2013 Almanzo 100/Royal 162 Stories

Image Credit:  Almanzo.com
This year's Almanzo 100 and the Royal 162 in Spring Valley, MN presented some unique challenges to the riders and there is no shortage of accounts of these races being blogged about on the internet.  I have compiled a list of some of the best ones here for you to read.  Whether you participated this year or in previous years, are thinking about doing the Almanzo 100/Royal 162 next year or you're a cyclist that would just like to read about what it's like doing the granddaddy of tough gravel grinders, you are sure to enjoy these stories.

To learn more about what is required of the rider to participate in the Almanzo 100 from race founder Chris Skogen, watch this video put together by Royal Antler.

Image Credit:  Craig Lindner

Almanzo 2013
Rode it, finished it, much to say.
I don’t know where to start, and I have had thoughts about this kind of percolating out of my mind since Saturday.  I can’t hope to do it justice in one blog post–for that matter, I can’t even get all of my thoughts about it into one post.  It was an amazing event–one of the best events I’ve ever ridden. 

Ride on Purpose
2013 Almanzo 100
It was Sunday around 11:00.  After the race I'd gone home and ridden some around Rochester, seen some friends and tried to unwind.  I'd not slept well, tossing and turning while envisioning going out and just punishing myself for 100+ miles. 

Otter Adventures
2013 Almanzo 100
The Almanzo 100 is the best gravel ride in Minnesota and given the conversation with a rider from Canada it's possle the best in North America.  I've ridden it twice.  The first time I wanted to get a good time but that may be an unexpected double entendre, true none the less.  I wanted to race for the best finishing time.  This year I wanted to have a good time with some buddies and not focus on time. 

Image Credit:  Craig Lindner

2013 Almanzo 100 - Again, I Did Not Win - or - the year Almanzo got huge
Make a donation to keep Almanzo free for everybody.  Do it.
That was a beautiful day for a ride.  The wind was a bit stronger later in the day than I would prefer, but the roads were packed and fast and the sun was never too intense.
edit: added all the words below. 
So Kevin and I headed down on Saturday morning, just like last year.  The 9am start time is a bit late for my preference, but it gave us plenty of time to get down to Spring Valley after a 6am wake-up. 

Two Wheels From Home 
Crushing Gravel?  Part 2 
Once again in my life, I have fallen into a "monkey see, monkey do"  adventure with my friends.  As a teen I took up skateboarding because  some friends did it, in my late teens and early twenties, I took up canoeing and rock climbing because of friends.  There was also a stint of dog sledding and winter camping thrown in there; and now, it's gravel road racing.  

Bicycle Theory
The #BTriders Crush Almanzo
We're proud to report that of the 14 Bicycle Theory Cycling Club riders that started the Almanzo 100 or The Royal 162 this past Saturday, 10 of them successfully crossed the finish line.  And at least one of them - "Buffalo" Dave Knox - recorded a personal best century, completing the 100 in approximately 6 hours and 45 minutes - which is even more remarkable considering that (1) it was on gravel and (2) it included over 6,500 feet of climbing. 
Image Credit:  - Fat Tire MN -

Gear Junkie
100 Miles of Twisting, Climbing, Gravel Road Biking at Almanzo Race
Last weekend I lined up wheel-to-wheel with 1,000 other cyclists at the starting line of the Almanzo 100.  The free, self-supported, 100-mile gravel bike race takes place along the rolling, twisting, climbing countryside of southeast Minnesota.At 9 AM Saturday morning, Christopher Skogen stood up in the flatbed of his pickup truck at the starting line.  He started the race the same way he does every year, with a heartfelt "thank you" to each of the cyclists for being there.

Minneapolis Bike Blog by Freewheel Bike
I registered for the Almanzo 100 my sophomore year of college. My close friend, Rueben, rode it the year before on his fixed gear, and his experience inspired me to point my wheels toward the abundance of gravel roads surrounding the small, college town in which I resided. However, my plans came to an abrupt halt when I received word that my photography professor scheduled our class final for the day of race.   

