IRONTON — Michaella Johnson loves to ride her fat tire bike every day in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area in Crosby-Ironton.
Totally immersed in the sport, Johnson is on the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew maintaining the bike trails, works at a bike shop, started a local program to get girls on bikes, is the ride leader for the Cuyuna Lakes High School Mountain Bike Team and just started a biweekly women’s ride Sundays in the recreation area.
“Cycling doesn’t have to be a one-season sport. I love riding, and fat bikes provide the ability to extend that riding season all through the year. That feeling of freedom and mental clarity, not to mention the physically demanding aspect of the sport, is addictive,” Johnson stated in an email.
Johnson started mountain biking six years ago and has steadily increased her time on bikes, she said, especially in the last couple of years. Working at the Red Raven bike shop in Crosby allowed her to become even more involved in the cycling community.
“I’ve been a ride leader for the Cuyuna Lakes High School Mountain Bike Team for two years now, and started working with Little Bellas last year, which is an amazing program that provides a safe and comfortable environment to get more girls on bikes,” Johnson stated.
In the past year, Johnson organized a biweekly Sunday women’s ride from the Red Raven — currently on fat bikes to navigate the snow.
“We’ve had a pretty good turnout and hope to continue these rides throughout the year,” she stated. “It is about the smiles not the miles when it comes to biking.”
Johnson said cycling is not only fun and therapeutic, but it provides enjoyment of the outdoors in a different way.
“The community gathered around this sport, all of the phenomenal people I’ve come to know, have made this experience that much better,” she stated. “I’m 30 with every intent to keep riding for the rest of my life, and be it solo or with a group, I never regret riding my bike.”