Thursday, April 28, 2011

sightly depressed but looking up

well I don't know about you all but I'm pretty dang sick of the weather. I love thunder storms but constant rainy dreary days are really taking their toll on me. One on my mood, two on my motivation and three on the availability of my activities! I just want Lebanon to open so I can ride my bike to one of the sweetest courses in town and save my gas, but it wont stop raining long enough for them to open it up! Hopefully this weekend or early next week. Also it really makes it tough to ride. I don't like riding in the rain, been there done that all the way across PA and it wasn't fun then and I'm sure it isn't fun now, skip it!
I did get out tonight for a about 1.5hr ride. It was super nice out once the sun popped out its head. It is suppose to be low 70's tomorrow! that should help dry some trails out!
No riding tomorrow, Kelly, Jerry and I will be going camping with a couple of our friends and William O'Brien state park just north of Still Water. It should be a lot of fun... First camping trip of the year! Love it, sleeping out side, the sound of the river and wild animals! Tossing the Frisbee, hiking, camp fires and some slack lining! I can't wait!
I will probably go ride Saturday after we get back and maybe Sunday as well, depending on what the weather does. If any one want to ride, hit me up!
Keep it real!

Monday, April 25, 2011

tough decisions

First off, I couldn't even remember what day it was when I woke up. That tells you how fast my weekend went. Work was work but after work I hit the trail. I went to Battle Creek, did a lap and ran into the same guys I met yesterday at the luge, and Josh was rocking a different bike, so I had to ask how many bikes he actually owned and yeah he has 10. He said he probably has 10 bikes at all times but has had up to 15 at one time! Yikes, that is crazy. He gets new bikes and sells his old ones. What a great racket because I know he gets a great deal and even if he sells them for the same price after a year, people think they are getting a great deal and he's more or less riding for little to nothing! Oh yeah I am envious!
Anyways back to the ride. It wasn't very long about 1hr 15mins. I did one full lap and then ended up at the bottom of the luge. I was going to ride the switch back and come around and end at the top but they were at the bottom so I stopped to talk with them and decided to push some runs. I did about 5 runs and had to head out. I was a little sketchy today but the last couple runs I was railing the berms pretty fast and launching the jumps. I'm so glad the trails are starting to open. I can't wait till leb opens so I can save some gas and get some longer rides in. Shouldn't be too much longer, maybe this weekend.
The tough decision is this damn race coming up. I don't know what to do. I know I have about 3 weeks to try and get my shit together but that isn't that long and the race is damn long. The big problem is I was about toasted after 50miles on sat and that's only half way. The race is pretty far away to drive to. I'll be flying solo so I will have to drive home after the race just blown up and my heart and mind aren't really into it at this time. I want to do it but I don't want to train for it. Those long rides are therapeutic but boring as hell. I have lost interest after about 30mils and I would much rather be on some sick single track flying through a rock section, slamming a drop, skying a jump or rippin' a berm! We will see what the next two weeks bring but it's sitting about 50/50 right now. Total game time decision!
Keep it real!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Hey Hey I hope you all had a great Easter. Mine was pretty solid. I woke up took the pooch for a walk went to Church, went to Kelly's parents ate some awesome egg bake and got my Easter basket. Yeah that's right I'm 25 and still get Easter baskets, don't judge me! haha. After lunch/brunch I hit up Battle Creek and rocked that for 2 hours! about 1hr and 40mins of ride time and 11miles of riding/pushing! I did a few laps and then 8 rip/push laps on the luge! It was awesome and I was getting it dialed in and felt like I was flying towards the end. I was going to call it quites after 6 laps on the luge and was heading back to my car and ran in to 3 dudes going to push the luge on their dh sleds. Definitely over kill but they were training for a 2 week trip out to BC! so jealous. They were all on nice bikes but this Josh guy was rockin' this fully loaded atherton Commencal! sick! I guess he is a buyer and tester for QBP- their freeride/dh midwest division. Sounds like a pretty pimp job. He also has a blog if you want to check it out.
After the ride I went to Kelly's aunts for the family Easter. It was pretty good, good food and the interesting conversations. It's always interesting when that many eclectic minds get together, haha, but I like to see what everyone is thinking! Man this weekend went fast. I hope you all had a good weekend!
Keep it real!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

