Tag Archives: NICA

Cycling League JV2 Girls | Izzy Rasmusen #551, Alexandria Area | Mt. Kato 2018

MN HS Cycling League celebrates its sixth year with many honors

by Libby Hurley, MN High School Cycling League

Over 2,500+ people attended the MN High School Cycling Leagues annual Year-End Ceremony at Northrup Auditorium, on. Fri. Nov. 9, to celebrate and reflect on an amazing and historic season. Since 2012, when the MN League launched, each year, strategic changes or additions have been made to move the MN League forward to getting #morekidsonbikes.

Cycling League medals and trophies for 2018 | Northrup Auditorium | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Cycling League medals and trophies for 2018 | Northrup Auditorium | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Over the years, they have added races to the schedule, included middle school aged riders to the program, introduced a bye-week schedule and moved to ability-based racing. For 2018, they piloted the Giant Bicycles Dirt School Spring Riding Program, created divisions in middle school, added the Framed Bike Skills Challenge event and added an additional race date and bye-week to the schedule. As the MN League grows in size, schedule and program changes are done to accommodate and accelerate this growth.

In 2018, ending the season in Mankato with almost 1,600 riders, the MN Cycling League became the second largest mountain bike league in the nation. With over 25 NICA leagues across the nation, MN is part of a growing movement with the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).

The MN League has become more than a racing program, it has become a youth development program. Each year the MN League adds hundreds of new student-athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators. Who’s ready for 2019?

Cycling League highlights and overall season results

Jaden Neimeyer, Hutchinson | One of the 2018 Student Athlete Speakers | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Jaden Neimeyer, Hutchinson | One of the 2018 Student-Athlete Speakers | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

To celebrate the accomplishments of all, each year, four students are selected to offer their thoughts and thanks to coaches, volunteers, parents, and their fellow teammates. This year, Jaden Neimeyer, from Hutchinson offered his thoughts on volunteers, Olivia Fox from Wayzata expounded on the impact of the coaches, Grant Hietpas from Stillwater thanked all of the parents, and Vladimir Lind from Burnsville shared his positive reactions from being part of the MN mountain bike community.

As the crowd clapped and cheered for these four amazing students, the lights dimmed in preparation for the season-ending video from Todd Bauer at tmbimages.com.

Watch Video on Vimeo

New race locations and program changes for 2019

Josh Kleve, Executive Director for the MN Cycling League | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Josh Kleve, Executive Director for the MN Cycling League | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

The 2019 race schedule of the MN Cycling League was well received by the entire audience. As the dates and locations were announced, cheers erupted from the crowd.

The new race location, just south of Hayward, WI, brought on the largest reaction. In 2019, the MN League will hold their own race during the Fat Tire Festival Weekend. More details on this race are coming, but it will be separate from the Short and Fat race.

2019 Race Dates and Locations

* Aug. 24/25 – Schindler’s Way Trail, Austin, MN
* Sept. 7/8 – Lake Rebecca, Rockford, MN
* Sept. 14/15 – Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival, near Hayward, WI
* Sept. 28/29 – Whitetail Ridge, River Falls, WI
* Oct. 5/6 – Detroit Mountain, Detroit Lakes, MN
* Oct. 12/13 – Spirit Mt., Duluth, MN
* Oct. 26/27 – Mt. Kato, Mankato, MN

6th-graders added to the middle school program

Exciting changes to the program include the addition of 6th-grade riders to the middle school program and instead of having one day of racing, the MN League is moving to a two-day race weekend which will allow a pre-ride of the course on both Saturday and Sunday. Middle school races will be held on Saturdays and High school races will be held on Sundays.

Watch for more details on these exciting changes.

Special acknowledgment – Coach/Asst. Coach of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Racers with Heart and the Jeff Robertson Award

Mike Busch, Mankato - Coach of the Year | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Mike Busch, Mankato – Coach of the Year | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

The MN League respects their student-athletes and acknowledges their efforts to achieve a podium spot, however, the MN League takes this evening to celebrate a number of people who might not achieve a podium spot and their actions have set examples for others through their courage, determination, leadership or sportsmanship.

