We all dream of Riding at X Games… This year that dream became even more of a reality as X Games allowed our local community to come together, contribute, form, and execute a brand new concept completely open to the public with general admission to actually “Ride at X Games.” This would take place on an enduro pump track made from dirt, right in front of US Bank Stadium Downtown Minneapolis, completely volunteer based. The idea all came together very last minute, however the initial first thoughts & first impressions were incredible, so much that it instantly created a buzz that rippled through the entire local riding scene here within days. Many were now more excited than ever to make their way out to US Bank Stadium for the weekend.
Logistically, the entire course needed to come together fast. Real Fast. Minnesota local & events organizer Joe Duncan knew this, and started putting the entire local team together. After the Moto Step Up contest would be done on Thursday night, the entire massive ~20’ tall dirt mound would then need to be spread out & shaped into a dirt track overnight within roughly 12 hours. Locally, we know there is only one man and team for this task which was pulled off by Minnesota’s very own Adam Buck and his local trail building company called Pathfinder. He worked along side Alan Mandel overnight, with AJ “8 Mile” Fox also joining the team early before sunrise to help shape and pack the course to prepare it for the thousands that would soon walk through the gates of X Games 2019.
As the course was finishing its final preparations, multiple teams & groups of local riders came together to actually run this brand new experience at X Games. First, bikes and helmets would be needed for everyone when using the course. Freewheel Bike Shop and also Growler Bikes brought out dozens of bikes of all kinds… 26” Mountain Bikes, Youth Bikes, Fat Bikes, tons of bikes in a great variety for everyone to choose from. Second, an entire team of volunteers would be needed to help the public check it, get on a bike, and have a blast on the new course. Freewheel, Growler, and Ride MN were more than happy to help contribute to this task right here in our home town. Volunteers from our local riding scene included Shad Holland, Jeremiah Hunter, AJ Haines, Dustin Grice, Brianna Hansen, Bubba & Jason Tufty, David Hackett, Kyle Alviani, Nikki Sudberry & Ambrose Riegel, and Karter & Riley Busse from Wisconsin. Even some of the build crew from Cottage Grove Bike Park stopped out to give everyone a hand maintaining the course over the weekend. Thank you all so much for your generosity this past weekend helping riders of all ages. It was amazing to see our community all come together for this brand new concept on site X Games.
Within minutes of the X Games Gates opening, the public began checking into the new “Mountain Bike Enduro” dirt pump track immediately. Many said it was the one thing that actually triggered them to come out this year. All ages of riders entered the course, smiling & having a blast the entire time. Riders helping each other. Riders encouraging each other. Riders would start by rolling in from the top of the starting hill, pumping the first roller & launching off the first table top, right into a few berms along the outside of the track into the log & rock jump, ripping around another couple berms and back up to the top pf the starting point back for another lap. Not once did the course see any downtime… We were slammed all weekend, Friday afternoon through the entire weekend Sunday evening.
You really couldn’t ask for a better turnout… Yes, it was hot, but compared to Austin, Texas? X Games always has many great vendors, free refills of cold water on site, even Wendy’s was handing out FREE FROSTY’S & Baconators all weekend. And this is all right here in our home state. The idea that X Games actually allowed a brand new riding concept like this completely open to the public, I’d say is a Dream Come True.
Thank you to all kids, riders, and families who stopped by this new experience at X Games. If you enjoyed it as well please let X Games know because we‘d love to do this again!
Feel free to check out all of the Local Sponsors’ Websites below:
Thank you X Games. See you again in 2020.