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DULUTH, MINNESOTA — If you haven't ridden Spirit Mountain the last few years, you don't know what you're missing.
The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series returned to Spirit Mountain just outside Duluth again this year — its second year back at the popular ski area after a short hiatus — with a wallop.
To say that Spirit Mountain boasts some of the — if not THE — best mountain bike trails in the state of Minnesota is to understate the obvious. After the Great Hawk Chase took detours to Lester Park and then other (also, fabulous, btw) trails in the Duluth area, last year marked a triumphant return to the area that historically was one of the toughest courses in the MNMTB Series.
But if you think it's the same race course you remember from the mid-2000's, it's time for you to create some new memories.
Sure, there are some of the oldies and goodies that we've always associated with the best of Spirit's singletrack, but now there is so. much. more.
If you ask anyone, what really makes this new trail system rock is "the flow."
"The new flow section of the lower part of the hill was really fun," said Megan Barr, an expert racer for the Angry Catfish bicycle shop. She finished second in the women's 19-35 age category. "Especially as it preps you for the rooty section that we knew was coming up later in the course."
And that was, in fact, by design.
"We strung together a race course that we thought would be unique in many ways," said race director Waylon Munsch. "It brought back a lot of the old trail from decades ago, some of the old-school stuff, but we also incorporated that with a lot of the new flow trail we've got here at Spirit Mountain. We had something that worked for everybody."
What the flow does is turns what could typically be a bomber descent into an action-packed cross-country descent filled with twists and turns that almost — seriously, almost — make the brutal climbs worth the pain.
Actually, it's not the climbs themselves that were brutal at this year's race; it was the cold rain that pounded the afternoon race during those climbs that broke a few Spirits, as it were.
"We caught a little bit of rain in the afternoon which definitely intensified things on the downhills a little bit," Munsch said. "It made for some interesting final laps for everybody, but everybody held it together really well."
Peace Coffee Racer Troy Melhus is a former Expert racer in the Minnesota MTB series and former staff writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Last season we used SMS/Text messages to communicate with racers when there were major changes or delays at our races. For 2017 we will again use this system and you will need to sign up again for notifications. Please follow the link below to sign up.
We will only use this system to tell you if the race has had a change in the following:
For all other normal notifications you will want to check our Facebook or Twitter feed. We also send emails with the latest news and you can signup on the home page of our web site. If you choose to sign up for this we hope you will never get a text this year, because all of the races are going as planned.
Welcome to the Gamehaven Lakeside Grind – the Minnesota Series newest race. This race is held at the Gamehaven Scout Reservation – a beautiful 265 acre camp and the Gamehaven Sports and Activities Park – Rochester’s newest 460 acre regional park with a 42 acre lake. Gamehaven has been a popular site for Minnesota High School races the past 4 years. Trails are built and maintained by volunteer members of the Rochester Active Sports Club. New trails are being added each year.
Proceeds from the race will go to the development of the Park, the Gamehaven Scouts, and the Rochester High School Mountain Bike Teams.
The Series offers two opportunities for 7th through 12th grade student athlete to try racing in a mountain bike race for free during our 2017 season. The two race dates and locations are the Border Crossing, River Falls, July 9th and GameHaven, Rochester, July 30. Here’s updated info about the Race for Free program
1. No Online Registration is available for the Race for Free dates. Students must register on race day at the venue in the Citizen class.
2. Race for Free registration needs to happen prior to 8:45 am.
3. All students will need to sign a waiver at Registration. Parents must sign the waiver for students under the age of 18.
4. Race for Free entrants will stage in the Citizen race in the appropriate age wave group start at 9:30
5. Race day medals will be given to the top 3 finishers in Male and Female classes
Print the form below to save some time.
2017 Registration! Open!
SuperPass - Register for all races (11 regular or 10 marathon) and get TWO races for free and your $15 series registration included. The SuperPass is a great way to save a few bucks, have the easiest race day sign in and enjoy all of the racing this summer!
For Marathon only - Marathon SuperPass gets you One Free race as there are only 10 Marathon courses. You can use your Superpass from Kids Comp, Citizen, Sport, Comp, or Elite to race in a Marathon class when available. Please go to the registration tent to receive a permanent Marathon plate if you wish to do this.
Series Registration allows you to be eligible for and receive the following benefits:
Individual Races - Register for each race online. Online registration saves you both time and money! Register now for the races you will be going to this year.
Todd Bauer Resigning as MNMBS Photographer
The MNMBS Executive Committee would like to thank Series photographer Todd Bauer for his exceptional photography work on behalf of the Series for the past 5 years. Todd has decided to move on to other things and will not be working as the Series photographer for the 2017 season. “We’re bummed to get this news,” said Gary Sjoquist, speaking on behalf of the MNMBS Executive Committee. “Like many of our racers, I looked great in action because Todd did such fabulous work with framing and clarity, and also seemed to find the cool backdrops. He’s also done our season ending awards photos that lots of our racers receive if they finish the season on the podium, so we’ll also miss his contributions at our Awards Party as well.”
