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Duluth needs votes to win $100K grant to build a mountain bike trail

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A proposed mountain bike trail in Duluth is a finalist in an online contest for $100,000 which would pay for its construction.

The trail, which would be built in the Spirit Mountain Recreation Area, is one of three projects around the country that are still in the running for the grant, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The other two are in Knoxville, Tenn., and Mariposa, Calif.

The competition is sponsored by Bell Bike Helmets and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, and the winner will be decided by online voting, which closes Thursday.

As of Monday evening, the Duluth project was in second place, behind Knoxville.

If Duluth wins, the grant would be used to build a new downhill trail near the Spirit Mountain chairlift. A local bicycle group, the Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores, would build it.

Here's more about the project.

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Spirit Mountain, a popular downhill winter ski destination, already has several mountain bike trails. They range from beginner courses with gentle rises to expert trails featuring large jumps, tight turns and rock faces to maneuver. Cyclists ride on the chair lift to reach the starting points of several of the trails.

Spirit Mountain notes it is the only "lift-access" mountain biking area in Minnesota. They're more common in mountainous areas in the western U.S.

The Northland News Center notes this is the third time the COGGS cycling group has tried to win the grant, but it's the first time it has gotten past the first round of competition.

You can go to the Bell Helmets website to get more information or to vote.

Last year, the city of Cottage Grove won a $33,000 grant in the same competition to build a bike park in the city.

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