News

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.

Sam Pond – Vice President

Sam joined the MORC Board of Directors in January 2016 and has since served on the Executive Committee in the roles of Secretary and Vice President, as well as participating on the Finance, Fundraising, and Governance Committees. Sam holds advanced degrees in Civil Engineering and Business Administration and by day works as a licensed structural engineer at a firm specializing in high-rise and large-scale commercial construction projects. Sam seeks to blend his passion for mountain biking, project management, and organizational leadership by contributing to MORC’s success and sustainability at an executive level. Among Sam’s, most exciting work has been change management, strategic planning, and organizational leadership surrounding MORC’s separation from IMBA’s chapter program, transition from paid staff to a 100% volunteer non-profit organization, and planning for sustainability with the anticipated future trail projects.

Sam lives in the southeast metro and regularly enjoys biking at Lebanon Hills, Murphy- Hanrahan, and Terrace Oaks. On weekends, he enjoys traveling around to the other trails in the MORC portfolio appreciating the variety, character, and high-quality riding each of the trails offer. In addition to mountain biking, Sam also enjoys road cycling, ice hockey, motorcycling, sports cars, art, traveling, and coffee.

CJ Lindor – Director

CJ has been riding off-road since before suspension was a thing and is thrilled to watch
the evolution and growth of mountain biking. He is convinced that the only thing better
than a challenging adventure ride through a beautiful natural landscape, is sharing the
experience with friends. His favorite MORC trail is Battle Creek and he recently moved
back to Saint Paul (not a coincidence!).
CJ believes in the transformative power of the bicycle to improve quality of life for
people and communities. He currently works for the statewide bike advocacy
organization BikeMN as the Education Coordinator, where he is fortunate to work
everyday to make MN a place where bicycling is easy, safe, and fun for everyone. His
background also includes years of bike shop retail and repair experience, and he is a
founding coach for one of the MN High School Cycling League teams. CJ joined the
board of directors for MORC to become a more effective advocate for trails, and to
ensure that as many people as possible will have access to the opportunity to enjoy
mountain biking.

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

Resignation Announcement

Hello friends and Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists,

It is with bittersweet feelings that I announce to you my resignation from my position as Executive Director for MORC. On January 7th I will begin my new role working for the City of Duluth as Trails Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and very excited to continue my passion for supporting recreational access to the outdoors.

I’m proud of how significantly the organization has developed in my 5-years serving as MORC’s ED, and though writing this message is indeed tinged with mixed emotion, I do feel this transition will ultimately prove a positive next step in the evolution of MORC. The organizational structure, policies, procedures, and systems we’ve implemented allow MORC to operate unlike most any other trails nonprofit. Our trail volunteers get to focus on the trails themselves, while our Directors and Committee volunteers take care of the day-to-day business operations, events, marketing, branding, communication, finance, fundraising, membership, and technology needs. 

For the time being MORC will revert to once again operating as a 100% volunteer nonprofit organization. Today MORC is comprised of 90+ trail volunteers, supported by a board of 15 Directors serving on 7 standing committees. I leave the organization stronger than it’s ever been, and it’s thanks to our outstanding community of riders, members, supporters, as well as our incredible, selfless, and devoted volunteers.

There is much gratitude and appreciation to give but I’d like to give my sincere thanks to each and every one of you. If you’re reading this message then YOU are MORC! By simply enjoying the trails, you are a “roll” model and an advocate. By being a member you are staying connected to what’s happening in Twin Cities area off-road cycling (sometimes behind the scenes) and strengthening our voice. Your support is what makes it all possible, without you we’re nothing. Thank you. It’s been a great ride and I’m glad to have been part of it.

Ride on,
-Matt Andrews

2018 MORC Board of Directors

Give the Gift of Grooming!

The Gift of Groomed Trails!

As the days become shorter we’d like to take the time to reflect upon the year so far, and look ahead to the season to come.

What have you done for me lately?’ This is the question every membership based non-profit should be ready to answer in a single breath. Beyond the established 100-miles of singletrack providing outdoor recreation access for thousands of park users- this year MORC has added 8 NEW miles of trail, implemented a membership packet for all new/renewing members, and continues to advocate for and support numerous initiatives to provide greater outdoor access right in Minneapolis and Twin Cities Metro.