Monika's Race Blog
The Royal 162
I was really looking forward to race the Royal 162 because that gave me the chance to see so many people who I met at Trans Iowa.  It's like a re-union of sorts.  In fact that is why I love gravel racing - the community creates such a laid-back but still competitive atomosphere.  Chris Skogen, the race promoter, is the incarnation of the gravel racing spirit.  His race was a perfect example what gravel racing is all about.  "Be nice and enjoy the ride."  That was his mantra for this race.  

Image Credit:  Craig Lindner

Boney Bikes
This is what passes for a race recap around here.
I love the Almanzo for a lot of reasons, most of which are pretty obvious:  the course is gorgeous, the event attracts a good crew, and race director Chris Skogen has so thoroughly infused the event with his personality that every person who participates walks away feeling like they've made a new close personal friend.  With these qualities, the exponential growth of this event isn't too surprising.  But the thing I love about the Almanzo is a little more personal - it's how closely I associate it with my development as a cyclist.  

Just Go For A Ride...any ride
The Almanzo Report...finally.
Last Friday I made my way down to Spring Valley, MN in a constant rain.  I told myself if it was raining Saturday morning I'd pack it up and head home.  I rode in the rain two years ago for the Royal and that was enough.  But after I picked up my packet and had some spaghetti the rain stopped and the sun was working it's way through the clouds. 

The Almanzo 100
There are certain things in life that you know are special.  You don’t know what it is but you do what you can to be there.  This is one of those events.
A lot of things conspired to keep me from riding the Almanzo 100.  Matt and I did our best to make sure one of us will be able to ride. I did manage to create just enough time to support Matt on his journey.  Despite the protest of my managers at work, I switched shifts on the Friday before the race so we can leave at 6p instead of 9p. We left for Minnesota on time. Other than almost killing a opossum, our drive to our hotel in Rochester, MN was uneventful.      

This video shows the first rider as he fords the Root River at mile 81.5.  Eventually the race was rerouted by race organizer Chris Skogen because of the swift moving water.

Almanzo 2013
I have never done this or any other gravel ride before, but when I went to an Almanzo fundraiser this winter, I met a lot of people that said so many nice things about the organizer and the race that I was positively peer pressured to participate!  I felt I could do the distance, but I was nervous about this "gravel" stuff, because I've never ridden on anything like 1-3 inches of pea-sized gravel laid over a hard-pack road before.  But how hard could it be, right?  Not to mention my doubts about how to ford the river where the bridge was out.  (I usually just caulk the wagon and float across if there's no ferry.)  But how hard could it be, right?  Right??  For better or for worse, I still believe that if I'm given enough time and gears, I can do anything.

Addictive Exertion
Almanzo - May 18, 2013
My friend and neighbor, "Deathrider", has been trying to get me to join him on these crazy endurance events since I met him 5 years ago, right about the same time that I started to take cycling "seriously".  For me, 5 years ago, telling someone that I was getting into cycling a bit more meant that I bought a nice pair of cycling bib shorts and a matching generic jersey online and that I was going to do my first sprint triathlon back in my hometown that summer.

Supplemented Cyclist
Almanzo 100 Mile Race Recap by Dr. Aaron
The following is a short review of my preparation and plan for 100 miles of cycling on gravel. Its not what I necessarily recommend, or even what I think is a good idea (case in point: beer and bourbon at mile 80) but I finished the ride and even had a good time doing it. I’m planning a number of long rides/races this summer and hopefully each one will be a little more dialed.

Image Credit:  Craig Lindner

Minneapolis Musette
Spring Valley, MN
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.
Heroes Slay Dragons
I love biking, but I hate exercise. I’m 41 and not getting any younger. And in December, I was at my trough of fitness. I needed a goal large enough to scare me into training. A goal I couldn’t complete without serious exercise and some discipline. Completing the Almanzo 100 was that goal.

A Nod to Nothing
Almanzo 100 2013
I'm going to go in reverse order and cover the Almanzo 100 Gravel Race first.  Ming and I and Kyle went down on Friday night and stayed at the Clarison so Ming and I would be fresh on Saturday morning.  Kyle was our emergency SAG in case we needed extraction, as neither of us had ever pedaled a 100 mile gravel race with 8500 feet of climb (4200 or so feet of ascent) before and didn't know what to expect.  There were almost 1000 people at the race.  We didn't expect to be contenders and, in the first few miles, the main body of the pack was completely outside our view.

