Wondering where the name for our newest trail, Gene Machine, came from? Let me introduce you to Gene Oestreich.
His countless volunteer hours and expertise have helped WinMan Trails evolve from a few private family trails, into the WinMan experience you know today. Leaning on his 30+ years as an administrator in the medical field, Gene’s leadership and vision have helped guide every major decision at WinMan over the last 8 years. Including serving as Interim Trail Director for almost 2 of those years.
You can still see Gene out here weekly putting in volunteer hours to improve our entire trail system. Whether it’s putting in the time to help maintain the trails, designing and flagging new routes, engaging with our users on their suggestions, or just enjoying the trail system himself. His passion for mountain biking and cross-country skiing spills over into every aspect of WinMan.
You may have also noticed Gene’s work on our ski trail system. Over the last three years he has undertaken a major project every summer to widen and level our existing ski trails. This makes it easier to groom which extends the skiing season and provides an improved overall ski experience.
As we near the end of our Phase One strategic plan which will get us to 20 miles of single track mountain biking, we thought what better way to honor Gene’s commitment to WinMan than to name a trail after him. The story of WinMan Trails does not happen without Gene, or the lead builder of Gene Machine, Travis Bellman.
The Original: Travis Bellman
Travis currently owns and operates his own trail building company, but it all started in 2012. Travis built the first mountain bike trails on the private land that has now become WinMan Trails. He has gone on to build trails across the country. His work can be found in Bentonville, AR, California, and Minnesota as well as many of the local trail systems in our region such as Zip Line in Minocqua and the CAMBA trails in Hayward.
As we continued to look east and expand our mountain bike trail system to close out Phase One of our strategic plan, we knew we wanted to get Travis back on site. What better project than to reunite Travis and Gene to build on some of the best terrain and most beautiful forests we have.
Spending endless hours hiking through the forest, Gene and Travis spearheaded the process to lay out the perfect line. Then working with Brad and Joel from the WinMan staff, they finalized a route to take full advantage of the available terrain. Travis and his crew got to work weaving their way through the woods, adding his own artistic touch along the way.
The finished project will be a premier cross-country tech-flow trail, featuring multiple A/B lines, allowing you the ability to experience advanced drops and jumps or fast and flowy turns along the same section of trail.
When you see Gene and Travis out on the trails help us give them a huge thank you for everything they have contributed to WinMan Trails.
Help Us Finish Gene Machine
Want to be the one of the first to ride Gene Machine? We still need to do some finishing work and brush work prior to opening the trail. Click the link below to sign-up for a slot (or 2 or 3) during our Volunteer Work Week of August 23rd – August 28th.
Come put in some work to help us save money to build even more trails. But be sure to bring your bike to get an exclusive chance to ride the trail before we open it to the general public.