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Race #3 - Bluff Riders Charge - Mankato

Race #3 in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series presented by title sponsor 401 Manufacturing, will take place May 31st in Mankato as racers tackle the hills at Mt. Kato for the Bluff Rider’s Charge (BRC).  Hosted by Peace Coffee Racing, the BRC is a benefit for the Minnesota High School Cycling League.

Mt. Kato has played host to several MTB races each season since opening 7+ miles of wooded singletrack trails in 1996. This venue was designed, built & is maintained by riders for riders!

The course starts with a nice warm-up climb to the top of the ski area. Once on top, all racers make a large traverse along the front of the ski area. The course has a good balance of climbs, descents and technical sections with switchbacks. The approximate vertical gain per lap is 500 feet. No one will be disappointed with this course!

Come out and support Bluff Riders!
This year all proceeds for this event are going to support
NCIA/Minnesota High School Cycling League!


The BRC will also be the first of four “Race 4 Free” events open to middle and high school aged youth interested in trying mountain bike racing.  As a sponsor of the Minnesota High School Cycling League, the MNMBS offers to pay the race fees for any middle or high school aged student athlete who wants to try mountain bike racing. 
 
Students from 7th grade through 12th grade can race for free as long as they register for the Citizen class and complete a signed liability waiver (if under 18, the waiver must be signed by a parent).  Registration for the Race 4 Free event can only be done at the race (no online registration allowed) prior to the 9:30 start for the Citizen race.
 
More information about the Minnesota High School Cycling League can be found at www.minnesotamtb.org

The Registration "2015 MNMBS 3 - Bluff Riders Charge - Mankato MN - May 31st" is not currently available.
This Registration closed on 05/28/2015, 8:00pm CDT (CDT).

Bluff Riders Charge!  May 31st 2015

St. Croix Wooly 2015: Stormy Weather Followed by Perfection

Nearly 400 racers turned out for a day of stormy weather, followed by near perfect racing conditions.‚Äč

By Troy Melhus

Let’s just get it out there right now: Sport racers pretty much took one for the team at the 2015 St. Croix Wooly.

Put another way: Around 7 a.m. on Sunday, May 17, organizers of the annual St. Croix valley race — which takes place just around the outskirts of St. Croix Falls High School — sent out this message via Facebook:

Good Morning! The Woolly bike race is going on as scheduled. We had a conversation with the race director, and the Woolly Bike Club decided collectively that the race will go on as planned rain or shine. See you at the race!”

“Some people questioned it, but we didn’t,” said Race Director Matt Fisk. “We pretty much said if Noah doesn’t go by in an ark, or lightning, the race is on. The mud wasn’t going to stop us.”

And then came the storms. What could effectively be called "torrential rain" hit during the first lap of the Sport and Marathon races.

“During the Sport Class it was pouring for a while. And that got ugly,” Fisk said. “Apparently there was water running down the trails. The Sport Class the and Marathon riders,  it was a little rough for them.” 

Maplelag marathon racer Matt Schultz — covered in mud from head to toe — didn’t mince words.

“The first lap was horrible. It was so muddy, I had to keep stopping because there was so much goop in my drive train,” Schultz said. “That first lap almost killed me.”

But a funny thing happened by the 1:15 Elite/Expert/Comp races: trail conditions were as well as could ever have been expected:  A few greasy rocks here and there, but overall a great, tacky, roller coaster ride.

“Even with some big rain, our trails shed water pretty well,” Fisk said. “If you look at the Elite class this afternoon, bikes are clean. They’re going to pretty much ride the water out of it. The trails are going to be the best conditions of the year!”

Nearly 400 racers eventually turned out for the St. Croix Wooly — putting it close to last year’s turnout.

Marathon racer Sandy Schreyer said racers were remarkably upbeat given the challenging conditions. She complimented the Wooly Bicycle Club for keeping things so positive through the rough weather.

“Everybody was so wonderful,” Schreyer said. “There was just such a collective good spirit out there. It was a lot of fun and a great race.”

Troy Melhus is a former expert racer for the Peace Coffee Bicycle Racing Team and former reporter and editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He still occasionally throws his helmet into the ring as a Comp single-speeder. You can reach him at troy.melhus@gmail.com.

