Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival

Today was the opening day of the First Annual Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival. I was at the city park at 9am for registration. They were still setting up. For those of us first in line, it was disorganized confusion. Like the ribbon cutting yesterday, it was difficult to find someone that could answer questions. Drove back to my motel to change clothes and bring the bike for the parade.

I thought the bike parade would just be a ride in town. With Hans Rey in the lead, we rode out of town to the Pennington Lake Parking Lot and scattered into the trails. Talked a little with a Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) member. He suggested (as I was thinking) to start with East Street (since it was in the area).

Started that trail and quickly saw that the trail is cut into the hill, with steep drop-off. I did not feel comfortable riding this trail. Took a couple photos and headed back to see where else I could ride. Maybe Boot Camp which does not have so drop-off.

On my way back to the car riding the paved trail, I noticed some "Blue" singletrack off the pavement. Checked out the trail (which was named "Drag Line"). While the tread was more narrow, it was mostly flat and no sharp drop-offs. Rode this trail for a while (and took some more photos).

Back to the pavement, was gonna check out the other end of Drag Line. But, I was a bit tired and not feeling comfortable riding the trail. Back to the city park. Organizers suggested taking the grand tour (for $5). The tour included a pontoon boar ride and a tour of the Croft Mine.

The shuttle bus took me back to the Pennington Lake boat ramp. There were a large group waiting for the small boats. When it was 3 boardings and I still was not aboard, I gave up on the boat ride. That and the loud guys on the shuttle bus, I was about to shuck the whole tour.

Next stop on the tour was the Croft Mine. Got away from the big group and was able to walk a bit and take photos. Ended up melding back into the group for the mine shaft tour and my ride back to the park. Seems that my timing was awful - had decided to do the tour when the antique car group in town also decided to do the tour.

My mood was just a bit soured enough that I just wanted some food and back to my motel. Missing the Hans Rey riding demo, some extreme mountain biking films, and fireworks. Also, I had signed up for the night ride, but when I found the trail the ride will use, I passed.

Tomorrow is another day. Better to get a good night sleep rather than overdo things.

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