5/11/2016

Buck Hill Launches Mountain Bike Skills Clinics


Buck Hill in Burnsville will be offering several mountain bike skills clinics this Summer.  These camps, workshops and training sessions will be tailored for children, high school athletes, women and men. Sessions begin in June and July and offer a discount for early registration.

Mountain Bike Skills Day Camp for Kids "are designed with an emphasis on achieving safe, injury-free riding through the establishment and continuous refinement of core skills."  There will be an Intro to Mountain Biking/Basic Skills camp that will be offered twice (June 20-24 or July 11-15) and a Intermediate Mountain Biking/Gravity Intro that will also be offered twice (June 27-July 1 or July 18-22).  Cost is $125 per session ($135 after early registration deadline) and the suggested age for riders is those that are entering the 4th grade in the Fall.


Macho Mondays Mountain Bike Skills Camp for Men "will teach you the physical and mental skills on how to ride balanced, efficiently, fast and smooth."  If you're a guy that wants to develop your skills to become a more efficient and confident rider, then this is the camp for you.  There will be two sessions for the camp (June 13, 20, 27 and July 11, 18, 25).  Cost is $65 per session ($75 after early registration deadline).





Downhill Divas Mountain Bike Skills Camp for Women is taught by women, for women.  This camp "is designed for riders who need guidance in building confidence and skills."  Beginner and intermediate riders will be taught core mountain biking skills during two available sessions (June 15, 22, 29 and July 13, 20, 27).  Cost is $65 per session ($75 after early registration deadline).






High School Hot Laps Mountain Bike Race Training is for those that want to "get a Jump on the High School Race Season with summer coaching at Buck Hill."  Sessions (June 14, 21, 28 and July 12, 19, 26) will be held on Tuesday nights from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm.  These Hot Laps sessions are taught by trained coaches and will be open to all High School athletes looking to develop their mountain bike skills.  Cost is $65 per racer/per session (3 dates per session) ($75 after early registration deadline).

Mountain Bike Yoga will teach participants how it can help them "release tension and increase mobility in the hips, legs, back and shoulders, increase awareness of the muscles and body parts needed for biking, develop balance and core strength needed for mountain biking and free your body to make biking more dynamic, pleasurable and fun!!"  There will be two sessions (August 21 and September 11).  Cost is $40 per 3-hour session ($50 after early registration deadline).




Penn Cycle & Fitness
http://penncycle.com/about/fat-bike-2016-pg1458.htm
Order your new 2017 
Trek Farley today!

5/05/2016

Penn Cycle's 25th Season of Thursday Night at the Races Starts May 5th


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 7:15 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.  Registration for the races runs from 5:00-6:15 pm.

2016 Buck Hill Race Schedule

Series 1:  May 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th, June 2nd and 9th.
Series 2:  June 16th, 23rd, June 30th, July 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th.

If you're still not convinced to join in on the fun this year, watch the video below for a week by week recap of the fun, thrills and competition of the 2014 races.


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.

Image Credit: Gal Alon

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.

Central Lakes Trail
http://www.centrallakestrail.com/
Get out and enjoy 
the beautiful gem known as 
the Central Lakes Trail!

4/27/2016

Minnesota Training Rides For Gravel Enthusiasts-Part 4


A while ago I put up a post on the MN Gravel Enthusiasts Facebook Group requesting gravel training routes around the state that I could share with those that want to start their training early this year.  I received several recommendations and I've contacted some of my gravel riding friends for their routes to share also.  Below I will have maps and links to these rides sectioned by areas of the state.

Some of these routes have been submitted by users and not tested by me, so ride at your own risk. Bring everything with you that you will need to be self-supportive to get you back to your starting point.  Also, bring plenty of food and water as there may not be any places along the way to get these items.  Please do not litter.  If nature calls during your ride, do not answer it in front of the locals.   You may experience aggressive dogs on country roads so be prepared and know how to handle the situation.

