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Midwest MTB Report

by Jay Richards
May 16, 2017

Summer like weather greeted most riders and racers in the Midwest this weekend as dry and warm temps made for some great riding on local trails and nice conditions for racing in the endurance events in Wisconsin and Iowa. Had a chance to check out the Levi Mound trail system near Osseo, WI enjoying what has been labeled as “real mountain biking” Definitely a trail to check out if in central Wisconsin with some great vistas and old school singletrack. This weeks report includes a highlight from the Iowa endurance race at Sugarbottoms, highlight links from mountain bike related news and events and a look ahead to the second race in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, the Shakedown which will be held at Detroit Mountain in Detroit Lakes.

(Photo: Tight and Twisty on the Levi Mound Trail system)

Sugar Cubed Endurance Race

The Sugar Bottoms trail system was host to the Sugar Cubed endurance race that featured awards shaped like blocks of sugar cubes from trees cut up from a recent storm. Full results and quick highlight on the Iowa Coalition of Off Road Cyclists page.

(Photo: Sugar Cube awards, Credit: Andrew Veit)

Ashwabay Development Campaign

In 2011 the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) in conjunction with a group of passionate volunteers from the Chequamegon Bay area with the support of the Bayfield County Forestry Department and the Ashwabay Outdoor Education Foundation, embarked on a vision to create a top notch system of mountain bike trails. Since that time the project has steadily advanced toward this reality. The summer of 2017 will see the completion of Phase 2 of the initiative, bringing the mileage to date to approximately 14 miles. The third phase of the project will immediately launch with over six additional miles of trail planned to be built bringing the total mileage to near 20 miles. Read the full story in Silent Sports.

(Photo: Trail work on the CAMBA trail system, Credit: CAMBA)

Chapters Leaving IMBA | Singletracks

With mountain bike trail development at a all time high, local clubs that have been associated with IMBA in the past are now break free to best serve their members while expanding trail systems. Singletracks.com has a in depth article which features local chapters in the Midwest. “We don’t face a lot of the challenges that clubs might face in other parts of the country, say in regard to land access and those types of challenges. We’ve always been pretty fortunate to have really good cooperation with the land managers we work with. I see that as one of the big things that IMBA does nationally is with those types of issues.” states Ron Bergin, Full article:

How Mountain Biking Is Saving Small-Town, USA | Outside Online

Cuyuna continues to make the press thanks to the popular trail system drawing not only local riders but travelers from afar checking out trail systems throughout the country. Outside Magazine was the latest publication to feature the “red dirt” trails and the economic impact in the community and plans for future trail development.

(Photo: Racing at Cuyuna, Credit: Adam Emanoff)

The Rack That Will Launch the Western B.C. Heli-Bike Industry | Outside Online

Helicopter skiing is a remarkable way to get into the backcountry and ski some incredible terrain otherwise not possible with some serious ski trekking. To experience the same kind of deep mountain riding, mountain bikers would have to do the same. Now things are about to change with special racks designed to carry mountain bikes via helicopter. Will be interesting to see if this takes off like skiing.

Health Related Items

Chronically Fit

In the most recent SkiPost, “Mac” responds to a Velonews article on how endurance athletes could be hurting their hearts by repeatedly pushing beyond what is normal. 
“Mac” states, The scientific evidence of the overall health benefits of high intensity training continues to mount. But the 'intensity' must be in relation to my body and my limitations. Instead of over reacting to news or articles, I need to learn about my body and listen and react to what it tells me. Full response in the latest Ski Post.

Cold to Keep Healthy

Although we live in a climate that can be cold the general population does not like it! However, you might want to think twice about cursing the cold.

Looking Ahead

(Photo: Flow trails at Detroit Mountain)

Minnesota Mountain Bike Series Race #2 Shakedown

The Minnesota series will head to northwest Minnesota for racing at Detroit Mountain. This will be the second year the reborn alpine ski area will be host to series racing. New this year to the course will be a new trail called "Rolling Thunder” adjacent to new trail incorporated last year. The course will stay on the fast and flowy Detroit Mountain trail system this year after a nice switchback climb on the front of the mountain. The classic old school Mountain View trail will not be utilized this year for logistic reasons but highly recommend to check it out after the race. The gravity trails are still being tuned with lifts scheduled to open Memorial day weekend. http://detroitmountain.com

Post race fun on tap in the chalet post race than head down to Zorbaz on the lake for live music featuring Lars and Joe Pony Show from 5-9pm and bingo from 6-9. Looking for a post race pizza and one of the best chocolate malts in the area? Head to Hotel Shoreham just off hi way 59 south of DL.

Keep the wheels moving!

About the author...

Jay Richards maintains a very active lifestyle. He somehow finds time between managing a full-time resort (Maplelag) and bringing up a family of four boys with his wife Jonell, to compete in both mountain bike and a few cross-country ski races. Jay rides for Maplelag Resort, manages the Maplelag mountain bike team and enters his 27th year of racing and promoting mountain bike races.

Have an event or mountain bike related information to share from the Midwest? Feel free to contact Jay at

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