I knew this portion of the trip would be something special seeing as I am from this area. Coming home is something pretty powerful.... especially since home is filled with Vikings fans (suck it, Murph). Skol! Leaving Seattle the route there took me straight through my home town, Fargo, ND. Or NoDoak as we so lovingly call it. I met up with my bro Blake, and we took Chrome One a step up. Next level beats, I believe is what the kids are calling it. Beer tap on the side and a grill to match.
He's younger than me so, obviously my big biceps really made an impact on him. So what I am saying is my muscles are big... you get the gist? I left my muscular brother and headed my way to the Twin Cities.
I picked up our Mid West guy, Dan Copland, and he took me on a non stop whirlwind tour of his beloved city. First stop: Handsome Cycles
The place was absolutely stunning. This classically styled shop stocks their own line of steel bikes and has more apparel than you can shake a stick at.... and believe me, I can shake a stick. Seeing as how I seemed to forget all of my shorts and had been cooking in a pair of skinny jeans for a couple of days, I took advantage of their vast selection. What's even cooler about Handsome is they are right next to their good pals and living legends in the bike scene, GeneO and Hurl at One on One Bicycle Studio.
One on One is part bike shop, part cafe, part art gallery, and part museum. GeneO and Hurl ARE the Minneapolis bike scene. With guys like Hurl of the Cars-R-Coffins fame and Geneo racing pro for Bridgestone and later Bianchi there isn't anything that these two don't know about cycling.
One on One and Handsome share a pretty amazing alley space that has hosted many a parties in its days and they were kind enough to let us park there and play loud music while we got people drunk.
We were told that the party would probably only go until 10:30, but I guess you can really let loose in an alley in Minneapolis because we pulled out of there around 2:30am. That's how we know we did it right. After a few hours of sleep we pulled ourselves together, somewhat, and headed Chaska to meet up with Martin Rudnik and set up the finish line for the Dirty Benjamin 100 mile gravel race.
It was a blast watching rider after rider pull up with that crazy look on their face. You know the one. The "I just turned myself inside out for 6 hours on my bike using all of my try hard muscles" look. As they slowly started to flow in the beer was flowing as well.... see what I did there? With my words?
I was able to sneak Martin away for a few minutes so he could show me some of his submissions for the Urban Cycling Hall of Fame and it seems he has kept every alley cat flyer since he had started messengering in 1995.
Sunday Dan, or Dirty Dizzle as he is know by the moms around the world, and I decided to park Chrome One and hit the streets of Minneapolis to see the sights on bike. First stop was where it all started, The Alt.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, in the Minneapolis bike scene got their start at the Alt. It's been "core since '74" and when we were in there, they were absolutely slammed, so we gave out our hi5s and then headed to some fine establishments...... and here is where it starts to get foggy.
Last stop was Leviticus Tattoo so I could get a Father's Day tattoo in remembrance of my pops, TK.
Whew! Minneapolis was a non stop adventure and I loved every second. Next stop: Madison, WI.