almost 50

Today was my first attempt at some serious miles. I really need to get with the program. I feel a little more confident after today's ride that I might have a chance to finish the Almanzo but I might be a day late and a dollar short but I will still show up and give it my all on May 14th.
Today's ride was going great till I turned around and faced the wind. Yuck! then the pace slowed. I started out from my place headed south to cliff road and then east to county rd 3 and then south again through Rosemount, Empire and Farmington. I turned around about 2 miles from North Field. I was hoping to put in about 4hrs and 60+ miles today. Unfortunately the wind took a tole on my legs and I had to cut it short at about 48mile and 3hrs and 10mins. I hope to get in some more rides but I don't think I will have to time to put in another ride much longer then the one I did today.
It's been cloudy all day today but everything seems to be drying out nicely. The trails that were open are still open so I will be heading to Battle Creek tomorrow about 1230 or 1pm so if anyone is interested in riding with me, drop me a line!
My buddy Ben had to drop out from the trans Iowa, unfortunate. No one likes a dnf on their record but f it. He is still a beast in my mind and I'm still proud of you boss! If you want to check out his full report click on the just bike blogspot link on the right!
Keep it real!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

battle creek

Alright were to start. Lets start with my lack luster day at work. Work was going alright, dragging on a bit and I wasn't really looking forward to my workout after work. Like normal I was steeling a second or two every now and then to check out mtb sights and at 3pm like a sign from God the MORC site had an update and Battle Creek was listed as tacky and open!! Holla! So at that time my day just got a hundred time better and my mind just checked out! haha. I rushed home picked up my bike, Kelly and Jerry drove to Kelly's parents dropped them off and head the couple blocks over to the trail head.
Ok bike talk. I got there put the bike together and tried to read their trail map, should have been in Greek. It was just a bunch of lines with a legend that said what the different colors were, no "your here" dot or land marks. I had no idea what to expect since I had never rode here. So I was like f it and started riding. I figured it couldn't be that bad, I could figure it out. Nope I ended up doubling back like 3 times before I finally got someplace farther then 100 meters from the parking lot. I still couldn't figure this place out. There was single track and then it would open up to a ski trail and then if you didn't have your eyes peeled you would miss the jut off.
After about 20mins of meandering around and starting to think this trail was all hype and no fun. Then I ran into this guy going the other way. First I apologized for going the wrong way and he told me not to be sorry since there isn't a direction of travel, which can be cool if no one else is there because it gives you the fredom to explore different lines but it can cause havoc if you have a lot of people on the trail but not today! I saw 4 rides not counting myself. Second I asked him where these cool technical trails that I had heard about were?He pointed me in the right direction. A bit confusing directions. He said something along the lines of straight, veer right, turn right on the pavement left after the chain fence veer right and then go left or something but I found it. He lead me to what I think they refer to as the luge and when I saw it my eyes got huge!
This is probably the closest thing I've seen to a down hill run/bike park in the cities. It was an awesome minute to minute and a half run, maybe a bit more, fast flowy, berm filled down hill run with jumps! It was awesome. I took it pretty easy the first time down just to get a feel for it. It did have some steep berms and they were a bit slick in parts and there were leaves but after a little raking and some warm days that place is going to be stellar! The second time I let it rip a little bit more. I still need to work a bit on trusting my bike through the turns the farther I got down the run the more I was feeling the bike and trusting the tire. I could have spent hours just riding that section and pushing my bike back up to the top but I wanted to try to get as much riding in as I could before it rained.
I chatted it up for a little bit with a couple guys doing exactly what I wanted to do just riding that dh section. They told me where to find the trail and off I was. There was quite a bit of climbing but that's cool with me if there is as sweet of pay off as this place has to offer. There is a fair amount of roots and rocks. Not quite as much as Turkey Mountain but it's still sweet. There was this one root section I just couldn't clean. I tried it 3 times but no dice. It was right after a right left S down hill turn and was like a 3 tier step down root with a strong right right after it. It's tough because it is fairly steep and you are carrying a fair amount of speed. Had to bail all three times but by the end of the summer it will be my bitch!
I made it back to my car just after it started to rain but before it started to come down hard. Over all it was 1.5hr ride and it was awesome. I can't wait to spend some quality time there. I don't think I even scratched the surface of this trail. The trails simple just spider web all over that place. I didn't know what to expect there and I was a bit disappointed right away but then it lived up to the hype. I had a bit of high expectation with rumors of hills named the luge, ski jump and sled hill and the luge was bad ass!
All I have to say is some of these other trails like Lebanon, Wirth and Murphy have some big shoes to fill to impress me and if Battle Creek doesn't get a double black I'm excited to see what Lebanon double black has to offer!
I have a little treat for you all, here is a video teaser of the new Cuyuna Trail in Crosby, MN. This trail would be considered bad as anywhere in the US but it looks epic in MN standards and I can't wait to get up there and shred this place up! Click HERE After you check this out and don't want to load your bike up and head up there right now you might need to check your pulse or sell your bike! haha
Hopefully this rain doesn't amount to too much and we can get out and ride this weekend because I just got bit by the bug hard again!
Keep it real!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ride report

