Knobby News – Fall/Winter 2019

Greeting Fellow Riders!

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This installment of Knobby News we talk with Graydon Betts, MORC Treasurer  & Trail Director this guy eats, sleeps, MORC’s and Repeats. I don’t know where we would be without his support.

Dig in with
  1. Winter Grooming updates
  2. Whats New in 2020
  3. Meet The Board


MORC leverages funds received from memberships and donations against land manager contributions, corporate and government grants, etc in order to get the maximum impact towards trail develop-ment. $100 donated towards MORC can easily turn into $200 or $300 going towards the trails. There are few things a mountain biker can do to improve their riding experience better than donate towards trail development for the metro area through MORC. And most of all, volunteering makes the biggest im-pact. It is really amazing just how big of an impact just one person can make volunteering at their local trail system. It is really rewarding, makes your local trail even better to ride, and a guaranteed way to make some great friends.

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Meet the MORCmtb Board

Anne Clark – President

I have been riding mountain bikes since 2007. I was wrangled into the whole deal by Graydon Betts (above, right). He mentioned to me that I might want to give “this mountain biking thing a try”. So, I went out and bought a Specialized Myka Base right off the rack and we tackled the Mammoth trail one evening mid-summer and I’ve been hooked ever since. Graydon is also responsible for my role as MORC President (a position held since 2016). I’ve been involved with the Board since late 2014. The reason I volunteer is that I LOVE TO RIDE! I’m passionate about mountain biking and trails, and I love the great outdoors. I’ve enjoyed biking in several states over the years, and the only MORC trail that I haven’t been to is Cottage Grove (sorry guys!).

My favorite trail has changed over the years, but currently, I really enjoy Bertram. Since I live in Minneapolis, it’s a bit hard to get up there but I do love the setting, length, and flow. I also really enjoyed the Manitou trail that was there before the re-do.I guess my home trail would be Theo, but I really don’t have a “home” since I go all over!I live in NE Minneapolis with my husband and our cat, Shadow. In addition to mountain biking, I am very active in my yoga practice and I am a certified teacher for Vinyasa and Sculpt styles. I also enjoy gardening, and both cooking & baking. I work for Hennepin County and enjoy giving back to the community through my full-time job and various volunteer/giving opportunities throughout the year.

Graydon Betts  – Treasurer

Graydon grew up on bikes in a rural area riding fatter tire junky bikes on farmland, deer paths in the woods, etc. He began riding singletrack in the mid-90s after purchasing his first nice MTB, a 1994 Giant ATX.
Graydon began getting involved with trail advocacy when Wright County was taking over management of the former YMCA Day Camp Manitou in Monticello to become the Wright County Bertram Chain of Lakes Park in 2012, and has been involved with the trail development there since. He served as interim treasurer in the 4th quarter of 2014, and has been the MORC treasurer since 2015. Graydon has also been involved with Hillside City Park since becoming a MORC trail in 2016. Graydon also serves on the Trails & Parks Committee.Graydon works for a small public accounting firm that specializes in audit & accounting for 501(c) non-profit organizations, as well as corporate and small business support. He keeps himself very busy with business, individual, and non-profit tax for the first part of the year.
Graydon is very happy riding just about any sort of singletrack trail but really likes creative trail features. He is always excited to ride with people at Bertram and show them around the trails, and especially the features which aren’t that bad at all when you ride them, so you can totally make it, you’ve got it.

Gunnar Carlson – Vice President

Gunnar Carlson is a Minnesota native who grew up in Hopkins. After attending St. John’s Prep School and University in Collegeville he returned to the Minneapolis area to attend the University of MN Twin Cities to finish his degree in Psychology. After college Gunnar worked with at-risk youth for several years before returning to the pharmacy he worked in during his time at the U of M. While still working as the GM for Center Drug in Hopkins, Gunnar is currently enrolled in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and is hoping to complete his MPA in 2020.Gunnar began his relationship with MORC in the late 90’s with volunteer trail maintenance hours and group rides down at the river bottoms. After many years away from biking he returned to the trails a few years ago. This lead to a desire to serve the MORC community through the board. Gunnar has previously served on several boards for both civic and professional groups including the Hopkins Rotary (2 time president), HBCA, as well as helping to form the Southwest Metro Chamber of Commerce (past president).Gunnar’s home trail is the Theodore Wirth system as he lives nearby in North Minneapolis and is a great spot for a quick ride after work. While he may put the most miles on at Theo, Gunnar does enjoy heading out to ride the entire MORC trail system and tries to get to every trail at least once a season.When he’s not working, studying or riding Gunnar enjoys relaxing with a good cigar, traveling or just relaxing at home with his wife and dog.

