Tuesday, June 28, 2011

IMBA Midwest Spring Campaign 2011

Joey Kleins note and evidence of his stay in Duluth, MN

I arrived home late in the evening last Sunday night from the Midwest Mountain Bike Festival in Davenport, IA.  It had been an 8 plus hour push after a long four days of the festival.  As I pulled in the driveway I had a sense of relief, sort of like that last day of school feel.  I had literally been on the road since late April.  Nearly every weekend an event, a political meeting, a fundraiser you name it.  I immediately realized that I could now finally clean out the IMBA Roo.  Yeah it had been that busy, instead of removing things from the car, I would just leave them in there, why not?  I will just need them next weekend.

I stumbled into our Sauna/Guest house and dumped some items from the car.  While I was in there I saw that Joey Klein had left me a note and some gifts while I had been away.  Funny thing is that Joey was here some time in early May, its is almost the 4th of July.  This stuff had been sitting there for over a month and I was just finding it now.  However that said, it struck me just how much I have done since April and I should most likely recap that in some way.  So here goes, the simple laundry list with a few comments.

It all started out with the National Bike Summit in March, in Washington, DC.  Then it went to the Wheel and Sprocket Sale in Milwaukee, then to the Wisconsin Bike Summit in Madison the next week, that rounded out April.  

A few short weeks later I found myself with Joey in Duluth marking out the tougher sections of the Duluth Traverse Trail with COGGS.  Overlapping that I had another Trail Solutions employee, Steve Mullins working both in Rippon, WI and also Tofte, MN and in Woodbury, MN.  While that was going on, I headed to the Door County Bike Summit in Sister Bay, WI.  Thanks for the bed Freddie!  

Then things got busy.  Along with Aaron Rogers, I put on the Great Lakes Bike Summit in Copper Harbor, MI.  This was in conjunction with the Ride the Keweenaw event.  A great event and a huge success.  Thanks to all that attended.  I had very little time to celebrate.  As both my boss, Mike Van Abel and my compatriot Chris Berhardt hopped planes to head to the next events they had, I took the time to get ready for the grand Opening of Cuyuna and the first IMBA Ride Center in the country.  But oh, yeah first I had to head to the CAMBA festival of trails.  Not a hardship by any means but hey it all starts to add up.

Cuyuna blew all my expectations away.  To see the transformation over the past two years was literally astounding.  I can honestly say that of all the myriads of folks there that weekend, there were only a fistful of us that had the depth of satisfaction that I felt.  On that note I can also say that only a few people really see the change that Cuyuna is going to create both in our community of MTB activists, but also in the sport itself.  I see a future blog post in that realm coming soon as well.  Suffice to say, things will not be the same after Cuyuna.

I took a few days to rest and then loaded up to meet Steve and Morgan of the Trail Care Crew.  They met me in Duluth and we had a cup of coffee and plotted our next round of attack.  The USFS and the Boy Scouts of America and the local IMBA Club, the Superior Cycling Association were gathering to build single track in both Tofte and Grand Marais, MN.   We hosted a trail school and then helped the USFS organize the 140 or so Scouts to begin the build.  

The build I am told went well, however I was not there, and either was the TCC because we had headed out to go to the Midwest Mountain Bike Festival in Davenport, IA.  My second regional summit.  Like the Great Lakes Summit we had a great cross section of clubs.  10 different clubs, 50 folks on Friday at the Summit and easily hundreds more at the Festival itself.  Thanks FORC!

Now I am looking forward to slowing down, seeing some summer, playing with Tae and giving Margaret some relief.  The spring campaign is over and the fall campaign is in the future.  Thanks to all those who supported me and IMBA over the past two months and thanks to all those that will support us in the future and of course, thanks to Margaret and Tae for allowing me to have a dream job that helps change communities and lives in a positive way.

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