“I always look forward to this event,” said Josh Kleve, Executive Director of the MN League. “This is the last opportunity of the year for our community to come together, share stories, give thanks and pay respects to a few key people whose contributions are significant to the success of our league. This is their time on the podium.”

▪ Coach of the Year: Mike Busch, Mankato
▪ Asst. Coach of the Year: Ryan Erspamer, Duluth
▪ Volunteer of the Year: Eric Larson, Duluth
▪ Male Racer with Heart – Ian Hase, White Bear Lake
▪ Female Racer with Heart – Zoey Sheedy, Rochester
▪ Jeff Robertson Award – Todd Bauer, MN League Core Staff

OVERALL SEASON RESULTS

Congratulations to all! | Northrup Auditorium 2018

Congratulations to all! | Northrup Auditorium 2018

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

Congratulations to all on a successful season!

Final overall individual results are now posted to the website.
Full Individual results for Varsity, JV2, JV3, Freshman and Middle School.
View Full Results

TEAM RESULTS

High School D1 Team Results:
1. Stillwater
2. Edina
3. Southwest Mpls

High School D2 Team Results:
1. Crosby-Ironton
2. Highland Park
3. Chaska

Middle School D1 Team Results:
1. Stillwater
2. Prior Lake
3. Washburn

Middle School D2 Team Results:
1. Rochester Composite
2. Alexandria Area
3. New Prague

Final overall team results are now posted to the website.
Full Team results for D1 and D2.
View Full Results

EVENT AND RACE PHOTOS
View Photos. Photo Credit: Todd Bauer and David Markman – MN League Official Photographers.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Please take a minute to review our list of local and national sponsors. With their support, we are able to offer our youth development programs. When considering a purchase, be sure to visit and thank our sponsors for their support. Please encourage them to continue supporting the MN League and our student-athletes.

VIEW ALL MN LEAGUE AND NATIONAL NICA SPONSORS

minnesota-email-footer-2018

MN HS Cycling League JV2 Girls | Izzy Rasmusen #551, Alexandria Area | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Highlights to the MN HS Cycling League championship race in Mankato

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.

Freshman Boys D1 | Wyatt Peterson, Burnsville | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Freshman Boys D1 | Wyatt Peterson, Burnsville | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

MN HS Cycling League highlights

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.

Freshman Girls | Victoria Voss, Rochester | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Freshman Girls | Victoria Voss, Rochester | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

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.

JV2 Girls | Izzy Rasmusen #551, Alexandria Area | Mt. Kato 2018

JV2 Girls | Izzy Rasmusen #551, Alexandria Area | Mt. Kato 2018

MN HS Cycling League race #7 – Results and more photos

FULL RACE RESULTS
View Full Results

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

HALLOWEEN FUN

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.

RACE RESULTS

Freshman Boys D2 | Owen Skroch, St. Croix Composite | Mt. Kato 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

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

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.

Jv2 Boys | Detroit Mountain 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

MTN Bike Race will draw over 1,500 student racers to the Mankato 

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 challenge in Mankato at Mt. Kato.

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 mountain bike 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.

Learn more

If you would like to participate or volunteer check out the Leagues web site:   www.minnesotamtb.org/

Calvin Sandberg, Prior Lake, Varsity Boys leads the hill climb | Whitetail Ridge 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Minnesota High School Cycling League, Race #5 highlights from Whitetail Ridge

From the MN High School Cycling League Race Report

The MN HS League headed over the border into Wisconsin for race #5 at Whitetail Ridge on October 7th. With temps hovering between 40 and 50 degrees, over 700 mountain bike racers from MN, Western WI, SD, and ND converged at Whitetail Ridge, for the fifth of the seven-race series. A fan-favorite race venue for the league; racers were thrilled to be back at Whitetail Ridge to take on the 4-mile course of endless climbs and rolling hills.

Throughout the day, horns, bells, and cheering could be heard coming deep from within the forest. As a wave of racers would head to the finish line, spectators would spill out of the forest and rush to the finish line and watch the racers cross the line. With racing taking place from 8 am until 4 pm, it was a thrilling day of racing at Whitetail Ridge.