Today's ride was a pretty good ride, unfortunately it was a bit short but I had a dog to rescue from the kennel. I put in about 1hr and 11mins and about 13miles. It was a little slower pace but I was pushing the big mountain ripper and it's a little slower roll. I see it as a nice static resistance. Heck we can't all be Ben Doom and put endless miles and hours in the saddle ;) by the way if you read this Ben good luck on your up coming race! Mr. Doom will be dominating the trans Iowa race coming up here in a few days!
For my ride I head through the neighborhood hitting all the cool little steeps, jumps, drops and stairs. Worked on my manuals, balance and bunny hops. I headed over to the jump park but it was a bit wet so I head towards the little section of single track that connects the park. It was pretty sweet and a good little ride.
After my ride I came home got the pooch and went to pet smart. He loves that store... all the dogs to sniff. I got him a kong wobbler... it's a sweet little toy that makes him think and it keeps him occupied for a bit. I picked my self up a burrito and headed home to chill.
Kelly was up in St. Cloud for her brothers birthday. So it's just the pooch and me till about 9 or so!
Hopefully it dries out soon! I need to ride some single track!
Keep it real!

This Great State debat

Today at lunch we, the people I sit with, got into a pretty deep discussion, nothing new with the group that I go to lunch with. Unlike other days it wasn't about sports or work but this time it was about moving.
It started out about which suburb is better then the next around the twin cities. Then I chimed in and stated that I didn't really like any of them particularly and I got the look like I had a third eye in the middle of my forehead. It's not like there is anything particularly wrong with any of them that I have lived in so far and that is a total of three and I've been to most of them but the Twin Cities isn't really for me. They were like why wouldn't you want to live in this "Great" State? and the twin cities are awesome and that look was followed by a bunch of fairly difficult questions and facts but I had an answer to most of them. They were throwing out facts like it's one of the top 10 cities in the US to live in, relatively low crime rate, great opportunities, great schooling, low taxes...ect. and close to family.
Ok well I started back with first off, I'm not from MN period, I have one family member that lives in MN and they live up north and they aren't that close. Family is important and I love my family and my girlfriends family but that is what they make phones, skype and vacations for. Yes my girl friends family is from MN and namely the twin cities and that is the main reason we, mainly I am here. I came to MN to go to school and lived in St. Cloud, nice college community. In college I met Kelly and hit things off. After college I had no, count it zero intention of staying and or living in MN, unlike 85% of the other St. Cloud attendants I didn't want to move to the Twin Cities and get a job here. My goal was to move to a state with mountains or to Australia or New Zealand. Then Kelly and I decided we were going to stay together after college and  we were going to do something amazing. That was to ride our bikes across the US, which I don't regret at all, it was probably the coolest thing I've ever done in my life, to date. After that I had pretty much missed my no student loan window and opportunity to move someplace and get established and get a job. So we moved in with her parents because she had a job lined up here in MN and we agreed that we would save up and hit the road sooner then later. We haven't been here all that long and are still planning on checking out relatively soon and I don't regret any of my time spent here in MN or in the Twin Cities. I have learned many important things and have had great opportunities because of living here, but it is time to get to where I was planning on going. So that's that, hopefully of to CO!
On a side note, it's more of an observation but Kelly always talks about how my home town, Aberdeen, is like a black hole and if you go back there and stay too long you will never leave. I also feel this is true but I think that is the case with anyone's home town and the Twin Cities is no exception. I don't know the exact figure but I would have to say that a large majority of people that live here now are from here or the near surrounding area, so it's not just my home town and the only reason this place gets over looked is because it's so big that it's almost no longer a black hole but its own galaxy.
I can't argue with all the facts like top 10 ten city and so on. Yes they get good ratings, there are tons of things to do here according to the reports, malls, more shopping, lots of parks and bike paths. Which are all great. Great education scores and a relatively low crime rate unless you live in Murderapolis and low taxes. First off taxes are not low here when you come from SD, no income tax there and most of the taxes are lower then MN. Second I hate shopping and I avoid the Mall of America like it's the plague. Third CO has some pretty solid education scores and tons of great parks!
So what am I actually looking for? What I'm actually looking for, so we are on the same page is a location with great out door activities, under 100thousand, preferably under 50 thousand- so I can be close to my job, close to life's necessities-food, groceries, ect, and when I have kids it would be nice to be close to their school so they can walk to school. I like the idea of knowing my neighbors and also being a short drive from the country side to be able to let Jerry run with out a leash, also shorter, milder winters. You can fill most of that list here if you go on technicalities. Right now I live in Eagan and that is under 100 thousand and maybe under 50 but it doesn't feel like it because you are in an endless sea of city and people. Close to work, I'm relatively close to work, about 10miles or so. I am close to life's necessities but not with in walking distance but probably biking distance if you don't get too much cold stuff. We're not really close to any country side where I can let the dog run free, there are parks but they have rules about no leashes and picking up your dogs poop, not the same. Here's the two big ones, first out door activities. Yes there are lots of activities here in MN, you can technically do everything I want to do, MTB, rock and ice climbing, and skiing but it is on a much smaller and limited scale and the Winters are long and very cold here. I'm looking for a more temperate climate. Don't get me wrong I love going up north to Kelly's families cabin, it is a blast but I'm not much of a fisherman so there are limited activities there too unless you have a lot of money to buy cool toys like jet skis and fast boats to tube, ski and wake board behind. Near her cabin they now have MTB trail which is cool but the draw back is summer is short and hot and the winters up there are longer and colder!
I made my point and they had rebuttals for pretty much everything but the state I stated I wanted to move to, CO. They said if you live in a smaller town you wont have as many opportunities for employment and you don't make as much money. Both are true and I know this but cost of living is typically less and I only need to make enough money to live comfortable, support myself and my family, save some and do thing that I enjoy.
Just to be clear I don't have anything personal against MN, I think it is a great state with great people, great opportunities and plenty to do but it just isn't for me. It isn't where I want to live and I'm not as happy as I could be in a different location. That pretty much sums it up.
They tried hard but I have not swayed at all. Soon, hopefully sooner then later, it will be good by MN and hello CO.
Keep it real!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

