Mountain bike trails becoming a world-wide destination
Web posted December 17, 2013
Most of us have noticed that the area has experienced some subtle changes over the last couple of years: more bicycles, mostly. Some of us may have even found ourselves carried along on the wave, and its probable that almost all of us know someone excited about the Cuyuna's newest outdoor activity.
But did you know how big of a splash that wave is making? In June of 2011, the International Mountain Bicycling Association awarded the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails status as an International Ride Center, one of two in the world that year, noting that "Cuyuna is helping the Midwest in creating a unique riding experience...safe, yet exciting, with something for the entire family through intelligent design and professional execution". This was followed by IMBA's Oct 2012 award of one of our trails, Sand Hog Mountain, as a "Flow Country Trail." At the time of designation, only one of two Flow Country designated trails in the United States.
In August of 2012, Bicycling Magazine named Cuyuna one of the 50 best trail systems in America, running a feature article on Cuyuna. In May of 2013, the Minneapolis Star Tribune voted Cuyuna the "Best Mountain Bike Trail in Minnesota". While WCCO TV has featured the area on more than a few occasions, the mountain bike trails were featured 3 times in 2013, including being voted "Viewer's Choice: best bike trails in MN" in July. Finally, a website, singletracks.com, solicits voting from riders all over the word to rate trails: Cuyuna has remained in the top 20 all year, and in late November was rated 12th of 100 in the world and "Best in Minnesota".
Cuyuna has seen a steady increase in riders since opening in 2011; we have hosted cyclists from 28 states, Canada, South America and Europe. Riders increased 45% from 2011 to 2012: Statistics suggest that about 1 in 5 adults ride a mountain bike, with 1-1/2 times as many mountain bikers as golfers in the U.S. That's about 50 million riders in the U.S.! As Mike Van Abel, IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) executive director noted at the grand opening of the Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trails in 2011, the trails are clearly a "game changer", and the area is riding the wave of change.
For more information, visit the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew's website: www.cuyunalakesmtb.com. The Crew holds a monthly business meeting the first Thursday of the month at 7:00 pm in the Hallett Center; Public is welcome.
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