After this year spring is never going to feel so good. 25 Degrees seems like 50. Riding on streets with a little bit of ice is so easy after riding on ice, snow and whatever else was glued to the pavement. If you have your bike stuck in a snow bank now is the time to get it out before it goes through a number of thaw and freeze cycles to make sure everything on the bike is a rusty mess.
What a beautiful and fun event for the Minneapolis bike community. Mad props to the organizers, volunteers, Powderhorn community, riders and supporters. Here are a few of my pictures from the event. HUGE congratulations to Loretta Treviño who took the OVERALL first place in the solo category, competing one extra lap than the first place male, Alex Oenes.
Loretta Treviño, top solo rider over all (!!!), with Mary and Lee, 2nd and 3rd place female riders.
Loretta Treviño, finishing her final lap, to win the overall first place for solo riders. She rode 320 miles in 24 hours… AMAZING!
The top three male solo riders celebrating their hard work.
Top three women’s teams!
My best friend Nathan came out from Madison!
Nathan coming in on his final lap.
Callie, BK, Emily, and Perfecto. Just a few of the wonderful people in attendance.
- Alex Oenes finishing up his final lap to win the men’s solo category.
Until next year everybody!
Powderhorn 24, 2012
Last year a group of 5 girls and myself joined to become team Menstrual Cycles in the Powder horn24 – a 24 hour bike race. What followed was a remarkable experience of community, friendship, and love of biking. It’s difficult for me to describe the greatness of this event because I truly believe it is best witnessed or participated in directly.
The event is organized around the Powerhorn neighborhood in Minneapolis and starts on the Midtown Greenway near the Midtown Bike Center. The bike center is the best viewing spot if you’d just like to watch the racers do their thing. Racers have the choice of joining a team of up to six members and you can break down the 24 hours of racing in whatever fashion you choose. If you are up for a particularly difficult challenge you can opt to do the entire race as a solo rider, taking on the entire 24 hours on your own.Sounds hard core, right? It is… and AWESOME.
Team Menstrual Cycles ties for first place! (2012)
The reason I find this race to be a diamond among gems of Minneapolis bike races is that it really is an event for everyone. Most of the women on our team had never raced before, all of us rode single speed bicycles, and one team member did the entire race in flip flops and a bikini top. We made our “jerseys” with some with old shirts and sharpies. There was no judgement and we felt fully comfortable racing against much more experienced racers. By the end we were ecstatic about our performance in the challenge as we came in 2nd place in time and tied for 1st in completed laps. I finished the race full of sweat, dirt, glitter, and filled with absolute happiness. It is not a race to be missed. Starts tonight Friday August 9th at 7pm, ends tomorrow (Saturday) 7pm. Some of the folks form Varsity will be down their with the Babboe cargo bike. Come on down and cheer people on!
Powderhorn 24, 2012
For more information check the pages below!
The Pope and I wear the same hat!
This was my first experience at New Belgium’s Tour de Fat. And it was AWESOME. I can easily say that this was one of the most fun bike events I’ve ever been to in Minneapolis. There was a bike parade with lots of fabulous costumes, wonderful beer (of course), live music, DELICIOUS food, and more crazy bikes than you could count. People were all dressed up in costumes and everyone was in good spirits. Not to mention awesome comedy from Scot Nery and The Honeymoon Cabaret, and great story telling from The Moth. I think I’ll let my pictures take it from here….
Ran into the owners of Quality Bike Products!
The most fishtacular bike of the day.
These folks taught us about safety and provided some good laughs.
Back to the recumbent future!
Tandem bike with a baby in tow.
The Honeymoon Cabaret performers were hilariously awkward.
I have no explanation for this.
All kinds of crazy bike contraptions for you to ride!
So much fun for all ages.
Bike races to determine the SLOWEST rider!
Awesome costumes everywhere! The DUDE!
We are big fans of the Bakfiets Cargo bike.
“This squirrel is on fire!”
The Moth Storytellers!
I even made some friends!
Well cheers to good beers and bikes and fun. It will not be my last Tour de Fat! Check out their website here! http://www.newbelgium.com/events/tour-de-fat.aspx
Also, big shout outs to Burrito Loco for hooking up the shop with free beer tokens!
Here are some highlights from this year’s Freedom From Pants Ride on the fourth of July.
Varsity Bike Shop’s Kevin Anderson riding the Babboe Cargo bike.
Tommy Schlaefer fully free from the oppression of pants.
Ebbin Martin fully free from the oppression of pants, in Lake Calhoun.
There is nothing in the world quite like the feeling one gets during midsummer in Minneapolis. The heat slows the world down a little. Cyclists are out in full force. Bicycle beach trips are inevitable. Patio stops are probable.
This week two annual midsummer events will remind us of the many reasons we love cycling in this city.
First is the 2nd annual Cobble Bobble Criterium organized by Varsity’s own Chris Graham. It starts at Father Hennepin park on Wednesday July 17th at 8pm. It takes you through the bumpy cobblestone of St. Anthony Main. You can expect fast biking, getting rad, and at least a few flat tires. If racing is not your thing feel free to come down anyway. It’s guaranteed to be an entertaining event.
The very next day don’t miss the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Third Thursday Bike Night. This is an awesome bike event for all types of bicycle riders. They will be Summit beer, valet bike parking, live entertainment, bike bingo to win a Surly Cross Check, and you get to ride your bike directly through the doors of the MIA out to the courtyard where the event is hosted. Not to mention booths exhibiting local bike companies and accessories. It takes place on July 18th from 6-9pm. It is a great way to spend a midsummer evening in Minneapolis. See you there!