Image Credit:  - Fat Tire MN -
My People are Crazy
Almanzo 100
My dad's still out of town. Damn him. He recently did another bike ride. This is what he had to say:
On my mission to Wisconsin from the great state of Utah I have had the opportunity to sample both the beer and the bike culture of the mid-west. A beautiful weekend in late May took me to Spring Valley in south east Minnesota to partake of the Almanzo 100. This ride/race is touted as the grand-daddy of the gravel grinders and is the passion child of Chris Skogen.

Chris Havranek
Gravel, Rivers and Hills:  My Almanzo 100 Experience
This past weekend I rode in the Almanzo 100 in Spring Valley, MN. All that was required was a postcard and the commitment that I'd show up. This is a completely free and unsupported Minnesota homegrown bike race. It was one of the hardest rides I've done, but by far the most rewarding. 1,300 riders and I peddled through 100 miles of gravel, dirt and hills.
Gravel Shark
Century of Gravel
I rode my first "Century of Gravel" last Saturday at the Almanzo 100 in Spring Valley, MN. For those of you that see me on a day-to-day basis you have already been bored to death hearing tales of my journey. My husband has playfully bantered, "This one time at the Almanzo..." Well, for those that haven't heard I rode 113 miles last weekend with a total time spent in the saddle of 9 hours 18 min. That's unbelievable for two reasons.
Image Credit:  FrozenTows

non-coastal simulacral extravaganza
Almanzo, revisited
What a difference a year makes!
Last year, I felt like I was prepared for the ride. This year, I knew I was. With some shifts in schedule and life, I've been more consistent and deliberate in my training. Add in the fact that I'm entering my fourth year of competitive cycling, and you can surmise that I'm getting the hang of it.

Green is a Coincidence 
Me Versus Almanzo  
I've been slacking on updating my blog for the past few months, but recent events have inspired me to write again. Namely, Almanzo. Almanzo is a 100 mile gravel road race held in Spring Valley, MN in May. Now there are dozens of great blogs about other experiences of riding Almanzo, but none of them adequately describe MY experience. Noting the differences between what people take from this event, further adds to the beauty. 

Image Credit:  FULL ON

Cyclova XC
2013 Almanzo Stories -- MN's Great Gravel Ride
Saturday, May 18th was the Almanzo 100, and a pretty good sized group of Cyclova cyclists headed on down to participate. Saturday evening, Facebook lit up with some great stories and photos, so I sent out some emails (that's what I do for a living) and asked people to send me a couple paragraphs about their experience that I could compile for an article.
Well, they did more than send me paragraphs, they sent me PAGES, so instead of one article, you're getting three over the next couple of days.

Cyclova XC
Evans on Almanzo 2013
To sum up the feeling I had nearing the completion of my first Almanzo of the two I have now attempted, I would simply use the word “emotional.”
This race is something special, everyone knows the story by now, it’s free, grassroots, it’s hard, and it’s something to be proud about participating in. It’s riding and suffering for the sake of the sport, not for a cause, not to say “look at me I’m changing the world,” it’s just a simple indulgence of 1500 like-minded athletes and adventurers.

Cyclova XC
Brianna on Almanzo 2013
This was the first gravel century, and longest ride I'd ever done by 47 miles. I sent in a postcard, almost on a whim after a text from my husband Tyler reminding me that there were "only" 27 more days left to register. I think I surprised us both a little.
Then I panicked, realizing I'd be riding this race with at least 2 guys that have done this race in the past. I kicked up my weekly spin routine at the YMCA and rode outside as much as I could.

In addition to the great stories I came across there were many photos taken during the race.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words and these photographers tell the racers' stories through the lens of a camera.


