Two Trek Factory Demo Days Coming to the Twin Cities This Fall

Trek has announced two more Factory Demo days for the Twin Cities this year.  They will take place at Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trails on Saturday, September 26th and Elm Creek Singletrack on Sunday, September 27th.  Both demos will be held from 10am to 3pm. 
Some of the bikes (in various sizes) that will be available to test ride include:
Mountain Bikes
Procaliber 9.8
Don't miss this opportunity to ride some of Trek's best bikes.  The Trek Demo Rig will be loaded with new bikes that most people have yet to see, let alone ride.  These demos are a great way to try out several and get a feel for the one that will be your next new ride.  Bonus, receive a $100 coupon for demoing a Trek bike.
*List of bikes for demos is subject to change.

*Demo is subject to weather and trail conditions at that time! Riders will need their DL and CC in order to demo. Must be at least 16yrs old and have a parent present if under 18.
Penn Cycle & Fitness
2015 Trek Bikes at the Lowest
Clearance Prices Allowed.
Shop Early for the Best Selection.
September 1st-30th


Winter '15-'16 Minnesota Fatbike Events

Global Fatbike Day

Fatbikes are more popular than ever here in Minnesota and new fatbike events keep popping up around the state.  This season's calendar will include all types of  Winter fatbike events from festivals and races to demos and group rides.  Below is a list in chronological order.  Race and event organizers, if you would like your event listed, please send me an e-mail (or visit my contact page).  I will continue to update and add events to this post as they become available.

Fat Turkey Ride-November 21, 2015
Acceleration Sports and Fitness
Brainerd, MN 

The "Pie Burner" Thanksgiving Weekend Fatbike Ride-November 28, 2015
Hibbing, MN 

Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series-December 5, 2015
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Champlin, MN

Global Fat-Bike Day-December 5, 2015
Facebook Event Page 

Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series-December 12, 2015
Murphey-Hanrehan Park Reserve
Savage, MN  

Penn Cycle Group Ride Tailgate Series-MN River Bottoms

Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series-January 9, 2016
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Champlin, MN 

Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series-January 16, 2016
Murphey-Hanrehan Park Reserve
Savage, MN 

Carver Lake Cold Catfish Cup-January 24, 2016
Carver Lake Mountain Bike Trailhead
Woodbury, MN 

Get Phat With Pat

Arrowhead 135-January 25-27, 2016
International Falls, MN
135 miles
Registration for race veterans opens 9/1/15
Registration for newcomers opens 10/1/15
Race Registration Information 

Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series-January 30, 2016
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Champlin, MN

Penn Ice-Cycle Loppet-February 6, 2016
Lake Calhoun
Minneapolis, MN
Online Registration

Fat Tire Loppet

Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet-February 7, 2016
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Minneapolis, MN
35 km
Online Registration

Penn Cycle Puoli Fat Tire Loppet-February 7, 2016
Minneapolis, MN
21 km
Online Registration 

Fatbike Frozen Forty

Fatbike Frozen 40-February 13, 2016
Great Lakes Fat Bike Series
Elm Creek Park Reserve
Champlin, MN 
40, 20 miles
200 rider cap 

Fat Bike Fun Race-February 20, 2016
Cleary Lake Regional Park
Prior Lake, MN 

Frozen Gopher Fat Bike Race-February 20, 2016
University of Minnesota Nordic Center
St. Paul, MN

WAMB Snow Bomb Fat Bike Race and Chili Cook-Off-February 20, 2016
Holzinger Lodge
Winona, MN
Facebook Page 

Frozen Frolic Fat Bike Race Series-February 27, 2016
Murphey-Hanrehan Park Reserve
Savage, MN

Gravity Fest at Mount Kato

Central Lakes Trail
Get out and enjoy the beautiful gem known as the
Central Lakes Trail


GeigerRig Introduces Nano Technology to Their Pressurized Hydration Pack Engine

I was first introduced to GeigerRig's pressurized hydration packs two years ago at Interbike during a demonstration of how their Hydration Pack Engine works.  I wanted to put one of their hydration packs to the test and see how it performed so I contacted them and they sent me one to review.  I used it for an entire Summer on numerous gravel rides/races, mountain biking and commuting to work before writing my review.

Their pressurized Hydration Pack Engine, plug and play connectivity, ease of cleaning and quality of the pack itself made it the only hydration pack that I continue to use.  When I was contacted by GeigerRig earlier this year about trying their new Nano Technology (Nano Drink Tube) I was very interested in doing so.

The short video below explains how GeigerRig Nano Technology works.

