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This bike pic shows mountain biking fun with the leaves turning into their spectacular fall colors along the Minnesota River, near Mankato, MN.
So, get into the zone when continuing your time outdoors and your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Iowa or Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends, and check out more stories at Let’s Do MN.
Thanks for viewing our latest bike pic
Now rolling through our 19th year as a bike tourism media, enjoy! As we pedal forward, we aim to encourage more people to bike and have fun while highlighting all the unforgettable places you can ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.
Do you have a fun bicycle-related photo of yourself or someone you may know we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to [email protected]. Please Include a brief caption for the image, who shot it, and where. Photo(s) sent to us should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide to be considered. You will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram if we use your photo.
As we continue encouraging more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure. Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile-friendly in our 14th year of producing this handy information booklet full of maps.
Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends, and don’t forget to smile. With one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo appearance while you are riding and having fun, we may be around the corner. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.
Towards the southern edge of Bloomington, you will find the Minnesota River Bottoms Trail System, which is fun to ride throughout the year. For my most recent visit, I used the trailhead near the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. Here, you’ll see a rocky slope that travels down into the woods. A start of a great adventure. It’s known as the Minnesota River Bottoms Trail. The single-track trails here are perfect for a mountain bike, but you are safe on a Hybrid-trail/path bike, also. But you will have to watch where you’re riding.
The Bloomington River Bottoms Trail
The ride itself is fun and challenging. The trail is made out of heavy soil with a mix the dried river debris. For the most part, when dry it may be smooth riding. However, Mother Nature’s unpredictability can change the conditions of the trail fast. Pedaling along, you may come across places that are soft and muddy from recent rainfall. Because the trails here are so popular, you will see other tire tracks that have gone through and made the puddles deeper and muddier in the aftermath. Usually, you can ride through or ride around it. If you ride through, you may feel your tires slip, but as long as you keep going, you should be fine. Riding around the puddle will take a little more concentration. You may either be able to find a dry area around its perimeter where your tires can fit or an area that hasn’t been touched.
The Minnesota River Bottoms is not only a great place to ride a fat bike.
For most of the ride, you’ll be along the river with a few trails leading you away. You’ll come upon many obstacles as well, such as logs set up for you to ride over if you wish and different turns that will keep you alert. Small trails will split off the main path and take you to other scenic areas but eventually connect back to the main trail. While the trail is mostly flat, the sandy conditions can make it hard to pedal. Also, the trail often changes shape after the river floods, which makes for unique rides!
Here is a fallen branch that acts as a bridge crossing Bloomington’s river bottoms.
You’ll find a few opportunities to cross the tributary streams that feed the river. One is a wood bridge partly on a fallen tree branch. You can try riding across and risk falling in, or you can carry your bike across. There’s also a floating dock that allows room for you and your bike. You’ll use the rope to pull yourself across the river to continue your ride.
Why the trail is fun!
It takes a little more concentration than paved trails, but the uncertainty of what you’ll encounter is all part of the fun. You can have fun with twists, turns, climbs, and descends on the unpaved trail. You’ll even have plenty of views to stop and look at. But this track is different. While it is maintained, the trail gives you the feeling of being unprotected. It’s just you and the elements. Plenty of debris on the trail and more than a few low branches that you’ll either have to dodge or be okay with them hitting you in the face.
And winter biking is always fun on the Bloomington River Bottoms Trail.
Find out more about Bloomington’s biking opportunities here.
Or, when you need a break from the outdoors and biking the river bottoms, there are plenty of fun options to keep your visit exciting in Bloomington. Check out more here.
The MN High School Cycling League returns to Austin, MN this Saturday and Sunday (August 24-25) for an action-packed weekend of mountain bike racing. This will kick off the 2019 racing season for almost 2,000 middle school and high school students throughout Minnesota and Western Wisconsin.
Get ready Minnesota – a new race venue will be added for the Sept. 14-15 race. Each year, the MN League moves their race weekends to different venues across the state. This brings the sport to different locations around the region and to offer new and exciting race opportunities for the students. This year, the League is thrilled to be a part of the Chequamegon Festival the weekend of Sept. 14 and Sept. 15. Working with a variety of partners, including the Chequamegon Festival, a new trail has been built near Stone Lake, WI (Summit Lake Game Farm) that will become an exciting race venue for years to come – and a new mountain bike trail for people to ride and enjoy year-round. A special thanks to Tom Gujer and Chad McDonald for their help to make this trail happen!
