5/14/2021

Twin Cities Area Weekly Group Rides

We are now beginning to see the return of weekly group bike rides of all kinds for the spring and summer months.  These Twin Cities area rides include mountain biking, gravel, road and trail that recur on specific days of the week.  Check website and Facebook links provided for more information and locations as some ride details may change from week to week.  I will continue to update this post as more group rides become available. 

Monday


Michael's Cycles has started their MTB Mondays which visits various trail systems in the South Metro area.  Rides start at 6:00 pm and continue through September 27th.  Check the Facebook event page for weekly updates and ride locations.

Join us for a weekly ride that will rotate to different south metro singletrack trails. We will post the location the week of each ride.
We do ask that riders bring spare tube/CO2 for emergencies. Bring water and snacks if needed. Helmets are required.
Please fill out a waiver online under "events" at www.michaelscycles-mn.com.


The Great Scott Cycling Club holds their Monday Club Ride at at 6:15 PM (6:00 PM starting in late August) from Michael's Cycles in Prior Lake through late September.  Membership is required for club rides.  Dues are $20 for a single membership or $35 for a household.  Visit their ride calendar for information on ride groups, routes and distances.  Weekly updates can also be found on their Facebook page.


Erik's hosts their weekly Eagan Easy Riders from their Eagan shop at 6:00 pm through September 13th.  Visit their Events Calendar and the Erik's Riders Club Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

Interested in taking your cycling routine up a notch? Want to get more comfortable riding with a group without getting left behind? Then this is the ride for you! Join Pat and Nancy for a no-drop, scenic and social ride averaging 12-15 mph (paced by the comfort level of the group). Typically we start at the shop and make our way down to Minnehaha Falls for a quick break and then back. Guaranteed to cure any case of "The Mondays"!
 
Based on group interest, we will be changing the route up from week to week. Most weeks, we will ride the route indicated above, but riders also have the opportunity to choose a route that interests them!

Ride Details:
Approximately 17-22 miles
Road (All - Drop Bar and Flat Bar)
NO Drop Ride
Urban Roads and Paved Trails
12-15mph
Join ERIK'S Rider's Club on Facebook to stay updated on current and new rides:


Head to Maple Grove Cycling for their Monday Night "B+ / A-" Road Ride.  Ride departs the shop at 5:30 pm for about a 2.5 hour ride through mid-late September.  Visit the MGC Group Rides page and the MGC Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

MONDAY NIGHT  " B+ / A- "  ROAD RIDE
Date: Late April (weather dependent) mid - late September. 
Time:  Mondays, 5:30 pm.     
Route: Primarily on public roads. 
Distance: 25-50 miles
Avg. Speed: B+ / A- , 19+ mph average
Terrain: Varied, flat, some hills
Est. Time: 2.5 hours
Ride Leader: Scot Bolland
Rider Experience: Should have prior group ride experience and appropriate fitness.


Freewheel Bike's Woodbury Monday Night Ride is back up and running through August 30th.  Ride departs at 5:30 pm every Monday from the Woodbury store for about a 30 mile ride. 

Join us at Freewheel Woodbury every Monday (weather permitting) at 5:30 PM for our Monday Night Woodbury Group Ride! This ride has a pace of 16-18 mph and will cover around 30 miles. This is a no-drop ride. Bring your helmet, lights, a water bottle, and your favorite mid-ride snack.
Route information can be found at: https://www.strava.com/clubs/470025
**There will not be a ride on Memorial Day.


Head to Lupulin Brewing Company on Monday nights at 6:00 pm for their  Lupulin Brewing Bike Club ride.  Ride is all inclusive.  Return to the brewery after the ride for a free beer or soda.  Going on now through October 25th.

Join us every Monday at 6pm for LBC Bike Club! All ages and fitness levels welcome! Take a lap around the lake, or bike wherever you please. Head out for half an hour, come back, and enjoy a free beer or soda! Helmets are required and you must obey traffic laws.

Tuesday


Michael's Cycles in Prior Lake has started their Tuesday Night Gravel Rides which depart from the shop at 6:00 pm for a 2 hour ride on local gravel.  This weekly ride continues through September 27th.  Check the Facebook event page for weekly updates.

Join us Tuesday evenings as we take to the local gravel roads in the south metro. Route to be announced weekly. Rides leave from the Prior Lake Michael's Cycles. Mileage from 25-35 and pace will be 14-16 MPH. Typically break into 2 groups depending on turnout. Any bike that can handle majority of gravel and some road is suited for these rides. Please dress appropriate for the temps and bring necessary items to handle a flat on your bike.
Please wear a helmet and sign the online waiver before attending. You can find the waiver at www.michaelscycles-mn.com under "events."
Bring a mask and maintain 6 feet from other riders. If we have over 10 riders, we will split into 2 groups.