Ross Luhmann – Secretary

Ross started mountain biking after a friend brought him to Carver in 2013. Since he hadn’t owned a bike since he was 15, he borrowed his friend’s extra – a cheap 26″ Schwinn. He had so much fun he bought that bike for $20 plus lunch and started riding at his local trail, Elm Creek.
For over a year Ross rode his faithful 26″ Schwinn, before eventually biting the bullet and joining the trail crew at Elm Creek too. He bought his first big boy bike in 2014 – a Trek Cobia 29er.
Since Ross had so much fun swinging a Rogue Hoe for CJ Smith, he decided to become a Dirt Boss, eventually helping out both at Bertram and Hillside (after it became a MORC trail). In 2017 Graydon Betts convinced him to join the MORC Board and he has served as Secretary since. Ross works as a software engineer for a healthcare company and when he’s not biking or involved with MORC, he goes to the gym, plays d&d, reads, hikes, kayaks, and naps.

 Brandon Gallagher Watson -Marketing Chair

After being a bike commuter for several years, I bought myself a mountain bike just as a fun toy to ride around with my daughters. Remembering that there were singletrack trails at Theodore Wirth, I rode the trail there several times…before learning that I was riding the trail backward! That was in 2011 and I have been hooked on mountain biking since. I joined MORC as a way to meet more active people who are interested in growing the sport and making it more accessible to everyone. With MORC, I am particularly interested in the branding of the organization. promoting a positive image of the sport within our membership, the public, and in the eyes of land managers.
In my day job, I am the Creative Director of Rainbow Tree Company, a tree care company here in the Twin Cities and, nationally, one of the largest tree healthcare research organizations. I am a Certified Arborist with a specialty in forest pathology. I started with my company as a research intern while still in college. Prior to this, I am a graphic designer who was in their 3rd year of art school before switching majors, so I quite enjoy getting to work every in both art and science.I am also a busy freelance graphic designer with clients that include Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille, Royal Comedy Theater, the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails, the Minneapolis Bike Tour, Victoria Burrow, hundreds of homebrewers around the world, and, of course, MORC.

Sheila Roering – East Regional Trail Coordinator

Sheila started mountain biking in 2006 when she got her first mountain bike, a Trek hand me down from her much taller brother. Her first trail was the River Bottoms, which still hold a special place in her heart. She finally bought a bike her size, a 2008 Trek 4500, which is still her favorite to ride and believes she will always love 26” tires!To help fund bike parts and upgrades, Sheila works as the IT Retail Logistics Coordinator at Caribou Coffee responsible for process mapping and coordinating projects at the store level including opening new locations.In 2016, she joined the trail crew at Salem Hills and worked to earn her Dirt Boss qualification in 2017. She joined the MORC board in 2018 as the East Region Trails Coordinator and is a member of the Trails and Parks Committee. Her goals are to help implement a trail training program and local trails she rides the most are Salem Hills and Elm Creek but takes any opportunity to check out all of our other local trails and occasionally a couple in UT.

Aron M Braggans – Director of Technology

I have been hooked on bikes since I jumped my first garbage
can in the 6th grade on my Huffy Racing Stu Thomsen BMX
bike. I moved to Eagan in early 2000’s for work, less than a
mile from Lebanon Hills. A coworker at the time loaned me a
bike and took me around Leb, the next day I was bike shop
buying my first Stump Jumper.
I started digging in the dirt with the leb & caver crews in 2014 ,
until a few years later when Porter asked me to help with the
MORCmtb website. I attended some of the board meetings and
helped out until I joined the board in 2016.
Home trail is Theo, Favorite Trails are Leb & Carver

Important IMBA/MORC Announcements

Dear MORC Members:

On Thursday, December 1st, IMBA announced they would be drastically cutting back funding for their staffed Regional positions. It was announced that all shared Associate Regional Directors would be laid off effective Jan 31, 2017- and this directly affects MORC’s Executive Director, Matt Andrews. IMBA also announced that the current Chapter Agreement would be restructured prior to January 31st, which includes the current 60/40 split in IMBA/MORC membership dues (MORC gets the 40%).

While this news might seem shocking, the MORC Executive Committee has been planning for this scenario for several months.

The MORC Board of Directors held it’s 2017 Annual Strategic Planning Meeting on Saturday, December 3rd. In light of IMBAs announcement, 3 votes were called that will impact MORC’s priorities for 2017.

Vote 1: (Passed) Prior to Jan 31st, MORC will enter into negotiations with IMBA about reaching a new chapter agreement. We don’t know what that will look like and neither does IMBA, and in their words “everything is on the table.” We would like an annual, fee-based arrangement that compensates IMBA for what they provide to MORC and supports mountain biking at the national level.

Vote 2: (Passed): MORC will continue to employ a full-time Executive Director as a paid position. MORC will assume full responsibility for this position effective February 1, 2017.

Vote 3 (Passed): MORC will extend an employment offer to our current Executive Director, Matt Andrews.

You might be asking, should I Renew My MORC/IMBA Membership?

Because we don’t yet know what IMBA’s chapter program will look like or where your membership dollars will be going (and we think you deserve to know that), you may consider waiting to renew your membership until this is sorted out. Memberships that are renewed prior to January 31st will likely be subject to the current 60/40 split with IMBA.

We will be sharing more details about MORCs plan for 2017 as they are available.

Thank you for being part of MORC, and for your continued support.

-Anne Clark, MORC Chair