So, the MNMBS is officially searching for a Series Photographer for the 2017 season. Anyone interested should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes we had some rain... Yes there was some mud... BUT it was also one of the most fun times I've had riding my bike. There were still quite a few racers that came out to give it a try. 74 Citizen riders can't all be wrong!
This course is really awesome, we certainly hope that you will make the trip up to DM to go riding this summer. Even with some slick spots, (yea a few ;) The trail was in hard underneath and it when you hit the spots that were hard, it flowed awesome!
Results are posted and pictures will be up in a few days.
Two Races this season are High School Race for Free
*This is a High School Race for free race. Open to 7th -12th graders. NO ONLINE REGISTRATION for these kids. Simply show up for the race and register on the day of. You will get a race plate and race in the CITIZEN class. at 9:30AM start time. There is a special wave for all of these riders. Please be at the venue by 8:30 to register for this race.
Get your team signed up now. Last year those pesky Maplelag racers took home the team trophy. OK they had a great group of people racing in all sorts of classes, as you can see by the Fat Stacks under that team trophy. BUT still, who didn't want WEDALI to win again???
So gather up your friends or Fiends as it were and get your team signed up to race the series. It's free to create a team, just make sure everyone on the team signs up for the series, so that all their points will get counted.
We love to see the teams, cool jersies, tents with food, drinks, family, kids, grandma and grandpas watching. That's what makes our races so much fun!
Sign your team up today! Click Here to go to the signup form.
Radar shows that the Border Crossing might be interrupted by rain or heavy weather. Here’s information about how we’ll proceed:
1. MNMBS policies regarding severe weather can be found under the Home tab on our web page http://www.mnmtbseries.com/page/show/515227-race-weather-guidelines
2. Any updates regarding weather or the racing schedule will be posted on social media and at the Registration Tent
3. Specific instructions about altered race courses or lap counts will be announced before each wave is started
4. All racing will stop immediately in the presence of lightning as signified by the chief referee. Racers on the race course should proceed carefully to the Start/Finish for further instructions
The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series (MMBS) is offering Race For Free again this year. For those new to the mountain biking scene, MMBS has been operating a state wide series for all ages since 1990 and is a proud sponsor of the Minnesota High School Cycling League. The Race For Free program allows MN League athletes (7th – 12th grade) to race in the Citizen’s class at the following MN MTB series races, for free!
Registration is FREE for registered MN League racers.
DO NOT REGISTER ONLINE! ALL MN LEAGUE RACERS MUST REGISTER RACE DAY ONLY,
prior to the beginning of the Citizen race. No mail or online registration is allowed if you wish to take part in the Race for Free program. Helmets are required.
REGISTRATION FORM AND WAIVER:
All student-athletes must bring a signed form and waiver to the race and present at the MN League tent prior to participating in the event. Be sure to check CITIZEN HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL on this form and waiver. DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM & WAIVER
How will they know who is a registered MN League racer?
CHECK “CITIZEN HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL box on the form. In addition, the MN League will provide a list of all registered MN League racers to the MN MTB Series prior to each race.
Student-athletes participating in the Race For Free program will have their own wave in the Citizen’s class. This class is comparable in length and technical difficulty to the MN League Freshman class, however, several of these races are at ski hills and have a considerable amount of climbing. The free entry does not apply to student athletes racing in other divisions within the MN MTB Series.
Disclaimer – the Race for Free Program is not a NICA-sanctioned event, nor a Minnesota High School Cycling League event.
Racers must be registered as MN League racers to be eligible to participate. So, Team Directors and Coaches – get busy and register your team at the Pit Zone, found on our Home Page, upper right.
Following last year's return to old-school glory, COGGS and Spirit Mountain are excited to bring you a race course with unparalleled variety. New flow trail has been constructed near the base of Spirit Mountain, and this year's course will serve up a variety like no other.
Expect a healthy mix of flow, technical, big climbs, and speedy descents at the 2017 Great Hawk Chase.
This race will be a part of the 4th annual Kraus Anderson Bike Duluth Festival, with an entire weekend's worth of fun and festivities.
On line registration ends on Thursday Aug. 10th at 8 p.m.
The MNMBS is happy to announce that 401 Manufacturing will return as the Title Sponsor for the 2015 MNMBS season. In fact, look for the 401 Manufacturing display at Series races once the racing season gets underway. The 401 Manufacturing logo will also be on Series number plates this year.
Signed as the Title Sponsor last year, 401 Manufacturing had an excellent year of growth in 2014. The company moved to a new location in Anoka, doubling the square footage of the old location. Now up to 20 employees, 401 Manufacturing also doubled in sales revenue this past year. The quickly growing company is on pace to do more than $2.75 million in sales for 2015.
"Series racers might be using parts right off our CNC machines, "said Mike. "We serve the biking industry, including Wolf Tooth, with a variety of parts - sprockets, Gogs, bike tools, stem caps, etc. In fact, we just starting making stem caps for NICA as part of an awareness campaign to build high school mountain biking."
