Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce Hosts 8th Annual ‘Cuyuna Crusher’
Over the weekend, the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area saw hundreds of cyclists at the starting line of one of the area’s biggest seasonal events: the Cuyuna Crusher mountain bike race.
“People around the area or from just around the state can come and race at lakes,” said Cuyuna Crusher competitor Cora Martensen.
“It is our eighth year. It just keeps growing every year. We have competitors from the age of five all the way up to 70,” explained Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce director Aubrey Koop. “We put this event on along with our local mountain bike crew and the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series.”
Since its founding, the Cuyuna Crusher has become one of the largest mountain bike races in the state and has seen competitors enter from all across Minnesota.
“There’s people from states away in Michigan that come, they know this event and they love this event,” said Koop.
“It feels so good to be around people with the same hobbies, that same camaraderie that comes from it.” added Martensen.
The event even attracted cyclists from Canada to compete in the day’s many races.
“We drove up from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. A friend of ours came too and told us there was a race here on Sunday,” said Cuyuna Crusher spectator Michelle Pasch. “We went for a ride first to see how my son felt about the trails and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, this is really really nice,’ and he was more than happy to jump in and do the Citizen’s race.”
The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce hopes that the race can continue to thrive in the years to come, so that it will remain an annual tradition for the community as a whole.
“I think it’s awesome and pretty wild, we rode a little bit of everything around here,” said Pasch.
“It’s such a huge draw an event for everyone in this community. We just we love this event,” added Koop. “We just want to keep growing it and make it the best it can be.”
The annual Cuyuna Crusher typically sees around 600 competitors a year. This year, there were roughly 590 cyclists competing in the day’s events.