2015 Upcoming Races

Mount Kato - Mankato, MN ---- Includes Marathon

Race 4 - DirtWirx Bike Week - June 7th

Hillside Park, Elk River, MN ---- Includes Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 5 - Cuyuna Lakes - June 28th

Cuyuna Lakes, Ironton, MN ---- Includes Marathon, Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 6 - Voyageur's Revenge - July 12th

Mission Creek - Duluth, MN ---- Includes Marathon

Race 7 - Border Crossing - July 26th

White Tail Ridge Corporate Park - River Falls, WI ---- Includes Marathon, Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 8 - Red Wing Classic - August 9th

Memorial Park - Red Wing, MN ---- Includes Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 9 - The Great Hawk Chase - August 16th

Lester River Park - Duluth, MN ---- Includes Marathon

Race 10 - Revolution's Singletrack Escape - SATURDAY September 12th

Jail Trail - St. Cloud, MN ---- Includes Marathon

 

 

What's New for 2015

Race Notifications via SMS / Text Message.

This year we will be using Gather, an event based text notification solution, to notify racers when a race has a major change.  We will only use this system to tell you if the race has had a change in the following:

  • Cancelation - the race will NOT be held.
  • Change in Race Times - the race will move the race start times, but the race will go on that day.

For all other normal notifications you will want to check our Facebook or Twitter feed.  We also send emails with the latest news and you can signup on the home page of our web site.  If you choose to sign up for this we hope you will never get a text this year, because all of the races are going as planned. 

To sign up for this for all of the races this year, click http://eepurl.com/bgh-Mf and sign up. 

May 15-17, 2015 "MAKE A WEEKEND OF IT" in St Croix Falls, WI.

Enjoy a Spring Time Family Fun weekend of Trails, Wildlife Education, Mountain Biking, Hiking and Bicycle Culture. All hikes and education programs are free of charge. 

Visit thestcroixvalley.com, stcroixfallsevents.com and cityofstcroixfalls.com for more info on planning your weekend.
 

St Croix Woolly Race #2 in the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series 2015

Buck Hill Birch Bump 2015: Doesn't Get Better Than This

Nearly 500 racers turned out for the Birch Bump — the first race of the 2015 Minnesota Mountain Bike Series at Buck Hill.

By Troy Melhus

For those of us who’ve been racing mountain bikes in Minnesota since last century, having the first MNMTB race of the 2015 series at Buck Hill was, well, like a trip back in time.

I’ve been racing in the Minnesota series since the late 1990s. Back in those days, the first race of the year was always “Erik’s Spring Cup,” and it was always at Buck Hill—and always led not just across the front side of the hill overlooking I35, but through myriad narrow wooded pathways surrounding the Midwest ski area made so famous by Lindsey Vonn. 

It was always the premier event of the year — the first big race of the season when we mountain bikers all emerged from hibernation.

The series — and these first races of the season— have taken some turns over the years, so 2015 did provide a great burst of excitement in bringing the first race of the season back to Buck. 

Of course, it’s not quite the same — the race is now called the “Birch Bump,” and the course lap (largely maintained by some awesomely dedicated Penn Cycle volunteers, who also host a weekly series throughout the summer) is significantly shorter (about 3.5 miles in length).

But what the course has lost over the years in length, it has made up for in new challenges. The course this year boasted some significant climbing, additional frontside traverses, and additional twisty backside roller coaster descents. Those new twists, combined with the heat, made the 2015 Birch Bump quite the challenging ride.

“It was really hot,” said Elite racer Rebecca Sauber, who alongside Elite racer Josie Welsh, was grateful for all the handups of water from volunteers. “People were splashing water on you so it was really nice. It was really cold, but it was really nice.”

“Six laps out here is grueling, no matter where the course is at,” said Elite racer Jeff Weyrens. “It was really dry—really dry. Surprisingly dry for the spring.”

Well almost really dry. There was one muddy exception on the course: the section of melting snow. That’s right: even with temperatures well above the 80 degree mark, there was still some snow on the ground. At first I thought Race Director Scott Finne was kidding at the starting line when he warned racers about the two 8-foot piles.

