Tag Archives: amateur bike racing

Biking to Good Times – Stockyard Days

Emily Stocker, HaveFunBiking.com

The Twin Cities Gateway is known for having nine wonderful communities. In typical Minnesota hometown fashion, they each have a festival. This weekend kicks off nine days of fun in New Brighton. Stockyard Days, in their 35th year, will be fun for the entire family, taking place in Long Lake Regional Park. Ride your bike or come by car to this celebration. You won’t want to skip it.

Sunday at Stockyard Days

Sunday, August 7th starts off the events with a golf tournament at Brightwood Hills Golf Course. Gather a team of four to play and vie for one of many prizes, including best team name. There will also be prizes for men and women for closest to the pin, longest drive, and longest putt. The tournament starts at 8 a.m. so join in the fun or come watch some great golf.

Stockyard Days bike sprints will give you a taste of NASCAR Racing on two wheels.

Stockyard Days bike sprints will give you a taste of NASCAR Racing on two wheels.

Sunday is also the date of the first annual Bike Sprints. The racing starts at 10 a.m. and is an event you will want to attend. The high energy surrounding the event with cyclists whizzing by as fast as they can, fills everyone attending with excitement.

Monday

Monday, August 8th, at 5 p.m. opens the Medallion Hunt. Clues are posted at City Hall each day and participants search the 12 city parks and the community center to find the Medallion. The winner is presented with $125, but here’s a tip. If you plan on participating, buy a button by August 7th to double the prize.

Wednesday is Kids Day

If you and the kids can only make it to Stockyard Days one day, make it Wednesday. That night is when the kiddie parade takes place, ending in the park. Kids get to dress up in costumes and decorate their bikes to ride through the parade route. Prizes go to best costume and best bike decoration. That night BikeMN will be putting on a bike rodeo for kids. Here they will learn more about safety while biking and practice the new skills they learned. The fun continues in the park with a screening of Disney’s movie “Zootopia”.

Thursday

Mark your calendar for Thursday at 6 p.m. since this is the day that The Stockyard Days parade rolls through town. See businesses, politicians, clowns, bands, and visiting royalty. The parade makes for a great Thursday night and a good way to snag some candy.

Friday

Friday night kicks off the street dances. Live music in the park by Bad Girlfriends will have you singing and dancing along to a variety of music. From the bands Journey to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Maroon 5 to Dixie Chicks, and everything in between, it promises to be a great night.

Saturday

Saturday really packed in the events. Starting with the 5K, 10K, Kid’s run in the morning. Then, the New London to New Brighton Car Run will take place. Check out classic cars as they drive through town. In the park from 3 to 6 p.m. is a fantastic one man band, Wayne and the Boys, with a great taste in music. Fireworks will be at dusk to “oo” and “ah” the crowd. Finally, Ladies of the 80’s band will wrap up the night from 7 to 11 p.m. with a great tribute to music legends across the decades.

Sunday

Wave and cheer on the Stockyard Days Parade Royalty.

Wave and cheer on the New Brighton Ambassadors at the parade.

Sunday, August 14th starts with a car show and swap meet in the park. At noon, head over to the semi-finals of the talent show. The final round begins at 3 p.m., to find the winner of New Brighton Idol. The festival ends with the crowning of the 2017 New Brighton Ambassadors.

Bike over to the Twin Cities Gateway for a week filled with fun, food, and music.

What do 150 cyclists whizzing by sound like?

You’ll know the sound of 150 cyclists passing by when you hear it. The 17th annual North Star Bicycle Festival is coming back this next week, June 15 -19, in Minnesota, . Photo above shows some kid’s having fun on their bikes at the North Star Bicycle Festival race course, in Stillwater, MN, last year.

Family Fun Bike Festival and Races Begins This Next Week

North Star Criterium in Uptown Minneapolis. photo Stephanie Williams

North Star Criterium in Uptown Minneapolis. photo Stephanie Williams:

Bring your friends, family and cycling curiosity to seven days of:

PRO RACING
STUNT RIDERS
FREE KIDS RACES
A CEO RIDE WITH GREG LEMOND
BIKE EXPOS
SURLY BEER GARDENS
FOOD TRUCKS
INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMING
LIVE MUSIC
AND MUCH MORE!

Presented by North Memorial Health Care and benefiting the Special Olympics of Minnesota, this is a free bike event in five Minnesota communities with professional stage races featuring top cyclists from the U.S. and several foreign countries. Attendees will also enjoy food, fun, music, along with kids’ bike races, a stunt rider exhibition and more.  Free secure bike corral parking each day for those who wish to avoid the hassles of traffic and event parking.

