Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Ironton, Minn.

It was COLD, I almost forgot what that was like. The afternoon high of 44f felt balmy compared to the first daytime, sub-freezing temperatures of the year. We even had some snow that shut down the trail system for a day.

For four days this November the Ride North crew were out on the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails. Joined by some friends, we stayed in an airbnb in Ironton, just yards from the main trail head. The rental house had a gas fireplace that was put to good use warming up cold bikers.

the Ride North crew

We've been visiting this destination mountain bike community every spring and fall for the past few years. The Portsmouth campground is connected to the trails and has an excellent little beach with clear waters. When the weather gets cold, a rental is the way to go.

Sagamore lake has groomed trails for winter biking.
It's the only trail system that stays open when precipitation threatens the red dirt trails.

When snow forced us off the main trail system, we had to get creative. A visit to the Sagamore unit produced some good family fun. The snow was a little deep for the smallest peddler in our group (4years old). In the afternoon we toured dirt roads that wrap around the old mine pits. After a chat with the local DNR, we determined that snowmobile trails on state land were fair game for biking. After everyone was inside warming up, I snuck in an evening solo ride. I rode the most miles of any single day on this wet, cold, snow day.

exploring back roads

snowmobile trails along Blackhoof Lake

Our cozy little fireplace, perfect for whisky sipping.

Mrs. North made the following comment the other day: "What do you think about going to Arkansas for spring break? I heard there are some mountain bike trails down there." It was all I could do to play it cool and calmly say, "yes."

- Ride North

7 bike rides | Oct. 15th - 18th | +10 riding hours | 44f - 25f

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