By Paul Zeigle, Surly Brand Manager.
The snow was slowly melting away as the rain refused to let up on a dreary Christmas day in Minneapolis. My plans for multiple long snowy fat rides over the Holidays were slowly washing away. That evening the rain stopped and the temps dropped converting all the local trails to ice rinks. I needed to find alternate plan so I pinged a friend in Duluth to see how their trails survived the warm front. Good news: Trails held up and a recent light snow added a thin layer for traction. New Year’s Day over night was scheduled. I just needed to find a riding mate on short notice.
I picked up my old friend and single-speed partner in crime, Hurl Everson Sunday morning and we headed up to Duluth to ride some of the best trails in the Midwest. Our plan was to park in the Frost River parking lot and ride as much of the Duluth Traverse (DT) south to Jay Cook State Park, camp out and ride back the next day. The forecast was ideal for riding. Mid 20’s during the day and teens at night. After securing our gear, packing some extra clothes and a couple of roadies we headed uphill out of Duluth to catch the DT at the Piedmont trailhead.
COGGS, the local IMBA club in Duluth is a tireless crew who have spent endless hours building trails and raising money to make the project a reality. The plan is to connect multiple trail networks across the city of Duluth. Currently 65% of the connections are single-track. Every time I ride there I am treated with new sections. Most of our route was single-track with a couple of snowmobile connections and a closed road section into the park. The flowy single-track and idea snow conditions made for two great days of riding and mild winter camping condition. Well worth a visit in the summer or winter.