In the waning hours of yesterday’s Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival, I reminded CLMTB Crew president Aaron Hautala that he said he was definitely going to do the big jump into the US Airbag that was set up in the center of Crosby. I thought he was going to play the I’m-too-busy-running-this-festival-to-have-time-for-that-kid-stuff card. But I was wrong. He put on his game face and did it. Here’s the play-by-play in 9 photos:
This season our Summit is focused on IMBA Chapters and clubs looking to become Chapters. So if you are either an existing Chapter or are with a club that is seriously looking to become an IMBA Chapter please pre-register. All other clubs or individuals feel free to contact IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson if you are interested in attending.
The Summit is a one day event. We will be meeting and discussing various advocacy topics and issues that pertain to the IMBA Chapter Partnership. Later in the afternoon we will ride the Cuyuna trails and then we will have a social at Ya Betcha’s Bar & Grill later in the evening.
There was just enough daylight left to get a ride in on some of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails, so I took Switchback from the campground over to the Mahnomen Unit and rode Crusher, Miner’s Mountain, Chute, Ferrous Wheel, Trammer, and Rocky Flats.
Early this morning, I took Drag Line from Portsmouth over to the Yawkey Unit, riding Man High Hill and Haul Road on the way and then Bobsled a couple of times.
Cool discovery #1: I had assumed both Switchback and Drag Line were just plain old connecting trails. Wrong. They’re both hugely fun intermediate level trails. Lots of rollers and a surprising number of berms for two-way trails. Non-stop pleasure riding, both directions.
Cool discovery #2: I took it a little easy on all the trails, as I was by myself, but it was so much more fun riding these trails than last year, I couldn’t stop grinning. Why? I’m in better shape, of course. But my skills are better, due mainly to A) what I learned about braking, turning, and ‘the attack’ position at the Leaders’ Summit skills class; and B) spending about an hour at Eagan’s Lexington Pump & Jump Park where I learned (thanks to Chance Glasford), how to pump, ie, accelerate without pedaling.
By 8 am this morning I was starving so I headed over to the Heartland Kitchen & Café, my favorite breakfast spot in Crosby. I lucked out, as some of the IMBA guys were there: Hansi Johnson, Midwest Regional Director; Andy Williamson, Great Lakes Region Director; and Aaron Rogers, Trail Specialist.
I coaxed the café’s proprietor, Maureen Christopher, into posing with them for a photo, since Maureen is such a fan of the mountain bikers who’ve helped her business thrive since the park opened last summer.
But the experience was so fantastic and the people I met were so fun and interesting that I bought a bike as soon as I returned home and my recreational life has been pretty special ever since.
I’m going back this weekend for the 2nd Annual:
A collaborative fundraiser planned by and for the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists, an IMBA Chapter and the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce in an effort to continue to foster the growth of mountain biking as a sport in Minnesota and the community of Cuyuna Lakes.
The schedule of events is pretty amazing but be sure to see the blog posts for more details, for example:
While mountain biking at Lebanon Hills last week, I came upon a log right along the trail that was host to a large number of very fresh sulphur shelf mushrooms (AKA the ‘chicken of the woods’). I stuffed my hydration pack with about 10 pounds of them and brought them home.
Robbie cleaned and soaked them in salt water, dried a big batch with our food dryer, and sautéed the rest to accompany yet another delicious meal on our deck. Heaven: