I was back in Minneapolis recently for work, and was lucky enough to hook up with Erik Noren of Peacock Groove again to ride one of his handmade bikes. On my last visit I saw a preview of a killer bike he was taking up to NHABS – the “Country Mile”. It was sparkly gold, built of some of the best components out there, and looked like a hell of a good time for any type of riding you wanted to do. According to Erik, he built the bike to go wherever the rider lead – hauling, road riding, touring, cyclocross, trails, you get the idea. Well, color me shocked when I walked in and he said I could borrow that one if I wanted. After much squeeing, I grabbed the beauty and rode away quickly before he could change his mind (but after he showed my how to use Campy).
I had so much fun riding that bike around the city. When I left his place I didn’t have much of a goal or direction other than to make it over to the Grease Rag that evening for their 2nd Tuesday night meet up. Last visit we ended up in a BLIZZARD and I bailed on most riding. This time it was chilly, but I was totally thrilled to ride on the trail and appreciate the city, the other riders, and how awesome it is to be in a bike friendly area. After stopping for a bite at a little cafe, I found the route over to Recovery Bikes, the Grease Rag host for the evening, to have a bike hang out with some chickies.
This is one of their newest meet ups, so there weren’t a lot of new visitors that needed help that evening. This allowed the regulars to do some of their own work, and it was so great to sit back and watch the ladies fix up their stuff like total pros. Low was performing some TLC on her winter bike, which had been stored up during the summer months. The other girls were doing things like truing wheels, changing to winter tires, and changing chain rings. Afterward we went out for a drink at a local bar and talked about all sorts of things while listening to the sultry sounds of karaoke singers.
Kat and I met up the next day for a ride and some lunch. We did a circuit around the city and it felt so so good. It had been a while since I just went on a ride just for the heck of it (cyclocross is taking over!). We stalked the above Peace Coffee guy for a little while so I could try and get a photo, and I think he got a little annoyed. Sorry dude! But, transporting coffee by bike? SO COOL!
I had so much fun on this trip hanging out and riding with some great women who ride in a great city. Whenever I leave bike friendly places like this, I leave knowing that the reason these cities are so great is because of the PEOPLE. People who stand up for what they want and, wonder of wonders, can actually get it! Go Minneapolis Go!