Growing Interest and demand for younger mountain bike racers
They are all ready for a challenge. Photo Credit: tmbimages.com
As the interest in mountain bike racing has grown across the region there is also an increasing number of younger students interested in riding and racing with the MN League. To accommodate this demand, each MN League team has been given the option of adding in 6th-graders to their middle-school teams. They are thrilled to announce that there are over 160 sixth graders already signed up!
Schedule moves to two-day race weekends to accommodate growth
Due to a 30% growth in teams and racers, the MN League has adjusted their races from one day to a two-day racing schedule weekend for each scheduled race. Middle school racers will compete on Saturdays and high school racers will compete on Sundays.
“Last year, due to required race day schedule changes, we had to remove Sunday pre-ride time – this year, we were determined to find a way to bring back the ability for student-athletes to pre-ride and race on the same day,” said Josh Kleve, MN League Director, and Co-Founder. “By shifting the middle school to Saturday, this enabled us to add 6th grade, a long-requested addition, and spread the races out providing a more enjoyable experience for all of our middle school and high school student-athletes.”
Race Weekend Timeline at Austin, MN – Race #1
Photo Credit: tmbimages.com
For race #1 a full weekend is lined up at Schindler’s Way Trail near Todd Park, in Austin, MN. This Saturday, August 24th the middle school racers (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) will kick off the weekend schedule at 1 pm, with the last race of the day starting at 3:40 pm. Racing will resume on Sunday. August. 25th, with high-school racers starting at 9:30 am and wrapping up with the last race of the day starting at 3 pm.
The Minnesota High School Cycling League is a state-wide independent activity provider for student-athletes in 6th to 12th grade. Their mission is to build strong minds, bodies, character, and communities through cycling, regardless of ability level. Each MN League season includes summer programs, a seven-race series, wilderness first aid certification courses and a Spring Leaders’ Summit for training and certification of coaches. The MN League exists by virtue of a range of fundraising activities, as well as generous donors, and MN League sponsors. For more information on the MN League, visit minnesotamtb.org.
by Libby Hurley, MN HS Cycling League /Photo Credit: tmbimages.com
For the fourth consecutive year, the MN High School Cycling League headed back to Mt. Kato, for Race #7. This State championship race was held in Mankato, MN on Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28, 2018. A favorite course for many young racers, the location, and venue easily accommodated the 3,500+ racers and spectators that attended the event.
For two days, over 1,200 racers from 64 teams across the state of Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota. South Dakota and Western Wisconsin came together to compete in the final MN HS Cycling League race of the 2018 season.
Since there was a bye-week schedule in place for the season, each of the six previous races had a reduced number of teams competing, resulting in less impact to the event venues and students were able to compete against different racers. But, at this race event, all of the MN League teams were able to compete in one race; resulting in the largest MN League race to date.
As the team tents went up on Friday evening, the race course and community came together. People were laughing, dogs were barking, cheers of encouragement were heard along with excited voices shouting out greetings – the MN League race venue had arrived in Mankato for two days of action-packed mountain bike racing and not a speck of snow in the forecast.
This year, the weather cooperated, two days of brisk, bright days made for an amazing race weekend. Against a backdrop of brilliant fall colors, racers wound their way up the mountain, and then into the wooded singletrack, to complete a lap in the just under 4-mile course. Based on a rider’s skill level, the number of laps increases, with varsity riders completing four laps or 16-miles.
As the last race of the season, and for many seniors, the last race of their high school careers, the finish line was filled with cheering spectators and close finishes, but there were also tears and hugs, as competitors shook hands one last time.
Thank you to the folks at Mt. Kato for their support before and during the race. And, thanks to the team members and volunteers from the Mankato Composite team for their gracious hosting of our core staff dinner on Friday night and their volunteer efforts before and during the race.
Get ready Minnesota – racing will be back soon. Watch for news regarding the 2019 racing schedule, later this month.
RACE DAY PHOTOS View Race Photos. Photo Credit: Todd Bauer and David Markman – MN League Official Photographers.
LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE
Kristine Goodrich, covered the event for Mankato Free Press. View News Story
KEYC, a local Mankato television station covered the event. View News Story
Since it was Halloween weekend; amidst the cheering fans, there were a few interesting characters: a life-size banana, an elephant, Yeti, a giraffe and even a zebra! Tutus were out, tiaras were on helmets and there was even a racer that went by in a full bear costume.
Freshman Boys D2 | Owen Skroch, St. Croix Composite | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com
In the Middle School D1 race, Stillwater and Prior Lake almost tied for first place, with a difference of three points. Stillwater secured the first place over Prior Lake and Washburn took home the third place trophy.
In the D2 Middle School Team competition, Rochester decisively took the first place trophy over Alexandria Area with Mankato taking third place.
Varsity Riders from SW Mpls, Hopkins and Stillwater at the finish line | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com
In the High School Team Competition, Division 1: Stillwater with podium wins in over 5 categories, took home the first place trophy, with Edina High School securing second place. Southwest Mpls was close behind to take third place. Division 2: Crosby-Ironton High School beat out Highland Park for the first place trophy. Chaska took the 3rd place trophy.
Season overall winners will be announced at the Year End Ceremony on Fri. Nov. 9 at Northrup Auditorium in Minneapolis, MN. Details
About the Minnesota High School Cycling League
The Minnesota High School Cycling League is a state-wide independent activity provider for student-athletes in 7th to 12th grade. Our mission is to build strong bodies, strong minds, and strong character through cycling, regardless of ability level. Each MN League season includes summer programs, a seven-race series, wilderness first aid certification courses and a Spring Leaders’ Summit for training and certification of coaches. The MN League exists by virtue of a range of fundraising activities, as well as generous donors, and MN League and NICA national sponsors. For more information on the MN League, visit minnesotamtb.org.
From the MN High School Cycling League Race Report
The Minnesota High School Cycling League is heading into its State Championship Race, in Mankato MN, this coming next weekend. The final race of the season will draw over 1,500 racers from 63 teams to the picturesque Minnesota River Valley Area for the final race of a seven-race series. This will be the largest race of the MN HS Cycling League since its inception in 2012.
The MN High School Championship Race is this coming weekend
They are all ready for the challenge at Mt. Kato, in Mankato. Photo Credit: tmbimages.com
The final event will be held over two days, Oct 27 – 28, at Mt. Kato Ski area, in Mankato. This Minnesota League State Championship Race is the culmination of a seven-race series for over 1,500 mountainbike racers across MN, Western WI and parts of ND and SD.
With a bye-week schedule in place through the season. Each race previously held this year had a reduced number of teams competing. This resulted in less impact to the event venues and students were able to compete against different racers. View Bye-Week Schedule.
But, at the last race of the season, all of the MN League teams will be competing together. It will truly be a state championship race!
“This is the one time per year that we have an opportunity for all student-athletes to race together. Very few venues will accommodate over 1,500 student-athletes for two days of racing and the subsequent coaches, spectators and parents cheering everyone on,” said Josh Kleve, MN League Director. “This is undoubtedly my favorite event of the year to watch!”
Championship Race Details
Get ready for two days of racing action! That’s right. We need two full days of racing since we have 63 teams competing at the Season Championship race. Review the Race Flyer for the full race schedule and details.
A perfect fall day to get out on the mountain bike trail and burning some holiday calories while testing your fat bike legs.
What better way to continue your 2017 riding season fun and to plan your #NextBikeAdventure. View all the great ideas and bike destinations in the latest Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of the HaveFunBiking Destinations.
Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Fat Bike fun’ Pic of the Day
We are now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media. As we pedal forward our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike and have fun while we highlight all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more places to have fun, we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. Enjoy the information and stories we have posted as you scroll through.
Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: [email protected]. Include a brief caption (for each) of who is in the photo (if you know) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.
As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your #NextBikeAdventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing this hand information booklet full of maps.
Remember, bookmark HaveFunBiking.com on your cell phone and find your next adventure at your fingertips! Please share our pics with your friends and don’t forget to smile. We may be around the corner with one of our cameras ready to document your next cameo apperance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic’s of the Day.