It’s Starting to Become A Reality!!

After many years, countless hour of tireless background work, by a lot of nameless and faceless individuals; purpose built single-track mountain bike trails will be becoming a reality in the Northland!!

There’s already been one community plannings session, with another scheduled for…..

This is a dream come true to many riders in our area and far beyond!!

Iroc-mtb clubs most recent press release….. reads as follows.

Contact: Pete Kero FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

P: 218-969-8745

Email: PKero@barr.com

 

Iron Range Off Road Cyclists Announces Second Planning Session for Redhead Mountain Bike Park and Recreational Area: Ideas finalized for Spring 2019 construction.

Hibbing, MN—With over two dozen people from across the area, Iron Range Off Road Cyclists (IROC) held the first of twocommunity input sessions Thursday night to gather community input on the forthcoming Redhead Mountain Bike Park and recreational area.  

The session, held at the Minnesota Discovery Center (MDC),was the first of a two part series to gather insight fromcommunity members about what they would like to see in the bike park and larger recreation area. 

The second session, to be held Wednesday, October 24, 6:30 PM at Minnesota Discovery Center, will refine the list of features for inclusion in the park, the larger recreational areasurrounding the park and amenities at MDC.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.  Admission is free.

Participants in Thursday night’s session brainstormed ideas insix key areas: what would you like to see for trails; integration of the park with MDC; community impact; getting kids outdoors; facilitating women, aging, and physically-challenged riders and rides; and other amenities for the larger recreation area.

Ideas ranged from wider trails to allow hand bikes; fun, easier trails for new, young and or aging riders; a large play park at MDC; swimming in Monroe pit; hosting an annual community mountain bike fest; kayaking; and craft beer, good coffee and excellent food at MDC.

Scott Linnenberger, construction manager for the three, iron range, off-road cycling destinations currently under development spoke at the IROC session.  

“The best projects are the done by the community, for the community,” Linnenberger stated. “Everyone can ride (off-road) with the right trails.  We want to know those needs and desires.  If we get a list of 100 ideas, we try to incorporate 99 of them into the system.”

Linnenberger has managed the construction of destination trail systems across the United States.  He is currently overseeing theconstruction of the Giants Ridge lift-served mountain bike system and the Tioga single-track trail system in Cohasset.  He is also leading trail construction at Redhead.

“We have the best builders in the Midwest working on these projects,” said Linnenberger.  “With the amount of funding from the IRRR, the speed of development, and the cooperative agreement to build three parks simultaneously, North American mountain biking has never seen a regional initiative like this.”  

“What we are building here is a huge asset,” said Benji Neff, IROC President.  “We are building community, regional, and national tourism destinations.  With the combined trail systems of Tioga in Cohasset, Legion Hills in Grand Rapids, Maple Hill in Hibbing, Redhead in Chisholm, Lookout Mountain in Virginia, and the gravity trail system at Giants Ridge, we are creating a world-class destination.  And it is already underway.”    

“I have been interviewed by national publications about our project,” said Benji Neff.  “Word is spreading.  We are starting to get calls and texts from folks out of the Twin Cities asking, how can I help?  This is an exciting time.”

Construction on the Redhead Mountain Bike Park is slated to break ground spring 2019.  The park will be located south of MDC along the shores of the beautiful Monroe Pit, visible from HWY 169.  The park will consist of 25 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, which will be open to the public, and access free of charge.  The recreational area surrounding the bike trails, including amenities at the Minnesota Discovery, may include a kinesthetic playground, camping, swimming in the Monroe pit, food and drinks, and entertainment at MDC—as designed by our community.

Mountain bike parks have become a destination for individuals and families as evidenced by the heavy traffic at Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Crosby, MN.  Communities with mountain bike parks have seen an increase in customers for food, drink, bike equipment and repair, and lodging.

Redhead will be a park and recreation area designed to attract riders of all ages and abilities and their families.  With a healthy list of ideas generated from the first session, IROC will work with the community on October 24 session to finalize ideas for inclusion in the project.  Women, children and families are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions.

Soon enough….. this picture will be more than just words for people from all over!!

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The 2017 Pie Burner Put To Bed….

The Sunday before the ride, trail conditions were perfect!! Come the Friday before the ride it was 44 degrees and raining!!??

Mother threw a monkey wrench at us; but the ride still went off without a hitch. Saturday mornings temperatures were perfect, mid teens…… with only a high of 28ish.

Studded tires were the buzz word of the day; certain sections of the trail were like a skating rink. Multiple riders went down multiple times; with only one having to pull out after 6ish miles. He’s alright, but bruised up good.

56 riders showed up; and the event got some long overdue local love from the Hibbing Daily Tribune, thanks Mr. Tony Potter!!

With this events growth, look for some changes to come for the 2018 version of the Pie Burner. I’m thinking of having two groups of riders leaving at different times, but arriving back at Palmers within an hour of each other. More on that in the coming months.

When we reached the halfway point, half the riders gladly headed back to Palmers Tavern and waiting for the rest of us to finish up the long route. All the long route riders returned between 3:30 – 4:00 pm.

Eating, drinking and ride giveaways were handled in time; and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

A huge shout-out to my family, again!! You guys rock!!

Also a shout-out to the volunteers, without you this ride would not be what it is!!

And to all the sponsors….. I DO NOT have words for how much your generosity helps this event thrive…. THANK YOU!! Especially Surly Bikes!!

And to Sandy and Brooke; and staff at Palmers Tavern your willingness to work with me and go above and beyond is greatly appreciated!!

Then today I was made of aware of a nice “kudos” write up by fellow fatbiker Sheri Schrock of Cohasset, Mn. In the Hibbing Daily Tribune. Sheri was the nice lady who was pedaling the sweet Otso Voytek on ride day.

Sheri on ride day…..

Thank you for the kind words Sheri, and by those words….. we know what we’re doing, is being done the correct way!!

Here’s a few shots (out of a few 1,000 photos) thanks Zack….. of the day

We’ll see you in 2018!!

The Tragically Hip @ 1st Ave. The Fully and Completely Tour

Excuse this non biking post for a moment…….

I’ve been a fan of these guys since 1991.
A couple friends turned me on to The Hip….. and the rest, as they say, is history!!
Since that time I’ve seen them perform live 17 times. If you have never seen them live, I can’t stress enough how good they are live, plus their music will definitely get ya hooked!!

Cindi got two tickets days after they announced the tour, in May I believe.

In all those shows, I’ve been waiting for one song, and Monday night at this iconic venue……

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Photo taken from The Hip App.

I got my wish!!!
All I can say is DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!

The only thing that would’ve made hearing this song live that much better, would’ve been to have had a friend of mine (who loved the Hip as much as I do) by my side. Sadly he past away 8 years ago.
Jimmy K. You were in my thoughts as I jammed out to that song!!!!

My lovely partner accompanied me on our journey to Mpls.
Thanks for joining me Cindi….. we witnessed the best high energy Hip performance I can ever remember!!
Love ya!!!

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1st Ave. Was packed with concert goers, to say the least!!!

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Photo credit: Jim Foster

We are in that sea of people!! 😉
Here’s a few concert shots….

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Photo taken from The Hip App

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The set list was AWESOME!!!

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A little big city art, as we left downtown. 😉

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Bob Dylan

Cindi took some awesome shots!!!

After the show we walked across the street to O’Donovan’s for a quick bite to eat, and a drink or two….. we used to visit this establishment when Cindi lived in the Twin cities,  and were home in time for me to get to work by 5 a.m.
It was SO worth it!!!!!
Peace……..