increase the rides, decrease the gym

Well as 5/14 creeps ever closer I am trying to increase my saddle time whether it be on the LHT or the Reign. I just need to keep the legs spinning as often and as long as possible. Yesterday I was hoping to get in a little longer ride but my life doesn't revolve around cycling, at least not as much as I want it to. So I had to cut it short, 23miles and 1hr and 15mins of saddle time. I felt really good and feel I could have easily put in more time. I will try to ride Weds,  Friday and Saturday, not sure about Sunday as that is Easter, but it's suppose to be the nicest day in awhile so I might squeez something in there. Hopefully the weather isn't as bad as predicted I'm getting sick of this march/november weather. I dont watn to see any more snow till after Thanksgiving.
I am still tryin to decide if I will throw the egg beaters back on the LHT for the Almanzo or not. I have currently been training with flats and feel pretty good with them. I actually can't tell a difference but I have heard some rummors that clips can help in the fatigues states of long rides and I might need all the help I can get so we will see has the date gets closer.
As of late Jerry has turned back into a little terror bear! He wont let me sleep from about 530 on even when he knows I dont get up till 630 and that's when he gets fed. We have been training him with treats and he now doesn't do anything with out getting a treat first, that's getting a little old. He is now jumping up on the counter and chewing on things he never did before! Oh I hope he grows out of this stage soon!
Keep your fingers crossed this weekend they will open more trails, Monticello, Mammoth and Hillside park are all open and good to go.
Keep it real!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

