Friday, October 3, 2014

2014 come and gone

Well well well, here we are! Where the hell have I been? Haha good question! I have been all over the place; it has been another crazy year.  Building, working, and traveling. I went to Germany for a wedding and spent a good amount of my free time out at the park for the second year in a row!
As you would already know, we won the Bell Built Grant but that was only a fraction of the craziness this year.
The year started out on a positive note. Everyone was super jacked, ready to get building because we won the bell grant and we were finally going to get our dirt jumps! That was the main reason we started the park to begin with! However we had to do some good faith building to ease the city into it a little bit. Now they seem to be fully on board !
Spring came about right on time, we started to build out there in May and then the monsoon season began! Totally messed us up and put us about a month behind where we wanted to be. We were constantly battling erosion because the vegetation had not yet grown in. We had to constantly cleanup silt from the bike path at the bottom of the hill. We had hoped to officially open the season on June 1st.  However the grand opening wasn’t until June 26th. With a solid push from al the volunteer help and a couple large build days, one sponsored by Freewheel bike shop, we made the grand opening day.
We got pretty lucky because we decided to spend a good chunk of our budget and purchase this awesome new product this year called Dust Shield by Soil Loc. It is a soil additive that hardens the soil through binding the particles. It was a great addition. It not only controlled erosion, it hardened the surface which made the track faster but it also sped up the drying process so that we could get the park open quicker after rainfalls.
Once July came most of the rain had quit and we were able to get the park pretty much dialed in and all treated with Dust Shield and sat back and watched the park grow with popularity. It was super impressive to see how many people of all walks of life started to come out and enjoy the park and we only had 2 of the 6 sections of the park open! It was just so cool!
During this time we were in the process of working with IMBA to organize the build out of the Bell Built Grant. We were going to use the money to build a world class dirt jump area and man did we ever. We had a meeting with Alex Harrington and Randy Spangler to discuss our desires and come up with a general lay out but the real magic started to happen when we found out we were working with Flow Ride Concepts.
I started talking with Shea about 2 weeks before they showed up on site and from the minute they showed up on site I knew that it was going to be a great build! Just super nice, genuinely awesome people! I told them don’t be shy and build what you would want to ride. The crew told them we wanted awesome jumps that other areas would envious of and that we like the trail feel! Boom that is what they gave us!
In less than 2 weeks, with a solid volunteer effort, they knocked out 3 bad ass lines. The intent was to provide beginner, intermediate and advanced but we got more of a beginner, advanced and expert but it’s all good because we still have room to build a 4th line between the beginner and advanced line. It will make for some super sick transfer lines. I think that Flow Ride would have been all about building that but we just ran out of time, money and dirt this year. However for the people looking for progression we definitely have that. We have beginner level pump tracks to get you flowing, then beginner level dj’s to get you off the ground, followed by an intermediate level 4x course that will really get you use to speed and get you airborne ! Then when you feel up to it you can start to learn to fly on our advanced dirt jump line and send it to the moon on the expert line! This jump line is the largest set of public dirt jumps in the state that I’m aware of!

It was a killer season over all, it was filled with ups and downs but over all I’m super stoked to have been part of it! The bike park is now in a better place thanks to all of our amazing volunteers, Flow Ride Concepts and the killer support we get from the community, the City of Cottage Grove and the Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists!

Vimeo video HERE

Please consider supporting this grassroots effort by coming out and lending a hand, if you don’t have time you can make a tax deductible donation by clicking the link:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Please Vote

If you haven't heard Cottage Grove Bike Park is a finalist for a $33,000 grant from Bell Bike Helmets. This grant would be used to build a world class dirt jump plaza at the park and help bring it 1 step closer to completion. 

If you haven’t already voted and shared please take a moment to place your vote for Cottage Grove Bike Park! Anyone can vote and it doesn't matter if you ride a bike or not or where you are from. If you support safe recreational opportunities for the youth, please vote for our project!
We are currently in second place! We need your help! Spread the word! Do this for Minnesota!

Voting is now LIVE at Bell Built and we need your support to win ⅓ of this $100,000 grant!
  • Go to Bell Built
  • Select Cottage Grove Bike Park
  • Enter the info required to make your vote official
  • Remember to confirm your vote! You will receive an email from Bell that will contain a confirmation link. You must click this link to make your vote count!

