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Bikers "gear up" for upcoming cycling season.

Volunteers help make popular trails in Rochester safe to ride.

Posted: May 22, 2019 11:49 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - The KIMT Sports Department likes to get out and talk to non-traditional athletes throughout the area. This time we’re headed to the bike trails.

“It’s interesting to see the middle school and high school mountain bike teams getting into the sport,” said Tyler Huerter. “A lot more families are out on the trails wherever you go so it’s always encouraging to see new people getting into the sport and everyone of all ages can come out and enjoy the trails.

Mountain bike riding is ever-growing in popularity throughout southeastern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Even KIMT News 3’s Katie Lange likes to hit the trails whenever possible, but in order to keep the trails safe for everyone to enjoy it takes a volunteer effort.

“We clear the trails – anything from getting sticks out of the trails to trimming back the buckthorn so you don’t get cut while you’re riding,” said Jackson Raygor. We try to keep the drainage good because if we don’t, when mountain bikers and walkers go over mud puddles, they get worse and become mud holes and you’ll actually wreck the base and the trail will become unrecoverable over time.”

Huerter pitched in to help Wednesday evening and stressed the importance of keeping the trails clear.

“Keeping open trails and making sure that everyone from all skill levels can come out and ride the trails – that they’re not having to hop over down trees and that sort of stuff that might pose a safety hazard is important, said Huerter.

Meanwhile, Raygor says not many riders visited the reservoir trails on Wednesday but that’s in large part due to an easy method of communication alerting riders of trail conditions.

“Today we’re coming off rain but we actually use Trailforks (a digital app) to close trails up on conditions so riders will check online to see if the trails are ridable or not before they come out.”

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