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Dorian Grilley, BikeMN's Executive Director with Advocate of the Year winner, Aaron Hautala - photo submitted

MN Bicycling Awards Recognize Aaron Hautala, Cuyuna Mountain Bike Crew of Crosby

Web posted June 12, 2018
SAINT PAUL, Minn., June 5, 2018 – More Minnesotans are bicycling more often, and more towns, cities and businesses across the state are working to become bicycle-friendly. Minnesota is on the forefront of the bicycle-friendly movement, as is proven by the state’s ranking as the second most bicycle-friendly state in the United States by the League of American Bicyclists.

These rankings and a bicycle-friendly status don’t come easily. They take hard work and collaboration at both the policy and grassroots levels. To recognize some of the organizations and individuals working especially hard and doing amazing things to support bicycling, the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota hosts the annual Minnesota Bicycling Awards.

Throughout the months of March and April bike advocates from across the state nominated their colleagues, local community members, and organizations for the Minnesota Bicycling Awards. The submission list was reviewed by a panel of bicycle educators and advocates, and the winners were announced at the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota’s Annual Meeting on June 2. The 2018 winners and categories are:

• Advocate of the Year: Aaron Hautala, Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, Crosby

• Bicycle Friendly Community Champion: Maren Webb, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Grand Marais

• Educator of the Year (Individual): Susan Ericksen, Susan Lindgren Elementary School, St. Louis Park

• Educator of the Year (School/Organization): Rochester Public Schools’ School Age Child Care Program

• Bicycle Friendly Business Champion: 3M Bicycle Users Group, Maplewood

• Lifetime Service Award: Richard Keir of Mankato

More about Advocate of the Year, Aaron Hautala
Aaron served as the leader of the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Crew for six years and stepped down at the end of last year.

“Representative Jim Oberstar, Gary Sjoquist of QBP, and many others got things at Cuyuna rolling but Aaron and the Crew have taken it to new and unimagined levels,” said Dorian Grilley, Executive Director of BikeMN. “In recognizing Aaron with this award, we’re also recognizing the efforts of the entire Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew. It is the organization and mobilization of this entire group that has been key to the phenomenal success of Cuyuna.”

Through example and leadership, Aaron positioned the efforts of the Crew to promote and work for high quality safe trails. He promoted the need for additional trails. He led fundraising to bring in almost a million dollars to the Crew balance sheet. Significant in that is the For Cuyuna campaign that raised over $600K to build trail entirely with Crew funds. He then used this bootstrapping example to win support for State bonding dollars to build additional trail and amenities for the Cuyuna bike system.

More about BikeMN:
BikeMN is working to make Minnesota a place where bicycling is a easy, safe and fun for everyone. The mission of BikeMN is to unite and strengthen bicycle advocacy, education, and work for a more bicycle friendly Minnesota.

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