Yet there they were, just atop what in winter is Buck Hill’s terrain park.

“Last year we had 11 inches of snow in May, so we’re actually very lucky that this year we only had two piles of snow on the course,” Finne said with a laugh.

“The challenging part was facilitating the registration and making sure it went as smoothly as it could. The course is the course — we’re good at that,” Finne said. But 500 people? I really want to thank our volunteers who made it all possible.”

He added that this year he partnered with Penn Cycle earlier in the spring to help prepare the course for the series race.

“I want to give props to the Penn Cycle people who helped with the course,” Finne said. “It made all the difference.”

Troy Melhus is a former expert racer for the Peace Coffee Bicycle Racing Team and former staff writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He still occasionally throws his helmet into the ring as a Comp single-speeder. You can reach him at troy.melhus@gmail.com.

Race for Free Program is back!

The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series (MMBS) is offering Race For Free again this year. For those new to the mountain biking scene, MMBS has been operating a state wide series for all ages since 1990 and is a proud sponsor of the Minnesota High School Cycling League. The Race For Free program allows MN League athletes (7th – 12th grade) to race in the Citizen’s class at the following MN MTB series races, for free!

  • May 31 – Bluff Riders Charge – Mankato, MN – Race Site
  • June 28 – Cuyuna Lakes Crusher – Crosby, MN – Race Site
  • July 26 – Border Crossing – River Falls, WI – Race Site
  • August 16 – Great Hawk Chase – Duluth, MN – Race Site

Registration is FREE for registered MN League racers. BUT, DO NOT REGISTER ONLINE! ALL MN LEAGUE RACERS MUST REGISTER RACE DAY ONLY, prior to the beginning of the Citizen race. No mail or online registration is allowed if you wish to take part in the Race for Free program. Helmets are required.

REGISTRATION FORM AND WAIVER:
All student-athletes must bring a signed form and waiver to the race and present at the MN League tent prior to participating in the event.  Be sure to check CITIZEN HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL on this form and waiver. DOWNLOAD ENTRY FORM & WAIVER

How will they know who is a registered MN League racer? 
CHECK “CITIZEN HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL box on the form. In addition, the MN League will provide a list of all registered MN League racers to the MN MTB Series prior to each race.

Student-athletes participating in the Race For Free program will have their own wave in the Citizen’s class. This class is comparable in length and technical difficulty to the MN League Freshman class, however, several of these races are at ski hills and have a considerable amount of climbing. The free entry does not apply to student athletes racing in other divisions within the MN MTB Series.

Disclaimer – the Race for Free Program is not a NICA-sanctioned event, nor a Minnesota High School Cycling League event.

Racers must be registered as MN League racers to be eligible to participate. So, Team Directors and Coaches – get busy and register your team at the Pit Zone, found on our Home Page, upper right.

Program Summary:

  • Qualifying teams will be allowed to race in the Citizen category in a separate high school wave start.
  • The Race for Free Program is for MN League student-athlete racers who are registered with a MN League Team.
  • Registration for FREE must take place on race day only, prior to the beginning of the Citizen race. No mail or online registration allowed.

 

MNMBS Title Sponsor 401 Manufacturing Returns for 2015

The MNMBS is happy to announce that 401 Manufacturing will return as the Title Sponsor for the 2015 MNMBS season.  In fact, look for the 401 Manufacturing display at Series races once the racing season gets underway.  The 401 Manufacturing logo will also be on Series number plates this year.

Signed as the Title Sponsor last year, 401 Manufacturing had an excellent year of growth in 2014.  The company moved to a new location in Anoka, doubling the square footage of the old location.  Now up to 20 employees, 401 Manufacturing also doubled in sales revenue this past year.  The quickly growing company is on pace to do more than $2.75 million in sales for 2015.   

"Series racers might be using parts right off our CNC machines, "said Mike.  "We serve the biking industry, including Wolf Tooth, with a variety of parts - sprockets, Gogs, bike tools, stem caps, etc.  In fact, we just starting making stem caps for NICA as part of an awareness campaign to build high school mountain biking."

