Midwest MTB Report

by Jay Richards
July 15, 2020

This weeks report includes updates on more virtual events, highlights of the high school cycling season starting, cycling related stories, new trail “RedHead” featured nationally and the Strava Ride of the Week.

NICA Practices Start

High school mountain bike practices started this month following state guidelines and the league is monitoring the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), http://www.minnesotamtb.org/covid-19/ taking steps to help protect the health and well-being of student-athletes, coaches and families. "We are following guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and will notify head coaches and update concerning any protocols that we put into place.

Wolves first practice at Detroit Mountain (Credit: Ben Olson)

Event formats are being reviewed in hopes to have a racing season while following all MDH and CDC guidance. The league is optimistic that events, although different in format, can be run this year."

Minnesota Cycling League 

Related:  Concerns for High School Fall Sports

Virtual Big Woods Classic

Due to COVID-19 and the inability to have large, in-person gatherings, this year’s Big Woods Classic will take place virtually over a two-week period beginning July 11 and concluding July 26.

To triple the fun, we are adding the Elm Creek and Murphy-Hanrehan singletrack trails to the event. Race one course or all three! Citizen and competitive categories for all ages and abilities available.

You can race any time and submit your results through an online portal during the two-week window. The three courses will be marked for the duration of the event.

Ride all three courses and get an exclusive invite to pre-ride the brand new Carver Singletrack Trail hosted by One Track Mind. More details to come; don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Loppet Cycle Works “racing” at Elm Creek, Bruce Martens photo

Virtual PreFat

The Seeley Lions Event team has made the decision to modify the format for the 2020 Seeley Lions PreFat Bike Race event creating a virtual event. This has been a difficult decision. The Lions organization’s top priority is to hold an event that minimizes potential Covid exposure and provides a high degree of protection for both participants and race volunteers.

What is the format for the 2020 Virtual PreFat “Race”

Riders may chose the distance they wish to ride on the normal PreFat courses, that start and end at the Kortelopet start area on the south side of CTH OO at the American Birkebeiner trailhead located about three miles east of Seeley. Riders can ride their event either solely, or with their family and friends anytime between Friday, August 14 and Sunday, August 23, 2020. You do not need to register or pay a fee. We simply want to keep the spirit of this fun event on some great trails in people’s mind.

The three courses, Citizen (10 miles), Sport and Fat Bike (17 miles) and Expert (25 miles) will be marked before Friday, August 14 thru Sunday, August 23. Watch carefully for “PREFAT” signs indicating which PreFat course you are on. Check out the course maps displayed on the Seeley Lions PreFat webpage so that you have a general idea of where you will be going.

Ron Bergin Retires from CAMBA

Executive Director Ron Bergin, one of the founding members of the organization, has announced that he will retire from his position with the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) at the end of 2020. Ron has been with the organization from the inception in 1993, and has been the Executive Director since 1994. “My involvement with CAMBA has truly been a labor of love", noted Ron recently. "The admin work, the trail work and everything about the CAMBA vision has been a great fit with my passions and strengths. What CAMBA has accomplished is a source of pride and legacy, for everyone associated with the organization.”

Ron Bergin leading the way


Minneapolis to Yellowstone

For those dreaming of an epic cycling trip, the new Parks, Peaks, and Prairies Bicycle Route (PPP) should be at the top of their list. The 1,374-mile itinerary connects the Midwestern United States’ bike-friendly towns and winds through some spectacular wide-open spaces, including Yellowstone National Park, the plains of Wyoming, Devils Tower National Monument, the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands of South Dakota.

Rolling along scenic 212 in Wyoming, part of the PPP route

RedHead on List of Singletracks.com List of 16 New Trails to Ride

The new trail in Chisholm, MN. at the Rediscovery Center is on the Singletracks.com recent list of 16 new trails to check out.

One of the spectacular views at the new RedHead trail near Chisholm, MN

Strava Ride of the Week

The Strava Ride of the Week goes to Tina Olson who recently rode at yet another new trail system in Minnesota, Lookout mountain just north of Virginia. The trails have been described as “old school” “grassroots” and “classic singletrack” trails featuring rock gardens and plenty of slow tech goodness.

Scenic view at Lookout Mountain (Credit: Tina Olson)


Keep the wheels moving!

About the author...

Jay Richards maintains a very active lifestyle. He somehow finds time between managing a full-time resort (Maplelag) and bringing up a family of four boys with his wife Jonell, to compete in both mountain bike and a few cross-country ski races. Jay rides for Maplelag Resort, manages the Maplelag mountain bike team and enters his 30th year of racing and promoting mountain bike races.

Have an event or mountain bike related information to share from the Midwest? Feel free to contact Jay at