Planning that Minnesota Summer Biking Vacation: Cuyuna Lakes

Image Credit:  Griff Wigley

The Cuyuna Lakes Area in Crosby/Ironton has become the mountain bike destination in Minnesota.  In addition to the world class mountain bike trails at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area there is the 6.1 mile paved Cuyuna Lakes State Trail and the Paul Bunyan State Trail that can be accessed from the Cuyuna to Brainerd segment of the Mississippi River Trail Bikeway (MRT).  If you are a cyclist that enjoys riding on some of Minnesota's most scenic trails, then the Cuyuna Lakes Area is a must for your next bicycling vacation.

Image Credit:  Aaron Hautala

There are quite a few resources that will make planning your getaway to the Cuyuna Lakes Area easy.

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC) has an Eat, Sleep, Ride page that lists the best restaurants, lodging and bike shops in the Cuyuna Lakes Area.  Support these businesses because they support the CLMTBC.  The Crew also has a Trails page that will link you to trail maps, trail conditions and a 5 day weather forecast for the area.

The Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce website has plenty of information for dining, lodging, shopping and outdoor activities in the area.

The Brainerd Lakes Vacationland website will put you in touch with bike maps, bike rentals and lodging options for the area.

The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail website has plenty of information for the area trails with maps and area attractions.

The Minnesota DNR's Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area webpage will connect you with information on trails, maps, camping & lodging, recreational facilities and reservations.

Trail Highlights

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails

Image Credit:  Griff Wigley
The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails in the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area are spread out over 800 acres and include over 25 miles of singletrack.  There are trails for all experience levels from easiest to extremely difficult (experts only) making it a great destination for families, the occasional mountain biker, the enthusiast and the serious expert.  Come and see why Cuyuna Lakes has become the premier mountain bike trail system in the Midwest.  To learn more about the partnership between the Parks & Trails Council, the Minnesota DNR, MORC and IMBA that made the mountain bike trails at Cuyuna Lakes possible, watch this episode of Parks & Trails TV.
Trail Map

Cuyuna Lakes State Trail

Image Credit:  Jakesbikes.com
The Cuyuna Lakes State Trail is a 6.1 mile paved trail that connects Crosby at the Croft Mine Trailhead to Riverton passing through the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area.  The trail will take you past some beautiful scenery and several former mining pits that are some of Minnesota's newest lakes.  Trail Map

Mississippi River Trail (MRT)
Cuyuna to Brainerd Segment 

The Mississippi River Trail (MRT) runs through the heart of Cuyuna Country.  Follow it Northeast towards Aitkin and beyond or Southwest to connect to the Paul Bunyan State Trail in Baxter.  The MRT utilizes paved/gravel roads and existing trails.  Trail Map

Paul Bunyan State Trail

The Paul Bunyan State Trail begins in Baxter and meanders north through the woods and lakes of the Brainerd Lakes Area. Pass by the towns of Brainerd, Merrifield, Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Jenkins and Pine River on the way to Backus.  In 2011 it was inducted into the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy for its scenic value, trailside amenities and excellence in management and maintenance.  Trail Map


Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew Events
These events benefit the CLMTBC. 

June 7-8, 2013

For Glory. For Honor. For Cuyuna.
A weekend of rides, racing and fun.  Get the Cuyuna Pass for the Friday night spaghetti feed and night ride, Saturday's Trailblazer Bikes Cross Country Race and Easyriders $250 Poker Ride and a festival t-shirt.  The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Festival is a collaborative fundraiser planned by and for the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce and the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew, an IMBA Chapter in an effort to continue to foster the growth of mountain biking as a sport in Minnesota and the community of Cuyuna Lakes.

Image Credit:  Aaron Hautala

Image:  C L Klunker-Facebook Page
September 14, 2013  

Just say ‘No!’ to Carbon Noodle Bikes. 
Old Bikes, Good Friends, and Denim.

 Other Events
Annual Events at the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Trails.

MN Rusty Ride
August 10, 2013

26, 50, 100 mile race, ride or tour ulitizing Cuyuna singletrack, fire roads and some of the paved bike path.  There will be a Friday night Pasta Feed August 9th.
Squirrel Fest III:  Trampled by Squirrels
September 20-22, 2013

From the Squirrel Fest Facebook Page, "In case anyone was wondering Squirrel Feast 3 is on like Donkey Kong!!  The direction of this years Squirrel Fest is lower entry fee less swag, more fun, and a lot more riding. Because in the end it's about riding with new and old friends, not getting some free stuff you throw in the corner when you get home!  Looking forward to seeing you all again this fall!"

