Open Streets MPLS Returns with Seven Events for 2017

Open Streets MPLS returns for its seventh year with seven events that cover all quadrants of the city including downtown.  What started as one event in 2011 has grown into something big that gives cyclists, pedestrians, skaters and skateboarders a new way to see the city without automobile traffic.  These events are a great way to explore these neighborhoods, their local businesses and meet new people in a fun, family-friendly way.  And best of all, they are all free.  So grab your bike, walking shoes, skateboard or skates and enjoy these neighborhood streets that are free from traffic for one day.

Thanks to the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and the City of Minneapolis for making these events possible.  These events have brought out thousands of people to see these neighborhoods in a way that is not possible during the rest of the year.

Local community members plan out these events and around 100 volunteers are needed for each one.  If you would like to volunteer for any of the Open Streets MPLS events, visit the Open Streets Volunteer page and fill out the sign up form.

 Open Streets MPLS Dates

Sunday, June 4th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
22nd St. W. to 42nd St. W. 

Sunday, June 11th, 2017
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Washington Ave. N. from 8th Ave. N to 1st Ave. N.
& 1st Ave. N. from Washington Ave. to 8th Ave. N.

Sunday, July 23rd
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
From Elliot Avenue to Minnehaha Ave.; 
along Minnehaha Ave until 46th St.

Sunday, August 6th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
13th from 2nd to 5th/5th from Hennepin to 22nd/
22nd from 5th to Central/Central from 26th Ave. NE to 18 1/2th Ave. NE
Facebook Event Page
Sunday, August 27th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Portland Ave. to 28th Ave. S. 

Saturday, September 9th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lyndayle to Penn Ave. N.
Sunday, September 24th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lake St. W. to 46th St. W. 

Penn Cycle & Fitness
Meet cycling legend Jens Voigt in person
 at Penn Cycle Minnetonka on 
Thursday, May 4th at 7pm.


Penn Cycle's 26th Season of Thursday Night at the Races Starts May 11th

Penn Cycle's long-standing tradition of mountain bike racing at Buck Hill returns in 2016 for the 25th season.  What started out with 45 riders the very first night a long time ago has grown and evolved into something truly special.  "Whether you’re a first-timer or local hero, these weeknight races continue to rank as the best bang for your entertainment Buck by every mountain biker in the world."  Thursday Night at the Races brings together beginner, intermediate and advanced mountain bikers for some great racing and good times.  This family friendly event is also a great opportunity to get the little ones into mountain biking with a free kid's race after the adult races.

"You won’t find a more family friendly, cycling event anywhere and I am really proud of what we have put together and continue to do so on Thursday Nights." - Pat Sorensen, Penn Cycle President.

If you've never raced before, this is your chance to give it a try.  The Beginner class race starts at 7:30 pm and only costs $5.  For the intermediate and advanced racers, $10 will gain you entry into the Advanced, Recreational or Fat Bike class races that start at 6:30 pm.  Free kids' races start at 7:45 pm.  Registration for the races runs from 5:00-6:15 pm.

2017 Buck Hill Race Schedule

Series 1:  May 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 and 22.
Series 2:  June 29, July 13, 20, 27 and August 4.
Make up race August 11. 

After the races, the adults take to the kid's course on kids bikes.  Watch the hilarity ensue as Pat shoots for the win in the longstanding rivalry with Charly Tri.
This is a great opportunity to test yourself in a race setting on a challenging wooded course at Buck Hill.  For Minnesota High School Cycling League racers, here's a chance to get in some early practice for the upcoming season.
After the races there will be loads of door prizes and food and drink is available all evening long. For additional details you can visit the Penn Cycle Thursday Night at the Races page or call the Bloomington store at 952-888-1427. A little rain may not always cancel the races, so give them a call if weather becomes an issue.


Three Trail Grand Openings Set for this Spring

Two existing trails and one new one have some new mileage that will have Grand Opening celebrations later this Spring.