Send this email to friends, family members and co-workers
Share the attached image on Facebook (#BellBuilt, #CottageGroveBikePark)
Tweet about your vote (@BellBikeHelmets, @MORCmtb, #VoteCGBP)

To learn more about this opportunity, please see our Press Release


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

voting site

Well the voting site is up and running. The video should be up and going this week. Our voting window isn't until April 21st through May 4th but it's time to get the stoke up!

Check out the site, share it and all that good stuff!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Cottage Grove Bike Park is a Bell Grant Finalist!

I'm super stoked that CGBP has been selected as a finalist for the IMBA-Bell Built Grant, but this isn’t a sure thing, they haven't won anything yet and it will most definitely be a very difficult win! 

We will need everyone’s support when the time comes! Voting for our project will begin April 21st!

The other finalists will be announced soon. We know Andres Bike Park just outside of Chicago has also been selected. The region is large as you can see. 

The voting will be handled a little different this year.... there are 3 regions, West, Central and East. We are obviously in the central region.

There are 4 finalists for each region, so a total of 12 finalists.

There will be a winner from each region this year. It doesn't matter the category that your project is in, as long as it falls into either DH/Gravity, Flow or Bike Park, we are in the Bike Park category. Our grant would be used to build a world class dirt jump section in the Cottage Grove Bike Park.

Because of the new voting format there could potentially be 3 bike parks winning or any combination of the categories. The only thing that matters this time around is that your project receives the most votes in your region during your voting period!

This is where we will need your help, your friends, families, acquaintances and colleagues help! We want to be the project with the most votes at the end of our voting period!

There are 3 separate voting times, one for each region:
• April 7 through April 20, 2014: West Coast Regional Finalists
• April 21 through May 4, 2014: Central Regional Finalists
• May 5 through May 18, 2014: East Coast Regional Finalists

We will keep you posted as we progress through the process.


Friday, November 22, 2013

The season

These last few weeks since our long fall set in have brought mixed feelings. I feel like:  

1. We were robbed; this season was odd and slightly rough because we had such weird weather later winter, wet long spring, short summer and now a long wet, cool fall.  
2. A sigh of relief the season is over, I can relax. This season was one hell of a ride. It was very taxing emotionally, physically and mentally.
3. Slightly bummed, wishing I could ride more enjoy what I helped create.
4. Excitement, a group of us has made the 1 hour trip south 3 times to Bluff Valley Camp Ground to ride Over the Top Skate Park and it has been awesome! It is arguably the best skate park for bikes within 2 hours of the metro that is open to the public and reasonably priced. It is only $10 buck to ride all day and the ramps are dialed and big enough to be enjoyed on a bike.

When I was younger we would dabble in the skate park when the BMX track or our secret jumps, tiny now that I look back on them, were too wet. I enjoyed it but didn't find that much interest in the park and street riding scene back then. I am going to put that on the lack of exposure and the lack of a mentor.
There wasn't a huge BMX scene where I grew up in SD and all of those that were involved were mostly BMX racers. Tons of talented riders but not really into the freeride scene, I will also put some of the lack of interest on the environment or lack there off. It was pretty flat where I grew up so there wasn't a lot of great street riding option and the skate park was small and pretty much designed for skateboards, with no consideration for bikes.

Mover forward 12 years I have all the interest in the world to ride all forms of freeride BMX and MTB and the opportunities are more but still limited. Most of the outdoor skate parks are small and antiquated and the indoor riding options are few and far between. If I had the money I would probably join the Fantasy Factory but I can’t afford $100 a month at this time, maybe someday before I’m too old to really enjoy it I will.
So as I mentioned earlier a group of us have been going to Over the Top (OTT) for that last few weeks. The place is great. It makes me feel like a kid again. I forget all my worries as soon as I enter the doors and all I’m focused on is riding, hanging with friends and enjoying myself. I have been there 4 times so far and each time I can see a huge improvement over the last. I become more confident and smoother after each session. The ramps appear less intimidating and I am slowly conquering all the features. I am currently working on airing out quarter pipes and riding the spines smoothly and consistently.

My goal this winter is to be able to flow around the entire park confidently and shred smoothly on all the ramps and features. After I have gotten to the point that I can really ride the park I will begin adding to my bag of tricks. There is a group of us that is planning on making a guys riding trip out to CO next summer to ride concrete parks and some of the dirt parks and I want to be confident when I’m out there so I can make the most of the trip and have fun. Plus I don’t want to look like that guy! You know the one crappy rider that is just hanging out, haha. Needless to say most the guys I will be going with will be on 20 inch bikes and are dead rippers! I will be on a 26 inch bike and I’m a quality rider working on getting my dead ripper status!