Twin Cities Area

Welch East/North Loop Gravel Training Ride
Chris Chavie


Dirty Girl Skittles and M&M's Gravel Ride (Long Route)
Chris Chavie


Hampton/Farmington/Empire/Vermillion Loop
Chris Chavie


Miesville Grinder
Marsh Jones


Welch South/East/North Loops
Chris Chavie



Southern Minnesota

Shady Lane Trail/Area 57 Gravel 100k
Bruce Anderson


Camp Winona/Jasper/Cody Lake/Union Lake Trails
Bruce Anderson


Rose Cemetery/Scotia Trail/High Prairie Trail 50k
Bruce Anderson



All the Good Stuff Gravel Century
Bruce Anderson

Thanks to everyone who contributed their routes for these last four posts. You have opened a whole new world of local and regional gravel opportunities to those that want to try gravel, prepare for that upcoming ride or race and you provided some challenging routes for those training for the Almanzo races.

4/21/2016

Trek's 2017 Farley Fatbike Lineup Unveiled

Trek introduced some of the new additions to its fatbike lineup last week at the Sea Otter Classic.  New bikes including full-suspension and a new super light carbon hardtail model in addition to new color choices on previous models will be showing up at your local Trek dealer late this Summer.  Trek is now taking pre-orders on the Farley EX full-suspension and hardtail models for early August delivery.

The Farley EX models have 120mm of "smooth front and rear suspension".  How is this new Trek offering different from the Salsa Bucksaw?  With the proven suspension technology of ABP, Full Floater and RE:aktiv, Farley EX "rolls faster with less bounce thanks to its bigger 27.5 fat wheels."

Farley EX 9.8
$5499.99
Image Credit: Trek

Trek's carbon full-suspension offering, the Farley EX 9.8 starts with an OCLV Mountain Carbon mainframe & seatstay, alloy chainstay, ABP, Full Floater, EVO Link and Mino Link.  The 120mm of travel comes from a Rock Shox Bluto RL fork and Fox Performance Float EVOL, RE:aktiv 3-position damper tuned by Trek Suspension Lab.  Carbon Wampa TLR 80mm wheels fitted with Bontrager Hodag (TLR 120 tpi) 27.5x3.8" tires make up the wheelset.  The drivetrain consists of SRAM X1 11-speed shifter, SRAM XO1 carbon rear derailleur, SRAM XG-1150 10-42 11-speed cassette and Race Face Next 30T Direct Mount narrow/wide cranks.  For the cockpit, Bontrager Line Pro OCLV carbon bars, Bontrager Line Pro stem, SRAM GD hydraulic disc brakes and Bontrager's new Drop Line 100 dropper post finish out this model.  Comes in color Matte Trek Black.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

Farley EX 8
$3499.99
Image Credit: Trek

Trek's aluminum full-suspension offering, the Farley EX 8 starts with an Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame with ABP, Full Floater, EVO Link and Mino Link.  The 120mm of travel comes from a Rock Shox Bluto RL fork and Fox Performance Float EVOL, RE:aktiv 3-position damper tuned by Trek Suspension Lab.  SUNringlé MuleFüt 80mm 32-hole cutout rims laced with Bontrager Jackalope hubs and fitted with Bontrager Hodag (TLR 120 tpi) 27.5x3.8" tires make up the wheelset.  The drivetrain consists of SRAM GX 11-speed shifter, Race Face Aeffect 28T Direct Mount narrow/wide cranks, SRAM GX rear derailleur and SRAM XG-1150 10-42 11-speed cassette.  SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes and a KS eThirty remote lever dropper post finish out this model.  Comes in color California Skye Blue.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