For peloton riders, Freewheel Bike's Fast and Furious Ride returns on Tuesday Nights at 5:30 pm from their Eden Prairie shop.  This 2.5 hour "A" ride will take riders along scenic roads in the west metro area.  Visit the Facebook event page for updates.

Our Fast and Furious Ride is back!!
We're meeting every Tuesday night at Freewheel Bike Eden Prairie at 5:30 PM for the Fast and Furious Ride! We will be breaking the ride into groups of 10-12 riders to keep the rides safe. We will also plan to have 2 group options to choose from: A “Fast” (22-24 avg mph) and “Not Quite As Fast” (20-22 avg mph). We'll hit the road for 45-55 miles of scenic views and rolling hills in the west metro.
This is a great ride to test your fitness and learn how to ride safely in a fast-paced group. Although this is a no-drop ride, come ready to push yourself!
Bring your road bike, a helmet, and join the Freewheel peloton! 


Ride scenic gravel roads around the Northfield area at the Cannon Valley Velo Club's Tuesday Night Gravel ride.  Rides depart Bridge Square at 6:00 pm.  Visit the Cannon Valley Velo Club Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.


Erik's hosts their weekly Endorphin Junkies B Group Ride from their Coon Rapids shop at 5:30 pm through September 28th.  Visit their Events Calendar and the Erik's Riders Club Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

Come join Tim on fun and fast paced early evening ride! If you are looking to start pushing yourself beyond a casual ride, this may be the ride for you!

Our B ride is:
- No drop
- Pace-line ride
- Approx. 30 miles
- Typically have an average speed of 17-20mph
- This will be almost exclusively shoulder riding

We would highly recommend a drop bar road bike, some extra water, and nutrition to make things a bit easier. Should be a blast! Hope to see you there!

Join ERIK'S Rider's Club on Facebook to stay updated on current and new rides:


Maple Grove Cycling hosts their Tuesday Night "C" Fitness Road Ride from their shop.  Ride departs at 6:00 pm for about a 1.5 to 2 hour ride through mid-late September.  Visit the MGC Group Rides page and the MGC Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

TUESDAY NIGHT " C " FITNESS ROAD RIDE
Date: Late April (weather dependent) mid-late September.
Time: Tuesday, 6 p.m.
Route: Primarily on public roads. 
Distance: 25-30 miles
Avg. Speed: " C " level, 16 -18 mph average
Terrain: Flat, few hills
Est. Time: 1.5-2 hours 
Ride Leader: Tod Eckberg or Chad Thomas
Rider Experience: Faster and longer than the recreational ride. Still accommodates newer riders building strength and endurance.

Wednesday


Life Wellness hosts weekly Wednesday night mountain bike group rides at various south metro area singletrack trails starting at 6:00 pm.  Visit the Life Wellness Group Rides Facebook page for more information, locations, weekly updates and cancellations due to weather.

These Fat Bike/Mt. Bike rides will rotate between south metro singletrack trails (Murphy, Lebanon Hills, West Lake Marion and River Bottoms) depending on conditions. We'll break into groups based on skill levels, so everyone enjoys the ride! This group ride is meant to build community. We’ll regroup a couple times on the trail then socialize afterwards. Meet & Greet: 6pm, Ride: 6:05ish.


For fast riders, Maple Grove Cycling hosts their Wednesday Night "A" Aggressive Road Ride.  Ride departs the shop at 5:30 pm for a 2 to 4.5 hour ride through mid-late September.  Visit the MGC Group Rides page and the MGC Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT " A " AGGRESSIVE ROAD RIDE
Date: Late April (weather dependent) mid-late September.
Time: Wednesday, 5:30 p.m
Route: Primarily on public roads.
Distance: 25-65 miles, depends on day light.
Avg. Speed: " A" level, 20 + mph average
Terrain: Flat and hilly, strenuous
Est. Time: 2-4.5 hours. Ride until sunset.
Ride Leader: Scot Bolland
Rider Experience: Prior group ride experience and appropriate fitness level.


Sociable Cider Werks begins their Bikes & Brews: Weekly Group Rides beginning June 2nd and continuing through September 1st.  Visit the Facebook event page for weekly updates.