I received a GeigerRig Lightweight Rig hydration pack made with Heavy Duty 840 Ballistic Nylon, the new Nano Drink Tube and a 2L Hydration Pack Engine.   The small size of the Rig pack would turn out to be a perfect choice for gravel racing and mountain bike rides for hydration only and not carrying gear.  The Rig is big enough however to hold the 70 oz. Hydration Pack Engine and some energy snacks for the ride.  The plug and play connections on the Hydration Pack Engine and the Nano Drink Tube had me ready to use the pack in no time.

The Nano Drink Tube is one-third the diameter of standard drink tubes at only 4mm.  Because the Hydration Pack Engine is pressurized, this tiny tube has the ability to deliver fluid at a fast rate.  There is no control flow on the end valve (shown above) but it does have a Flow-control gate (shown below) that can be positioned anywhere along the tube for easy reach.  This Flow-control gate allows open flow, moderate flow and a drip setting depending on which I prefer.  

The tube is easily routed to a desired position making it perfect for biking.  The Poplock locking clip helps keep the tube in place by attaching to clothing or pack straps.  Once the pack is pressurized with a few pumps of the Power Bulb I'm ready to put the end valve in between my cheek and gum and set the Flow-control gate to the desired flow rate.

The end valve is small along with the tube so talking and breathing while using it is not a problem.  I like the flexibility of the Flow-control gate where I control the fluid rate.  Usually on hot days I will set it at a drip or moderate flow that keeps me hydrated without having to think about it.  During a break in the ride or when I need more fluids I will adjust to an open flow until my thirst is quenched.  When not in use I will simply tuck the tube end under the shoulder strap connector so I can quickly grab it when I need to hydrate.

GeigerRig's pressurized hydration system pack with the Nano Drink Tube keeps me hydrated throughout the ride.  With the flexibility of the flow rate, I just ride and get the right amount of fluids I need. 

The GeigerRig Rig Hydration Pack, Hydration Pack Engine and Nano Drink Tube are available on the Geigerrig website and at select dealers

Disclosure:  GeigerRig provided the review samples for this article, but offered no other form of compensation for this review.


MORC's Second Annual Fundraising Gala Coming Up October 3rd

The Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists will be holding their Second Annual Fundraising Gala, the 2015 MORC Masquerade Ball on October 3rd, 2015.  This year they are throwing a party to celebrate their recent IMBA Bronze-level Ride Center designation.  Funds raised from this fun event will help MORC improve and expand upon its current trail system "To become one of the first major metropolitan areas in the world to secure 100 miles of singletrack!"

The 2015 MORC Masquerade Ball (yes, masquerade masks are to be worn!) will be held on Saturday, October 3, 2015 from 7:00PM to 11:45PM at Surly Brewing Company in Minneapolis.   

"This year we're pleased to announce Surly Brewing as title sponsor. In addition to committing to this event, Surly Brewing is supporting MORC volunteers and trails through unique fundraising & membership drive events, truly going above and beyond to support our community!" - Kristin Clark, MORC Gala Coordinator.

The event will feature a silent and live auction, event speakers,  hors d'oeuvre & dessert items and some great Surly beer.  New details to be announced soon.  More information and updates can be found on the 2015 MORC Masquerade Ball Facebook Event Page.  Tickets can be purchased online by visiting the 2015 MORC Masquerade Ball ticket page.  Purchase your tickets before September 1st to receive Early Bird ticket pricing.


Twin Six Wednesday Night CX Kick Off August 26th

Twin Six Wednesday Night CX starts off the early cyclocross season with seven weeks of racing at Aquila Park in St. Louis Park starting August 26th.  "These races will be organized, structured, low key early season races.  A great time to try the sport as a beginner or a chance to work out the kinks for those returning for the new season."  These are not USA Cycling races so results will not be sent, points will not be earned and a USA Cycling license is not needed to race.

If you have ever wanted to give cyclocross racing a try, this is your chance.  Entry fee is only $15 and registration starts one hour before the first race each week and ends 15 minutes prior to race start.  Start times will change each week as daylight decreases so check the flyer and don't be late.  Advanced race will be around 60 minutes, Intermediate 45 minutes, Beginner 30 minutes and Newbies (8/26 & 9/2) for 15 minutes.

Course layout changes each week and will be done by that week's sponsoring shop.  Sponsoring shops include:

8/26 Angry Catfish
9/2 The Fix Studio
9/9 Now Sports/Synergy
9/16 Fulton/All-City
9/23 One On One
9/30 Penn Cycle
10/7 Omnium Bike Shop


Putting Together a Compact Tool Kit

Having a good compact tool kit is the key to getting you out of most mechanical problems and fixing flats to get you up and rolling again. This kit may not be needed most rides but the peace of mind that it gives when you are 30 miles away from home or your vehicle is priceless.  Even if you may not know how to use some of these items, simply having them along for the ride can still help you out.  Cyclists are friendly people and there is a good chance that one will stop if you are experiencing a problem and having the right tools for the job will help them help you. 