Another aspect of 401 Manufacturing, and one of the reasons Mike wanted to sponsor the MNMBS, is their training capacity and need for entry-level employees.   401 offers class room and real world training for people looking to start a career in the machining industry, and can help place potential employees in jobs paying over $15 as a starting wage with less than a year's training.

"A career in the machining industry is a great way for young adults, both male and female, to make decent money in a stable, growing industry," said Mike.  "You can begin a career right away, without racking up a lot of debt for a college education that might not get used even if you do find a job."

Be sure to stop by the 401 Manufacturing display at MNMBS races and thank Mike and his company for stepping up to become the Series Title Sponsor.  You might also see him out on the course; he's also a competitor in the MNMBS, racing in the Comp class.

 

What's New for 2015

MNMBS 2015 Updates

We’re looking forward to seeing all of you on May 3rd at Buck Hill to get our MNMBS racing season underway.  We have several updates for you:

  1. Welcome Sam Oftedahl to the Executive Committee – Sam, who used to race in the MNMBS, is joining the MNMBS team to help with Race Support and Series Administration duties.  
  2. Online Registration – please register online by April 17.  Early registration really helps us get ready for the first race.  It also means you’ll get your number plate before the first race.
  3. SuperPass Info:
    • Remember that you can register for all Sunday Races (10 regular or 7 marathon) and get one race for free and your $15 series registration fee included. 
    • For Marathon only - you can use your Superpass from Kids Comp, Citizen, Sport, Comp, or Elite to race in a Marathon class when available. Please go to the registration tent to receive a permanent Marathon plate if you wish to do this.
  4. Marathon Class Updates:
    • New Length - now 4 hours instead of 3.5 hours
    • New Start Time – Marathon class will start at 10:50 for all 7 events. Marathon racers will need to start their last lap before four hours are up, so cut-off for last lap is 2:50 pm. 
    • Marathon Class results now count toward Team Racing totals
  5. Time Trial (TT) and Short Track (ST) Races Added on Selected Saturdays – at 4 events, on Saturdays, we’ll be offering a TT race at 11:00 am and a Short Track race at 2:00pm. One price for one or both races. Registration is available online for $15 and on race day for $20.  
  6. Hillside is Back – we’re racing at Hillside once again.  TT and ST will be on Saturday, XC on Sunday
  7. Cuyuna Lakes Crusher – New race June 27/28.  We’ll run a full program of TT and ST on Saturday, with an outdoor Awards/Cuyuna Lakes Crusher Happy Hour in Crosby Saturday night, and XC race including Marathon class on Sunday.  XC course will not be the same as prior races at Cuyuna as we’ll use all singletrack and interior service roads for passing zones.  All classes will climb the Overlook Road to top prior to diving into singletrack.
    • Citizen course – includes Sand Hog and Sidewinder
    • Sport course – includes Ferrous Wheel, Mucker Mountain, Sand Hog
    • Comp/Elite – includes Ferrous Wheel, Screamer, Endo Alley
  8. Afton Avalanche Cancelled – site not available for mountain biking in 2015
  9. Beginner’s Open wave added – we’ve added a new beginner’s wave to the Citizen’s class for any and all ages to give racing a try. They will be the last of the Citizen class waves to start.  No awards and the course is basically half of the Citizen race.
  10. Race Fees Update – here are some updated race fees:
    • Marathon - $29 (online), $39 (race day)
    • Elite - $29 (online), $39 (race day)
  11. Permanent Number Plates Will Now Include Year – this will make a great souvenir of the season.
  12. New Registration/PreRegistration Tent at MNMBS events – look for our new MNMBS Registration Tent at all our races.  
  13. Permanent Number Plates To Be Mailed 4/19/15 – we’ll be mailing out permanent number plates on Monday, April 19th to all those racers who register for the Series or purchase a Superpass by April 17.  If you registered by April 17 and haven’t received your number plate by Monday, April 27th, please email Series Administrator Sam Oftedahl (softedahl81@gmail.com). If you register after April 17, you can pick up your number plate at the first race.
  14. Race Notification Due to Weather Available via SMS / Text message – go to our web site to sign up.

 



Registration is Now Open!