Another aspect of 401 Manufacturing, and one of the reasons Mike wanted to sponsor the MNMBS, is their training capacity and need for entry-level employees. 401 offers class room and real world training for people looking to start a career in the machining industry, and can help place potential employees in jobs paying over $15 as a starting wage with less than a year's training.
"A career in the machining industry is a great way for young adults, both male and female, to make decent money in a stable, growing industry," said Mike. "You can begin a career right away, without racking up a lot of debt for a college education that might not get used even if you do find a job."
Be sure to stop by the 401 Manufacturing display at MNMBS races and thank Mike and his company for stepping up to become the Series Title Sponsor. You might also see him out on the course; he's also a competitor in the MNMBS, racing in the Comp class.
Tips for Race Day
Mountain bike racing is not just for the highly trained. It is an exhilarating physical activity that can add to your health and quality of life. Racing is as much about fun, shared experiences and making new friends as it is about competition. The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series is open to all and welcomes new female and male participants of all ages and athletic abilities.
The Series has various classes to accommodate racers of all abilities and ages. A beginner may want to participate in the "Citizen Class" or "Kids Comp Class" if they have any questions regarding their fitness or skill levels.
Riding with more experienced cyclists can help develop your technical skills. Riding a variety of terrain/courses can assist with technical abilities. Avoid spending all of your time on trails with features that are above your riding abilities.
Be sure to warm up well before your event. A good warm up ride will greatly improve your race and you will feel better and be faster on the trail.
All racers can benefit from pre-riding the race course. Pre-riding the course consists of riding the designated race course prior to the day of the event. if it is not an open trail, pre riding information can be found on the events page. Pre-riding the course gives you the opportunity to learn the terrain and boost your confidence for your first race.
At least a day in advance, check over your bike to make sure everything is in good working order: check your wheels, drive train (chain, crank set, cogs, shifters, derailleurs) and brakes.
Refrain from making any significant changes affecting the fit of the bike within a week of the race, such as changing your seat or handle bar positioning or replacing or upgrading components.
If you have questions about the proper bike for a course we recommend contacting one of the local retailers who support our Series.
Get plenty of rest, nutrition, and hydration the night before your race.
Eat a good breakfast 3-4 hours before your start time
About an hour before your race, have a light snack (power bar, fig cookies, etc.), to give your body a little energy boost.
Drink plenty of water leading up to your race but you should stop 30 minutes before the race. This will give you time to use the bathroom just prior to the race start.
For a race under 60 minutes, you may not need food. However, some people use GU energy gels to keep up there energy up during a race.
During longer races, it is recommended to ingest the gels every 20 minutes with fluid to maintain hydration and a steady energy flow.
Continue drinking during your race to remain hydrated.
We recommend registering in advance online whenever possible. This will save you money and speed up your registration experience at the race. Arrive at the race an hour or two prior to your start so you can get registered, change clothes, and get in a good warm up ride.
When you register, the race registrar will direct you to fill out forms and pay your entry fee. If you have registered online, you should still visit the registration table to sign a release form and pick up your race number.
After registration, change into your race clothing and prep your bike. Final bike prep includes putting your race number on your handlebar, checking tires and suspension for proper air pressure, checking for clean shifting, and checking your brakes.
If you have any questions please ask for the race official.
It may be beneficial to carry a multitool with you during the race.
You should arrive at the starting area 15 minutes prior to the start. Usually there is a scheduled racers meeting just prior to the start, so listen for instructions given at the registrars table.
Mountain bike races start fast, so be ready to work hard after the countdown. Usually the hard initial pace slows a bit and the riders find their comfort zone.
Beginner races are usually short enough that you can maintain hard work for the duration depending on your fitness.
Most importantly, have fun. Mountain bike racing is a great way to spend a day and the people you meet along the way make it even more rewarding.
2017 MNMBS Race Schedule
|May 7||Sunday||MNMBS #1 - St Croix Woolly, St Croix Falls, WI|
|Sunday||MNMBS #2 - Detroit Mountain, Detroit Lakes, MN|
|June 4||Sunday||MNMBS #3 - Bluff Riders Charge, Mankato, MN|
|June 11||Sunday||MNMBS #4 - Red Wing Classic, Red Wing, MN|
|June 25||Sunday||MNMBS #5 - Single Track Escape, St Cloud, MN|
|July 9||Sunday||MNMBS #6 - Border Crossing, River Falls, WI|
|July 15||Saturday||MNMBS #7 - Big Woods Classic, Lake Rebecca, Rockford, MN|
|July 30||Sunday||MNMBS #8 - Gamehaven Lakside Grind, Rochester MN NEW!|
|Aug 13||Sunday||MNMBS #9 - Great Hawk Chase, Duluth, MN|
|Aug 20||Sunday||MNMBS #10 - Cuyuna Crusher, Crosby-Ironton, MN|
|Sept 2-3||MNMBS #11 - Laddies Loppet, Maplelag|