Keep it real! 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Recap

Well hello everyone,

I know that I have been on one major hiatus this last few months but man my life has been busy! I had a lot on my plate with all the building and what not involved with Cottage Grove Bike Park but a lot of cool stuff has come of it. I have made some new friends and met more people. We have been able to do some pretty impressive stuff in a matter of a few months. It has now been about a year since the project began with a 30 minute conversation with Zac Docktor, followed by a series of meetings and then hours and hours of fund raising followed by hours and hours and hours of building, then a Party at the Park and then more building, then the IMBA Advanced Trail Building School and that is pretty much it!

We have completed 2 of the planned 6 sections, the 4 x course, a downhill BMX track built for 4 riders wide instead of 8, and the Pump Tracks. Next spring we will build the beginner skills track. This is a short track designed with the youngest riders in mind, strider bikes and the likes. After we complete this we will begin to build the dirt jump section of the park. That will be our large undertaking for the season… It should be a good time! We have a pretty solid crew that is passionate about riding and dedicated to build the most bad ass riding area in the state! I know we can do it!

This park has truly been a testament to what a community both bike and residential can do when they see the potential in a park. I have personally invested about 1000 hours since last fall when the process started but this summer we had approximately 3000 volunteer hours, which is absolutely crazy because that equals what all of the rest of the MORC organization produced in the season at 10+ other trails. We also raise some where north of $20,000 to help fund the project and swept the MORC awards. Mike Mullany won trail builder of the year, Adam Buck won volunteer of the year, the City of Cottage Grove won land manager of the year, Rumpca Excavation won sponsor of the year and I won the president’s award!

It was truly an inspiring year on all fronts and we are looking forward to some more epicness in the future. The project is expected to be completed by Fall of 2015. We are currently in the process of writing some grants and if we are awarded the grant money, it will truly take the park the next level. We are hoping to hire a professional company to come in and build the mountain bike skills course and the Slope Style course, if everything goes as planned, those will be built in the spring/summer of 2015.

On top of building more stuff next spring/summer we will make the park look like a true park. The city will be adding a hang out area, signage and enclosing the park with split rail fencing. We will continue to educate the community and the users about proper etiquette as we had a lot of miss use this summer. We were constantly fixing ruts in the riding surface as riders were not listening to the closed signs and riding it wet. We hope that with fences and a designated entrance that will have signage and the ability to close when wet or under construction that people will get the drift a little better and stay out of the park when wet.
Now that the building season is over and the outdoor riding season has come and gone most think it would be time to hang the bike up and call it a year or get out a fat bike and hit the snow trails, well I’m doing neither. I have found this little gem of an indoor skate park in Zumbrota Falls, MN about 1 hour south of CG.  The name is Over the Top Skate Park located at the Bluff Valley Camp Ground and the only thing I could ask for would be for it to be closer to home but we have already made 3 trips and plan to make many more but more to come on those trips in future blogs!

Keep it real! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vandalism at the Cottage Grove Bike Park

One of the volunteer trail workers stopped by the park yesterday afternoon and noticed that some of the fencing that was put in place a few weeks ago to close the park for the season was taken down. Upon further inspection they noticed that approximately 85% of the fencing had been cut, tore down, knocked down or the post had been pulled out of the ground and thrown to the side.

There were plenty of foot prints and tire tracks all over the park. This act has caused multiple hundreds of dollars worth of damage to the materials that were already installed and multiple volunteer hours to install it. There will be additional fencing and signage installed, this however will cut into next year’s funding to continue the building of the park and will most likely delay the official opening of the park. It is important to understand that the park is closed to protect it during the freeze and thaw cycles. Riding when wet or soft causes severe damage and requires the volunteers to spend their time repairing other peoples VANDALISM! That is what it is, destruction of City property!

There has been a police report filed and both the city and the police force will be increasing patrols of the area. No one should be in the bike park area riding their bikes. It is 100% closed and if caught you could be subject to a Trespassing ticket.

Please be respectful, when the park is closed and you ride it you are causing damage and breaking the law!

We are asking all residents, especially those that live around the park to keep a closer eye on the park and if you see anyone out there please notify the police.

Thank you!

some more pictures here