Fun Group Rides 

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew Group Ride

First Thursday of the month group ride to follow Crew membership meeting at Hallett Center in Crosby.
Membership meeting starts at 7:00pm, ride follows membership meeting, weather permitting.
Open to everyone, need not be a member of the Crew to participate!
2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Thursdays of the month, weather permitting, 6:00pm
Meet at the Mahnomen Unit – Demo Trail Parking Lot (Natural surface parking lot to the left of paved boat landing parking lot on the Pennington Mine Lake)
Open to all skill levels, genders, and ages!
More info, email: info@cuyunalakesmtb.com

Image Credit:  Aaron Hautala

Ladies Group Ride
Every Wednesday, weather permitting
6:00pm – Meet at Cycle Path & Paddle in Crosby
Bike rentals available for $10.00
Open to all skill levels
More info, call Cycle Path & Paddle at 218-545-4545

Annual Rides in the Cuyuna Lakes Area

Tour of Cuyuna Bicycle Ride
September 7, 2013

The 2013 Tour of Cuyuna Bicycle Ride is a recreational ride for cyclists of all abilities.  There are two routes to choose from, approximately 40 and 70 miles.  The ride will begin at Rutgers Bay Lodge near Deerwood.  For additional information call 218-545-4545.  Ride Brochure

Plan to take your Summer biking vacation in the Cuyuna Lakes Area and see why it is becoming the hot-spot for cyclists from all over the Midwest.


Velolet Connects Cyclists with the Rental Bike They Need in the Twin Cities Area

Velolet is a is a centralized, one stop shop for renting bikes and bike gear.  It was founded in 2010 in Minneapolis by avid cyclist Dan Cleary and officially launched in January 2011.  "We help cyclists rent bikes when they travel by connecting them with inventory that is otherwise difficult to find. The cyclist renting the bike gets what they want (to ride) and the bike owners earns some money. Us?  We take a little fee in there ourselves but that's only to keep the bike hub rolling smoothly." states the Velolet website.

Are you flying into town for that ride or race and didn't want to bring your own bike or you're just going to be in Minneapolis for a few days and would like to ride in one of the country's top bicycling cities?  Maybe you only have a road bike and would like to try mountain biking at one of the local mountain bike trails.  Curious about fatbikes or just need one for that upcoming race?  Velolet can put you in the saddle of the bike of your choice without the hassle of calling around town trying to find a bike that is available when you need it. 

Not sure about the size bike you need?  Use the sizing chart below to help you reserve the right size bike.  Upon picking up your rental, any minor adjustments can be made at the bike shop supplying the rental.

If you need a bike in the Twin Cities Area, there are several locations around town that offer everything from road, comfort, mountain, tandem, hybrid, kids and fatbikes for rent.  Velolet participating bike shops offer hourly, daily and weekly rental options.

Penn Cycle Locations

2290 Cliff Road
Eagan, MN  55122

3916 W. Old Shakopee Road
Bloomington, MN  55437

710 W. Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN  55408
*Delivery service available

6824 Penn Avenue S.
Richfield, MN  55423

6415 Lake Road Terrace
Woodbury, MN  55125

12555 Ulysses St NE
Suite 160
Blaine, MN  55434


10750 Cedar Bend
Minnetonka, MN  55305
*Fatbike rentals

Other Twin Cities Bike Shop Locations

Freewheel Bike - Midtown
2834 10th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN  55407
Bicycle Chain - Roseville
1712 Lexington Ave. N.
Roseville, MN  55113

Do you want to know more about how Velolet works?  Visit the FAQ page to have some common questions answered.   Click here to see what the press is saying about Velolet or read more about them on the Velolet Blog.  Follow Velolet on Twitter @velolet or like them on Facebook.


Weekend Cycling Events: May 17-19

This weekend starts off Friday with National Bike to Work Day as a part of National Bike Month.  Saturday there are rides to raise funds to cure ALS and Diabetes, a family friendly bike event and the Almanzo gravel races.  Sunday is the first race of the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series for all of those mountain bikers looking to get out and race the singletrack.

