Tag Archives: Melissa Bernhard

NCS & CROCT team up to offer youth summer mountain bike camps for 2017

For the 3rd consecutive summer, CROCT is collaborating with Northfield Public Schools Community Services (NCS) to offer mountain biking experiences for area youth.

In 2015, we hosted weekly Monday night group rides, plus an overnight trip to the Cuyuna Lakes MTB Trail System:

In 2016 we added mini-clinics at the start of the weekly Monday night group rides:

For 2017, we’re hosting three Youth Mountain Bike Camps (3-hour clinics each day for a week).

Description: Learn the basics of mountain biking from the IMBA certified mountain bike instructors at Cannon River Offroad Cycling & Trails (CROCT). The camp will consist of lessons on the operation of the bike (brakes, shifting), basic body position, skills (cornering, climbing, descents, ratcheting, front and rear wheel lifts), and terrain challenges (logovers, skinnies, switchbacks, bermed & flat corners). A variety of group games, some bike maintenance tips, and open riding in the Sechler skills park will be included.

The camps run Mon-Thur, either 9-noon or 1-4, with a rain make-up day on Fridays. If the Sechler trail is closed due to flooding, other city or school district parks in Northfield or Dundas will be used.

A mountain bike safety check is required a week or more prior to a camp, performed at no-charge by Downtown Bikes in Northfield. (A limited number of mountain bikes will be available to rent for the week.) Participants must wear a helmet, and carry their own water (bottle cage or pack) and a snack.

Location: Sechler Park MTB Trail, Northfield

Cost: $160/pair; $90/single, registration required


June 12-16: 9 am-noon, ages 9-13 – Lead instructor: – Griff Wigley
July 24-28: 1-4 pm, ages 14-18 – Lead instructor: Ted Siefkes
July 31-Aug 3: 1-4 pm, ages 9-13 – Canceled

Online registration opens on Friday, April 14 at the NCS website.

Here’s a draft PDF of the page describing the camps. It will appear in the summer 2017 NCS brochure that will be sent to all households in the school district:

thumbnail of CROCT – NCS summer youth mtb camps 2017



CROCT leads an overnight youth group mountain bike trip at Cuyuna Lakes

Planning for an overnight youth group trip to the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System began way back in January when Melissa Bernhard, Recreation Coordinator with the Northfield Public Schools Community Services Division, contacted us via email:

Melissa BernhardI am specifically looking for your group to lead a mountain biking adventure…..anywhere for youth and their families. I received a grant for the Adventure Mania program and would like you to be involved in giving the youth in our community a great experience on a mountain bike. Any ideas? This past summer a group of ours went to Lebanon. Since I have grant money, I’d like to really use it by traveling somewhere special and then later on if there is no grant, I’d plan to be as local as possible.

When I forwarded her email to fellow CROCT Board members, Carl Arnold wrote:

Do you have a location in mind, since they are looking for an adventure trip that doesn’t have to be local? Cuyuna? Less than 3 hr drive. Great campgrounds! Could we get a bus?

Carl’s vision became reality.

On Thursday morning, Aug 13, kids and families met at the NCRC Building where we stuffed bikes, Gear Resource Outfitters camping equipment including lots of binoculars and a rangefinder to view nature, many  bodies into an EcoTrans mini-bus and CROCT President Marty Larson’s trailer:

Melissa and some parents gave us a proper send-off:

Three hours later, we arrived at our group site in the DNR’s Portsmouth Campground in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.  Marty’s wife Lisa Neitge had taken charge of the grocery shopping  and meal preparation so we all got a terrific lunch after setting up camp:

Since the bikes were still in the mini-bus, we hauled them to the bike park/pump track in the little town of Cuyuna, about 3 miles from the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System which is adjacent to the twin towns of Crosby-Ironton.  For most of the kids and parents, riding the rollers and berms and jumps was a new experience: Continue reading CROCT leads an overnight youth group mountain bike trip at Cuyuna Lakes

August Adventure Mania: youth mountain biking camping trip to Cuyuna Lakes

Kids MTB at Cuyuna Lakes MTB Trails. Photo by Aaron W Hautala at Red House Media

As we announced back in May, in addition to our Monday night youth mtb group ride series all summer, CROCT is teaming up with Northfield Public Schools Community Services for an August 13-14 ‘Adventure Mania’ overnight camping trip for area youth to the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trail System in central MN. It’s an IMBA Bronze MTB Ride Center, one of the top mountain bike parks in the country.

See Page 16 of the Community Services summer 2015 brochure for details and then either use the form on pages 46-47 or  register online here.

Northfield Community Services summer brochure 2015 cover Northfield Community Services summer brochure 2015 page 15-16

Youth who want to attend on their own must be entering grade 5 and have participated in two of our Monday night offroad cycling group rides. Younger youth  can participate but they need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Once someone has registered, Community Services will be in touch with recommendations on what to bring.

The Portsmouth campground group camp site has been reserved for us, and tents, food, and related camping gear will be provided. The families of participating youth are welcome to drive up on their own and pitch their tents in the group site.

Some families have indicated that they’re planning to stay through the weekend.  Good choice! If you think of doing the same on your trip, make sure to equip your family properly, BikesReviewed.com is a great source. The Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area has lots more to offer than just terrific mountain biking. There’s the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail (8 miles of paved trail). The city of Crosby has an excellent skate/bmx park right in the middle of town, right on Serpent Lake and next to a playground that was just ranked one of the ten best in the state.


And the area has spectacular clear lakes for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, etc. Cycle Path and Paddle in Crosby has bikes, canoes and kayaks for rent. See the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce website for more. Along with all that the town near by is renown to manufacture the best paddle board for beginners in the world!

The Portsmouth group camp site will NOT be available for family camping over the weekend, however, so those families wanting to stay longer will need to make their own arrangements for camping on Friday night and beyond. The Portsmouth campground has 18 electric and 7 non-electric sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Campers need to self-register at the campground. The city of Crosby’s Memorial Park Campground does take reservations. (The DNR now has 3 yurts in the Cuyuna Lakes mtb park that can be reserved but unfortunately, they appear to be already booked that weekend.)

Transportation will be provided by EcoTrans. We’ll depart at 8 am on Thursday Aug. 13 from the Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC) at 1651 Jefferson Pkwy (behind the Senior Center). We’ll arrive back in Northfield at 6 pm on Friday Aug. 14.

If you have questions about the details of the trip, contact Melissa Bernhard, Recreation Coordinator for Northfield Public Schools Community Services at  Melissa.Bernhard@nfld.k12.mn.us or phone 507-664-3502. If you have mountain biking-related questions, contact CROCT.

Cost: $25 for an individual youth. $80 for a family of four or more.

Once again, to register, see Page 16 of the Community Services summer 2015 brochure for details and then either use the form on pages 46-47 or  register online here.