Join us every Wednesday for a group bike ride! Wheels roll at 6pm (ride briefing at 5:50pm)and we’ll bike around for an hour or so and return to Sociable for some brews, bites and bops.
What to expect:
- 2 different paces, speedy + leisure
- Refreshing beverages
- Rockin’ tunes
- Good times


Ride to local breweries from Driftwood Park in New Brighton on Wednesday nights with Beer & Bikes.  Meet up is at 5:50 pm, roll out at 6:00 and return between 8:30 and 9:00.  Going on now through the end of October.  Visit Beer & Bikes calendar and Facebook page for weekly destinations and routes.

BEER & BIKES is a low-key, recreational cycling club based in the north metro area in Minnesota. From April to the end of October, we ride to different local breweries every Wednesday evening. Cyclists of all abilities and legal drinking age are welcome to ride with us! Our average pace is between 11 and 13 miles per hour, and generally adjust our riding speed for the differing abilities present.


The West Bank location of Freewheel Bike has started up their West Bank Wednesday Night Road Ride for the summer.  This no-drop ride leaves the West Bank shop at 6pm for a 25 mile ride.  Going on now through September 29th.

Every Wednesday night, meet us at Freewheel Bike West Bank for our weekly Wednesday night group ride! We’ll be rolling out at 6:00 PM for a 25-mile ride. This is a 15-17 mph, no-drop ride that will begin and end at our West Bank store.
Pack your helmet, light, and your favorite ride snacks.


Gear West in Long Lake hosts their Wednesday Night Rides at 6:00 pm from the shop.  Choose from two routes and two ride groups.  Going on now through October 27th.

No Drop Ride
Two different routes 20 and 40 miles, pick your distance
We do split into an A (18-20mph) ride group and B (16-18mph) ride group when rider numbers allow to help with social distancing
Meet at the Bike Shop! Come early to get any food or fill up your bottle!

Thursday


Fulton Racing and Behind Bars Bicycle Shop introduce the Fulton Social Series on Thursday nights now through August 26th.  Rides depart Behind Bars Bicycle Shop in Minneapolis at 6:00 pm for a 2 hour ride.  Visit the Facebook event page for more information and weekly updates. 

Fulton Racing cordially invites everyone to join us on our no-drop #FultonSocialSeries rides on Thursday nights from April 15 through August 26.
Each week, we will depart Behind Bars Bicycle Shop (208 13th Ave. NE) at 6:00 p.m. While we hope to end future rides at the Fulton taproom patio, our April rides will end at Behind Bars. Stay safe, get vaccinated, and we'll party later.
If you attend three rides, you’ll earn a free Fulton beer token!
Routes change weekly and will be published here before each ride. Rides will be around 1 ½ hours long, getting shorter as we lose daylight. Pace will be around 12-15 MPH. If you have questions about this, please DM us! All levels of riders and all types of bikes are welcome. Some weeks we may do a special event (skills clinic, etc.) in place of our regular ride.
Please wear a helmet during the ride and bring a lock, lights, and water. Dress appropriately for changing weather conditions. For the time being we also ask that you wear a mask while riding in close quarters with others.
IMPORTANT: If you plan to join for drinks after the ride, please RSVP to that week’s event so we can reserve enough space at the taproom. Be prepared to follow all COVID safety protocols required by the taproom.
Additionally, we ask that all participants be kind and respectful both on and off the bike. Respect the rules of the road, give space to other trail users, and do not ride in a risky manner. Respect participants' identities, pronous, and personal space. Sexist, racist, transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic, and ableist language/behavior won’t be tolerated.


The Great Scott Cycling Club holds their Thursday Club Ride at at 6:15 PM (6:00 PM starting in late August) from Michael's Cycles in Prior Lake through late September.  Membership is required for club rides.  Dues are $20 for a single membership or $35 for a household.  Visit their ride calendar for information on ride groups, routes and distances.  Weekly updates can also be found on their Facebook page.


Maple Grove Cycling hosts their Thursday Night "B/C" Sport Road Ride.  Ride departs the shop at 6:00 pm for a 1.5 to 2.5 hour ride through mid-late September.  Visit the MGC Group Rides page and the MGC Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

THURSDAY NIGHT " B / C " SPORT ROAD RIDE
Date: Late April(weather dependent) mid -late September.
Time: Thursday, 6:00 p.m
Route: Swift, fast paced ride taking more consistent routes on public roads. 
Distance: 25-45 miles, depends on day light.
Avg. Speed: Most nights will be 2 separate groups riding the same routes.
"B" level, 18-19 mph average.
"C" level, 16-18 mph average. 
Est. Time: 1.5-2.5 hours.
Ride Leaders: Laurie McElmeel, Kyle Richert, Nate Wentz
Rider Experience: Prior group experience.