2015 Registration is open for the following:

SuperPass - Register for all Sunday Races (10 regular or 7 marathon) and get one race for free and your $15 series registration included.  The SuperPass is a great way to save a few bucks, have the easiest race day sign in and enjoy all of the racing this summer!

For Marathon only - you can use your Superpass from Kids Comp, Citizen, Sport, Comp, or Elite to race in a Marathon class when available. Please go to the registration tent to receive a permanent Marathon plate if you wish to do this.

Series Registration -

Series Registration allows you to be eligible for and receive the following benefits:

  • Points tracked within the Series Standings (Only participants that are Series registrants will have their points tracked)
  • Permanent Number plate - Use the same number at each race
  • Team Competition eligibility
  • End of year series awards  

Individual Races - Register for each race online.  Online registration saves you both time and money!  Register now for the races you will be going to this year. 

Short Track & Time Trial Racing is Coming in 2015!

Short Track Racing is coming to select Saturday events this summer! This very short XC style event takes a course roughly .25 to 1 mile and creates a short, exciting milti-lap event that is designed to be spectator friendly.   Raced mostly on trails wider than the usual single-track mountain bike trails. Short track mountain bike racing combines elements of a road criterium, cyclo-cross (without dismounts), and BMX, with riders returning to the start/finish line in 1- to 3-minute intervals. This not only keeps the pace high during the entire event, but keeps the crowd excited as they see the race unfold before them. The excitement is additionally primed by the understanding that the pack leading the race is truly the front runners, making Short Track easy to understand, simple to follow, and continuously entertaining.  Short track races are fun for new racers due to the open nature of the course.  Kids also have fun on these races where mom & dad can see them ride around most of the course, with cheers and encouragement!

Saturday events will also include an XC Time Trial .  The time trial is an all out against the clock race set on portions of Sunday's XC course.  Generally the Time Trial courses will consist of a modified Sport class loop.  The time trial racers start in intervals so that they can ride alone on the single track and go all out without traffic slowing them down. Truly a test of your skills and fitness the TT has a challenge for all riders from Kids Comp to Expert!  Watch for more information coming soon on these new Saturday events.

 

 

2015 Series Schedule

Race 1 - Buck Hill Birch Bump - May 3rd

Buck Hill - Burnsville, MN

Race 2 - St Croix Woolly - May 17th

Woolly Trail Network - St. Croix Falls, WI ---- Includes Marathon

Race 3 - Bluff Riders Charge - May 31st

Mount Kato - Mankato, MN ---- Includes Marathon

Race 4 - DirtWirx Bike Week - June 7th

Hillside Park, Elk River, MN ---- Includes Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 5 - Cuyuna Lakes - June 28th

Cuyuna Lakes, Ironton, MN ---- Includes Marathon, Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 6 - Voyageur's Revenge - July 12th

Mission Creek - Duluth, MN ---- Includes Marathon

Race 7 - Border Crossing - July 26th

White Tail Ridge Corporate Park - River Falls, WI ---- Includes Marathon, Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 8 - Red Wing Classic - August 9th

Memorial Park - Red Wing, MN ---- Includes Saturday Time Trial & Short Track

Race 9 - The Great Hawk Chase - August 16th

Lester River Park - Duluth, MN ---- Includes Marathon

Race 10 - Revolution's Singletrack Escape - SATURDAY September 12th

Jail Trail - St. Cloud, MN ---- Includes Marathon

*note due to the venue - Afton Avalanche will not take place this season.

 

 


MNMBS Awards Jordan Horner $500 Crank Sisters Scholarship

Jordan Horner at Laddies Loppet

The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series, recognizing the accomplishments of MNMBS and Minnesota High School Cycling League racer Jordan Horner, is awarding Jordan a $500 scholarship to help defray the expenses to attend the NICA Awards Banquet at Cliff Bar Headquarters in Berkeley, CA, Jan. 24th.

“We are pleased to support Jordan,” said MNMBS Director Gary Sjoquist.  “The race fees paid by MNMBS racers helped launch the high school league, so it’s fitting the MNMBS recognizes Jordan as a Class Champion in the MNMBS and a three time class champion in the Varsity Girls class of the high school league.”