First trail ride

Ok well it looks like they (MORC) have given the green light for Monticello and that is it, pity. Well I may have broken the MORC law today and in there words "poached a trail" It was super nice out this evening after a long day of sun and a strong cold breeze I figured I would load up the ride and go check out the trail. If it was still shit I would just walk around with Kelly and Jerry. I got there, walked the short loop it was perfect. There were some ruts from previous riders that hadn't waited to ride but they were dry and actually crumbled under my large 2.35 Kenda nevagals, so in a way I was doing the trail a favor, maybe... I did a few laps on that loop and ran into a guy that said the rest of the trail is all good. So I hit up the back. I forgot home much of a pedal fest Salem is, haha. Well it's something so no complaints but it goes back to my theory that the people that choose the trail direction are sick! haha they love grueling climbs and mild descents. I told myself that I would not ride through wet spots, if there were any, I don't want to add to the ruts and I didn't. The guy was partially right. There was one wet spot about 5 foot round muddy spot with some standing water. I just went into the weeds and avoided it, plus I didn't feel like getting muddy. Anyways it was great to get on the trail and spin the wheels and pump the bars! Doesn't look the weather is going allow any mtb riding this week. Oh well.
Jerry and Kelly walked around and played with some other puppies while I was riding. Jerry went for his first swim and it sounds like he loves swimming so that is good news since we go to the lake a lot!
Keep it real!
PS. looks like they just updated the MORC site and stated that Salem is still closed, sorry, my bad but I walked it and it was solid in my opinion and they don't post signs at the trail head so I don't see how they expect to keep people off. I didn't even know about more till last fall.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

going the distance

Just put down the longest recorded ride of the year to date! Unfortunately it wasn't all that long, 2hrs and about 30 miles. Only about 70 miles more to go before I hit that 100 mile mark needed by May 14th, yikes! A long ass way to go, but I felt pretty good even though the wind was howling today. I don't get the wind here in MN it always seems to be blowing right at me! haha During my ride I stopped by Salem Hills to check out the trail. Right away I thought it looked bomb all perfect tack but then there were a few spots that had some pretty greasy areas. If the sun would come out it would dry out quickly but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.
The rest of the day was we'll just be kicking it with the Jerry bear. He got his backpacking bed today and we got a 3 person tent so we can now take him with. I'm pretty excited to hit the trail. I think we will do some car camping first to get him use to it.
Keep your fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate and we can hit the trails soon!
Keep it real!

Friday, April 15, 2011

catering to the weak

I will apologize in advance, this might come off as a rant but I feel like it is a valid opinion.
This came about in a conversation I had with one of my friends, a fellow mtb'r and I have had this discussion in some form or the other with some of my other mtb friends.
I commented on a picture of a MORC crew removing a large rock, that looked like it would have been a killer addition to the trail but instead they were removing it. The response I got was "they remove rocks and logs to avoid putting too much stress on a section of the trail, but they do have rock gardens on most of the trail except Salem Hills." Ok that is true but why should people (MORC) change the trails and alter natural features to make trails easier to ride. What they should do is offer more training on how to ride your bike better and how to ride different sections and particular trails. I didn't get much for argument on this. There only follow up was that I should be thankful for what I have because there is such an abundance of mtb opportunities here in the Twin Cities and I didn't have much to argue with that except that with so many places you think they could have a more equal spread of difficulty, especially with all the ski areas and so forth. If you look at the MORC site they have a trail rating system and for the majority they are in green and blue and I feel that some of the blues are too highly rated, for example Salem Hills it doesn't offer a blue sections but the ski hills around here are the same over rating their runs.
In my opinion MORC over all does a great job of trail maintenance, mtb advocacy and a pretty good job of trail development but for progression of the sport, a little on the weak side. Maybe this has to do with the demographics of the riders? This is purely speculation but to me it feels like the demographics of the riders in this area must lean towards the novice, recreational rider with limited skill sets. Which in my opinion is very sad because there is so much potential for growth of mtbing here in the Twin Cities and opportunities to develop better quality riders but by catering the trails to the novice rider we are only nurturing the weakness. I know the old motto of you are only as strong as the weakest link but in order to develop stronger links you have to provide them with development and opportunities to develop, such as skills clinics and more difficult trail options. Don't get me wrong I am great full for the opportunities I have and I'm not whining... I know talk the talk walk the walk so I might have to give it a go and get out there on some trail days and maybe attend a meeting or two, try to voice my opinion on a more formal forum.
I think there is no replacing quality skill that is why even when I can't hit the trails and get hours of riding in I am practicing my skills. Starting with balance which is the most important and basic skill. It is as simple as riding curbs and doing track stands right by your house. I will also do manuals and wheelies back in forth in front of my house, bunny hoping onto the curbs and over rocks and stuff in my neighborhood. Also you can advance your knowledge by watching how to videos or even racing videos and there are tons of books on mtbing.
Hopefully this got all of you thinking, don't add the problem by making sections easier because you can't clean them, learn to ride your bike and practice/train. It is worth it in the end, I promise you!
Keep it real!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Things are looking up!

