Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Driftless Weekend with the Family






What a great weekend Margaret, Tae and I had down in the "Driftless Region" (AKA Winona, Fountain City Area). Although I have been given grief plenty of times for road riding by my mountain bike buddies, I have to say the riding in the bluffs and valleys in the Driftless region is so superb that you cant NOT do it. Of course a huge wood fired pizza (morels!) meal afterwards at my mom and dads and time spent with my grandmother is also pretty kick ass too....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

IMBA World Summit 2010: Last ride at FATS and BBQ party



Due to a slight SNAFU on getting my gear I barely made the last ride of the event but ended up getting in a great one with Anna, Jason and Rich Cook. The event ended with a closing ceremony and BBQ party! A great event a great time!

IMBA World Summit 2010: Last Night out. Augusta, First Friday





After the IMBA Congress we headed out on the town for some great southern fun. It happened to also be Augusta's First Friday celebration so there were plenty of other people to party with. Follow the wheels for MTB fun! The car show was killer as was watching Spencer line dance!

Monday, May 17, 2010

IMBA World Summit 2010: Day Three Film Night.




A great film fest was put on at the Imperial in Augusta for the night of the third day. Free Fat Tire on tap, a silent auction with funds going to SORBA and more great food as well. Scott Chapin of CAMBA and also of RJF insurance, is seen here showing off the Wool Fat Tire Jersey he won the bid on! The HPT guys are also pictured before heading out on the town as well!

IMBA World Summit 2010: Day Three Getting down to bidness





Day three was all about seminars. Loads of good information about club management, fundraising, promotion. IMBA initiatives were presented, programs explained and goals introduced. Industry leaders spoke on a variety of topics, pictures are the various editors for BIKE, Dirt Rag, Outside, Singletracks.com. After the seminars there was of course riding at the FATS trails. I was having so much fun riding that I did not take a single picture of the fast flowing, bermed and rollered trails but I got a few shots of the smiles afterwards!

IMBA World Summit 2010: Day Two Opening Ceremony



The opening ceremony consisted of a classic BBQ and outdoor concert above the river in Augusta.

Friday, May 14, 2010

IMBA World Summit 2010: Day Two This My Job??





Day two was spent riding with some IMBA VIP's. We were supposed to ride at MODOC but due to some Iphone misinformation we ended up at Boyd Pond County Park. It says a lot for a riding area when you can drive exactly a half hour in any direction and still find a fun place to ride. A great ride with a great crew of characters all ripping in their own little ways. Woody (Nathan Woodruff), John Bryan, Pete Webber, Joey Klein, Tom Walton, and myself. It was 91 in the shade but we managed to have a really fun Georgia ride and then made it back to the Summit for Opening Ceremonies.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Just in! IMBA Ride Center in Cuyuna is being built!


It is official! Construction on the IMBA Cuyuna Ride Center has started! Hopefully by this summer there will be 25 miles of killer trail for us to ride!

IMBA World Summit 2010: Day One Augusta, GA




So it needs to be said that all the posts related to the World Summit so far occurred in the space of two and a half days. Left Sat night, finally managed to limp into Augusta at 5pm for All Staff IMBA Meeting. It was cool to finally sit in a room with the majority of IMBA staff. A small organization, growing by leaps and bounds. I was able to meet all folks that had up until that point had only been voices on the phone or email addresses. From there we went to a dinner and ended up at the Soul Bar for way too much mayhem.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

IMBA World Summit 2010: Dupont State Forest



The sun finally broke out the day after riding Pisgah and we kept our general travel direction flowing towards Augusta and the World Summit. That meant Dupont State Forest was directly in our path, and that was a good thing because it was SUPER fun! I loved it, river crossings, big views, eastern slick rock, pumpy trails, techy sections mixed with great flow and wall hits. All and all a place I would highly recommend visiting. Of course the one person we ran into was the brother of Chad Gallwitz an old friend from Madison, WI!

Duluth's Dream System



A quick break from my trip report here on www.universalklister.blogspot.com

I have said it before and I will say it again. Dream big and then take the steps to make those dreams a reality. COGGS has done just that in Duluth. Check out this map. A trail system that traverses the length of the city (40 plus miles) but also hooks up all the major parks and neighborhoods as well. I currently work in 5 states, with 73 different clubs and I can honestly say that there is not another system like this in my world. Great job COGGS, now lets get to building it!

Pisgah, NC




We left Brown County with intention of driving a ways south then pulling over to get some much earned sleep. The weather, which had been gently raining since we left Duluth, changed all that. Little did we know that we were driving into the floods that were currently washing away Nashville. I have seen some heavy rain but the deluge that hit us between Lexington and Knoxville was impressive. I was dead tired, wanted to stop but everytime we did the roads were blocked or closed. Eventually we found a hotel on high ground and crashed for the night.
In the morning though we awoke to more rain and had basically decided we were not going to have any riding that day. We had breakfast in Knoxville and while we were there we ran into this guy named Brian who was the local MTB club president. He saw our car and waved us down. In our conversation we lamented the rain and he told us that Pisgah would be fine in the rain, we were a bit skeptical after our incident at Peoria but we decided at the very least we could ride some gravel if need be.
We were also told that the The Hub bike shop would be a good source of info. He basically saved the day. We went to the Hub and were given the goods on the best trails to ride in the rain and why. Which we then did, I took no pictures of Black Mountain, Sycamore Shoals or Thrifty Shoals mainly because the rain was coming down so hard but we had a blast. Then it was back the Hub for more info on where to eat and sleep and where to ride the next day.....oh did I mention that the Hub has beer as well......