When:

Wednesday-Sunday, June 15-19, 2016

Where:

Stage 1, June 15: Saint Paul Riverfront Time Trial, at 8:30 a. m. near Ford Plant link
Stage 2, June 15: Saint Paul Downtown Criterium, 6:15 p.m., Lowertown’s Mears Park link
Stage 3, June 16: Cannon Falls Road Race, 4:45 p.m. downtown Cannon Falls link
Stage 4, June 17: Uptown Minneapolis Criterium, 6:15 p.m., past Calhoun Square link
Stage 5, June 18: North Mankato Road Race, 12 p.m. start link
Stage 6, June 19: Stillwater Criterium, 10:45 a.m. start  link

* Please Note: Festival with exhibits will open about two hours before the race starts.

Who:

Pro racing is a dazzling sport that can only be fully appreciated in person. The roar of a motorcycle and shrill blasts from the course marshals’ whistles announce the approach of the racing pack. The racers fly by, a brightly colored blur so close that you could reach out and touch them. They kick up enough wind to blow your hair back on a calm day. You hear the buzz of their chains and clicks as they shift gears. Shoulder to shoulder and wheel to wheel, hard physical contact between pro racers is common and the risk of a sudden crash is ever present.

For schedule of cyclists events & race maps visit: www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

Bike Pic Nov 12, muddy fun – cyclocross

As a way for road racers and recreational cyclists to remain fit during fall and winter season cyclocross (cross) in the upper Midwest is growing. Here in the photo above, a racers on a misty fall morning pedals her bike through the mud on a course at Saint Thomas Academy, in Mendota Heights, MN.

The History  of Cross
Cyclocross racing was developed in Europe in the early 1900’s as a way for road racers to remain fit during fall and winter. The intense event helped athletes maintain and improve their racing fitness and skills, too. As the sport grew, some riders abandoned the road-racing scene to become cyclocross specialists. Today, there are cyclists who focus only on cross and many professional road and off-road riders race cross to keep their race engines finally tuned in the off season.

The Course
Typical cyclocross courses are 1.5- to 2-mile loops on a mix of paved and off-road surfaces over flat-to-rolling terrain. Usually, races lasts an hour plus a lap. But, what makes cross such a unique and challenging sport is that courses always includes obstacles that force riders to dismount and run while carrying their bikes.

For example, most courses feature short, steep (often muddy) sections, which are nearly impossible to ride. There can be scary cliff-like drop-offs, river crossings and technical singletrack, too. Also, courses include series of man-made barriers scattered around the course requiring riders to carry their bikes over or, if they’re really talented, to jump their bikes over the obstacles (called “bunny-hopping”). It’s this combination of cycling, stunt riding, carrying, running and scrambling over obstacles that makes cyclocross so exciting, such a phenomenal workout and so darn much fun! [source]

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB), hope you enjoyed the photo.

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and present more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, while out there if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute on, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know?) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to use them. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual print and quarterly digital Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for in the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile devices where you may see some additional bike pics – maybe of yourself so.

Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in one of the next photos we post.

Have a great day!

#FindYourNextAdventure

Bike Pic – Sept. 16, Women Race Southside

The women have fun competing in the Southside Sprint, in Minneapolis. Second on the left is Anna Luckow, from HaveFunBiking.com.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking, hope you enjoy the photo.

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As we search and post more fun photos worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted to help you find your next adventure. Then, if you see us along a paved or mountain bike trail, next to the route you regularly commute, or at an event you plan to attend with your bike, be prepared to smile. You never know where camera will be and what we will posted next!

Do you have a fun photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us publish? If so, please send it our way and we may use it. Send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com with a brief caption (of each), including who is in the photo (if you know) and where it was taken. Photo(s) should be at least 620 pixels wide for us to post. If we use your photo, you will receive photo credit and an acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As HaveFunBiking continues to encourage more people to ride, please reference our blog and the annual bike guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated, at-a-glance information, and maps we are known for in the Destination section of our website. Now, as the Bike/Hike Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of bicycle tourism information available for mobile device. Plus, beginning September 2015, this year’s e-version of the Guide will move to quarterly editions where you may see some additional bike pics posted.

 Bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure – we may capture you in a pic to post!

What’s New at the North Star Bicycle Festival?

In its 17th year, the North Star Bicycle Festival and Grand Prix expands its schedule with many fun and exciting spectator attractions and amateur racing opportunities. Presented by North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne, the event is set for next week, June 17-21, 2015, offering many new, family-friendly activities and exciting spectator events to come out and watch or participate in.

