Other than riding a fat bike or pedaling on a trainer at home, winter riding is pretty difficult. However, a new Mesabi Trail virtual tour allows bike riders to “ride the trail,” even during winter months.
The virtual tour takes viewers on a “live” ride across the 120-mile long paved trail that runs from Grand Rapids to Aurora.
“It allows you to literally ride the trail,” said Ardy Nurmi-Wilberg, executive director of Club Mesabi, a 100-member bicycling club on the Iron Range. “It’s a nice marketing tool that allows folks to get a flavor of the trail. If folks can get a look at the trail, it sells itself.”
Arrowhead Regional Development Commission produced the virtual tour. The video was captured by utilizing a rider with a video camera mounted to the front of a bike.
All sections of the trail are available for viewing.
In 2014, the trail had 217,000 users. Usage figures for 2015 are not yet complete. A study of the trail’s economic impact will be released soon.
It’s hoped that the virtual tour will allow potential riders from within the region and beyond to see the beauty of the trail, said Nurmi-Wilberg.
Photos of each community along the trail can also be viewed.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Nurmi-Wilberg of the virtual tour. “This really shows people how nice it is.”
To take the tour, go to www.mesabitrail.com click on Maps & Images and then click on Virtual Tour.
From Iron Range Resource and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) “The Ranger” January 20, 2016