Monday was a good day, not at work but after I went for a 1.5hr ride and it was nice. The off road section is probably a little shorter then I recalled but with some added little jaunts on some foot paths in the adjoining park I made it a fun and rewarding ride. I will be getting over and doing some laps on that longer, not that long, dh section to work on my switch back turns. Just want to increase my bike control. I am for sure doing at least one "DH" race. It is at the new Cuyuna Lake Mountain Bike Trail, they are having a bike festival and there is going to be an XC race as well. Also there will be a night ride and Hans Rey will be there, that's right the legend! Here's the link
Tuesday was a good work out at the gym but no ride. Tonight I'm hoping to get out after dinner for some sort of riding, depending on the time we get done and how much sun there is left, since I don't have night riding lights.
The ride report is looking up at least for Salem Hills in Inver Grove Heights. It states no snow, mostly dry some tacky spots and a few wet spots! So baring any crazy moister we could probably hit the trail this weekend! Lets hope!
Keep it real!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Weekend recap

Alright, Friday was a quick ride like 30 mins just hit up some of the urban features right around my house and then it was time to go to the movies. We went to see Arthur with Russell Brand, probably the funniest movie I've seen in a very long time. You should all go see this one, I'm probably going to buy it. It's on the level of let's say Grandma's Boy and I can't watch very many movies over and over and I love watching Grandma's boy and I will see Arthur again for sure. After the movie I did some anti-training... aka drinking games and staying up later... :( for riding :) for my moral! haha
Saturday I got up cleaned the house, this seems to be the usual Saturday morning of late. My uncle came over about 930am and we left about 10am for I ride after I finished breakfast. The ride was fun, it lasted about 2 hours. Unfortunately the trails hadn't opened so it was an urban MTB ride, which wasn't bad. I took him over some of the local features and we made our way past the Lexington street dirt jumps and then headed over to this park near there  that I had noticed on my last ride that looked to have some old trail running through the weeds up a hill. I don't know if it was simply a foot path or an animal trail but it was pretty fun. It led up the hill and then along the power lines for about 3/4 of a mile and then down a hill into another park. It wasn't that technical but it was pretty demanding up and down little steep and on the other side of the second park was another longer climb up to some paved path that just ended and turned into a gravel down hill. The climb was tough but the dh was fun and then back the the other way the steep hill we first climbed was really fun, it had a nice little switch back in it. We stopped by Lebanon and it was really wet. Didn't look like any snow on the trail that I could see but there was mud and standing water. Probably going to be awhile for that place to open. After the ride  we had a little BBQ and then Kelly and I just hung out.
Found out that Jerry doesn't really like thunderstorms, hahaha cuddled very close to me all night.
Sunday went to the gym, had a strong work out and then we went to Kelly's parents for a little surprise birthday party for her Grandma. It was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday. Hung out with the old guys, listening to there stories. Man old men can really spin a tail... haha
I hope the weekend didn't go quite as quick for all of you but if it did I wish you the best at work this week!
Keep it real!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

MORC Reply

Here is what MORC has to say about the trails being closed... I will say I see their point... but I still feel it's a bit conservative but it is what it is and there is nothing that is going to change in the next week or two, when the trails should finally open.

Why Are Trails Closed?

Sustainable trails are built so that water will run across the trail, not down it. When water runs down the trail it focuses the water and increases erosion. Riding wet trails creates ruts that will focus the water and increase erosion.

Riding wet trails also increases cupping of the trail surface and causes puddles to get deeper and wider, both of which slow the recovery of the trail.

Trails are closed (and often fenced off) during the freeze/thaw cycle in the fall and spring. During these times, trails are especially susceptible to significant damage.

Trails may also be closed after significant weather events, or if there are unsafe trail conditions.

The trails around the Twin Cities metro area are particularly sensitive due to the very large numbers of users these trails get every year.

When trails turn into maintenance headaches, land managers start to consider closing trails for good... PLEASE do your part to ensure that we have access to great trails by riding responsibly. Together we can keep these mountain biking opportunities available for generations to come!