Thank you again to the St. Croix Composite Team and their volunteers who worked tirelessly weeks before the race to ensure the course and the infield were ready for the race.

RACE #5 – RACE RESULTS AND PHOTOS

With the bye week schedule in place, the number of racers on the course is reduced from 1,500 to 700. In addition, with a different mix of teams at each race, students get to compete against different racers, and a variety of racers are on on the podiums.

RACE RESULTS
View Full Results

PHOTOS
View Race Photos. Photo Credit: Todd Bauer and David Markman – MN League Official Photographers.

LOCAL NEWS COVERAGE
Bob Burrows, covered the event for River Falls Journal. View News Story

RACE HIGHLIGHTS

In the Middle School D1 competition, Stillwater and Prior Lake were once again battling for the first place finish. Prior Lake pulled ahead with top finishes from Jack Tocko and Alex Krawza to secure the first place trophy. Stillwater took second and Washburn held on for third place.

Get ready to see which teams take the Middle School D1 podium in Race #6 on Sun. Oct. 14. Stillwater, Prior Lake and Washburn, who have taken the top honors the last few races, will all be on a bye week.

In the D2 Middle School Team competition, New Prague Composite pulled ahead to take the first place trophy over St. Croix Composite by just six points; with Elk River Composite taking third place.

In the High School Team Competition, Division 1: It was a close race for the top three spots, with Stillwater securing the first place trophy over Hopkins. Edina was close behind to take the third place trophy. Division 2: St. Croix Composite, on their home turf, beat out Mpls. South for first place in the team competition. Chaska took the 3rd place trophy.

Learn more

If you would like to participate or volunteer check out the Leagues web site:   www.minnesotamtb.org/

Zoe Camp, Southwest Mpls, Varsity Girls leads the start | Detroit Mountain 2018 | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

Minnesota High School Cycling League, Race #4 highlights from Detroit Lakes

From the MN High School Cycling League Race Report

The MN HS League headed to northwestern Minnesota for Race #4 of the season on September 30th. A new race venue for the league racers were thrilled with the new course. Detroit Mountain was a flowing and challenging mountain bike trail system with a healthy dose of climbing. Spectators enjoyed the hospitality at the chalet and took advantage of the gorgeous winding trails surrounding the course to cheer on the racers. It was an epic day of racing.

With the bye week schedule in place, the number of racers on the course was reduced from 1,500 to 700. In addition, with a different mix of teams at each race, students get to compete against different racers, and a variety of racers are on on the podiums.

RACE #4 – RACE RESULTS AND PHOTOS

RACE RESULTS
View Full Results

PHOTOS
View Race Photos. Photo Credit: Todd Bauer – MN League Official Photographer.

LOCAL TV COVERAGE
Andreas Farrell, covered the event for WDAY News. View News Story

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT REEL
Detroit Mountain put together a sweet video to highlight the racing excitement of the day. View Video

RACE HIGHLIGHTS

Weather again was a factor at the race, instead of blistering heat, racers were met with temperatures hovering around 40 degrees. As the day progressed, the clouds parted to offer a brisk and beautiful day of racing.

In the Middle School competition, Alexandria Area decisively took the D2 first place trophy; with Mankato securing second place and Northwest Composite taking third place based on a strong finish from their 7th and 8th-grade girl racers.

Stillwater and Prior Lake were once again battling for the D1 first place trophy. Washburn and Burnsville were close behind and almost nudged them out with big wins in the 7th and 8th-grade girls races. However, with Stillwater taking the top 4 spots in the 8th-grade boys race, Stillwater secured the first place trophy at Detroit Mountain. Prior Lake earned the 2nd place trophy and Washburn took third.

In High School competition, the finish line offered a number of photo finishes. In the Varsity Boys race, five riders charged to the finish in a tight pack. Braeden Anderson, Crosby-Ironton pulled ahead at the last second to just beat out Calvin Sandberg, Prior Lake. Freshman Boys D1 race held a similar finish with Nico Alexander, Washburn beating out Cooper Camp, Southwest Mpls by 1 second!