The Luce Line Cycling Club hosts their Luce Line Cycling Club - Weekly Ride from Luce Line Brewing in Plymouth.  Meet at 5:30 pm and roll out around 6:00 for a ride on the the Luce Line Trail and return to the brewery for a beer afterward.  Weekly rides start June 10th and continue through September 30th.

Join the Luce Line Cycling Club for a weekly ride starting at the Luce Line. Riders will meet at 5:30pm and take off around 6:00pm. End your ride at the brewery and grab a beer to cool off.

Saturday


Michael's Cycles in Chaska hosts their Saturday Social Rides at 9:00 am for about a 3 hour ride.  Ride start locations and routes changes weekly so visit the Facebook event page for updates.

Join us every Saturday morning for a fun social ride! The route will change weekly, but we'll update weekly as to where we will meet. Start time will be 9 am unless otherwise specified in an update post.
Please wear a helmet and sign the online waiver before attending. You can find the waiver at www.michaelscycles-mn.com under "events."
Bring a mask and maintain 6 feet from other riders. If we have over 10 riders, we will split into 2 groups.


The Cannon Valley Velo Club holds their Saturday Morning Rides from Bridge Square in downtown Northfield.  Visit the Cannon Valley Velo Club Facebook page for more details, start times and weekly updates.


The Rosemount Cycling Club holds their weekly Saturday Morning Ride at 8:00 am from the Rosemount Starbucks location.  Routes change weekly and updates are posted with route information on their Announcements page and Facebook page.  Become a member of the Rosemount Cycling Club by visiting their Membership page.

Rosemount Cycling Club is a group of riders who get together on Saturday mornings to share our love for road riding. We meet at Starbucks in Rosemount Minnesota for a ride that follows a different route every week to provide a variety of roads, elevation change, and scenery. We strive for a safe ride that everyone can enjoy and have fun doing week after week.


Join the Bloomington Fast Ride on Saturday mornings at 8:00 am for a fast paced road ride from Dred Scott Field in Bloomington.  This 30-40 mile ride changes routes weekly and goes on through the end of September.  Visit their Facebook page for weekly updates.

Attention all members it looks like the pandemic is slowing down thanks to vaccinations so starting June 5th and every Saturday through out the summer new group rides will be starting at Dred Scott field in Bloomington and the location will be starting at the parking lot where the tennis courts are located. Time start will be 8:00AM. So if interested come for a ride with different routes and average mileage 30-40 and a avg: speed of 17-18 miles per hour. Plenty of free parking and safe location.




For gravel riders, Maple Grove Cycling hosts their Saturday Morning Gravel Ride.  Ride departs at 7:30 am for a 2 hour ride on gravel roads west of the shop through mid-late September.  Visit the MGC Group Rides page and the MGC Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

SATURDAY MORNING GRAVEL RIDE
Date:  Late April ( weather dependent) mid-late September.
Time: Saturday, 7:30 a.m. 
Route:  Gravel roads west of MGC. Pavement at the beginning and end of ride.
Distance:  30 miles. Rides will vary in terrain. 
Avg. Speed: 15 mph.
Est. Time:  2 hours.
Ride Leader: Scot Bolland
Rider Experience: Ride a gravel, cross, mountain, or fat bike.

Sunday


Erik's hosts their weekly Weekend Wind Down Group Ride from their Coon Rapids shop at 5:30 pm through September 26th.  Visit their Events Calendar and the Erik's Riders Club Facebook page for more details and weekly updates.

Had a busy week? An even busier weekend? Come join Tim on a Sunday evening for our 6th Year of our ‘Weekend Wind Down’ group ride!

This ride is a relaxed to medium paced road ride meant for anyone who wants a reason to get on there bike. If you’ve been biking for years or just got your new road bike, you're welcome here!

The ride is approximately 22 miles but will sometimes vary
Pace around 14-16 mph
No drop ride so everyone should be flexible to make sure we are stay together and have a great time!
This is primarily a paved trail ride but we will have some brief shoulder riding.

Join ERIK'S Rider's Club on Facebook to stay updated on current and new rides:


For more group rides not listed in this post visit Groupride.com.  Users of the site can search the interactive ride map, view the ride directory or post up a ride.


