Bike Report: Trails for all

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Members of Leadership Duluth had various projects to choose from, but one in particular stood out.

“Our group chose to pick something that involved the outdoors, and we narrowed in on adaptability for our trail systems in Duluth,” said member Jana Kayser.

To help with the project, Leadership Duluth reached out to the Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS), a local mountain biking group.

“They had found a couple of points on our trails that if we just did some minor modifications, they would open them up to these hand cycles and any adaptive cycles,” explained COGGS Trail Director Ansel Schimpff. “It was an easy project where we could come in quick, just a couple hours of work, change the trail a little bit, and then it would be a rideable trail for more riders.”

Members of the two organizations met last Thursday morning to make a Spirit Mountain trail more accessible. The main focus was widening a bridge to fit hand cycles safely.

“The bridge was about a foot narrower this morning,” said Schimpff. “And these three-wheeled hand cycles would get to a point where the wheel would fall off into this ditch, which is a dangerous place to fall. It was doing damage to the bikes. So just by creating a little bit wider bridge, it allowed them to pass through here without worrying about falling off the trail.”

Other trail maintenance was done the same morning.

“We have ten people out today and I work for a couple hours just rebuilding this bridge,” said Schimpff. “We also had some rain last night, so I had a few people doing drainage work, just clearing out the trail, and making it a little bit more weather resistant.”

With just a few hours of work, one more trial is now accessible for adaptive cycling.

“We were all really excited to get out here,” said Kayser. “We’re all avid outdoors people. We use these trails. So to be able to give back to the community in a way to help people that normally aren’t able to access these trails as easily, that really means a lot.”

Every Thursday, WDIO News will bring you a story about the sport of bike riding. We will focus on the trail systems in our viewing area as well as equipment and bike maintenance. If you have a biking story that you think we should cover, e-mail Sabrina Ullman at