If you’re just tuning in, check out PART ONE here: Part ONE: Mom and Dad Getaway to Crosby, MN!
(sorry this has been so delayed! Other blog posts kept coming up!)
So I left off after we checking into our Air BNB. We hit the trails right away! On the way I picked up my new Osprey Hydration pack – it’s essentially a water bottle in a back pack. I’ve been back and forth on one for so long but I finally pulled the trigger and got one. I LOVE IT! I don’t ride without it. I add lots of ice but it still doesn’t stay cold for very long. It still holds 2.5 liters of water though and mountain bikes aren’t known for their water bottle holders – you can only fit a really small one on the frame. They are a pretty penny, I got mine for $55 but there are more expensive options, I wonder if they would stay cold longer.
Here is an Amazon link! https://amzn.to/2WAKRfP
Anyway, we stopped at the bike shop in Crosby called Red Raven. It was just a few blocks from our Air BNB and it has the best vibes – coffee shop + bike repair + cute t-shirts/bike accessories! Crosby is FOR SURE a biking town so there are bike racks at every shop/restaurant. There were people outside sipping on coffee. We stopped to meet our mountain biking instructor Derrick from Sure Shift MTB to set up a time. He’s a bike mechanic during the day and teaches lessons after hours. We set up a time with him and hit the trails.
Ya’ll, check out these VIEWS! Every where we turned on Drag Line (the name of the trail) were BEAUTIFUL overlooks of the Portsmouth Mine Lake, the DEEPEST lake in Minnesota. Drag Line was a *little* advanced to just get going, it is a blue trail (medium difficulty). I would have felt much more confident on it had we ended on that trail instead of starting there.
Please note the beautiful, rich red soil. QBP did an EXCELLENT article of how the Cuyuna trails became the destination for mountain biking. The town has a wonderful history. It used to be an old mining town that was essentially abandoned in the 80’s. The Milford Mine is home to one of the most tragic mining accidents in Minnesota where 41 miners were killed after drowning in mud and water. The rich red dirt comes from the excess of iron in the soil meeting the oxygen. The history and the vibes of this tiny town is worth looking into. The articles I linked do a much better job at explaining it.
After our morning ride and lunch at Trailside Tavern in town, (excellent food and even BETTER moscow mules!) We took a nap and geared up for our mountain biking lessons with Derrick.
We met him and went over the basics – something Craig and I never learned. Turns out there really is a technique and skill to mountain biking. Craig and I have learned by hitting the trails. No one ever taught us how, we never biked like this as kids. A few things he taught us: Keeping the pedals level, braking, ready and neutral position, side to side, dismounting (falling) from your bike. We learned SO MUCH. Here Craig and Derrick are talking about using your body weight to shift whether going up or down hill. He’s also a forager and pointed out some cool facts on our trip!
Derrick works with all ages and skills. Craig and I are obviously at different skill levels and we both took so much out of working with him. He can work on a specific skill (jumps, drops, table tops) or just take you on a tour of the trails! We will ALWAYS book a lesson with him when we come into town and I recommend you do the same! He snapped this picture of us while we were testing out the skills! Here is one more link to Derrick and the awesome work he does! https://www.facebook.com/sureshiftmtb
That finishes out day 2 of vacation with hubby! Look out for part THREE coming soon!