Trying to be all things to all people, is difficult work, even with a specific focus like cycling in the Twin Cities. At CTC we have realized that one thing that we are severely lacking in is coverage on all things mountain biking. With that in mind we recruited a new blogger to help us out in that department.
J.R. Hunter is an active member of the Twin Cities mountain biking community and we first met him at Behind Bars Bike Shop during the Stupor Bowl this year. We feel lucky to have him join the crew. __________________________________
Why hello Cycle Twin Cities readers, my name is J.R. Hunter. Starting soon, I will be contributing a weekly feature on something that is a big part of the cycling community in this area, but frankly overlooked by many in the journalistic world, mountain biking! I would like to start with a little about me, then what I plan to offer you with this feature.
Mountain biking saved my life. Big statement right? Let me explain.
I have gained and lost 100 pounds three times in my life . The first was all diet and as you can expect it didn’t last long, the second was in 2007 when I bought a Kona Paddywagon from Behind bars. I rode over 1500 miles in six months. The down side was that I am not a die-hard commuter and found that road riding was boring after a while. So in 2008 I did nothing and bang! Back up I went.
In October of 2009 Chuck at Behind bars sold me a Salsa El mariachi he had been pushing on me for about a year. I never thought MTBing would be for me, but I unloaded some cash and bought my first Mountain bike. I have now lost that 100 pounds again and I am looking for more.
It is now a full-blown lifestyle for me, that’s what it takes to stay fit and that’s why Mountain biking has saved my life.
The areas I would like to cover for you are going to be:
1. Local trail systems.
2. Local rider profiles and shop reviews
3. Product review and testing
4. Out-state and out-of-state trails of interest
5. Mountain bike advocacy and it’s impact on the local scene
I often describe my riding style in the following way: high on ambition, low on talent, in other words, I am the James May of Mountain biking (look it up). I hope to cover the sport so those with no knowledge will be inspired to try, and those that have been riding for years might learn something new. I really enjoy meeting other riders and sharing stories, checking out their bikes and advice. I have a wide section of bikes and ride year round. If you ever see me at the trailhead, first off be warned I can kill a trailhead like nobody can! Yak yak yak! But I like to let others try out my bikes and I try and buy good gear from the little guy and spread the word!
If you are interested in what I ride here is a list of current bikes.
Salsa El mariachi 20 inch with Rock Shock reba X-9 components
Surly Pugsly 20inch frame Single speed using BMX drive train.
Fatback from Speedway cycles 20inch Pink in color, X-9
Fatback from speedway cycle 22inch Polished nickle,X-9 and XO
Santa Cruz Tallboy XXL full XTR, marzocchi fork
and a Masi SS road bike
Okay, Twin Cites that’s it for now, see on the trail.
Thanks JR! We look forward to reading more about the MTB scene here in the Twin Cities.