Cobble Bobble Facebook event page https://www.facebook.com/events/652179378130346/?fref=ts
Third Thursday Bike Night Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/604513196246260/?fref=ts
If you have never stripped down to your underpants and rode a bike you have been missing out on one of the most liberating experiences in the free world. No worries, though. The seventh annual Freedom From Pants Ride is coming up this Thursday for Independence Day. Don’t miss out! It’s a casual ride to some of Minneapolis’ best spots including lakes and parks. Hundreds of people attend and in my experience, everyone is respectful. So bare a little skin, have a little fun and enjoy this fourth of July in your underpants!
As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been cheating on my first love, Minneapolis. I recently spent a week in San Diego vacationing, biking, and unfortunately driving – a lot. I thought I’d take a minute to adress some of the pros and cons of biking in a new and less bike-friend city.
Being from Minneapolis I often find myself in between taking our awesome bike infrastructure for granted and snobbishly judging other cities by their lack of awesome bike infrastructure. I tried very hard to keep an open mind while still remembering that San Diego is not a city that is known as a “biking city” like our own. This was my second trip to San Diego in three months. This time around I knew a little more about what I wanted to do and I was positive that renting a bike would be part my time there. I only had five days and also needed to rent a car as a I had some obligations that required it. I rented my bike from a shop downtown, The Bike Revolution, because it was close to the airport. The guys at the shop were great, but no women worked there as far as I saw. They were perfectly nice and we had some lovely banter about Minneapolis having no hills and San Diego having no winter. We rented Jamis road bikes which worked just fine, but the seat post was too short for me with my long legs and I never quite had a comfortable ride. Nonetheless, if you’re going to be in downtown San Diego it’s a great place to rent bikes and definitely the most affordable I found.
In terms of biking the city, it definitely will never compare to my true love, Minneapolis. Our system of trails, bike lanes, and bike highways is unlike any other city I’ve visited and I definitely could feel the lack in San Diego. Not to mention the flatness and compactness that we so often take for granted. There are a good amount of bike lanes but they can sometimes be fragmented. There are paved paths along the waterfront in the city but if it’s a weekend day or afternoon they are filled with pedestrians and beach cruisers, which were not ideal conditions for the type of riding I wanted to do. Along popular beaches up the coast I often found the same conditions on all the paved paths and boardwalks, especially since it was the very beginning of summer and students were out in full force at all times of the day. What I did fall in love with was biking up highway 101 along the coast of Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Encinitas. The highway has great bike lanes and the views are absolutely unbelievable. I also noticed great bike lanes throughout Carlsbad.
I love San Diego for many reasons and some of my best friends in the world live there, but in terms of biking, I would need to do more exploring before determining how I’d feel about biking there on a regular basis. As I was staying near Vista – about 40 miles away from downtown San Diego – I did WAY more driving than I had anticipated (I put 700 miles on the rental car!). I realistically only used the bike maybe 2 or 3 days out of the five I was there. I’m sure like any city that as I got used to the ins and outs of traffic and bicycling in San Diego, things would feel much more comfortable. I would also have to train to build up some some hill legs in order to keep up in California.
I believe that biking is essential to getting to learn any new city. This time around I learned some lessons and I learned not to take my own city’s beautiful regional trails for granted. Most importantly I realized that I would have been far happier and more comfortable with my own Bridgestone RB-1. Next time, that’s the bike I’ll choose to take me up and down the hills of the California coast.
It’s FINALLY summer in Minneapolis so quit talking about it and get out there and BIKE! This weekend has some awesome events for you to start your summer off right.
Option 1: Tomorrow, June 1st is the Knick NACCC Alley Cat Poker Race. This race is a fundraiser for the National American Cycle Courier Championship which will be hosted in Minneapolis in 2014. You will have a choice between a race for speed and a race for strategy. The race for speed will be just that while the race for strategy will involve you picking up different playing cards at various MPLS breweries in order to successfully achieve the best hand of poker. Meet at Gold Medal Park at 2pm tomorrow to join! THERE WILL BE PRIZES!
***IMPORTANT NOTE: Knick NACCC Alley Cat is also the place for you to register for the much anticipated Powderhorn 24 race. There is a cap at 450 riders this year so DON’T MISS OUT! Be at Gold Medal Park at 2pm or hit up the after party at the Hexagon bar to register for this awesome race. Cost is $15 and you can race solo or as a team. If nothing else come check out this 24 hour race on August 9th and 10th. You wont regret it!
Option 2: If racing isn’t your thing and you’d rather just kick it with a cold brew and your bicycle check out Widmer Brothers Bikes and Brews event starting tomorrow at 11am. For VIP perks register at Stub and Herbs 227 SE Oak St between 11am and 2 pm. This event will include beer tastings, specials, food, and riding around to various awesome Minneapolis locations. Participating locations include Stub and Herbs, Nomad World Pub, City Pages Beerfest, and Bryant Lake Bowl. Have an awesome bikes and brews filled weekend!
Where my ladies at?! This is an awesome opportunity for women to take a FREE introductory session on how to ride in the NSC Velodrome. Bikes will be provided, you just bring your own pedals, shoes, and helmet. All ages and abilities are welcome to come and try it out! If you like it, there will be a four week course provided for a fee of $80 in May and June. Join me and some other awesome ladies in the fun! See the NSC Velodrome website here: http://velodrome.nscsports.org/page/show/509177-2012-season-schedule#/?i=1