Mississippi River Regional Trail
Image Credit: Dakota County Parks

Dakota County Parks will hold the Mississippi River Trail Grand Opening on Saturday, May 20th from 9am to noon at Spring Lake Park Reserve/Schaar's Bluff in Hastings.  This newly completed 4.3 mile section is now open and contains three overlooks and two bridges spanning a total of approximately 570 feet with overlook decks on each.  Visit Dakota County Parks' Trail Construction page and the Project Overview Map page for more information about the trail.

Mill Towns State Trail
Image Credit: Dakota County Parks

Another new segment of trail made possible with cooperation from Dakota County Parks, Goodhue County and the Minnesota DNR is the part of the Mill Towns State Trail in Cannon Falls.  The Mill Towns State Trail Grand Opening takes place Saturday, June 3rd from 2 to 5pm.  "Festivities will include activity stations along the trail, naturalist programs, refreshments and a community bike ride. More information to come soon."
Minnesota River Greenway

The Minnesota River Greenway was made possible by Dakota County, the City of Burnsville, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Xcel Energy.  This new stretch of trail runs from HWY 77 to 35W (3.5 miles) along the south side of the Minnesota River.  The Minnesota River Greenway Grand Opening celebration is on Saturday, June 3rd from 10am to noon with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:15am.  The Grand Opening will be held at Minnesota Riverfront Park in Burnsville.  "Festivities will include activity stations along the trail, naturalist programs, refreshments and free bikes available for check-out."


Filthy 50 Registration Opens First Day of Spring

The Filthy 50 returns in 2017 for its fifth year and has become a tradition for many gravel enthusiasts.  Cyclists come from all over Minnesota and neighboring states to the small town of Stewartville to race on the rolling gravel roads of Olmstead and Filmore Counties.  The scenery along the route is amazing and at the end of the race you will know why it was named The Filthy 50.

The Filthy 50 has introduced many to the joys of riding gravel and for some it was their first gravel race.  October gravel is amazing with the Fall colors, scenery and weather this area offers to those that take the challenge.  I highly recommend that you register and experience this race that is very special to me and many others that continue to do it year after year.  Below are the details and rules direct from race director Trenton Raygor.

The Details
  • The Filthy 50 will take place on Sunday, October 8th, 2017.
  • The event will start and end on the north end of Stewartville, MN. The mass neutral rollout will take place at 10am and the riders will have until 4pm to officially finish.
  • Registration will open on Monday, March 20th and can be completed quickly online. Visit http://the-filthy-50.com/registration and complete the form before the 1000 rider cap is reached. We trust that if you register that you will make it a priority to show up and ride on Sunday, October 8th. If you're not certain that you can make it, we kindly request that you hold off on registering until you are sure.
  • In addition to the 50 mile route, we are bringing back The Pretty Filthy (24 Mile) and The Little Filthy (12 Mile) alternate routes for a second year due to popular demand. We hope to see more young people out there this year!
  • Thanks to our incredible local sponsors and those from the community who have taken the time to donate, registration for The Filthy 50 will continue to be FREE for the 5th year in a row! That’s right, no payment required, though donations are accepted and greatly appreciated.
  • IMPORTANT: This event is completely unsupported. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOU. Individuals should bring EVERYTHING that they need for the 50 mile ride and expect absolutely NOTHING to be provided to them on the day of the event.
  • GPX and TCX files, as well as cue sheets, will be made available for download to all riders who end up on our official roster. Navigating the course is critical, so we will do our best to prepare you for that.
  • Elevation profiles of the course will be provided through Filthy 50 social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) prior to Sunday, October 8th. Find us and follow us!
  • Days before the ride, those on the official roster will be sent email communications regarding event day logistics as well as some other crucial information on what to expect.

