Cuyuna MTB Trail System - Fresh Dirt

Last Friday, a crew of 8 folks went north to experience the new Cuyuna Mountain Bike Trail System. We were lucky enough to get good weather and to get a personal tour of the trailsystem by trail boss Nick and volunteer Rory. The Cuyuna system has been a work in progress for a couple of years. It's part of the Cuyuna County State Rec Area. Through great efforts, the state and the community have come together to build 25+ miles of glorious single track through a beautiful and at times rugged part of Minnesota. As a cyclist, I want to thank IMBA, MORC, QBP and the volunteers for the thousands of hours of fundraising and trailbuilding. The trails are awesome and it is so good to see state, county, city and volunteer support all line up to achieve something great. I encourage cyclists to support these actions by riding the trails, supporting the local businesses and telling their friends about it. It's good and I can't wait to see how this area develops over the next few years. I'm already planning my next trip.

For the Salsa, it's not often that 8 of us can find time to ride together. While opportunities like this are often filled with testing prototypes, taking pictures and what not, this trip was a bit different. It was simply about riding for the pure love of riding. While we did try to capture some of Cuyuna with pics, we did spend most of our time riding and simply experiencing the unique and challenging terrain of the fresh dirt. I hope the few pics we have will push you to plan a trip for yourself. Here's to fresh dirt.

Bobby D with his game face on.

Koski and Rane ripping the red dirt ribbon.

Trail Boss Nick comes prepared.

Meiser playing on one of the many little side loops. Cuyuna has several alternate lines and techy sections.

Wear your helmet folks.

The crew winding through the woods.

One of the many pit lakes in the area.

One of my favorite spots of the day.

All in all, Cuyuna is an amazing place and well worth the trip north. There is nothing like fresh dirt, riding bikes and good friends.  Thank you Cuyuna.

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Jason Boucher

Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.


Tom Moore | June 22nd, 2011

Nice story, great pictures.

Nicholis Statz | June 22nd, 2011

Great pictures! It was a blast showing you guys around the trail. Keep building awesome bikes!

Robert Williams | June 22nd, 2011

Rode my Spearfish up @ Cuyuna a few weeks back. A perfect marriage of bike and trail!

JS | June 22nd, 2011

Please tell us about Epic Beard Man’s bike. Looks like an interesting setup.

Gnat | June 22nd, 2011

Thanks folks. Nick - Again, thank you for showing us around and sharing your awesome trails.

Robert - I agree, the Spearfish is a perfect match. In our crew of eight, 4 were Spearfish. It would have been 5 of 8 but I had loaned my personal Spearfish to a traveling sales rep.  Next time up I’ll definitely be using my Spearfish.

Gnat | June 22nd, 2011

@JS - Bobby was riding an El Mariachi Ti in a 1x9 configuration. He has it all decked out with anodized green and powder coated white bits. His finishing touch is an old Rock Shox suspension post. That bike set up worked very well up there too.

Jerry | June 22nd, 2011

great photos, it’s nice to see the trail finally. Bobby wins the style award. is there a reason one needs to carry a machete? Boas? Pythons? Sasquatch?

Hansi Johnson | June 22nd, 2011

Hey a few comments.

Not only were there lots of hours of trail building put in by the Cuyuna crew, this is the first IMBA RIde Center in North America.  On top of that this is the only trail system in the in Midwest that was fund raised for and purpose built by pro designers (Tim Wegner, Jeff Shoenbauer) and constructed by a contractor.  24 miles in a single summer at a cost of about $700,000.  Your own QBP and IMBA were instrumental in leveraging their own funds (nearly $115,000 between them) to get the design done and the bids in for the contractors to begin construction.

So this trail system is a Minnesota Legacy that was certainly made possible by Q and by some other bike industry partners as well.  Not to mention MORC, not only in labor, but in a significant financial donation to make the Bob Sled Trail and also to bring in Hans Rey for the Grand Opening as well.

Good for you guys to get out and ride it.  Spread the word and lets get more folks up there as well.  This trail type is the future in the fact that it will create mountain bikers and lower the barrier to entry to a sport we all love but many people are afraid to experience.

Hansi Johnson
IMBA Midwest Regional Director

Gnat | June 22nd, 2011

Hansi, thank you so much for the comment and information. It is tremendously helpful and educational. I knew I would miss a lot of people, organizations and details. Please accept my apology for missing you and IMBA.  Thank you for your part and your hard work. I hope one day to ride with you on one of those sweet trails you helped to build.  Thank you.

DC | June 22nd, 2011

That is just beautiful trail! And Gnat, I presume that’s photo work from the kit you shared many posts back?  Sweet angles and looks like the light could not have cooperated more!

Gnat | June 22nd, 2011

@DC - Thanks. Yes, all images here are shot with my Panasonic LX5 and processed with Adobe Lightroom.

Nicholis Statz | June 22nd, 2011

Bobby D has his game face on and John G in the back ground is getting his Pee on! Lol that is priceless!

Nick Valdes | June 22nd, 2011

Looks like a ripping good time!  The 6th picture of the crew ripping through the turns would make a great wall decoration.  I gotta ask where Bobby got that cow-spotted seat bag.  That would go really well on my el mar built for cow-town (KC) trails!

Herringbone | June 24th, 2011

Your vary gracious Gnat.

Alan | June 26th, 2011

Thanks for the pics. I see a trip north in my future soon.

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