A little friendly chatter before the race. photo Stephanie Williams

A little friendly chatter before the race with “Fast Freddie” whiile the fans look on. photo Stephanie Williams

So what’s new, fun and free to see, you ask?

According to David LaPorte, the festival’s executive director, “It will be the last chance for fans to see “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez, one of the true cycling legends of our time. They will also see Minnesota’s own Greg LeMond, a 3-time Tour de France winner, who will lead the Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids Friday evening in Uptown to build awareness of our new charitable partner, Special Olympics Minnesota. Families with kids will enjoy the new RBC Kids’ Zone, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, and local amateurs will be able to compete in the North Star Bicycle Festival Omnium for the first time.” Here is a more detailed rundown:

Last Chance to See “Fast Freddie

Four-time U.S. Champion, Team Jelly Belly's "Fast Freddie" Rodriguez, on last year's podium. photo Stephanie Williams

Four-time U.S. Champion, Team Jelly Belly’s “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez, on last year’s podium. photo Stephanie Williams

For fans familiar with the amazing career and lightning speed of Team Jelly Belly’s “Fast Freddie” Rodriguez, this will be the last chance to see him compete, as the four-time U.S. Champion is retiring after the 2015 season. Team Optum will return with three past Grand Prix Champions, 2014 Champion Ryan Anderson, 2012 Champion Tom Zirbel and 2011 Champion Jesse Anthony.

Plus, Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids

Three-time Tour de France winner and World Champion Greg LeMond will lead local executives in supporting Special Olympics Minnesota by participating in the Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids, a new addition to the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium. The event will take place Friday, June 19 before the men’s race. LeMond and the executives will ride one lap of the race route, accompanied by several Special Olympians. Proceeds from this event will support  the Festival’s programming for children and Special Olympics Minnesota, while building awareness of our new benefiting charity.

RBC Wealth Management Kids’ Zone

A new Kids’ Zone, sponsored by RBC Wealth Management, will be featured at the Uptown Minneapolis Criterium and the Stillwater Criterium. The Kids’ Zone will consist of stunt rider shows, Kids’ Fun Race, cycling clinics, slalom courses, kid-friendly activities such as contests and face painting and treats. The Uptown stage will feature a bike rodeo that includes figure eight runs, start and stop drills and a “chaos box” where kids practice rules of the road under the guidance of the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota. Children who are entered in the Kids’ Fun Race and are sporting a bib can participate in cycling activities within the Kids’ Zone. Any child may participate in the non-cycling activities.

Life Time Fitness Hillfest

The festival is partnering with Life Time Fitness by kicking off the 2015 events with its challenging Hillfest recreational ride out of Prescott, WI on Saturday, June 13. Riders on road bikes, cross bikes and mountain bikes will tackle up to 4,000 ft. of elevation gain on the 100-mile course. Routes of 60-miles and 30-miles are also offered. Those with young children can opt for a 15-mile family course, where kids 12 and under ride free with a registered adult.

Plus, the Saint Paul Criterium Returns to Lowertown 

From 2007-2009 the Downtown Saint Paul Criterium was held in the trendy Lowertown neighborhood. It was moved to the Rice Park area in 2010 to make way for the construction of the Green Line Light Rail. With the Green Line now open, the Downtown Saint Paul Criterium returns to Lowertown, and this event will be better than ever. The Green Line is bringing people to the Union Depot terminus, the Saint Paul Saints are playing in their new CHS Field and many new restaurants and pubs have appeared. Lowertown is a very happening place and we are thrilled to be back.

It all starts June 17th in St Paul

The Festival and pro stage race starts Wednesday, June 17th with a morning time trial route along Sant Paul’s Mississippi River Blvd, and a new evening criterium route in Lowertown surrounding downtown’s Mears Park. It continues with a road race in and around Cannon Falls on June 18, followed by a evening criterium in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis on Friday, June 19. Cycling teams travel east to Menomonie, Wisc. on Saturday, June 20 for the Menomonie Road Race. The race culminates on Sunday, June 21 with the Stillwater Criterium, which includes a brutal 24-percent grade climb up Chilkoot Hill, the most difficult climb in North American racing. For more information on all the fun and schedule of events, visit: www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

About the North Star Bicycle Festival

Now in its 17th year, the North Star Bicycle Festival presented by North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne is celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The North Star Grand Prix has become the premier professional bike race on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracting top American and International racing teams from around the world. Spectators can watch the races for free. Proceeds from the festival to go Special Olympics Minnesota. For event schedules visit

Source: www.northstarbicyclefestival.com