Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cuyuna: The Hype is Real

I was switching the Black Floyd slick tires off of my Surly Pugsley this evening to put the knobby tires back on. My shirt and hands turned a lovely rust color....

2 weekends ago I headed up to Crosby, MN for an IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) Trail Building School. Crosby is where the Cuyuna State Recreation Area is, and it is absolutely mountain bike heaven. The hype is definitely real. Every blog, article, forum post you've ever read about it is absolutely true. Crosby and its neighboring town of Ironton were mining communities in the early 1900s, and what is now "Cuyuna" is built upon the tailings of the mines. The beautiful tire staining rust is iron ore, or what the locals call "Cuyuna Gold".

Beyond the draw of this park, the town itself is incredible. It's vibrant and thriving. Unlike many of the communities I drove through to get to Crosby, this town is hoppin'! Bike racks everywhere, people window shopping, old couples holding hands on the sidewalk. The trails have completely revitalized this community. I was blown away by the positive impact mountain biking can have. This town is a treasure! Beautiful scenery, expertly built trails, and something for everyone.

Now something for everyone would include beginners, and I had thoughts of bringing my family there to go riding, so I went and rode "Boot Camp" and "Easy Street". These are the easiest trails out of the 25 miles of singletrack that Cuyuna has to offer. These trails were every bit of fun as the harder trails! Super flowy with just enough twists, turns, and grade changes to make it "beginner" friendly but still a blast for those who have more advanced skills.

I ended up riding about 16 miles before packing it up and heading back to Crosby for dinner. After 3 hours of riding, I was tired, thirsty, and hungry! I stopped at the "Ya Betcha Bar and Grill" for an awesome burger and a frosty pint of Arrogant Bastard ale.

Bikes, Burgers, and Beer. Yup, Crosby has it all. Go and enjoy it!