The Rules
It is of utmost importance to us that everyone stays safe and enjoys The Filthy 50. These are the rules. We think they are reasonable.
  1.  You are 100% on your own. Take care of yourself. 
  2.  We would appreciate it if you would REGISTER with us. 
  3.  This ride is unsupported. Bring EVERYTHING with you that you will need. 
  4.  Always wear your helmet. 
  5. Respect the course and those who live there. Please do not litter. Leave no trace.
  6.  Obey all TRAFFIC LAWS
  7.  If nature calls during your ride, please do not please do not answer it in front of others. 
  8.  Ride safely and use good judgment. 
  9.  You are responsible for you, so be responsible.
  10.  Have fun! 
We try to keep it simple, so if you require more detail, please CONTACT US.

"Race it and set a record. Ride it and take in the beauty. Either way, get filthy." - Unknown


In addition to many fine people like yourself, these very generous Minnesota based sponsors help make The Filthy 50 happen. Please support them like they support us!

ADAM TURMAN - A professional illustrator & poster artist from the Twin Cities.

BANJO BROTHERS - Tough. Practical. Affordable. Bike Bags.

BELCH - Comfortably unrefined.

 BICYCLE SPORTS - A full service bike shop in Rochester, MN.

BUCKNELL CONSTRUCTION, INC. - Meeting your construction needs, located in Stewartville, MN.

FAREWAY - An economical food store located in Stewartville, MN.

 HED - The best wheels on the planet. Period.

THE HUB BICYCLE CO-OP - The Twin Cities’ only cooperatively owned bike shop.

JUST RIDE MINNESOTA -  Cycling apparel. Just ride

KURT KINETIC - Making the BEST indoor trainers from Minneapolis, MN.


 PENN CYCLE - Your Twin Cities bike shop.

RIDING GRAVEL.COM - The gravel enthusiast’s resource

 ROCHESTER CYCLING - A Rochester, MN bike shop for all of your bike needs.

SUNSHINE SANITATION - Sanitation professionals from Stewartville, MN.

 SURLY BREWING - Give a damn. Do good. Drink beer.

TWIN SIX -  Alternative Cycling Apparel & Bike Gear.

2 WHEEL WEATHER - Where cycling and weather come together.

Despite this being a free event, it wouldn’t be able to happen as intend without the support of these amazing sponsors and incredible volunteers.  If you are interested in sponsoring this year, please send an email to thefilthy50@gmail.com.  You can also show your support by donating to The Filthy 50 here.  For those not racing that would like to volunteer you can do so by sending an email to the above address.

From the Director

Our tiny corner of the cycling community has turned a day of riding and racing bicycles on rural Minnesota crushed limerock roads into what many of you tell me is your favorite tradition of the year. You have contributed your ideas, time, and talents and have made The Filthy 50 your very own. You have different occupations, political affiliations, and religious beliefs from one another. Most of you haven’t raced a day in your life and others are out there winning Olympic gold. You’re all so very different yet every year when asked, you all give me the same answer. You need to do it again. You’ve created a place where everyone is welcome and where everyone is cool. Do you know how rare this is? It fills my heart. This gives me hope for humanity. This is why we are bringing The Filthy 50 back.

The Filthy 50 will return to my home town of Stewartville, Minnesota for it’s 5th year in a row. In 2013, what was intended to be a 50 mile gravel ride and barbeque out of my parents’ house quickly turned into a 300 rider event. The Filthy has grown more each year, and this year, we have made accommodations to accept up to 1000 riders on our official roster! We will be bringing back some of our Filthy traditions, including “The Fastest 50” as well as the legendary Filthy (after) Party. Beer lovers never fear as Surly Brewing Co. has assured us that they will double down on the free beer for you all this year. Also, all of our participants and spectators can expect some Filthy surprises on and off of the course.

To our sponsors, to those of you who have participated in our infamous "meat raffle" and to those who have donated anonymously, thank you for helping us make The Filthy 50 so damn special! To my wonderful family and talented friends who have volunteered their time and skills to help pull this off, we couldn't (and wouldn’t) do it without you, so thanks for coming back and helping us do it for one more year. Lastly, we highly encourage you to register early as we anticipate reaching our 1000 rider cap fairly fast. After you register, treat yourself and go take that first Spring bicycle ride! It’s supposed to be gorgeous out there.

Kind Regards, Trenton
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