Iron Range Off-Road Cyclists

MOUNTAIN BIKE THE IRON RANGE

We would put a short description or maybe just our mission statement here, followed by maybe a link to news so something like blah blah blah blah lbah, mission statement.

For the lastest information on the clubs activites please visit the news page

Iron Range Singletrack Mountain Bike Trails Built with Positively Powerful Partnerships

The Iron Range Off-Road Cyclist (IROC) began their journey in October 2012. IROC is a chapter of the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). IROC’s goal from day one was to build more trails to provide more singletrack mountain bike opportunities across the Iron Range. To build world-class mountain bike trails you need great partnerships with landowners, sponsors and willing volunteers. In the summer of 2016 IROC accomplished this.

A good example of a very effective partnership was the completion of the Lookout Mountain Bike Trails near Virginia, Minnesota, in the Superior National Forest. The mountain bike trail started when a couple of mountain bikers explored the ski trails and former ski hill. They immediately saw tremendous potential. Lookout Mountain has everything needed for an awesome experience: beautiful hardwood trees, amazing views, giant rocks and changes in elevation on the mountain. The next step was to contact the landowners to see whether it was possible to build some singletrack. After a few meetings between IROC and the United States Forest Service (USFS), a partnership was created. The USFS performed an environmental study and gave the group the green light to start building. A core group of three dedicated volunteers began to pour thousands of hours over the next three years hand-building six miles of trail. The USFS supported this effort the whole way by providing tools and volunteers from the Iowa Conservation Corps and Youth Conservation Corp.

Lookout Mountain continued to get better and more popular every year as the trail expanded. With the popularity came some complaints — the biggest being the climb to the top of the mountain is too difficult and aggressive. The group evaluated an alternate route, but determined there was no feasible way to re-route without bringing in some equipment and professional trail builders. Once equipment and professional trail builders are brought into the picture, the next question is how do we fund this? The IROC crew began to search. The logical first groups to contact were the Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and the Minnesota Power Foundation. After applying for grants from the two organizations, IROC was awarded a grant of $5,500 from the IRRRB Culture and Tourism Program and $2,050 from the Minnesota Power Foundation.

With money lined up the next step was to find a professional trail builder. Local builder Adam Harju, owner of Dirt Candy LLC, was contracted to machine-build the challenging reroute of the climb. Adam, along with some local volunteers, made quick work of the trail re-route despite the wet and slimy conditions. The result was an absolutely awesome series of berms and rock garden that is a blast riding up or down! The trail system provides 6-10 miles of challenging singletrack with amazing views and beautiful trees all along the way.

To celebrate the accomplishments of the volunteers from IROC and the Superior National Forest, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on September 22. This provided great exposure to Lookout Mountain and the fledgling mountain bike club. There were a number of media outlets, local government officials and curious mountain bike enthusiasts present.

The story of the Lookout Mountain Bike Trail is a display of what a small group of dedicated individuals can accomplish with hard work, communication, organization and good stewardship. Positive relationships and strong partnerships are the key to any successful community-based project.

For now there are no immediate plans to expand Lookout Mountain. The group has other projects in the works at Maple Hill Park in Hibbing and a proposed bike park in Chisholm. Giants Ridge also is planning to build some single track at the beautiful resort in the summer of 2017. IROC also is working to get some groomed winter fat bike trails. The momentum is shifting on the Iron Range for mountain biking. If you’d like to see the momentum continue, please consider becoming a member of IROC or getting involved.  To become a member, log in into IMBA.com, click join and select IROC as your chapter. IROC can be contacted at iroc.mtb@gmail.com. The organization also has a website, www.iroc-mtb.org, and a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/irocmtb

 

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwik Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwik

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi The New Board Walk!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi

The New Board Walk!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi Fun for Everyone!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi

Fun for Everyone!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi Rocks!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi

Rocks!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi Berms!

Photo Credit: Paul Pluskwi

Berms!

Lookout Mountain provides a view of Minnesota Power’s Taconite Ridge wind farm. Together the wind turbines can produce up to 25MW of renewable energy. The Minnesota Power Foundation provided a grant of $2050 to help complete the trail. 

Lookout Mountain provides a view of Minnesota Power’s Taconite Ridge wind farm. Together the wind turbines can produce up to 25MW of renewable energy. The Minnesota Power Foundation provided a grant of $2050 to help complete the trail. 

Become a Member of IROC now through the end of May and enter to win cool stuff!

We're still at it: building and maintaining the trails in your backyard. We are the Iron Range Off-Road Cyclists (IROC) and we could use your help. Now is a great opportunity to give back a little to your favorite rides and win great prizes from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). Now through the end of May, your support enters you to win a mountain bike trip for two of your choice from Western Spirit, or a Specialized Enduro Comp 650B.