My kit contains a spare tube, a tool/parts bag, chain lube, CO2 cartridges and a digital pressure gauge.  The photo above shows the contents of my tool/parts bag.  This small bag keeps my items neatly together and is easily transferred from bike to bike depending on which I choose to ride.  These tools and parts will help me continue my ride whether I get a flat, break a chain, bend/break a derailleur hanger or need to do some wrenching on my bike.

The most common problem cyclist experience is a flat tire.  To repair a flat I carry a set of tire levers, spare tube and CO2 cartridge/inflator combo.  I use the Air Chuck Elite from Genuine Innovations because of its super compact size and ease of use.  For most rides I bring along only one tube (for century rides I will carry two) and keep it in the box or a ziploc bag to keep from it from rubbing or causing abrasions caused by jostling around in my seat or frame bag.  When only carrying one tube, having a Park Tool Super Patch Kit is my backup in the event of another flat.  On my fatbike I also have a frame pump which comes in handy for quick pressure adjustment or if a 20 gram CO2 cartridge isn't enough to fill those big tires to the desired pressure.  To read air pressure I like the small size, backlit digital readout and swivel head of the SKS Digital Airchecker.  I use it before every ride to make sure my tires are inflated to the proper pressure for the conditions I will be riding.

Something that happens to mountain bikers and gravel enthusiasts more than road cyclists is a sidewall tear in a tire.  A dollar bill, empty GU packet or Powerbar wrapper can be used to boot a tire so you can get to your destination or finish your ride.  To learn how to boot a tire, watch the video "How to Fix a Torn Sidewall on Your Mountain Bike".

For quick chain repair I carry a Park Tool Mini Chain Brute Chain Tool and a master link for each of my bikes.  This way I can transfer my tool bag from bike to bike and have the necessary link I may need.  These items don't take up much space in the bag and will save me in the event of a chain break.  This chain tool is also useful for sizing a new chain.

A very necessary part of my tool kit includes a set of Fix It Sticks Replaceables.  This compact multi-tool has saved me on numerous occasions and has the torque and leverage to get the job done.  I've used them for everything from tightening a loose cleat and changing my saddle height to working on my bikes in the stand.  For more information on this wonder tool, read my post Product Review: Fix It Sticks Replaceable Edition & T-Way Wrench.

I carry a spare zip tie for securing brake and shifter cables to the frame.  During cold weather these zip ties become brittle and break leaving your cables dangling.  A compact bottle of lube for those really dusty rides (gravel/singletrack) will help keep your drivetrain running smoothly.

And finally, in the event of a crash that can bend or even break a derailleur hanger, having a spare in the tool bag can be a lifesaver.  Replacing a bent hanger will bring back that smooth shifting by aligning the cassette with the upper and lower jockey wheels.  Watch the video below to learn how to change a derailleur hanger.

A toolkit containing these items will save you from the long walk of shame back to the car or having to call someone to come pick you up.  Put together your own compact tool kit, learn to change a flat and how fix the most common mechanical issues you may face and you will never be stranded again.


Dirty Girl Adventure Gravel Ride Welcomes Women To Try Gravel

Ride Like a Girl Cycling is hosting a women's only gravel ride that is a great opportunity for gravel veterans and newbies alike.  The Dirty Girl Adventure Gravel Ride takes place on Sunday, August 23rd where it will start and finish at the House of Coates in Coates. This free ride is a 30 mile trip that will take riders on a variety of surfaces including gravel, sand, dirt, mud and pavement through some beautiful countryside.

Ride starts off from the House of Coates and goes into UMore Park taking riders past old buildings and 4 and 5-tower coal power plants that were once part of the Gopher Works Ordinance Plant during WWII.  From there it takes riders into the Vermillion Highlands on gravel roads

 Next up is the Minimum Maintenance Road that leads to a short ride on pavement followed by a long stretch of gravel. 

A 2-mile stretch of pavement brings riders to gravel again on Blaine Avenue which turns into a 1.8 mile stretch of "No Motorized Vehicles" doubletrack through the woods and fields of UMore Park. 

Finally, a half mile doubletrack "No Motorized Vehicles" road through the woods that puts riders out on Co. Rd. 46 for a one mile paved ride back to the House of Coates.

Cyclocross, mountain and fatbikes are recommended for this ride, though road bikes can be used with wider tires (32c and larger).  Bring the necessary water needed as there are no places along the way to refill.  Cuesheets, gpx and tcx files will available in the weeks before the ride for navigation of the route.  Rider support will be provided by the Penn Cycle Support Ambulance.

Stick around at the House of Coates after the ride for burgers, beer, prizes and giveaways.  RSVP on the Facebook Event Page by signing in to Facebook and selecting "Join" so the necessary arrangements can be made by the House of Coates and for ride support.  Once again, this is a women's only ride, sorry guys.
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