Category Archives: Advocacy

CROCT Board members meet with Rice County Commissioner Jeff Docken

L to R: Rice County District 5 Commissioner Jeff Docken, Marty Larson, Jeremy Bokman

CROCT Board members Marty Larson, Jeremy Bokman and I had lunch yesterday at Tandem Bagels with Rice County District 5 Commissioner Jeff Docken.

It was a follow-up to the meeting that Marty, Jeremy and I had last August with Jake Rysavy, Rice County Parks & Facilities Director in which he expressed support for exploring the possibility of mountain bike trails at Caron Park and McCullough Park/Campground.

McCullough Park is in Jeff Docken’s district and he seemed intrigued about the possibility of having mountain bike trails on the large tract of park property across from the newly remodeled campground on Shields Lake.

Here are a few photos from Aug. 21 when Marty, Jeremy and I did a walk-through of McCullough. As you can see, the property has both a large sloping prairie and many ravines, making it ideal for mtb trails of all ability levels. And being adjacent to a trail head on a lake with a campground, picnic shelter, rest rooms, showers, boat access, etc, one could imagine McCullough becoming a destination mountain bike park someday.

We’ve expressed our preference for creating beginner-to-advanced mtb trails at Caron Park first. It’s situated half way between Faribault and Northfield, a more convenient (15-minute drive) for CROCT trail workers from both cities who would be investing hundreds of volunteer hours in constructing trails there. And after gaining a season’s worth of experience with trail-building at Caron, we would be in a better position to assess what we could accomplish at McCullough, a more demanding venue.

The next step will likely be for this to be an agenda item on an upcoming meeting of the Rice County Board’s Parks and Facilities committee before it goes to the full Board. The wheels of government don’t always move quickly but it’s possible that we could be authorized to dig at Caron Park this year.

Zero degrees and windy, City of Northfield officials walk the Sechler Park mountain bike trail

L to R: Dale Gehring, Marty Larson (with his dog Lexy), Dave DeLong, Griff Wigley

City of Northfield Ward 2 Councilor David DeLong and Park & Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) Chair Dale Gehring walked the the Sechler Park mtb trail this afternoon, accompanied by yours truly and CROCT board chair Marty Larson.

The 1.5 hour hike of  about 3 miles (from the cul-de-sac behind Walgreen’s to the far pavilion and back) was a little challenging, as the temperature hovered around the zero degrees F mark with gusty northwest winds.

Marty and I wanted to give them a first-hand look at what CROCT volunteers have accomplished in Sechler Park since we got approval from the City to construct a mountain bike trail there last year. We’d like to add extensions and features to the trail this year, as well as install one or more trail head kiosks.  And we’re interested in discussing the possibilities of adding off-road trails and bike park features like pump tracks to other City of Northfield parks. (For example, see the CROCT blog posts about the Meadows Park community planning meetings.)

We’re not yet sure if Dave and Dale were impressed with what they saw, but given the weather conditions, it’s likely they’ll remember the experience.  😉

And on related note, Councilor Dave took a few spins around the River Bend Nature Center parking lot last Saturday on a fat bike during the RBNC Fat Bike Event. In case you missed the photos of him in the blog post/photo album:

City of Northfield Councilor David DeLong City of Northfield Councilor David DeLong

 

All three concept plans for Meadows Park could accommodate mountain biking

Meadows Park community meeting

Dave Berglund at Meadows Park community meeting Meadows Park community meeting

CROCT member Dave Berglund and I attended the second Meadows Park community planning on Wednesday night at the Northfield Middle School. (For background, see my blog post on the first meeting back in November titled Could mountain biking be part of Northfield’s new Meadows Park?

The good news: All three of the proposed concept plans presented by the consultants would accommodate a mountain bike trail around the perimeter of the park:

Meadows Park Concept Plan A: Prairie Potholes Meadows Park Concept Plan A: Meandering Streams Meadows Park Concept Plan A: Winter Wonderland

Meadows Park Concept Plans: unpaved/mountain biking trails

When the consultants asked for programming suggestions, I mentioned that a mountain bike XC trail there would provide:

  • a venue for members of the local high school/middle school mountain bike team to practice
  • another trail for us to host our Community Services Monday nights summer group rides for youth

The schedule calls for City Council approval of the park’s master plan by summer.

More photos from the meeting:

Fat bike Event, Feb. 14 at the River Bend Nature Center: CROCT will be there

The River Bend Nature Center (RBNC) is teaming up with local bike shop sponsors Fit to be TRI’d (Northfield) and Milltown Cycles (Faribault) to host a Fat Bike Event on Saturday, Feb. 14. Here’s the PDF flyer:

Fat Bike Event RBNC

On the RBNC event page:

We will also be doing tours every 90 minutes led by fat tire experts from some of our sponsors. Tours will include biking on some of the best trails at River Bend, a brief history of the grounds, and scenic views. Sponsors will also have booths in the Interpretive Center showcasing their businesses, fat tire bikes, and other biking equipment. The general public is encouraged to come learn about this new and engaging sport. Demo bikes will be provided for short lessons on fat tire biking. If you have your own fat tire bike stop into the Nature Center that day for your riding pass.

CROCT will have a table in the RBNC Interpretive Center where club members will be informing attendees about mountain biking in the area, handing out our new CROCT brochures, and inviting them to become IMBA/CROCT members via our online membership page.

CROCT’s presentation to BikeNorthfield’s 2nd Annual Soup & Cycles

Marty Larson, CROCT presentation at Soup & Cycles 2015 Griff Wigley at Soup & Cycles 2015, photo by Michael Lehmkuhl Marty Larson, CROCT presentation at Soup & Cycles 2015

Last week, Marty Larson and I made a short presentation to BikeNorthfield‘s 2nd Annual Soup & Cycles community meeting. We reviewed our progress in 2014 and previewed our activities for 2015.  Many CROCT members attended, as did CROCT board members Galen Murray, Curtis Ness, & Scott Koehler.

See my album of 80+ photos from the entire night here:

Soup and Cycles photo album cover

Our photo-infested slide presentation:

Tracking trail worker volunteer hours for 2014

Sechler Park trail workWe are looking to track volunteer hours for 2014. If you volunteered for any of the CROCT trail work sessions in 2014, we would appreciate if you took the time to fill out this form. It only takes a minute:

This will allow the board to have concrete numbers and data on the time and effort spent in developing the trails.