about ocmn

Minnesota mountain biking is pretty f#@%ing awesome, full stop. Everyone at Off Camber MN has been lucky enough to ride trails in other parts of the country so we know this first hand. If anything, those experiences only serve to highlight the undeniable radness of MTBing in L’etoile du Nord.

If you read the national MTB mags, though, Minnesota barely registers on their collective radars. Their loss, but in some ways, not so bad. For the most part we get to keep our trails all to ourselves, without pesky outsiders to clog our singletrack flow. But there are a few downsides. 

Mostly, it’s that much of the MTB content on the interwebs isn’t relevant to our trails. Not to put too fine a point on it, but our trails are tight. In one ride we spend more time railing corners and dodging trees than riders out West might in a month. On top of that, our dirt is different, our culture unique, and our season way too short. Because of that, gear and trends that might work elsewhere, may not be the  best for our trails.

 

That’s why we decided to create Off Camber MN, though we’re not just here to talk about gear. Ultimately, we want to celebrate all of the radness of Minnesota mountain biking, and to us, that’s our community. We want to shine a spotlight on the organizations, riders and local businesses, whether it’s bike shops or breweries, that make it what it is. And, we hope to add to the local riding experience by providing resources like a trail directory and MN-specific gear reviews, among other things.

None of us are paid to do this. We’re an all-volunteer staff of three, doing this in addition to our day jobs but we still hope to add new content every week. That said, until/unless someone starts paying us to do this (hint-CHOOO!), we may miss a deadline. So, bear with us. 

Also, if you have some words or images you think might go well with what we’re doing here, shout at us: [email protected]

meet the staff

Leigh Kramarczuk

Off Camber MN Role: Content Development

Secondary Role: Post-ride beer provider, Editor Supreme, Voice of Reason

The All-arounder

I grew up in Florida, where mountain biking is, or at least was, a fringe sport. That didn’t stop me from raking out lines of singletrack in the backyard leaves, or taking my trusty Schwinn off my brother’s BMX ramp … once.

In 2007, my husband and I moved to Minnesota. He promptly introduced me to mountain biking on the unrefined (and to this flatlander, terrifying) hills of Battle Creek. But it wasn’t until I began riding with a local women’s group that I became hooked on the feeling of shredding dirt. Since then, I’ve become a BICP Level 2 certified mountain biking instructor and the co-founder of mountain biking skills instruction company Stöke MTB.

When I’m not riding or dreaming up riding adventures with the Off Camber crew, I’m coaching fellow riders with Stöke or writing for clients as the owner of Red Dog Communications.

Years Riding

Bad Decisions on Trail

Adam Grafa

Off Camber role: Content

Secondary roles:  man of questionable ideas, crash artist, single track blood donor, keeper of the white beard, speaking about himself in third person

The Hill Guy

Adam started mountain biking before it was a thing. His first attempt at two-wheeled dirt glory happened on a fully rigid, teal and purple (because the 80’s) Specialized Rockhopper Comp, in the mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on deer trails and fire roads. 30+ years later (holy shit!) he’s still on two wheels, even after misguided attempts to become a roadie, dabbling with road racing, and a masochist, by racing cyclocross for five years. Fortunately, he realized that for him, racing was sucking the fun from his bicycling.

From then on, he found himself returning to MN’s singletrack, more and more, rediscovering what playing on a bike feels like. In spite of, or maybe because of, countless crashes, he continues his quest, some would say it’s mystical, to find the cleanest lines through the local rock gardens (what sadist came up with that idea?) and rail the perfect corner. Also, he “sorta likes the friends he rides with,” and not just because they share their post-ride beers (though that helps.)

When he’s not blazing rainbows through the trees, or trying to write about it, he’s a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach, a BICP Level 1 Mountain Bike Instructor, and a writer, focusing on health and wellness. 

Years Riding

Bad Decisions on Trail

Scott Shore

OffCamber Role: Web designer

 Secondary Role: Skeptic, gear reviewer, part-time photographer and always the last to be ready at the trailhead

The Tight and Twisty Guy

I have always loved being on a bike. I played on BMX bikes as a kid and graduated to a mountain bike in college. I have messed around with most forms of 2 wheel fun – road, CX, fixie, fat and even some track but no matter how many ways I find to ride, it is being on an MTB trail that has always been my happy place.

As a long time member of the Birchwood Bike Team, I spent some years racing MTB, Fat tire, and CX as well as helping design and build the MN State Cyclocross Championship course. Although racing had its moments, I would rather chase friends through single track followed by a nice malt recovery beverage.

When I am not riding, thinking about riding or looking up gear I “need”, I am working as the lead designer and owner of MettleVelo and Lure Design. MettleVelo is dedicated exclusively to bike related design to wear, hang on your wall or see online. Happy to say I have worked with: Pearl Izumi, ArtCrank, Birchwood Bike Team, MN Ironman Bike Ride, MN Cycling Center, La Squadra, Kramarczuk’s, Grocho Velowear, as well as other local groups and teams. 

MettleVelo.com

LureDesign.net

Years Riding

Bad Decisions on Trail