Join the League of American Bicyclists and millions of other Americans for the National Bike to Work Day Friday by commuting by bike to your job.

Kick it in Gear-May 18, 2013
St. Cloud, MN
10, 5, 2 miles

This family friendly casual bike event takes place at Lake George in St. Cloud on Saturday from 9:00 am to noon.

ALS Bike Trek MN-May 18, 2013
Marine on St. Croix, MN
52, 34, 14 miles
Online registration (Closes at 12:00 pm May 17)

The ALS Bike Trek takes place on Saturday and has three routes to choose from all starting at the Big Marine Park Reserve.  These routes vary by experience level and travel the scenic roads of Washington County.  This ride is fully supported and has rest stop along each of the routes.  After the ride there will be a bbq and live music.  Day-of registration will be available.

Rochester Tour de Cure-May 18, 2013
Rochester, MN
62, 40, 27, 10 mile

This year's Rochester Tour de Cure on Saturday has routes for all levels of cyclists, from the experienced to the occasional rider.  Registration fee with a fundraising minimum are required and funds go to diabetes research, education and advocacy in support of the American Diabetes Association.

St. Croix Woolly-May 19, 2013
Minnesota Mountain Bike Series
St. Croix Falls, WI
Online Registration (Closes at 8 pm on May 16)

The St. Croix Woolly on Sunday kicks off the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series on the Woolly Trail Network in St. Croix Falls, WI.  There are race classes for all levels of mountain biker, from Kids Comp, Citizen, Sport, and Expert & Pro.  There will also be a free Kids Fun Race at 12:45 for children ages 3 - 12. 

For those that registered months ago (registration now closed), there is the grand daddy of gravel races going on this weekend in Spring Valley, MN.  The Almanzo 100 and The Royal 162 will start early Saturday morning on some of the toughest hill climbing gravel roads in the Root River Valley area.  To follow the Instagram photos from the Almanzo 100 check out the RaceVista website.  The Alexander, a nearly 400 mile gravel ride will also take place starting out in Spring Valley on Friday and last through Sunday.  For updates during these races, follow on Facebook or Twitter.


Full Cycle Celebrates New Shop Expansion With Open House

Join Full Cycle in celebrating their new shop expansion at an Open House on Thursday, May 23 from 5:30-7:30 pm.  It will be a chance to tour the newly expanded space, meet with the staff and learn how Full Cycle changes lives.
Google Maps Street View
Image Credit:  Pillsbury United Communities
The new space is located directly behind their shop in the old Fire Station 17 building which is also home to Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association and the Land Stewardship Project.

Image Credit:  Full Cycle
It will be an evening of appetizers, drinks and bike talk.  Come by to see their new space, learn from the dedicated staff how the shop works and how their internship program helps homeless and street-dependent youth.  This free event is open to the public and you are encouraged to RSVP online.  For Google Maps driving directions to Full Cycle, click here.

To learn more about Full Cycle see my post Full Cycle Bike Shop-Changing Lives One Bike at a Time.

Full Cycle is an integral part of Pillsbury United Communities, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit that helps create choice, change and connection.


Northern Portions of the Willard Munger State Trail to be Closed for Repairs

If you plan on riding the northern section of the Willard Munger State Trail be aware of trail closures for repairs from the June 2012 flooding to be taking place.  The Minnesota DNR recently sent out a Press Release about the closures.  Redecking of the St. Loius River and Forbay bridges will taking place from a start time in late April lasting approximately 6 weeks resulting in a trail closure from Carlton to Thompson.

In early June a section of the trail in West Duluth will be closed for repairs to flood damaged areas.  The trail between these two sections set for closure will be open for use but there may be some unpaved areas in need of repair.

For more up-to-date trail construction information, visit the Willard Munger State Trail page or call the MN DNR Information Center at 651-296-6157, toll-free 888-646-6367, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Weekend Cycling Events: May 10-12

It's another busy weekend of cycling events as the temperatures warm up and we start to finally have Spring.  Whether you are looking for a ride, duathlon, road/mountain bike race, swap meet or a way to support a worthy cause, there is something for all cyclists this weekend. 
This weekend starts off on Friday night with the Duluth Traverse Gala to raise funds for construction of the longest urban multi-use singletrack trail in the nation.