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

IMBA World Summit 2010: Brown County Indiana




This aint corn rows and cow troughs let me tell you.
Underestimate Brown County riding and you lose out. After hitting Peoria we went straight to Brown County. A quick five or so hours east. We were so pumped to see the terrain change and get more rugged and aggressive. You are almost in KY by this point so dont think of southern Indiana as flat and typically midwest etc. It is steep, it is big and it is huge, Brown County State Park must be one of the biggest state parks I have cycled in in the midwest that is for sure.
We hit Schooner and Walnut loops and also Aynes on the opposite side of Hesitation point. Schooner was awesome, way over my head most of the time but plenty of exposure and thrills to be had despite having to walk some of the bigger obstacles. A great example of how a trail can be both sustainable and technical and scary all at the same time! We did not know it at the time but Brown County would ultimately be one our favorite rides of the trip and that says alot because we strode on some pretty sacred MTB lands during this trip.

IMBA World Summit 2010: Peoria, IL



So the first trail stop was at the PAMBA Trails. On Sat night we had encountered some moderate rain but decided in the morning that since we had driven all night to get there that we should stop in and at the very least check out the trails.
I have been working as the IMBA Midwest Region RD for almost a year now and had often been asked if I had been by PAMBA yet. As it is in the southern part of my region (a huge region) I had not yet had the chance to make it there and this trip was part of a mission to make sure that I did. So with that said there was perhaps a a bit of pent up need to ride these trails when we pulled up to the parking lot. A lot rides on me seeing a clubs trails. I help make decisions on some grants, I give input on Trail Care Crew Visits, I give input on IMBA Epic Ride decisions, I help promote the trails to industry etc. So it is pretty important for me to see them. However when we pulled up to PAMBA it was wet, I have to admit the decision I made to ride it was not the best choice I have made and I certainly paid for it. We went to Black Partridge and hiked in a ways on trail 3 which is sort of the trade route there. I was totally impressed with how much it had drained and what good shape it was in, so much so that we decided to ride it. Well Trail 3 was rideable, trying trail seven however was the mistake. It was a newer trail and about halfway in (past the chance to bail out) it became clay gumbo. We were not leaving ruts, but we were getting covered in mud. Of course once we returned to the parking lot, there was a trail crew getting ready for a work day. I realized then and there the mistake I had made! We meant well, in fact the ride was perhaps more important to PAMBA than they will realize, but we were muddy and on wet trails and in that case nobody is above the law, including me despite how careful we were on the trail and we had set a bad example. So I apologize sincerely to PAMBA. I have to say though the trails were bomber, well drained well made, well designed and a asset to Peoria that is for sure. Of course because of the wetness we did not hit any of the other systems, but if they are like Black Partridge, the riders in Peoria are lucky to have such great trails and I would highly recommend them if you are heading south like we were.

IMBA World Summit 2010: Part One


The best part of a trip is going someplace new. The worst part is leaving a really cool family, and Margaret and Tae are all that. This is Margaret's good bye dance (being taught to Tae) note that both parties involved are off the ground in this photo, this goes on until the car is out of sight, around the corner and on its way....

IMBA World Summit 2010


So I just returned from a 10 day trip to the IMBA World Summit. It was a rocking success to be sure. However for me it was also a really cool experience just in getting there. So before I write on this great trip, I just want to thank my wife Margaret and my two year old son Tae for allowing me to go! I mean that sincerely as Margaret bears the burden when I am on the road and it is not a light one. So thanks again guys.
I decided to drive the "IMBAroo" to the event which was held in Augusta, GA. So of course on any good road trip you need somebody to ride shotgun. Several parties were interviewed but in the end Aaron Rogers of the a Copper Harbor Trails Club won out. A better partner could not be asked for, Aaron was game to drive hard and ride hard and because of that we made it a point to hit several trails systems in my region that are so far south for me that I have not been able to get there. Plus we hit four more trails that are on any MTB riders must ride list. We hit all these trails on the way south.
Peoria, IL, Brown County IN, Pisgah, NC, Dupont State Forest, NC. Keep in mind we did this all while leaving on a Sat night from Duluth at 7pm and arriving in Augusta, GA on Tuesday afternoon (about 1500 miles when you add in the Peoria stop). Then we hung at the Summit from Tuesday until Sat night, riding each day at some of the many trails in Augusta, including Modoc, FATS and Boyd Lake County Park. We drove back directly. So the next bunch of posts will all be related to that trip.