If you already joined or renewed last month, thank you. Now grab a friend and get them to sign up! If they win, they can (should) take you with them on the Western Spirit trip. 

Why is IROC so important to this mountain biking community? Here's just a short list of what were up to on your behalf: 

  • Maps and trail markers at Lookout Mountain
  • New trail heads at Maple Hill
  • Adding new trails at Maple Hill's lower section
  • Expanding Winter fat bike opportunities
  • Working to create a new trail system for all abilities. 

When you join or renew your membership with us through the end of May, you will be entered into a random drawing for either an MTB trip for two with Western Spirit or a Specialized Enduro Comp bike. No purchase is necessary, but we would greatly appreciate your support. Read the fine print of the contest.

Thank you again for your support of better trails for all!

The IROC Crew

A Year in Review 2014

 

It was a great first official year for the Iron Range Off-Road Cyclists (IROC)! This was made possible by many people involved with the club. A lot was accomplished by a group of people with busy lives that took time away from their families and riding to help develop and maintain single track mountain bike trails in our area.

 

And for all the members thank you! Your membership not only helps support our club financially, but it helps strengthen our voice. Your voice legitimizes IROC as we work with community leaders to develop new mountain biking opportunities. If you want to see a world class mountain bike park and more single track near you, please renew or join. This can be done following this link: www.imba.com/join select IROC.

 

As for 2015, we have big plans! We plan to add some single track at Maple Hill’s lower lot, the search for a new Mountain Bike park will continue, and Lookout Mountain will continue to be awesome. There is also talk of expanding snow biking opportunities. We are also dreaming up some fun events for next summer including group rides, trail building, and a fundraising event or two. If anyone wants to help organize these events or if you have other ideas please contact us at iroc.mtb@gmail.com

 

Thank you all and have a safe and happy holidays and new year!

 

The IROC Crew

 

Special Thanks to:

IROC members

The IROC Board: Alex, Benji, Frank, Pete, Steve, Techie John, Marketing Miriam

Maple Hill dudes: Jeremy and Matt

Lookout Mountain Kings: Erik and Frank

Calvin of Bikes on Howard

Fat Bike advocate: Joe Sacco

IMBA: Hansi Johnson, Sallie Hoeffer

Sponsors: Minnesota Power, Ingenuity Builders, Iron Range Plumbing and Heating, B. Neff Landscape, Bikes on Howard, Iracore

 

 

2014 Year in Review

 

·        Highlights – 1st year

o       Name, Logo, Bank Account, Tax ID, Bylaws, IMBA chapter (501c3 status)

o       Facebook (232 Likes)

o       Website iroc-mtb.org

o       May membership meeting at the Minnesota Discovery Center

o       Group rides: at ATV Traxx Trails in Chisholm, Maple Hill, Lookout Mountain

o       October 25th event at Giants Ridge with meeting and group ride

o       Fiddlin' Fifty Ride Sep 2014 (50 mile gravel ride near Chisholm)

§         Thanks to Scott Dahlquist and Susan Hoppe for organizing their event

o       25 paying members102 interested contacts.

o       Partnership with the folks at Ely.

o       Donations totaling $2050 from our sponsors

§         Minnesota Power

§         Ingenuity Builders

§         Iracore

§         B Neff Landscaping

§         Iron Range Plumbing and Heating

§         Bikes on Howard

·        Current Projects  

o       Liability insurance contract will be started January 2015

o       Maple Hill (Hibbing)

§         Application is in for hosting an IMBA Trail Care Crew visit

·        Trail building school

·        Information session for community leaders and land managers

·        Hoping for Spring 2015 at Maple Hill

§         Minnesota Power grant for $1000 to go towards trails

§         The city is looking to expand Maple Hill

§         More trails in the lower parking lot area

 

 

o       Lookout Mountain Laurentian Divide (Virginia)

§         Signs and Maps! (1.5 miles of hand built trails added and existing improved!)

§         Excellent partnership with United States Forest Service (USFS)

o       Bike Park

§         Project is still going strong

§         The original site fell through. IROC is looking for new locations to implement the same bike park concept.

o       Snow biking

§         Carey Lake-continuing to partner and coordinate with the cross country ski community and Hibbing parks and recreation department

o       We need help (Bike Riding Skills not necessary)

§         Grant Writers

§         Organizers

·        Rides

·        Other Events

§         Fund Raisers

§         Secretary

§         Become a member

§         Make a tax deductible donation

§         Trail building days

§         Group Rides!

 

Club Membership

           

  • Single: $30
  • Family: $50
  • IMBA.com
    • Click Join button
    • Select IROC
  • Checks can be mailed to:
    • IROC
    • c/o Alex Lund
    • 407 E Howard St, Hibbing, MN, 55746          

Next Meeting

  • Board meets every 3rd Tuesday
  • Membership TBD

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Meeting

Join us at Giants Ridge.
Sunday, October 26th, 5:30 PM
http://www.giantsridge.com/

We'll update you on what we've been up to and our plans for next summer.

