[ETA: Seriously?!? Seriously. Not being in school plus a job without "weekends" has totally erased any previous ability I once had to discern different days of the week. Sorry for the late post Grouchos!]
I’ve spent most of the last week in Chicago, enjoying my fair share of taxi’s and airports. Highlight: spending MUCH needed time with my pops. Low: being cooped up indoors in a gym for my workouts.
[Time out.... reeling my jaw back in up off the floor. Did I really just say that?]
Don’t get me wrong – I do love my gym here at home. And the gym on my trip was actually very nice as well – nice fancy equipment and plenty of options (except a pool). BUT… once you get that first-of-the-season taste of fresh REAL non-recycled air all the way into the very last alveoli of your lungs, it’s hard to go back. Real hard.
One thing that feels better than that deep fresh air in your lungs feel, is deep fresh air in your lungs with a bunch of other cyclists. (You see how I pulled that back around?! ) And in preparation for the summer to come, I thought I’d dish out a few of my favorite organized rides here in Minnesota. The list is certainly not exhaustive, because it doesn’t include the #30daysofbiking events!! Have YOU signed up yet!? No pressure…
A year and a half of collegiate architecture left me with subliminal messaging Adobe skills. Awesome.
Moving on… if you’re looking for some organized riding, ranging from 20 miles to centuries and beyond, check these out!
Minnesota Ironman Ride (May 6th, 2012 – Lakeville, MN) – Infamous for crappy weather and good times. Brings bragging rights. Distances of 17, 30, 68, and 100 miles.
Minnesota Gran Fondo (May 6th, 2012 – Lakeville, MN) – Held in conjunction with the MN Ironman ride, this version is ‘kicked up a notch.’ It is a TIMED event. Not a “race”, but a challenge. Distances of 50 and 100 miles.
Bike MS Twin Cities (May 12th, 2012 – White Bear Lake, MN) – A 22 or 52 mile route, and a “shorter” option for those not quite ready to take on the two-day MS-15o ride (see below). AWESOME support, from aid stations to full meals to entertainment.
Tour De Pepin (June 2nd, 2012 – Lake City, MN) – Routes of 32, 50, and 72 miles. You want scenic? You got it! Fun aside – if you opt for one of the shorter routes, you get to ride the paddle boat back to the start!
Tour de Lakes (June 2nd, 2012 – Crosslake, MN) – A recreational ride hosted by the Paul Bunyan Cyclists Club, you have options of “approximately” 35 – 40 or 65 – 70 miles. Not sure where those indefinite miles come from, but just be prepared to have a good time!
MS-150 (June 8th to 10th, 2012 – Duluth to Twin Cities, MN) – An unforgettable two-day experience, helping to eliminate multiple sclerosis. Overnight stay either at Grand Casino Hinkley or camping. Register a group of buddies and the miles will fly by!
Tour De Tonka (August 4th, 2012 – Minnetonka, MN) – With a goal to promote and celebrate healthy lifestyles, friendship, teamwork, and recreation through the collaboration of cities… I don’t think I can really turn that down! 16, 26, 43, 77 and 100 mile options. They’ve got you covered!
Jesse James Bike Tour (September 8th, 2012 – Northfield, MN) – Part of the Jesse James Days festivities, which if you’ve never taken part if, is actually a blast!! (But really, I would do this if only for the chance to drive past the Malt O’ Meal factory one more time. Did you ever have Alphabet Cereal? Roll down your window… breathe. That’s exactly what it is!!) Routes: 10, 30, 45, 60, and 100 miles.
Again, this list is far from complete. If you’re feeling friendly towards our neighboring states, check out this Midwest Weekends list for rides including Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa! I’m thinking ahead… and wondering if we could pull a MS 150 TEAM GROUCHO. Anyone interested?! Or a Groucho Team for any of these rides?