Farley 9.9
$7499.99
Image Credit: Trek

New for 2017 is Trek's lightest all-carbon race version fatbike to date, the Farley 9.9.  This North America-only build weighs in at a mere 22 pounds.  The build starts with Trek's OCLV Mountain Carbon frame and a Bontrager Haru Pro OCLV fork with carbon lowers and carbon E2 tapered steerer.  HED Big Half Deal 85mm (27.5") carbon wheels with HED Brickhouse carbon hubs are combined with the new Bontrager Barbegazi (TLR, 120 tpi) 27.5x4.5" tires.  A SRAM Eagle XX1 12-speed drivetrain (10-50 cassette) and a full carbon cockpit including SRAM Guide Ultimate carbon hydraulic disc brakes round off this lightweight race machine.  Comes in color Matte Carbon Smoke.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

Farley 9.8
$4599.99
Image Credit: Trek

The 2017 Trek Farley 9.8 has some minor changes over the 2016 model including a color change to Matte Silver, Bontrager Barbegazi (TLR, 120 tpi) 27.5x4.5" tires, Bontrager Montrose Elite (hollow Titanium rails) saddle, Bontrager Pro OCLV Carbon seatpost and Bontrager Pro stem.  Features that carry over from last year's model are the carbon Wampa TLR 80mm wheels, 100mm suspension corrected carbon frame and fork, SRAM/Race Face drivetrain and SRAM Guide RS hydraulic disc brakes.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

Farley 9.6
$2799.99
Image Credit: Trek

The 2017 Trek Farley 9.6 has a few changes over the 2016 model which include a color change to Roarange, SUNringlé MuleFüt 80mm 32-hole cutout rims with Bontrager Barbegazi (TLR, 120 tpi) 26x4.50" tires, ESI Chunky grips and SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes.  The drivetrain remains the same with SRAM GX 11-speed shifter, Race Face Aeffect 28T Direct Mount narrow/wide cranks, SRAM GX rear derailleur and SRAM XG-1150 10-42 11-speed cassette.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

Farley 7
$2399.99
Image Credit: Trek

The Farley 7 has an Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame, is 100mm suspension corrected with 197mm rear spacing Stranglehold rear axle dropout.  An upgrade from the Farley 5 is a Bontrager Haru OCLV carbon lowers fork.  Like the Farley 5, it has SUNringlé MuleFüt 80mm 32-hole cutout rims with Bontrager Barbegazi (TLR, 120 tpi) 26x4.70" tires but has SRAM Level T hydraulic disc brakes.  The drivetrain consists of  SRAM GX 11-Speed shifters, Race Face Aeffect 28T Direct Mount narrow/wide cranks, SRAM GX rear derailleur and SRAM XG-1150 10-42 11-speed cassette.  Comes in color Matte Dnister Black.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

Farley 5
$1729.99
Image Credit: Trek

Trek's entry level fatbike has an Alpha Platinum Aluminum frame, is 100mm suspension corrected with 197mm rear spacing Stranglehold rear axle dropout.  The drivetrain consists of Shimano Deore 10-Speed shifters, a Race Face Ride crank (36/22), SRAM X5 low direct mount front derailleur, Shimano Deore Shadow Plus rear derailleur and a Shimano HG50 11-36 10-speed cassette.  Other features include SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes, SUNringlé MuleFüt 80mm 32-hole cutout rims with Bontrager Barbegazi (TLR, 120 tpi) 26x4.70"tires.  Comes in color California Skye Blue.  Available for pre-order now from Penn Cycle or your local Trek dealer with delivery early August 2016.

4/14/2016

Open Streets MPLS Returns With Eight Events For 2016


Open Streets MPLS returns for it sixth year with eight 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 5th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
22nd St. W. to 42nd St. W. 


Sunday, July 10th
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. N. to 8th St. S.


Sunday, July 24th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
 Elliot Ave. to 42nd Ave. S.

Northeast
Sunday, August 7th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
13th from 2nd to 5th/5th from 13th to 22nd/
22nd from 5th to Central/Central from Lowry to 18 1/2th 
Facebook Event Page


Sunday, August 21st
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Portland Ave. to 28th Ave. S.
Facebook Event Page 


Saturday, September 10th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lyndayle to Penn Ave. N.