Including direct investment and volunteer hours, more than $1,000,000 has been invested in oyur local trails since 2016. Half of MORC’s annual revenue comes from individuals via membership, donations, and from our annual fundraising events.

MORC’s mission of ‘Gaining and Maintaining Trails’ simply can’t happen without the support of our community- you fuel our mission, as well as our machines/equipment. Speaking of which, this season MORC will deploy 3 brand new SnowDog Groomers to Lebanon Hills, Carver Lake, and Murphy Hanrehan.

These machines will be outfitted with custom snow grooming implements, and slightly modified by local welders to provide improved stability and control for use in off-camber sections, power through grade reversals, and bank the berms and inslope turns.

This year, we’ve a goal of raising $12,000 in additional support to cover the cost of these new machines.


Please consider making a tax-deductible end of year donation in support of your local trails.

Help us reach our $12,000 goal and take advantage of this generous matching offer by giving today at: https://mightycause.com/0rganization/Morc
Or avoid processing fees by sending a check to: PO Box 19520, MPLS MN 55419


New to Winter trail riding, or just want a reminder of what’s soon to come?! Check out the fatbiking segment from our friends at Prairie Sportsman Outdoors: https://www.pbs.org/v ideo/fat-tire-fun-gezcaz/

MORCtober News!

2018 Q3 Accomplishments Report

The MORC organization is comprised of a large network of volunteers (roughly 100 regular/recurrent individuals). Besides providing great trails and awesome experiences, the organization focuses on several initiatives in support of our mission. In order to better communicate the work we do, the following report is produced and published each quarter.

  • Hosted REI National Trails Day
  • Attended City of Minnetonka Open House
  • $125,000 Recreational Trails Program grant accepted for Carver Lake Park
  • …click here to read more

Monti the Moose!

Did you hear about “Monti” the moose? A young bull moose recently made headlines here in central Minnesota after he was spotted visiting several area parks in and around Monticello- including the mountain bike trails at Bertram Chain of Lakes! Our guess is he heard of the 4-miles of new trail and recently installed features, and just needed to see it for himself

Though it’s quite likely he’s now left the area, there’s a Facebook group dedicated to tracking his movements.

Battle Creek Awesomeness

The Battle Creek crew have aggressively ramped up efforts to build, improve, and maintain trails! There are still 3 trailwork sessions scheduled yet this Fall, check out the Facebook page to learn more about supporting our efforts in St Paul, and to see images of all the awesome work our volunteers are doing out there. Trail Steward, Scott Thayer, has also established an email distribution list, email to join.

MORC News- September

Minnesota Spring
MORC in September

Winter is coming…

It may seem a little early to be talking about powdery ribbons of groomed singletrack, but Pumpking Spice Lattes are already here! Before we know it the snow will be falling and MORC volunteers will (still) be out in the woods working hard to provide you with a great riding experience. We’ll soon be announcing membership and fundraising goals to finish out the year, and ensure our volunteers have the equipment and support they need. You can help! Please become a member or donate today.

Upcoming Events:

Bikes, Bands, & Brews!
Saturday, Sept 15th
@Welch Village

REI MTB Skills- Level 2
Sunday, Sept 16th
@Carver Lake Park

Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival
Saturday, Sept 22nd
@Lebanon Hills

Oktobershred
Saturday, Sept 29th
@Cottage Grove Bike Park

MORC News- August

Minnesota Spring
MORC Summer Events!

AUGUST:

Seven Spokes Strider Race!
Saturday, August 25th
@Cottage Grove Bike Park         

XC Eliminator part Deux
Wednesday, August 29th
@Cottage Grove Bike Park          

Otso Cycles Bike Demo
Wednesday, August 29th
@Murphy Hanrehan

Dirt Cup MTB Sprint Races

Hosted by Three Rivers Park District, the August Dirt Cup race proceeds will be donated to MORC! Get out and try racing in a lowkey, friendly format.
August 20th- Elm Creek
August 27th- Lake Rebecca

SEPTEMBER:

Bikes, Bands, & Brews!
Saturday, September 15th
@Welch Village

Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival
Saturday, September 22nd
@Lebanon Hills