In the High School Team Competition, Division 1: Southwest Mpls. nudged Stillwater to take the first place trophy with Hopkins and Duluth East, not far behind in points. Division 2: Highland Park beat out Crosby-Ironton for first place in the team competition. Chaska and Cuyuna-Lakes were tied for the 3rd place trophy.

Here in this bike pic, we captured this young biker dude having fun pedaling down the trail ready for the Minnesota High School Cycling Leagues Race #4, up at Detroit Lakes, MN this Sunday. 

Bike Pic Sept 2, ready and waiting for Race #4 at Detroit Mountain

Here in this bike pic, we captured this young biker dude having fun pedaling down the trail ready for the Minnesota High School Cycling Leagues Race #4, up at Detroit Lakes, MN this Sunday.  See our recap article of Race #3, in Rochester on September 16th.

What better way to continue your summer fun 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 in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘MN High School League’ bike pic

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 editor@HaveFunBiking.com. 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 appearance while you are riding and having fun. You could be in one of our next Pic of the Day.

Have a great day!

The MN HS League headed to Southern MN for Race 3# of the season. Battling high temps and dusty wind gusts, September 16, mountain bike racers from across the state arrived in Gamehaven to test their skills in the third race of a seven-race series.

Minnesota High School Cycling League, Race #3 highlights from Rochester

From the MN High School Cycling League Race Report

The MN HS League headed to Southern MN for Race #3 of the season. Battling high temps and dusty wind gusts, September 16, mountain bike racers from across the state arrived in Gamehaven to test their skills in the third race of a seven-race series. Here in the photo are Freshman Boys in their D2 Race at Gamehaven | Photo Credit: tmbimages.com

The Gamehaven Trail on the Boy Scout Reservation just south of Rochester, MN is normally open to the public. The trail offers a mix of singletrack and rolling hills; with a bit more elevation, increasing the level of trail difficulty as the season progresses.

RACE #3 – RACE RESULTS AND PHOTOS

With the bye week schedule in place, the number of racers on the course drops from 1,500 to 700. In addition, with a different mix of teams at each race, students get to compete against different racers and the league is seeing a variety of racers on the podiums.

With temperatures over 90 degrees at the height of the day, many of the racers were not only challenged by the trail, but by the heat. Each racer gave it everything to cross the line.

In the Middle School competition in Race #3

Here there are two teams which dominated the podium. Stillwater and Prior Lake. 8th Grade Boys D1, Stillwater had the top 6 spots and in 7th Grade Boys D1, Prior Lake took 4 of the top slots. However, with strong finishes in other MS categories, Prior Lake edged out Stillwater to take home the first place team trophy.

In High School competition in Race #3

Division 1: Stillwater took the first place trophy with Duluth East and Prior Lake, not far behind in points. Division 2: Highland Park, St. Paul beat out Crosby-Ironton for first place in the team competition. Alexandria Area took home the 3rd place trophy.

RACE RESULTS
View Full Results

PHOTOS


View Race Photos. Photo Credit: Todd Bauer and David Markman – MN League Official Photographers.

RACE #4 – Scheduled for next weekend

The next race in the fall Minnesota High School Cycling schedule is Detroit Lakes, September 30th. See more here http://minnesotamtb.org/events/2018-race-4-detroitmtn-2!

Learn more

If you would like to participate or volunteer check out the Leagues web site:   www.minnesotamtb.org/

Kid’s mountain bikes: tips and tricks to get them on the trail

by John Brown,

I love riding my Mountain bike and want to share that passion with my boys. I am dedicating weekends to kid’s mountain bikes, to teach them to love the sport too. The sense of freedom and excitement it gives me has been amazing to experience through their eyes. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

Kid’s mountain bikes

Dozens of companies produce kid’s mountain bikes. They often have suspension, brakes and gears similar to adult versions. The kid’s bikes usually have either 20″ or 24″ wheels that will determine the overall bike size. Be sure to find the right size at your local bike shop.

