I would like to think I have had some influence on bringing this style of riding to the main stream with my instrumental roll in getting the Lexington Street Bike Park designed and built and my relentless barrage of the local forums with Gravity garb and reasons to ride longer travel bikes with flat pedals, but lets be real I probably haven't done much in influencing anyone but maybe my friends. However that might be changing!
I have recently joined the MORC board, I was first just going to be the "gravity liaison" but decided to take the full plunge and really get my hands dirty and try to get some real changes to happen with a move in what I consider the right direction. I really think the current board is super open minded and on board with most of my concepts and I know the new President Reed and the local IMBA rep Hansi are all about diversifying the local riding scene into more disciplines such as gravity and freeride. IMBA's main focus at the global summit this year in Santé Fe New Mexico was bike parks, I love bike parks and think they are amazing and the most bang for your buck and best use of your land, so I guess my ideals are right in line with IMBA and MORC is also moving in that direction, so what better time to throw my time and effort their way and join forces for the good of all bikers! I would say man kind but that's a bit of a stretch! haha.
So like I mentioned earlier I spend a lot of my time chatting with my riding buddies about how we can get more cool riding spots around here and finally we came up with a great idea. Well I shall give the credit where it is due, to my buddy Trevor. He was really the one that came up with the concept of reaching out to more divers populations of riders and that sparked the discussion of how we can do that. That expanded into the idea of how can we show MORC and the land managers that this demand is here and what do we do with this information and how do we make this concept a reality? Well after a good couple days of chatting and swapping ideas we came up with what we felt was a pretty solid plan and then we decided to talk to Reed and see if MORC maybe wanted to join the cause and get involved with this.... We'll long story short they loved it and now we, Trevor and I have partnered with MORC and have started the movement that we call, wait for it..... Upper-Midwest Riders for Gravity/Freeride/BMX!!!!!!!!
So what are goal is, is to advocate for more Gravity/Freeride/BMX ride spots in and around the Twin Cities, the state of Minnesota and the entire Upper-Midwest. We are going to take the success of places like Copper Harbor and the buzz that Spirit Mountain and Mont Du Lac have started and really try to harness that energy and focus it here in the Metro and use it to grow and develop our riding scene and take it to the next level!
Which in turn we hope will help fuel other projects through out the Upper-Midwest! I know there is going to be an awesome new addition to the WI scene with The Rock Bike Park, and we are hoping to the do the same thing here. We currently are involved in various stages of the planning process with 4 potential new ride spots through out the metro area and this is above and beyond the normal single track that we all no and love and lets be clear about this, single track has always been and will always be MORC’s bread and butter and main focus. So all of you XC lovers, don’t worry it’s not going any where! MORC is just trying to diversify its portfolio to help grow its rider base and member population! Realistically why shouldn’t they? It is Minnesota Off Road Cyclist not MN XC riders or even MN mountain bikers, so I feel that MORC should be involved on some level with all forms of off-road cycling whether it be the classic XC style trail, Gravity trails, bike parks or even BMX tracks. We should be advocating and assisting to the best of our ability to see more of these places become a reality in and around the metro so we have more people putting their wheels to dirt! The younger the better! They will be better riders in the future and become life long cyclists sooner!
Like I said earlier I’m a huge advocate for Bike Parks and not just the BMX style bike parks but the full blown awesomeness of a place like Valmont in Boulder CO. I believe this is the future and a project like this can really unit the riding community! A place where you can basically ride any bike you can imagine and any style of riding you can imagine! That is my dream and that is why we have started this movement and are beginning to assist MORC in the avocation process!
So how can you help? Well first off go this Facebook page and Like us, then share the page and then go to the IMBA website and become a member, that is how you join MORC and then go to the MORC website and start getting involved in anyway you can!
I know there has been some stigmas and stereo types about MORC and their members in the past that weren’t viewed too favorable in the gravity/freeride/bmx scene but things are changing, actually thing have already changed. Like I mentioned earlier MORC is now under new leadership and heck I’m now officially part of that leadership! So please put the past behind you, keep and open mind and join me, join us in this movement! We are on the edge of something great!
Keep it real!