Up North: Racers Enjoy & Support Cloquet Trail in Pine Valley Bike & Run

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: July 22, 2020 10:55 PM

Mountain bikers and runners had a chance to support and celebrate a Cloquet Trail last weekend. The third Pine Valley Bike & Run race on Saturday also served as a fundraiser for the Pine Valley mountain bike trail.

Tucked behind Cloquet's Northwoods Credit Union ice arena lies a nature escape; the Pine Valley ski area and the newer Pine Valley mountain bike trail.

"I call this the gem of the Cloquet park system. People have really come out and really appreciated it. The bike trail, we've always had the ski trail for many years, but this is just an added feature to the park, said Tim Krohn, the Pine Valley Bike & Run event director. 

The first 2.3 miles of the single track trail was built in 2018. The goal is to extend it to a total of five miles.

So, in 2018, Krohn organized the first Pine Valley Bike & Run. This year marked the third fundraising event, as well as the grand opening of another mile of the trail. 

"It just shows there's a lot of people out here that just care about having good outdoor recreation opportunities," said race participant Tim Stark. He said as a ski coach in the Cloquet area he felt the pull to support the trails.

"Personally I live in Duluth and get to see the really great trail system that they've been able to put in there. It's exciting to see another community really starting to embrace that," Stark added.

Racers paid a $50 dollar event fee that served as a donation to the trail project. The trail has also received several grants to help complete the five mile stretch.

After the business was taken care of it was time for the fun. The bike and run kicked off Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

It offered four categories: a 18k bike and run, 13k bike, 5.5k run, and 1.2k family race for families with children under 10. 

The event was self-timed and had staggered starts in order to social distance. There was a virtual option but around 10 people broke out their gear for the in-person race.

Arriving all the way from Texas to visit family, high school bicyclist Jackson Willie was excited to try out the new trail, "I'm riding a Giant Fathom. It's hardtail which means only suspension in the front and it's got a dropper post. It's going to be fun." 

Stark added, "the trail is pretty jumpy. It's going to be a pretty fun race, I'll kind of be hanging on for my life on the downhills and everything, but looking forward to a fun time."

Racers completed the event in just about an hour. 

Krohn said the new trail is already getting good use, even outside of planned events. 

"Just about every day we got people out there that come in and use the trails, all the way from kids that don't have pedals on their bikes to people that do all the jumps."

The fundraiser is closed after last weekend's event, but Krohn said the Pine Valley Bike & Run may return next year. 


Alicia Tipcke

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