Teach to shift

One big difference between riding around the neighborhood and on trails is the need to shift quickly and frequently. Most kid’s mountain bikes have between six and 21 gears with the higher gears being used on pavement and the lower gears for off-road conditions. By teaching your kid(s) how and when to shift will them become more comfortable while riding over varying trail conditions. I find it is easy to teach this on the sidewalks in front of my home. Have your child ride down the sidewalk in one gear, then shift to an easier gear and ride on the grass back. By shifting between gears and conditions, kids can get a great feel for how the gears work.

Teach to brake

Stopping on kid’s mountain bikes is about balancing two things; stopping power and control. Most brakes can easily produce enough stopping power to skid the wheels, but when the wheels skid, you lose control. I found an easy way to teach this balance is to find a short but steep hill with a clear run-out at the bottom. Stand at the bottom of the hill as a safety precaution and have your kid head down. The first time down, tell them to squeeze the brakes (front and rear) as hard as they can.  On the second trip squeeze a little less and feel the difference. Have them apply the front brakes more or more rear brake on each successive trip. After a little while, they will have a good feel for the way the brakes work.

Standing position

When kids learn to ride a bike they do so sitting down. While sitting is fine for smooth roads, it can become uncomfortable when riding over rocky trails. Try to teach your kid to stand while riding, using your legs to absorb bumps. You want to encourage them to have some bend in their knees and elbows and keep their weight back over the seat. This position lets them absorb all the rough terrain they might encounter.

L-r: Matt Johnson and his sons Jack 10, and Cole, 9, mountain bike in Salem Park in Inver Grove Heights on Sunday June 12, 2011. (Pioneer Press: Scott Takushi)

Board trick

A fun trick to teach some skills involves nothing other than a board. A 1×6 piece of wood that’s about six feet long works best. All you need to do is set it on the ground and have the kids ride over it. Riding perpendicular helps them work on absorbing impact in the standing position while trying to ride along its length, helps teach control. A great part about the Board trick is that it gives a visual indication of where to ride without any penalty if they can’t stay on.

Up and Over

Once they get comfortable with the standing position you will want to teach them how to get over objects. To start, find an object on the trail that might be challenging for your kid to ride over. Take a minute to show them where to ride to get over it. Have them back up, get a moving start, and take a run at the object. By standing over that object, you can be a safety net in case it doesn’t go to well. Reach out, straighten them out, and congratulate their try. If your trails don’t have a good place to practice this, you can build an obstacle with a pair of two by fours and some lengths of PVC (see picture below).

Short and sweet

Do your best to keep it fun. Pack treats, snacks and drinks and take a lot of breaks. If a section of trail was super fun, turn around and do it again. Keep the pace slow and have fun. If you meet a puppy, stop and pet it. Do anything you can to keep it fun and a big part of that is keeping it short. Rides over an hour can start to wear out new riders, and take some of the joy out of it. And regardless of the duration, be sure to encourage the things they did well.

Bribery

Kids are like politicians, in that they aren’t above bribes. I always take my son for a treat after the ride (our current favorite is a Smoothy from Wendy’s). This Pavlovian exercise can do wonders to reinforce the fun experience that is a mountain bike ride and encouraging the fun is the most important part.

Here on her mountain bike is a MN High School Cycling League team member practicing in Lebanon Park, in Eagan, MN.

Help the MN High School Cycling League with their fall events as a volunteer

Help our youth grow with cycling a part of their childhood, volunteer at one of the Minnesota High School Cycling League events this fall. The Minnesota League is a volunteer-based organization and can always use more help!

Why volunteer? The MN High School Cycling League is a volunteer-based organization and can always use more help!

Without volunteers the League cannot hold the races for the kids. For each of the following races, they need about 130-160 people for each. They value all those who give of their time and energy to help the participating student-athletes succeed.

2018 Minnesota High School Race schedule needs your help:

Race 1 – Aug 25 Austin Spam Trail
Race 2 – Sep 9 – Lake Rebecca
Race 3 – Sep 16 – Game Haven
Race 4 – Sep 30 – Detroit Mountain
Race 5 – Oct 7 – Welch Village
Race 6 – Oct 14 – Spirit Mountain
Race 7 – Oct 27/28 – Mt Kato (State Championship)

Get Ready for Season 5! | 2015 Mt Kato, MS Boys Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

Get Ready for Season 2018! | 2015 Mt Kato, MS Boys Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

What you can do as a volunteer to help!

