The Pony Express

Mountain biking team builds new trail

Isaac Gunderson, Podcast Reporter

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The Stillwater Mountain Bike team has been around since 2013 and has been an extremely fast growing sport. In mountain biking, athletes race against other high school students from around the state on tight wooded trails called single track trails. The Stillwater team is the top team in the state having won the first two races this year, yet there is not even one single track trail to train on.

Team director Calvin Jones pushed hard last year for the permission to build a single track trail in Valley View park. Many hours were put into getting permission as well as building the trail.

There were many challenges to start the building process on this trail as team director Calvin Jones described.

I think it’s really going to help because we don’t have any single track close to where we train within biking distance.”

— Eric Fernandez

“Our team came to many city council meetings, we had to make proposals lead by Hank Gray on what it’s going to be, numerous city votes, they approved it, and now it’s going to be a fantastic success,” Jones explained.

Before the trail could be built, it needed the approval of the city of Oak Park Heights. The MTB team went to many meetings and answered questions and concerns regarding many different things about the trail. After months of tedious planning and debating, the trail was finally given the approval by the Oak Park Heights city council.

Coaches and riders alike believe that the new trail will help the team prepare for their races more accurately and efficiently.

The closest single track before the new Valley View trail was Carver Lake, which is 16 miles down the highway from the high school. This means that the Stillwater team has to train on either pavement or very wide dirt trails.

Students and coaches think that some noise is not always the worst problem to have.

“I think there will be increased noise, but it’s not going to be the noise that they’re expecting, it’s going to be like kids having fun,” senior Hannah Brown explained.

One of the main opposing arguments in the debate over the new trail was the noise. Citizens with property bordering Valley View were uneasy about the amount of additional noise there would be. As Brown described, the noise will not be kids partying or the like, it will be kids having fun riding bikes or running. The team was eventually able to convince these people that noise levels would not be a problem.

After many months the Stillwater MTB team received permission to build a single track trail in Valley View park. This season, after lots of volunteer hours building it over the summer, the team will finally be able to practice on single track.

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8 Responses to “Mountain biking team builds new trail”

  1. Susan hubbard on November 7th, 2017 7:54 am

    Some vocabulary used seemed a little redundant but the story was well done. There was a lot of information about the new trails. The noise part was a little confusing.

  2. Wyatt Wasko on November 7th, 2017 8:52 am

    The Photo and caption were very appealing and this is why I chose this story.

    The whole layout of the whole story was very well done, and the quotes were very aiding for those that don’t know very much about the MTB team.

    The background information that was given in the Lead and Nutgraph were very informational, and it made the topic much more appealing for the rest of the story. If the nutgraph wasn’t laid out the way that it was, the rest of the information and quotes given throughout the story wouldn’t have been as impactful.

    Ike did a very good job in covering the issue, as a MTB team member he understood the topic very well and it’s apparent as he covers the topic very professionally.

  3. James Stahl on November 10th, 2017 9:02 am

    This article is well written and thought out. I liked how all of the quotes were really strong and got the point across. Also, the explanations were very informative and taught me something that I didn’t know before reading this article. The photos and interactive elements caught my attention and made me want to read more

  4. Evelyn Young on November 11th, 2017 4:12 pm

    This article interested me because of the initial image I saw next to the article. I never thought about how mountain biking is more than regular biking and a different kind of training goes into it. The message of this article along with the quotes convey how difficult it was to have this trail be built. The links helped me as well since I did not know for sure what Valley View Park was. The article was very interesting because of the quotes and images and it helped me to learn more about the mountain biking team since it is fairly new.

  5. Hailey Willius on November 12th, 2017 8:27 pm

    Overall this article was informative and well thought out with strong fact paragraphs that were well researched and quotes that made sense where they were put. To make this article even strong it would help to have a stronger lead that really pulls the reader in and a bit less repetitiveness.

  6. Benjamin Valerius on November 13th, 2017 6:32 am

    The article was well crafted in that it included strong quotes and interesting facts – it presented lots of new information to the reader which made it a really good article! The only thing that I might change about this article would be making the lead slightly more interesting and appealing and making the nutgraph the more informative part of the introduction.

  7. Linnea Phillips on November 13th, 2017 7:47 pm

    Well written and well thought out, it’s evident that you did your research. Great quotes, but try to get more than two sources and a balance of grades. Great pictures/graphic going along with the story as well. Overall: Good job!

  8. Hannah Sween on November 13th, 2017 11:26 pm

    This article caught my eye because I have some friends on the mountain biking team but don’t know much about the sport, so the headline pulled me in. Overall this is a well done and informative story. One way the story could possibly be improved would be to move the explanation of the opposing argument to the trail being that it would be noisy closer to the beginning of the article. I was initially confused by the mention of noise until I read further into the article. Making this change would help the article flow more smoothly. I also love the interactive diagram of the bike, it is super informative and interesting!

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