May 10, 2013
COGGS 2nd Annual Duluth Traverse Gala
Duluth, MN

Friday night also has an event for the beer lover.  The 1st Annual Minneapolis Bike 'n' Brew Tour is where you can join local urban and transportation bloggers on an 8 mile route visiting 5 Minneapolis breweries.

May 10, 2013 
1st Annual Minneapolis Bike 'n' Brew Tour
Minneapolis, MN

The 4th Annual Tour de Tonka Kick-Off Ride starts at 6:30 Friday night at the Minnetonka Community Education Center and registration is only $5.

May 10, 2013
Tour de Tonka Kick-Off Ride
Minnetonka, MN
16, 10 miles
Online Registration

Bike Jerks and Peacock Groove will be hosting a Swap Meet and Bike Show outdoors at Peacock Groove on 27th Ave. S. just off the Midtown Greenway.  Buy some parts or show off your rad ride from noon to 4 pm on Saturday.

May 11, 2013
Bike Jerks X Peacock Groove Swap Meet/Bike Show
Minneapolis, MN

Saturday morning is the Bike MS-Sam's Club Twin Cities Ride that starts and finishes at Century College in White Bear Lake.  Choose from a 22 or 52 mile route along the Gateway State Trail.  Day-of registration is available with a $25 registration fee and a $50 minimum donation. 

 May 11, 2013
Bike MS:  Sam's Club Twin Cites Ride
White Bear Lake, MN
52, 22 miles
Online registration closed.

The Central Lakes Cycle 2nd Annual 24/7 Duathlon takes place Saturday morning at Central Lakes Cycle in Fergus Falls.  The course will follow rolling paved county roads and the scenic Central Lakes Trail.

May 11, 2013
Central Lakes Cycle 2nd Annual 24/7 Duathlon
Fergus Falls, MN
20 mile bike, 4 mile run, 7 mile bike
Online Registration (Closes May 10)

If road racing is a little more your style, the series opener of the Farm Dog Time Trial starts on Saturday morning on a T-shaped 8 mile course in Eureka Township.

 May 11, 2013
Farm Dog Time Trial-Race #1
Eureka Township, MN
8.3 mile "T" course

The Oakdale Spring Classic Duathlon will take place Saturday morning at the Lake Elmo Reserve in Lake Elmo.  Online registration is now closed and registration after May 8th is $75 for individuals and $90 for teams.  This event is limited to 500 participants.

May 11, 2013
Oakdale Spring Classic Duathlon
Oakdale, MN
3 mile run, 14 mile bike, 2.5 mile run
Online Registration closed.

Live Well Winona will be holding its first ever Open Steets event on Saturday from 10 am to noon at Veterans Memorial Park in Winona.  This is a free event and no reservations are required.  In the event of rain, Open Streets Winona will be cancelled.

Open Streets Winona-May 11, 2013
Winona, MN

For the mountain bike racing enthusiast there is the Sandwich 50 Enduro on Saturday morning at Eastwood Park in Rochester.  A $10 day-of registration fee is required to race.  Conditions for the course are looking good according to this update.

May 11, 2013
Sandwich 50 Enduro
Rochester, MN
Eastwood Park
50 miles

Mountain bikers that are looking for a low key, relaxed race to start off the season should head to the  Spring Fling at Hillside Saturday morning. It's a great opportunity to try out that new bike, give mountain bike racing a try for the first time or dust off the cobwebs from a long winter and it's only a $10 entry fee.

Credit: MORC
May 11, 2013
5th Annual Spring Fling at Hillside
Elk River, MN
Hillside Park

The Three Rivers Park District will be holding one of five Handcycle Open Houses on Sunday from 6 to 8 pm on a specially designed 2.2 mile trail at Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove.  This is a free event but does require reservation.  Trained staff will provide private lessons upon request on one of their three off-road handcycles.

Credit: Three Rivers Park District
May 12, 2013
Handcycle Open House
Maple Grove, MN
Elm Creek Park Reserve

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