Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cool trail story

I was walking the new Ripon College mountain bike trail Monday night with my parents — giving them the grand tour of where I've spent a good share of my time during the past few months. As we're walking, there is a man riding the trail on a vintage cro moly 1980s Trek 820 Antelope with a rigid fork. He's wearing classic black riding shorts and a Green Bay Packers sweatshirt. He passes us several times before I stop him to ask what he thinks of the trail.

He loves it. He's a local guy who said he used to mountain bike quite a bit in the Chequamegon area back in the day. He said now that he's older, he's been riding the flat rail trails on a hybrid; but figured he'd dig out the old bike and give the new singletrack a try. The wide smile on his face said it all.

Seems each time I'm out on the trail, I have a similar encounter. That night we also saw a whole family — from grandparents to grandkids and their dog — taking a leisurely hike. From trail runners to previously unknown local mountain bikers who have come "in to" the woods to ride; the trail has certainly become a valued resource very quickly.

So, "thank you" to Pepsi for their Refresh Everything program; "thank you" to each and every person who voted for this project throughout the month of August 2010; "thank you" to the folks who came out and put a little sweat equity into the trail; "thank you" to the College faculty and administration who gave the blessing to pursue this venture; "thank you" to IMBA for devising the Trail Solutions program and to Jill Van Winkle and Stephen Mullins for listening to our input and helping turn our dreams into reality. It's all paying off in ways I didn't imagine it would.

Coach Ric Damm

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