Become a member of the Twin Cities Bicycling Club and join in on all types of weekly rides held throughout the Twin Cities Area.  Yearly Single ($30) and Household ($45) memberships are available by visiting their Membership page.

At the present time, TCBC rides are open to members only. Ride times listed are departure times. Come to the ride start location at least 15 minutes before the depart time listed on the schedule and find the ride leader (leaders usually have the back of their car open with sign up sheets in the back). All participants need to complete the Ride Report Sheet and non-members must sign a non-member waiver at the start of each TCBC ride. There will be maps for the ride (unless it is specified as a mapless ride on the schedule). The ride leader will also give a briefing on the route to the group, and then you’ll be on your way! TCBC rates its rides to help you pick ones that are suitable for your interests and abilities.


If you are a ride leader that would like your group ride listed on this post contact me by sending an email to Mnbiketrailnavigator@gmail.com with the ride details, Facebook event page or website link to more information.

Central Lakes Trail
The Central Lakes Trail is a 55-mile trail 
that runs through the heart of 
west-central Minnesota 
from Osakis to Fergus Falls

3/05/2021

Tips for Cycling During the Transition to Spring

The months of March and April in Minnesota can present all kinds of weather for those that are itching to get out on the bike after a long winter.  These fluctuations can present some challenges to getting out and riding but can be overcome.  Over the years of riding during the "shoulder seasons" I have learned a few things that make the ride a little better and safer.  Below I will share with you some of my tips for cycling during this transition into spring.

With singletrack closed during the freeze/thaw cycle transition into spring, there are options to still ride. This time of year I like to take to the road whether it be gravel or paved. Road hazards are more plentiful than summer months so keep your eyes always scanning your line of travel. Those not comfortable with riding on the road may choose to stick to bike paths and paved trails. If so, use caution at crosswalks and intersections so motorists that aren't used to seeing cyclists this time of year see you.

This transition time of year can present numerous hazards in the roadway that need to be avoided. These can include snow, ice, sand, branches, leaves and litter. Scanning the roadway ahead of you will help you identify these hazards so an evasive maneuver can be safely executed. Dark and low light times require a headlight to help illuminate the roadway to see potential hazards in time. Adjust the headlight beam according your rate of speed so as not to overdrive the lit portion ahead of you.  Doing this will give more time to react when a hazard is identified. 

Ice can present a problem when riding in the morning or after dark as temperatures can dip below the freezing point.  What may appear like wet pavement may be a very thin layer of ice that can take a cyclist down.  I will usually end up walking my bike across the icy section if it is on an uphill or downhill and slowly roll across in a straight line unclipped from my pedals on flat sections.

Gravel roads are always popular with cyclists this time of year as they are a way to get in some saddle time while waiting for the singletrack to dry out.  They can be a little sloppy with snow melt and the occasional rain shower so you may want to strap on some fenders to keep from slinging limestone mud all over your backside.  These low traffic roads provide great scenery, elevation change and challenges like tackling the wind out in the open.  If you're looking to get your bike legs back after a long winter, gravel roads are a great place to start.

Weather can be all over the board in March and April so I follow the forecasts for the time I will be riding. Knowing the forecast will help you choose the proper apparel and be prepared for weather changes.  I never get caught off guard by a passing shower or other inclement weather changes because I will bring extra apparel just in case. I've had to break out my barrier jacket on numerous occasions to stay dry.

The months of March and April tend to have frequent windy days and having good wind resistant apparel will make your ride more comfortable. Wind can make 30°F feel more like 18°F (windchill index) so in addition to a windproof shell, additional layering may be required. I have windproof apparel pieces that cover core, legs, hands, feet, head and face to choose from for varying conditions. Cut the wind to cut the cold.

Temperatures during the shoulder season will determine the proper footwear and sock choices.  I always wear wool socks for the cold but they also help regulate temperature so if it warms up during a ride my socks will wick moisture and keep my feet comfortable.  I will wear a cyclocross style insulated boot until it is warm enough to break out the road shoes.  For those chilly morning or evening rides and when road conditions are wet I like to wear a pair of waterproof shoe covers to keep my feet warm and dry.  They can easily be removed and stored in a jacket pocket if temperatures rise where they are not needed.

I'm an advocate of daytime running lights and use them year round to be better seen by motorists. They are especially useful this time of year because motorists are not used to sharing the road with cyclists. Increase your odds of being seen by always using daytime running lights. 