Sunday, September 18th
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Lake St. W. to 46th St. W.
Facebook Event Page


Saturday, October 1st
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Cedar Riverside/West Bank/Dinkytown
Facebook Event Page

 For updates on Open Streets MPLS visit them on Facebook, Twitter or their website.

4/06/2016

Resources for Planning a Minnesota Summer Biking Vacation


Summer is just around the corner and now is the time to start planning your Summer biking vacation(s).  With so many biking destinations around our great state you may want to get more information to help you decide where to go and where to stay.  There are so many resources available at your fingertips that planning your trip has become easier than ever.  Cities and regions around Minnesota are competing for your travel dollars this summer and they have made it easy to find more information about their destinations to attract you.


Minnesota has a lot to offer cyclists whether your discipline is road cycling, mountain biking, gravel, trail or bikepacking.  A great place to start is the Explore Minnesota website.  There is a lot of information here to help you plan the kind of rides you would like to take.  It contains an array of brochures that you can download, view online or have mailed to you.  Quite a few free regional brochures are listed for all areas of the state that can also be selected for mailing.  Go to the Explore Minnesota Travel Guides page to access these brochures.  There are also planning tools beyond just the website, Explore Minnesota Tourism staffs a travel information center with travel counselors that will help you with customized information (by phone, mail or e-mail) for planning your trip.

The 2015-16 Pedal MN Minnesota Biking Guide is another great place to start.  This free publication is available to view online, download or have mailed to you.  It is full of information on paved trails, on-road touring and mountain biking around the state.  It also contains links to trail maps, events and biking destination areas.  Another useful source of Minnesota cycling information is the Pedal Minnesota website that is filled with upcoming events, places to ride, trail information and trip planning resources.


If you have a destination in mind for your trip, try heading to the tourism or visitor's bureau website for that area or city.  Sites like Visit Duluth, Iron Range Tourism, Cuyuna Lake Chamber of Commerce and Root River Trail Towns are full of information that will help you find lodging, dining, attractions, events and area trails.  You may also visit my MN Tourism Resources page for a huge listing of online resources throughout the state.


The Minnesota DNR website contains all sorts of information on biking including State Trails, State Parks & Recreation Areas, State Forests, camping/lodging and other biking opportunities.  If you're looking to get off the beaten path, do some bikepacking or ride somewhere with great scenery, the DNR website is a great choice to get you started.


Summer is right around the corner, so use the wealth of information available on the Internet to make planning your next biking trip a breeze.  For easy to find trail maps and trail information for the Twin Cities Area, Southern MN, Central MN and Northern MN, don't forget about MN Bike Trail Navigator.  I have already done the research to find the links so you don't have to.

4/01/2016

Minnesota Training Rides For Gravel Enthusiasts-Part 3



I recently put up a post on the MN Gravel Enthusiasts Facebook Group requesting gravel training routes around the state that I could share with those that want to start their training early this year.  I received several recommendations and I've contacted some of my gravel riding friends for their routes to share also.  I'm sure more will continue to come in.  Below I will have maps and links to these rides sectioned by areas of the state.

Some of these routes have been submitted by users and not tested by me, so ride at your own risk. Bring everything with you that you will need to be self-supportive to get you back to your starting point.  Also, bring plenty of food and water as there may not be any places along the way to get these items.  Please do not litter.  If nature calls during your ride, do not answer it in front of the locals.   You may experience aggressive dogs on country roads so be prepared and know how to handle the situation.

I will add more gravel rides to share in future posts as they become available.

Twin Cities Area

Pine Point1 Gravel
Toby Markowitz



Hampton/Welch Gravel Loop


Empire Fields/Cliff Road Round Trip
Chris Chavie


Northfield NNW


CVVC gravel, cast of thousands
Bruce Anderson



Farmer-Trail and Points West
Bruce Anderson



Chub-Lake-Counterclockwise
Bruce Anderson


The Fort Ride
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