As part of the Race Day Crew, help out with scoring, hand out water, course marshal on the race course, be a crossing guard or choose the popular “sweep” position. All of these positions are important!

Meet the racers parents, members of the H.S League staff, and have fun at the same time.

If you have a family member racing, volunteer to help when they are not racing. Be a part of the excitement and still be able to watch someone you know race!

Tip: As a course marshal or a crossing guard, you are able to get right on the race course where there is exceptional viewing of the course!

SIGN UP TODAY!

Learn about the needed race day volunteer positions and how to register on the Leagues  online registration site called Sign Up!

Eleanor Dolan (7005), Mpls Southside MS G7 | Mt Kato 2015, Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

Eleanor Dolan, Mpls Southside MS G7 | Photo Credit: Todd Bauer, tmbimages.com

About the Minnesota High School Cycling League

The Minnesota High School Cycling League was organized in 2012 to provide competitive mountain biking programs for students in grades 9 to 12. With the cooperation of local race organizers, their partners, and their sponsors they are able to provide a high quality mountain racing experience. They believe that mountain biking is the ‘T-Ball’ of cycling and several League alumni athletes are now racing on professional teams at events like the Tour of California and the Sea Otter Classic. Due to the rapid growth and participation, the MN League has expanded to now allow middle school aged students to race. Minnesota High School Cycling League

With these tips, ticks wont haunt your next bike adventure

by Russ Lowthian, HaveFunBiking.com

Unless you are entering a tick in the annul Cuyuna Woodtick Races, these blood thirsty parasites are annoying and could be hazardous to your health. If you are biking or hiking on trails through the woods or in tall grass, beware as you have fun! These little critters, especially if they are deer ticks can be nasty. Like the wood tick, the deer tick also lurks in natural wilderness setting. However, they are small as a freckle, have tiny black legs and may be loaded with disease-causing pathogens or Lyme Disease.

Two wood ticks and a deer tick pose with Roosevelt dime for reference. photo by David Bosshart

Two wood ticks on the left pose with a deer tick next to a Roosevelt dime for reference. photo by David Bosshart

There is a remote possible that you could get a deer or wood tick in a city park or on a paved bicycle trail, but the probability is very low. Especially on trails with the grass mowed along the edges.  Generally, these blood sucking critters are only a problem if you are off biking or walking through tall grass and brush. Ticks tend to crawl up on vegetation, tall grass and wood and wait to grab onto a passing animal or human.

Once attached to people or pets, deer ticks can be hard to find. Plus their numbers are on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are carrying harmful pathogens. Thanks to the CDC’s website here are several things everyone should know about ticks to stay disease-free.

Preventing Tick Bites on People

Before You Go Outdoors

  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, biking, camping, or hiking could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood, in rain gardens and natural areas
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions
  • Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old
  • Do not use products containing OLE or PMD on children under 3 years old
  • Avoid contact with ticks, especially in wooded or brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter
  • Ride and walk in the center of the off-road trail.

After You Come Indoors

Diagram from the Center for Disease Control

Diagram from the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC)

  • Check your clothing and gear for ticks. Ticks may be carried into the house or your car on clothing or gear. Any ticks that are found should be removed. At home tumble dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks on dry clothing after you come indoors. If the clothes are damp, additional time may be needed. If the clothes require washing first, hot water is recommended. Cold and medium temperature water will not kill ticks
  • Examine gear and pets. Ticks can ride into the home on clothing and pets, then attach to a person later, so carefully examine pets, coats, hydration saddle packs
  • Shower soon after being outdoors. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne diseases. Showering may help wash off unattached ticks and it is a good opportunity to do a tick check
  • Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. If you are comfortable, another set of eyes to check is a good idea. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks:
  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around the hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

Now that you are more aware and knowledgeable of the prevention of being bit by these blood sucking parasites plan your #NextBikeAdventure and have some fun!