Photo 2013-07-14 11.38.00 PMPhoto 2013-07-14 11.38.05 PM Photo 2013-07-14 11.38.03 PMPhoto 2013-07-14 11.38.10 PM Photo 2013-07-14 11.38.07 PM3 Minutes, 29.10 Seconds

That’s the amount of time it takes Jordan Cullen to complete three kilometers on an Olympic Sized Velodrome.

I believe the word ‘Beast’ is appropriate.

Chapeau, Jordo.

– MM

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Photo 2013-06-23 08.56.35 PM Photo 2013-06-23 08.56.45 PM

All Photos Courtesy of Thomas Smith

My good bud Greg asked me last year if I’d be willing to help his shop put on an event that had fallen rather unceremoniously in their lap. The Brompton US Championship had lost it’s home and needed a new one – and where better than good old Minneapolis, Minnesota?

Where better, indeed. Last year with a shoestring budget and the smallest of acceptable timeframes, Greg, Martha, Kat, Luke and the whole gang at Calhoun put on an amazing event. This year, with a little bit more notice than the last, they managed to put together an event that was truly spectacular. With participants from around the Country vying for the opportunity to represent the U.S. of A in the Brompton World Championships, the racing was top notch. Think NVGP, but put it in a suit jacket and confine it to a few city blocks.

Well done, Calhoun Cycle.

Well done, Brompton.

Well done, This Guy.

I have a feeling the World Striped Garter Socks might be making their way across the pond sometime this year.

See you next time, Folding Bicycle Racers.

– MM

mm_sv_4mm_sv_1mm_sv_3mm_sv_2

The Almanzo 100 : 10 Thoughts, Observations, Recollections

1. It is important to ‘Roll with a Good Crew’.

1(a) – See Birchwood Bike Team

1(b) – See Omnium Bike Shop

1(c) – See the Banjo Brothers

1(d) – See Greg Neis and Brianna Lane

2.  The Almanzo 100 is now large enough that saying ‘Howdy’ or giving high fives to all of those I should is highly improbable without a large amount of planning. To those of you I missed, consider this your ‘Howdy’, your ‘Good Luck’, your highest of fives.

3. If you see flowing water, there is a climb up ahead.

4. Chris Skogen is Saving Cycling

5. Cycling never needed saving.

6. The Banjo Brothers Frame Pack, Medium (Item # 01064 – MSRP $34.99 – 102 Cu In.) has made it incredibly easy for a person to stuff their face while riding their bike.  This, along with the invention of the Swedish Fish candy, has made long distance riding on a bicycle finally possible.

7. Shoot To Thrill – AC/DC

8. 11 hours, 18 minutes and 48 seconds into the 2013 edition of the Almanzo 100 my GPS cycling computer died.

9. The spirit of the Oregon Trail (the computer game) is alive and well in Minnesotan cyclists.

10. 161.95 km into the ride, I unclipped, used my top tube as a seat and waited. The Sun made her last grasp at the fields, roads and forests surrounding me. The birds called out to their loved ones, bringing them home for the night. The wind calmed itself, tired of pushing back the hordes that had challenged it. So there I sat, listening, waiting. It was in this moment that I realized I had everything I ever wanted. It was in this moment I found my contentment. It was in this moment I felt the whole of what cycling could be.

It is this moment that will bring me back for years to come.

Thank you, Mr. Skogen. With your two hands, friends and family you have created something much larger than yourself. You have left your mark on this world  and it is a positive one.

Chapeau, sir.

mm_fdl_2Not every breath on the bike should be a violent one. 

We meet here

6am 7am on Saturday morning I will be there,

Rain, Sleet, Snow or Shine,

maybe a few others as well.

Easy pace riding two abreast (unless the situation calls for otherwise)

and I mean that – it’s too early for your town line shit.

We ride or change flats or drink coffee or bullshit for two hours or 9am,

whichever comes first.

We end here

Sincerely,

MM

P.S. – This ride is inspired by this post.

P.P.S. – We’re now into Fall/Winter hours, so we’ll be starting a little later and ending a little sooner. You don’t like it, make your own damn ride.

mm_al_1 mm_al_11 mm_al_14What a night! It was great to be able to give-back to the Almanzo and volunteer for the first Fundraiser event. In-between yelling, hiding my french fries from hungry hordes and trying to track down Chris, I managed to grab a few shots (the rest you can find here).

It was a spectacular success, but there’s still so much more you can do to support your favorite sufferfest. Go out and buy some kit from Twin Six (they do make the raddest kits). Donate on the new Almanzo Website created by local guru’s Space 2 Burn. Watch the Almanzo Film courtesy of the amazing group that is Royal Antler. Tell your friends – the more the better! Support the people that support the Almanzo. There’s a long list, but the folks at Banjo Brothers are a great start. I hear that CRC guy does a lot for them too.

The Almanzo 100 is one of those things that I feel exemplify MN Cycling Culture. Chris has killed himself to bring it to this point – let’s take a little of that weight off of him and keep it moving into the future.

I want to live in the world where my kids get to do this with me. Let’s keep it around (at least until there’s no gravel left).

-MM

mm_few_15 mm_few_4mm_few_21Spending my last few hours of 2012 riding my bicycle in below zero wind-chill wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but it wasn’t incredibly out of the ordinary.

I first heard about A Few Gears Eve last year through friends. It’s been put on every year by Dan Jacobsen, now owner of Omnium Bike Shop, in hopes of celebrating what seems to be a strangely Minnesotan trait; The desire to combine alcohol, riding bicycles and deathly cold weather (as evidenced by Stuporbowl).

This year I decided to throw some schwag in the pile (along with Omnium and Trash Messenger Bags) and sponsor the event. Along with the giveaways, I also biked along and took photos of the event. Unfortunately, Lobster Gloves make horrible gloves for DSLR shooting, and so most of the shots you see are either indoors, or close to a place where I could find warmth shortly after taking the shot. You can find the rest here – 

As we climbed out of downtown Saint Paul and headed to the after party all I could think was how much better the day was because I got out on my bike. I imagined most of the other people behind me were feeling much the same, and as we shot up Ramsey Hill the pain didn’t matter, all that mattered was getting to the top first.

Happy New Year, and may your 2013 be full of bike time, in whatever form that might take.