Wet Trail Conditions

Beyond major closures, knowing when not to ride after a rainfall can be less obvious. Trails will not be posted as closed or fenced off after normal rainfalls/storms, so it is up to you to make an educated decision. Here are some general rules regarding wet conditions:

- Trails should not be used during wet weather, or when the trail is soft or muddy.
- Trails are open if the trail is firm and the surface will not be disturbed by foot or bike travel.
- PLEASE be patient if the trail isn't ready... allow the trail to dry before riding.
- Trails are typically too wet to ride for 18-24 hours after a significant rainfall.
- Riding wet trails damages the trail by creating ruts that increase erosion.

Please check the Trail Conditions Pages above for the most up-to-date information. And if you ride a trail, please take a minute and update the conditions if they haven't been updated in a while... this is a great way to both help out your fellow riders and help preserve the trails we love!

I still don't see how any MN riders can ever get experience riding wet conditions if the trails close after every rainfall until the trail dries... Oh well, again it is what it is. I don't completely agree but I see their point.
So there it is,
Keep it real!

ps: still no real reason how the North West and East Coast can ride wet trails and that doesn't seem to hurt them? anyone?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Trail report :(

Well the MORC site isn't looking promising... as of 4/5/11 all trails are still closed some have been reported clear of snow but still closed as we are in spring thaw. It's pretty lame. My uncle is coming to town and we were hoping to ride something, I guess if things don't change in the next couple days we will have to do an urban ride. Salem might be open. It has a sandy base and the weather is in the upper 50's and 60's here and sunny. Who knows?

This does bring me to my next questions. I don't get why MORC is so conservative? They say they want the trails dry completely before they will open them and they always close them after they rain!  How do places like BC and all the north west and east coast rider their bikes? The trails there are open year round and it rains all the f'n time! I just don't get it and no one has given me a good reason/answer.... why do their trails just not turn to shit like they claim ours will? Another thing is they expect you to race in rain and wet conditions but they never let you practice or ride in those conditions. You know what I think, and this is my opinion, is that they are afraid to get muddy or have any bumps in their trails? Hello! this is mountain biking! This all goes back to my theory of all the nancy roadies on dirt... if you can't handle the mud and bumps get a real bike 4-5 inches of squish front and rear with 2.3+ inch tires and learn how to ride it! I do have to commend the hard core old school guys riding single speed ridged and hard tail bikes that can thrash!
I don't know know sorry for the rant, just had to get it off my chest and if anyone has any incite to their reasoning besides it will ruin the trails let me know!
Keep it real!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

First real road ride

Well Thursday I finally got out for some semi-serious saddle time. It was only about 1hr 15mins but if I go anywhere east or south of my place, it's all hills. I road diffly to hwy 3 and then on the way back hit up cliff back home. I did make a small jut off my rout on Johnny Cake Ridge rd to try and find the trail head for Lebanon. It was right where my buddy Dan said it was and I can't believe how close it is to my house. When that finally opens I'm going to be with in riding distance and that will totally be my home course and then with the Lexington dj so close too I'm in a prime location to get some serious riding in and increase my Kung Fu riding skills to the next level this summer! I can't wait.
Friday was pretty chill after work, I went for a short urban ride. I just don't have much desire to ride the LHT this year, and I feel kind of bad like I'm neglecting it but it's just not as fun to ride it as the Reign. Even with that thought I do need to put some more time on that bike or the Almanzo is going to be nothing more then a pipe dream. Hopefully this week will be nice and I can get out for a couple longer rides.
Saturday we helped a couple of our friends move into their new apartment just 3 blocks down the road. That's pretty exciting since we don't know a whole lot of the people around here. It was a tough morning hucking couches up three flights of stairs since they don't have an elevator in that building. Oh well it was a good work out. That after noon we cleaned up the place and went shopping for some BBQ stuff, perfect day for a BBQ. About 7 mel and adam came over for a break from unpacking and we had a few beers and some steaks! What a great night!
Sunday, man it is windy out today. Right away I was bummed because the plan was to work out and get a good ride in but now I'll probably park the LHT and rip the urban with the reign and hit the gym up and this wind and no rain should dry up some of the trails quite a bit!
I took a look at Salem Hills on Sat and what parts of the trails were clear were dry but there was still snow on the trail. I'm thinking. If it stays warm this week, probably could ride there next weekend since the soil is so sandy and it's pretty open to the sun and wind. Lets keep our fingers crossed
Keep it real!