We have some exciting things brewing for next summer. To make them happen
we'll need dedicated mountain bikers like you. Please come show your
support.

Spread the word! All are welcomed.

Feel free to show up early and ride the trails at the Ridge.



Thanks and we hope to see you there!

June 2014 trail updates

  • Redhead Project
    • The project is progressing nicely!
    • The new project location has been narrowed down to one site. The trail concept development is underway.
    • Sorry we can’t share a lot of specific details at this point.
    • There are a lot of different groups involved and approvals needed before we can share any details. We'll keep you posted as soon as we have an official word!
  • Lookout Mountain
    • Working with the US Forest Service on future trail expansion. 
    • The USFS is very supportive and excited to help make things happen at Lookout Mountain. Environmental studies are near completion and trail design could start later this summer. 
    • We should have some very exciting trail opportunities in the years to come.
  • Maple Hill  
    • Looking into signage options. 
    • Possible trail expansion

Summer Group Meeting

 

JOIN US!

Wednesday June 18th

7:30 PM

Get an about the proposed mountain bike park, get local trail & ride info.

 

At the Bikes on Howard in Hibbing, MN.

407 East Howard Street 

HibbingMN   55746

 

Group Ride Next Tuesday!

IROC GROUP RIDE!!!

Join IROC for our first group ride of the year. I have never ridden these trails, but I hear they are awesome!

 

When: Tuesday May 20th 6:30

Where: Northern Traxx trail Chisholm, MN

 

Directions:

Head north out of Chisholm on Hwy. 73 on the left hand side of the road is a cemetery sign and a road to the left turn down the road drive west past the cemetery and the pavement turns to gravel go another 1/3 or so mile and where the road curves to the right there is a Northern Traxx trail head sign directly ahead.


Meeting Recap

  • Membership meeting recap
    • May 1, 2014
    • Minnesota Discovery Center
    • 37 in attendance – from all over the Range
    • Luther Kemp (IROC President)
      • Acknowledged new club
      • Progress on club setup, bylaws, web, Facebook, IMBA chapter
    • Alex Lund (IROC Treasurer)
      • Treasury update
      • Encourage membership
    • Hansi Johnson (IMBA Director)
      • Intro to IMBA
      • History
      • How Chapters develop and succeed
      • Updates on other Chapter’s success.
    • Pete Kero (IROC Vice President)
      • Redhead project update
      • Scoping out new sites for development
      • Maple Hill update
      • Lookout Mountain update
      • GRIMBA Tioga, Legion update
      • Giants Ridge update
      • Weekly club rides coordinator
      • Parade float Hibbing Parade coordinator
    • The meeting was very successful!
    • Thank you for supplying door prizes!
      • Bikes on Howard
      • Bark Design
      • Range Center
      • Jim’s Sport’s Club  
      • Snicker’s Pizza
      • MN Discovery Center
    • Anyone interested in being a ride or event coordinator?
    • Next meeting TBD. Stay tuned!
    • EMAIL: iroc.mtb@gmail.com

MEETING TODAY!!!

The IROC membership drive and information session will be 6:30pm today at the Minnesota Discovery Center. The meeting is open to everyone and we encourage anyone interested in mountain biking to come and hear about our exciting developments, and about how you can get involved.

On another note; a lot of you may have noticed that in my last post I wrote that the meeting was April 1st instead of May 1st. This was an error on my part and I hope it did not cause to much confusion.

In closing come check out the meeting, we will have some great information, a special guest form IMBA and there were some very strong rumors about doughnuts.

INFO SESSION AND MEMBERSHIP DRIVE EVENT DATE SET

An informational session and membership drive will be held on May 1st at the Minnesota Discovery Center dining room at 6:30 PM.  The event will include a short history and update on the Redhead (trail system) project; a presentation by Hansi Johnson from the International Mountain Bike Association; a membership drive, and drawings for free swag.  Doughnuts will be provided!   Anyone interested in biking trails is encouraged to attend!

PROJECT UPDATE

Funding is still in place to begin construction this summer, but challenges with the first proposed site have caused us to explore new sites.  The enthusiasm continues!  The City of Chisholm has expressed support for trails being built there, and the Minnesota Discovery Center has graciously offered their dining room to hold our first info session of 2014.  We hope to see you there!

REDHEAD PROJECT

The first of the IROC projects (“Redhead”) has been drawn up by IMBA.  The trail system will include a set of trails designed for the beginning rider, some moderate trails for the amateur, and a downhill park for the adrenaline junky.  Inspired by the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails in Crosby/Ironton, the trails are designed specifically for mountain biking.  While this first IMBA design is site-specific to our first proposed location, it will be modified  if needed for the final site.  We can’t wait to get a location and start building trail!