Rain and melting snow snow will leave roads and paved trails wet and puddle laden. Fender use will help keep you dry and your cycling apparel clean on those days they are needed. Clip-on fenders are a good choice for those that don't want them on all the time. I carry an Ass-Savers fender in my frame bag so I have it handy in the unexpected event that I may need to use it. It's a minimalist rear fender that needs no tools to clip under my seat but does the job nicely at keeping my ass dry. 

The transition to spring can make your bike a little messy.  Road salt mixed with snow melt can wreak havoc on your bike's drivetrain and components so a good wash down after a ride in these conditions is recommended.  Sand and dirt on roads and trails is more prevalent this time of year so you may find your bike needs a wash more frequently than during the summer months.    

It appears we are going to get an early spring so break that bike out of its long winter slumber and get out there and ride.  Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing choices.

2/06/2021

2021 Minnesota Gravel Events

Rural Minnesota is home to quite a few long standing gravel road races and in recent years many new events have started to become a yearly tradition with cyclists.  With varying terrain, minimum maintenance roads, elevation changes, great rural scenery and unpredictable weather in the Spring and Fall, these events are sure to be fun and challenging.  Some are free while others require registration fees.  Almost all are unsupported requiring the participants to be their own repair and support crew.


This year's calendar will include all types of  gravel races and rides from around the state and western Wisconsin.  Some of these have registration cutoff dates, have a rider cap, or more information and registration details that are yet to be announced.  Below is a list of all of the gravel events in Minnesota that I'm aware of in chronological order.  I will continue to update and add events to this post as they become available.  If you are a race or event organizer and would like your event listed here and on my 2021 Minnesota Bike Tours, Rides, Races & Events Schedule, please send me an e-mail.

*Due to the Covid-19 outbreak some events may have been cancelled, postponed or rescheduled.

February

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Thursday Night Gravel Rides-February 11, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Thursday Night Gravel Rides-February 18, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN
24 miles

Thursday Night Gravel Rides-February 25, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN
24 miles

March

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN
24 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Rosemount/Vermillion/Coates, MN
100, 50 mile, 50 km

Hugo Gravel Group ride-March 13, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Hugo Gravel Group ride-March 20, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Keyboard Liquor Store
Chisholm, MN

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Hugo Gravel Group ride-March 27, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Giants Ridge
Biwabik, MN
19 miles

April

Brainerd Family YMCA
Brainerd, MN

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Veterans Memorial Park
Maple Plain, MN

Hugo Gravel ride-April 3, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Hugo Gravel ride-April 10, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Target Store Red-Wing
Red Wing, MN
35 miles

Ragnarök 105-April 10, 2021
Mississippi National Golf Course
Red Wing, MN
Postcard Registration open November 27-December 31, 2020
150 racer cap
Facebook Page

Hugo Gravel ride-April 17, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Earth Day Gravel Grinder-April 24-May 2, 2021
Everywhere/Northfield, MN
Any distance/EDGG Routes

Hugo Gravel ride-April 24, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

May

LymeGrinder-May 1, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN
40+ miles

Emerge 2021-May 2, 2021
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
Hastings, MN

Hugo Gravel Westside ride-May 8, 2021
Location TBD
NW Metro, MN
100 km

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter
Stillwater, MN
95, 45 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

L-M-L Bootleg-May 15, 2021
Walmart Supercenter
Lakeville, MN

Fernson Brewing Company
Sioux Falls, SD

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

GRVL DRMA 2-May 22, 2021
Location TBD
Minnesota
180 miles

Hugo Gravel ride-May 22, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Fernson Brewing Company
Sioux Falls, SD

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Hugo Gravel ride-May 29, 2021
Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN

Le Grand Du Nord-May 29, 2021
Grand Marais, MN
110, 54, 20 miles

Brownsville, MN
48.6, 40.3, 35.8, 24, 13.2 miles

June

Fernson Brewing Company
Sioux Falls, SD

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Lake Park, MN
205 km, 105 km, 55 km

Spring Valley 100-June 5, 2021
Fernson Brewing Company
Sioux Falls, SD

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Dunn Brothers Coffee
Hugo, MN
100+ miles

Waukon 100-June 12, 2021
Waukon City Park
Waukon, IA
100 km

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Gary Mattson Dog Park
Buffalo, MN
50, 21 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Lutsen 99'er-June 26, 2021
Lutsen Mountains
Lutsen, MN
99, 69, 39, 19 miles

Freedhem Store
Little Falls, MN
76, 46 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