Jordan, a senior at Burnsville High School, will receive the NICA All Star Athlete award at the NICA Awards Banquet.  Each year, NICA recognizes the accomplishments of racers, volunteers, and coaches at the annual banquet.

“Thank you so very much for your support and making this opportunity possible for Jordan”, said Jordan’s father Matt. “We are humbled by the support from the local mountain bike community!  This is a wonderful opportunity for Jordan to represent the Minnesota High School Mountain Bike League, MNMBS, and the strength of the athletes in the mid-west.  She will represent not only the tremendous growth of youth in the sport, but also the presence of strong athletic women in mountain biking.”

Also attending the NICA Awards Banquet will be QBP Vice President and NICA Board President Jerry Pomije,, who’s son Nick races on the Prior Lake team.   QBP owner and founder Steve Flagg, one of the Minnesota High School Cycling League’s staunchest supporters, will receive the Legacy Award at the NICA Awards Banquet.

For more information on the Minnesota High School Cycling League and The Crank Sister program Click Here!


New to racing?

Tips for Race Day

Mountain bike racing is not just for the highly trained. It is an exhilarating physical activity that can add to your health and quality of life. Racing is as much about fun, shared experiences and making new friends as it is about competition. The Minnesota Mountain Bike Series is open to all and welcomes new female and male participants of all ages and athletic abilities.

 

Fitness:

The Series has various classes to accommodate racers of all abilities and ages. A beginner may want to participate in the "Citizen Class" or "Kids Comp Class" if they have any questions regarding their fitness or skill levels.

Riding with more experienced cyclists can help develop your technical skills.  Riding a variety of terrain/courses can assist with technical abilities.  Avoid spending all of your time on trails with features that are above your riding abilities.

Be sure to warm up well before your event. A good warm up ride will greatly improve your race and you will feel better and be faster on the trail.

All racers can benefit from pre-riding the race course. Pre-riding the course consists of riding the designated race course prior to the day of the event. if it is not an open trail, pre riding information can be found on the events page. Pre-riding the course gives you the opportunity to learn the terrain and boost your confidence for your first race.

 

Maintenance:

At least a day in advance, check over your bike to make sure everything is in good working order: check your wheels, drive train (chain, crank set, cogs, shifters, derailleurs) and brakes.

Refrain from making any significant changes affecting the fit of the bike within a week of the race, such as changing your seat or handle bar positioning or replacing or upgrading components.

If you have questions about the proper bike for a course we recommend contacting one of the local retailers who support our Series.

 

Nutrition:

Get plenty of rest, nutrition, and hydration the night before your race.

Eat a good breakfast 3-4 hours before your start time 

About an hour before your race, have a light snack (power bar, fig cookies, etc.), to give your body a little energy boost.

Drink plenty of water leading up to your race but you should stop 30 minutes before the race. This will give you time to use the bathroom just prior to the race start.

For a race under 60 minutes, you may not need food. However, some people use GU energy gels to keep up there energy up during a race.

During longer races, it is recommended to ingest the gels every 20 minutes with fluid to maintain hydration and a steady energy flow.

Continue drinking during your race to remain hydrated. 

 

Registration:

We recommend registering in advance online whenever possible.  This will save you money and speed up your registration experience at the race.  Arrive at the race an hour or two prior to your start so you can get registered, change clothes, and get in a good warm up ride.

When you register, the race registrar will direct you to fill out forms and pay your entry fee. If you have registered online, you should still visit the registration table to sign a release form and pick up your race number.

After registration, change into your race clothing and prep your bike. Final bike prep includes putting your race number on your handlebar, checking tires and suspension for proper air pressure, checking for clean shifting, and checking your brakes.

If you have any questions please ask for the race official.

 

The Race:

It may be beneficial to carry a multitool with you during the race.

You should arrive at the starting area 15 minutes prior to the start. Usually there is a scheduled racers meeting just prior to the start, so listen for instructions given at the registrars table.

Mountain bike races start fast, so be ready to work hard after the countdown. Usually the hard initial pace slows a bit and the riders find their comfort zone.

Beginner races are usually short enough that you can maintain hard work for the duration depending on your fitness.

Most importantly, have fun. Mountain bike racing is a great way to spend a day and the people you meet along the way make it even more rewarding.

 



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