A right to passage for many as a way to kick-off the summer bike season, this year's Ironman ride is scheduled for the first Sunday in May, instead of the last weekend in April as in previous year's. Continuing to leave and return from Lakeville, Minn. the single day ride is growing in popularity with those new to cycling and families. Along with the tradition Ironman routes of 100 and a 68 miles for the skilled set, a 30 and 17 miles opens up the event for all level of cyclists.
Over the years the ride has grown and changed. They have moved the ride location, as ridership grew, from Minneapolis to Buffalo to the current home of Lakeville, and more routes have been added. With its location, now in the south Metro of the Twin Cities, one thing remains constant: the Minnesota Ironman is the spring opener bicycle event in Minnesota. It is the original Ironman, the grandfather of midwestern bicycle events, and the qualitative measuring stick for all subsequent rides.
In case you are wondering, this is not a triathlon or a race of any sort. It’s a recreational bike ride for cyclists of all skill levels and ambitions to get out and kick-off the season. This event pre-dates the Ironman Triathlon and they have a licensing agreement with them to continue using its original name: The Minnesota Ironman® Bicycle Ride.
And any event with a 45+ year history needs to inspire itself to greater challenges and rewards for its riders and last year, they added the Minnesota Gran Fondo (MFG), a timed bike event. This is an event within an event. The MGF will run concurrently, same time and same routes, as the traditional Minnesota Ironman.
To sign-up and save register now at: http://ironmanbikeride.org/
The Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride has been managed since ’67 by Hostelling International USA – Minnesota Council, a 501 (C)(3) non-profit charitable organization devoted to promoting healthy recreation, international travel and cultural exchange. Our Minnesota Council was established in 1955 by a core of cyclists and travelers. We have been promoting travel and cycling ever since.
The MIBR is the single largest annual fundraiser for Hostelling International Minnesota. It is critical to achieving our mission and paying the bills. All proceeds from this event support our organization and our mission. You can find out more about our organization at our web site: www.himinnesota.org or visit our national office site here: www.hiusa.org – and book a room at a hostel while you are there! Donations to HI Minnesota are tax-deductible at: http://www.himinnesota.org/donate.htm
Article Published: 04-17-2012