Welcome to The Green Tunnel. I cannot recall, but last summer, I read an article about the upper Midwest’s excellent riding in a national publication, and the writer described it as “riding through a green tunnel”. It resonated with me, because although I have ridden a mountain bike around the world, there is nothing like the excellent singletrack we have.
Having worked in the cycling industry for about 17 years now, I know firsthand that there is a ton of energy dedicated towards the gear. Although the gear is only a means to an end, we tend to concentrate on it. Don’t get me wrong, I love it too, and it has kept me employed for a very long time. I wonder what it would be like to put that much energy into making riding better…
So we started a company, called Advocate Cycling Productions, SBC. This company will produce cycling related events, and is the parent company of this website. The Green Tunnel will exist to spread the word about all cycling events in the upper midwest, be a forum for stories about riding and racing, as well as cycling advocacy related articles that concern us as riders.
Advocate Cycling Productions, SBC was formed on the 2nd of January as a Specific Benefit Corportation in Minnesota. A new law that just took effect on that day, it allows corporations to have a legal layer of a social mission, that is upheld by the state. Our experiment is a cycling promotions company that puts all proceeds towards cycling advocacy efforts. We chose to incorporate as a Benefit Corporation, alongside other great companies such as Finnegan’s Beer, Peace Coffee, Sunrise Banks, and others on the first day Minnesota would allow us to.
Our idea was born several years back with the Chequamegon 100. Originally started as a free race, we passed around a hat to make a donation to the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association, and raised about a thousand dollars. As the race grew, it became so popular, that our friends told us to start monetizing it, but really we just wanted to hold the race for fun, and raise some money for CAMBA in the process. So we did start charging an entry fee, but gave 100% of it to CAMBA, and now we amount to 14% of their operating income.
We want to spread our idea, in hopes that others start races with similar missions. And we are also doing it ourselves. In addition to the Chequamegon 100 this year, we have acquired the Minnesota Rusty Ride held at Cuyuna, and started the Hungry Bear 100 and the Gitchee Gumee Traverse.
This year’s events are:
- The Hungry Bear 100 – a 60 mile and 100 mile gravel race in the Chequamegon National Forest, May 9th
- The Wolftooth Components Chequamegon 100 – a 62 mile and 100 mile singletrack race on the CAMBA trails – June 20th
- The Minnesota Rusty Ride – an endurance singletrack race on the Cuyuna Lakes trails – August 15th
- The Gitchee Gumee Traverse – a 50 mile urban singletrack race on the trails of Duluth, MN – September 12th.
100% of the full entry fee (not just proceeds) of all Advocate Cycling Productions’ events will be donated to cycling non-profit organizations. This year’s business plan has this being in excess of $40,000, and benefiting CAMBA, CLMTB, COGGS, MORC and forming a new NICA league.
The Angry Catfish has joined us this year as the presenting sponsor of all Advocate Cycling Productions events to help us pay the operational costs of hosting 800+ riders this year. As we venture into this new thing, it is excellent to know there are great people in the cycling world willing to join this idea. If you believe in what we are doing here, please make sure you patronize the Angry Catfish.
The Green Tunnel is more than just our races. We want to invite you to contribute. We want to see it become the forum for stories about riding in the upper midwest, and we want it to be a soapbox to alert others to advocacy issues we should all be aware of. We also want it to be used by other race promoters to bring attention to their events. And most of all, we want it to be available for all of you to simply tell us about your last ride.
See you on the trails!