July

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Zumbrota, MN
200 km

Zumbrota, MN
135 km

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Gear West
Long Lake, MN
50 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Bluenose Gopher 50-July 24, 2021
Bluenose Gopher Public House
Granite Falls, MN
50 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Sechler Park
Northfield, MN
50, 25, 7 miles, 55, 30 miles gravel

August

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Gary, SD to Hager City, WI
480, 240 miles

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Stillwater, MN
60, 40, 25, 10, 5 miles
80 mile St. Croix Gravel Challenge

Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

The Wolf & The Fox-August 27-29
Two Harbors/Finland, MN
330, 120 miles

Jack Ruhr Field
Miesville, MN
56 miles
500 rider cap
Online Registration opens June 8, 2021

River Valley 100-August 29, 2021
LocAle Brewery
Mankato, MN
100 mile & 100 km paved, 100 km gravel
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

September

Tuesday Night Gravel Rides-September 7, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Tuesday Night Gravel Rides-September 14, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Tuesday Night Gravel Rides-September 21, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

Heck of the North-September 25, 2021
Two Harbors, MN
100, 55, 20 miles

2021 Gravel Grovel!-September 26, 2021
Jack Ruhr Field
Miesville, MN
85 miles

Tuesday Night Gravel Rides-September 28, 2021
Michael's Cycles-Prior Lake
Prior Lake, MN
25-35 miles

October

Lake Park, MN
160 km, 100 km, 50 km

RiotGRRRavel-October 2, 2021
Hope Lutheran Church
Hastings, MN
33, 21, 10 miles

The Filthy 50-October 9, 2021
Lanesboro, MN
50, 24 miles
Online Registration opens June 20, 2021

City Parking Lot 
Shakopee, MN
100 km

Starbucks
Rosemount, MN
100 km

1/30/2021

Winter Fatbiking Tips for a Better Ride


Winter fatbiking has become more popular than ever over the last few years and has introduced many new cyclists to this cold weather sport.  Riding in the below freezing conditions is completely different than any other time of the year so I wanted to share some of what I have learned over the last eight seasons to make your ride experience better and more comfortable.  Whether your a seasoned winter rider or a newbie, there will be something in this post you can use.


There are a couple of things you can do to help your gloves keep hands warm on winter rides.  The cheapest of these is to get a pair of Sticky Fingers brake lever covers.  These silicone covers slide easily over the brake lever and can be cut for a custom fit.  With them in place there is no more grabbing an icy cold aluminum brake lever and they provide good sticky grip with gloves on.  Sticky Fingers are available in a variety of colors for $6.99/pair from Miles Wide Industries.


The second more expensive option is to swap out aluminum handlebars for the carbon fiber variety.  This was one of the first upgrades I made on my new Trek Farley this fall because of the cold weather that was fast approaching.  Carbon fiber is a poor conductor of heat and because of this lower conductivity those new carbon fiber bars won't be a heat sink on your hands.  The other plus is a smoother ride with the vibration damping they provide. 


Riding flat or clipless pedals in the winter has its pros and cons.  Some cyclists like the feeling of being connected to the pedals for better power transfer but clipless pedals can leave a rider unable to unclip in time to put a foot down in the event of a loss of traction.  Another issue common with clipless pedals is they can accumulate ice and snow making them difficult to clip in and out of.  This is why I like Crank Brothers Eggbeaters, there isn't a platform on these pedals for ice and snow to build up on making them very easy to clip and unclip from.  Others prefer flat, pinned pedals which make it really easy to put a foot down to stay upright and can be used with just about any pair of winter boots.  For those that prefer both, I recommend a hybrid pedal like Crank Brothers Double Shot.  I have been riding these pedals for several years now and really like having the choice of whether to clip in or ride the flat side.  I will switch back and forth depending on the terrain, presence of technical features and iciness of the trail.  This is also a great choice for those that want to learn to use clipless pedals without committing fully. 


My feet get cold easily due to poor circulation so I have spent a lot of time over the years working on the right boot/sock combinations for just about any temperature during a Minnesota winter.  It has led me accumulate a bin full of wool and synthetic sock and four pairs of cold weather cycling boots.    When getting ready for a ride I must consider  temperature, ride duration and weather conditions to best choose what I will be wearing.  For longer rides or during extreme cold my foot choices need a little help so I will opt for some chemical toe warmers to buy me some extra time and warmth.  These work great because they have an adhesive to keep them in place and actually help keep toes warm.  For more information on my footwear and sock choices see the "Foot" section of my post Dressing for Winter Riding: What Works For Me.


