Some of this history is included in the MBHOF page on Gary.

Kristin then introduced Paul Douglas (@pauldouglas), her boss at WeatherNation and long-time local meteorologist. Paul deftly and humorously wove mountain biking into his speech’s theme on climate change in Minnesota. He got a big cheer from the fat bikers in the crowd when he confirmed that a significant snowstorm was on the way.

Steve Flagg, co-founder and president of QBP (@QualityBike) told the story of how the company came to see the potential for fat bikes and the role it has since played in their proliferation. We also got to hear the story of the company’s tag line: Every Butt on a Bike.

I had a hard time focusing on Steve because right below the podium was a red full-suspension carbon Salsa Bucksaw fat bike that he said he’d just seen for the first time and that Salsa Cycles (@salsacycles) marketing manager Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer had just blogged about a few days earlier. I had dinner with Mike and his son Jordan and I told them: My geezer butt needs to be on that bike. Real Soon Now.

 Libby Shea Hurley, Communication Director for the Minnesota High School Cycling League (@MinnesotaMTB), spoke about the League’s mountain bike racing in Minnesota, which just finished its third season. “Pretty cool” was Libby’s operative phrase and I’d agree. 2014 saw over 500 student-athletes participating, with 42 teams representing over 60 schools.

Rebecca Rusch (@thequeenofpain) spoke, not about her lengthy list of achievements as an athlete, but about the importance of bicycle advocacy.  She walks the talk. A recent example: Wheel Girls MTB Club in her hometown of Ketchum, ID. She was also signing copies of her new book, Rusch to Glory. I bought a copy and had her sign it for my daughter Gilly, a ‘queen of pain’ in her own right.

After the silent auction and dinner, Kristin presented Penn Cycle & Fitness CEO Pat Sorenson with a signed and framed print #1 of the MORC 20th Anniversary poster by Adam Turman.

Penn Cycle was the Title Sponsor of this year’s MORC Gala and has also become a MORC Diamond Level Partner in 2015.

Titanium level sponsors for the Gala:   Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee BarQBP; and Surly Brewing.

  

Andy Imholte, Black Diamond Auctions, then took over for the live auction of these 7 items:

Andy finished with a series of “Who can donate $X?” challenges to the audience. Many took him up on it, including most generous donations from QBP co-founders Mary Henrickson and Steve Flagg; Life Time Fitness National Cycle Director Patti Schmidt-Iverson; and QBP Advocacy Director Gary Sjoquist.

  

It’ll be awhile before MORC tallies up the numbers on the fundraiser. But it’s safe to say that members of the MORC Events Committee set the bar high and hit it out of the mountain bike park, to triple-mix my metaphors.

Utmost props to Chair Kristin Clark and her team: Brandon Barkosky, Porter Million, Brandon and Meghann Charboneau, and with ample staff support from MORC Executive Director Matt Andrews.

  

See my large slideshow of 40+ photos or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

Categories: Citizens

Final ranking: Top Ten Difficult MTB technical obstacles in Twin Cities Metro area – 2014

Sat, 11/08/2014 - 9:10am

The results are in for the 2014 Top Ten Difficult MTB technical obstacles in Twin Cities Metro area.

See all the details for the whole project here.

 

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

Categories: Citizens

Theo’s new South Wirth flow trail: best in the Twin Cities Metro

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 11:52am

I rode the new South Wirth trail at Theodore Wirth MTB Park in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon. It’s a hoot. It’s crammed with flow features that can be rolled for intermediate level riders. But advanced level riders (or wannabes like me) will have a rollicking good time. There’s nothing like this trail in the metro area. It’s like having a slice of the intermediate/advanced flow trails at Cuyuna, Spirit Mountain and CAMBA , all packed into a very small area. Truly amazing. Props to MORC, MOCA, and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board for making it happen (details below).

Here’s a 1 min 45 second video clip, taken with my GoPro in a chest harness. You’ll see when I got to the drops that I stopped and walked them, turned around and walked back, then rode them but not fast enough to clear them. I sorta rolled them and was lucky I didn’t crash. I’ll be back asap to try again.

Update Nov. 13: I rode the trail again last Sunday. My first two attempts at the two drops were lame. But then I watched a few others and that helped. After a few more runs, I felt like I was getting the hang of it. It’s a hoot. Here’s my 90-second video that includes a couple of those other riders who showed me how to do it:

Theo Dirt Boss Steve Boyd posted this photo and tribute to the MOCA Facebook page a week or so ago. (That’s Steve in the left corner of the photo):

Once upon a time there was a dream. It was a big dream. Make these signs go away and turn an amazing section of Theo Wirth woods into a nearly two mile Theo Wirth mountain biking wonderland. Sometimes dreams get to come true. Today is one of those days.

We started out the summer by asking you to help make this dream come true by donating to our fundraiser. We needed a total of $17,500 to cover our commitment to this project. 270 of you stepped up in a huge way. We knocked our fundraising goal out of the park. Sometimes dreams get to come true. Today is one of those days.

We started out the summer with another dream. Greatly reduce the cost of this project by doing the corridor clearing ourselves. Nearly two miles of 10’ wide corridor to clear by hand seemed like a daunting task. People doubted. Heck….I doubted. We sent out the calls for help. You responded…and then some. We knocked this one out of the park as well. Sometimes dreams get to come true. Today is one of those days.

It took nearly 12 years for this dream to come true. If it wasn’t for the fortitude and the “can do” attitude of folks like Mara Larson, Matt Moore, Chuck Chenvert, Shawn Sheely, Shawn Jeppesen, Steef Mansfield… and many others… it would still be a dream. If not for the awesome support of Andrea Weber, Tyler Pederson and the rest of the MPRB team… it would still be a dream. If not for you… it would still be a dream.

Today this dream came true.

South Wirth is open. Go ride!

Steve for the Theo Trail Crew

 

 

 

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

Categories: Citizens

Guest post on Singletracks.com: How To Prepare Your Eyes to Ignore Your Survival Instincts When Riding Skinnies

Mon, 11/03/2014 - 9:24am

I have a guest blog post on Singletracks. com today:

How To Prepare Your Eyes to Ignore Your Survival Instincts When Riding Skinnies

It’s my third guest post for them. The others:

It’s been terrific working with Editor-in-Chief Greg Heil.

I’m hoping the collaboration will continue.

GET IT THROUGH YOUR THICK SKULL

Subscribe to my free Thick Skull MTB Skills/Mountain Bike Geezer newsletter and get:

  1. The free 3-part video series, 'Light Hands, Heavy Feet': 17 mountain bike drills to develop the 'light hands' habit and make your riding more stable no matter what the terrain
  2. Exclusive how-to-ride related content every week that I don't post on my blog.

So do it. Get it through your Thick Skull.

Categories: Citizens

Bookmark and Share