Keeping your head, neck and face warm without overheating can be a challenge but through some trial and error with different coverings and the proper helmet, this can be overcome.  Differing temperatures and the windchill index will dictate what coverings are needed to remain warm and dry.  For me, a snowboard helmet work better than a standard mountain bike helmet for regulating heat and keeping my ears warm.  I will combine this helmet with ski goggles, a beanie, balaclava or neck gaiter as the conditions demand to find the right balance of warmth without overheating.  Read the "Head" section of my article Dressing for Winter Riding: What Works For Me to learn more about my apparel and helmet choices.


There are a lot of tricks to keep drinking water from freezing on winter rides but the most effective method I have found is using vacuum insulated containers instead of water bottles.  I've been using vacuum insulated containers for four winters now and have never had the slightest issue with them beginning to slush up or freeze.  My container of choice is the Yeti Rambler 18 oz. because it fits so nicely into a standard water bottle cage and is easy to open with gloves on.  Read my article Ditch the Water Bottle and Go With Vacuum Insulated Containers for Winter Rides to see how they perform over extended periods of time in below freezing temperatures.

Winter trail conditions are constantly changing with the weather and your tire pressure should be adjusted to match for best traction, floatation and to prevent rutting of groomed trails.  Learning what pressures work best will take some trial and error but using a low pressure gauge like the one seen above is a great start.  A low pressure gauge will help familiarize you with how the tire feels (squish test) and floats at different low pressures and helps take the guess work out of it.  These can be found at local bike shops for around $15.  Visit my post Tire Gauges to Dial In the Right Pressure For Varying Riding Conditions to learn more about these gauges.


There has been a lot of discussion on social media of whether to drop the money on an expensive pair of studded tires or to just stick with unstudded ones and pressure down.  After eight seasons of winter riding in Minnesota and several bent derailleur hangers later, studded tires for me are worth every penny.  I have learned that if I want to ride all winter or venture out onto the lakes and streams, studded tires are a necessary part of fatbiking during Minnesota winters.  Temperature fluxuations and snowfall play a huge roll in how icy the trails can be and having studded tires will be a determining factor if you will be riding or not.  If you decide to go the studded tire route you can save a bunch of money by studding studable tires yourself.  This usually takes about 45 minutes a tire and gives you the option of installing flat, concave, crown or XL studs.  Visit your local bike shop or my sponsor, BIKESTUD.COM for more information and pricing.


When winter singletrack trails are closed due to warm temperatures or grooming efforts there are still plenty of opportunities to get in a ride.  Some of my favorite spots to hit include frozen bodies of water like lakes, backwaters, swamps and small creeks.  Other land based alternatives I like to ride bring me to beaches along rivers, following deer trails in the woods and on the local plowed, paved trails.  For more information on some of these read my article Alternative Winter Fatbike Riding Opportunities.

Before heading to the local singletrack you may want to check for closures and trail conditions.  Having this information can save you a trip if the trail is closed due to freeze/thaw cycles or grooming efforts. It will also help you make an informed decision on the right tire pressure for the conditions.  Freshly groomed trails may require you to pressure down significantly to prevent ruts or you may have to add some pressure to your tires for hard packed trails.  If the trails are icy you may want to ride with studded tires for increased traction.  For a listing of trail conditions resources visit my article Fatbike Trail Condition Resources for Freeze/Thaw Season.


Washing your bike in winter does present some challenges but is necessary to remove ice, mud and especially road salt that can wreak havoc on your components.  One trick I've learned over the years is to use a pressurizable weed sprayer and fill it with warm water to rinse off the bike.  On warmer days I will do this out in the driveway making sure I cover the area with salt after I'm done to prevent an ice patch.  When it is too cold to wash my bike outside I will bring it in the garage and use a tub or low profile washing machine tray to catch the water, mud and ice.  When my wife isn't home I have been known to remove the wheels and bring the bike inside to wash the frame and wheels separately in the bath tub.  Another good place to wash your bike indoors is in an unfinished utility room that has a floor drain to catch all the runoff.  Keeping your bike clean in the winter will not only make it look nicer but could potentially save you a bunch of money in replacement parts and labor.


Riding with a frame bag is a great option in the winter for carrying items you may need along the trail.  I will usually carry my tool kit, a spare pair of gloves or some other apparel items in the event of changing weather conditions.  To keep my bag firmly in place without sliding around and to prevent rub wear on my bike's paint job I use self-fusing silicone tape at all the strap points.  This stuff really works, is easily to install and available from Amazon for around $13 a roll.  
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