Tag Archives: North Star Bicycle Festival

This Bike Pic Tuesday, digging through the archives, we caught this young biker chick out ahead of the pack, in the kid's race at the North Star Bicycle Festival, in Stillwater MN.

Bike Pic Feb 12, fond summer time memories as winter continues

This Bike Pic Tuesday, digging through the archives, we caught this young biker chick out ahead of the pack, in the kid’s race at the North Star Bicycle Festival, in Stillwater MN. This year the event happens ming this year on June 12 – 16th.

What better way to continue your fun, then finding your #NextBikeAdventure when the weather warms. See all the great ideas and bike destinations in the 2019 Bike/Hike Winter Planning Guide. Then plan your next outing with family and friends in one of Minnesota’s HaveFunBiking Destinations.

Thanks for Viewing Our ‘Tuesday’ Bike Pic’  

Now rolling into our 12th year as a bike media, our goal is to encourage more people to have fun. In this expanded e-guide issue, we have added more free bike maps to review for planning your next adventure.

As we continue to showcase more destinations you can explore, we are all about capturing fun photos to capture those memories. Hopefully, some worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post at HaveFunBiking (HFB)? If so, please send your picture(s) to editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Please include a brief caption (for each), who is in the photo (if you know?) and where you shot the picture. Your photo submitted should be at a medium resolution or more, for consideration. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit at HaveFunBiking and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continue to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure. Here you will find all the information you will need when visiting one of our Community Map Partners, accessible on your mobile-friendly devices.

Watch for our spring print guides in April.

As 30-Days of Biking progresses in April, the spring 2019 Bike/Hike Guides will be available in both print and digital format. So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure.

Please share all our pic’s with your friends and us on our Facebook and Instagram. Don’t forget to smile; we may be around the next corner with our HFB camera, ready to capture you for the next ‘Pic of the Day’ posts.

Have a great day and a memorable New Year!

Bike Pic Aug 26, ice cream smiles Friday

This ice cream smiles Friday photo was taken this summer in Stillwater, MN, at the North Star Bicycle Festival’s pro race or Grand Prix. Here in this picture we found these racing fans enjoying some cool treats while watching the high adrenaline racers maneuver the undulating road course.

See many more bike friendly places to enjoy ice cream and explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic Aug 16, fat bike fever in Stillwater

In this fat bike fever photo, a young racer shows her talents at the North Star Bike Festival Kids Race, in Stillwater, MN, in June, sponsored by Park Dental and Penn Cycle.

Find many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking. 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bike tourism media, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike. While showcasing all the unforgettable places for you to ride. As we continue to showcase more place to have fun we hope the photos we shoot are worth a grin. As you scroll through the information and stories we have posted, enjoy.

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you may know that we should post? If so, please send your picture(s) to: editor@HaveFunBiking.com. Include a brief caption (for each), of who is in the photo (if you know?) and where the picture was taken. Photo(s) should be a minimum of 1,000 pixels wide or larger to be considered. If we do use your photo, you will receive photo credit and acknowledgment on Facebook and Instagram.

As we continues to encourage more people to bike, please view our Destination section at HaveFunBiking.com for your next bike adventure – Also, check out the MN Bike Guide, now mobile friendly, as we enter into our 8th year of producing the guide.

So bookmark HaveFunBiking.com and find your next adventure. And don’t forget to smile, while you are riding and having fun. We may capture you in one of our next photos that we post daily.

Have a great day!

Bike Pic July 30, a perfect day to be out with the family

A bike perfect day to be out with the family. Photo was shoot and the North Star Bike Festival in Stillwater MN, just before the kids races.

Find many more bike friendly places to explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media source, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted that may 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, be prepared to smile. You never know where our cameras will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post? 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 a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do 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 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to Find Your Next Adventure. We are proud of the updated  At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices.

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!

Bike Pic July 11, a last minute check before the race in Mankato

A successful bike race in Mankato, MN in June!. Here in the photo is North Star Bicycle Festival & Gran Prix race director, David LaPorte checking out the race course in between races.

Find many more bike friendly places to ride and explore in the new Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide.

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media source, our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted that may 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, be prepared to smile. You never know where our cameras will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post? 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 a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do 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 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to Find Your Next Adventure. We are proud of the updated  At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices.

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!

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 Feb. 28, nothing wrong with walking up a hill

Here this young cyclist at the North Star Bike Festival‘s kids bike race, in Stillwater, MN found it more enjoyable to walk up the hill she was approaching, rather then struggling to ride.

#FindYourNextAdventure

nd,

#FindYourNextAdventure

Thanks for viewing the Bike Pic of the Day here at HaveFunBiking (HFB). 

Now, rolling into our 10th year as a bicycle tourism media our goal is to continue to encourage more people to bike, while showcasing unforgettable places to ride. As HFB searches and presents more fun cycling related photos, worth a grin, scroll through the information and stories we have posted that may 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, be prepared to smile. You never know where our camera’s will be and what we will post next!

Do you have a fun bicycle related photo of yourself or someone you know that you would like to see us post? 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 a minimum of 800 pixels wide or larger for us to consider using them. If we do 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 Minnesota Bike/Hike Guide to find your next adventure. We are proud of the updated – At-a-Glance information and maps we are known for at the HFB Destination section on our website and in the guide. Now, as the Guide goes into its seventh year of production, we are adding a whole new dimension of information, now available for mobile devices. 

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!

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

Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids, in Minneapolis

The North Star Bicycle Festival presented by North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne will add several new events this year, providing additional fun for families, new opportunities for amateur cyclists, while drawing attention to their new charity, Special Olympics Minnesota. The Festival includes the Life Time Fitness Hillfest June 13th  and the North Star Grand Prix pro stage bike race, festival with expo area,  June 17-21 in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis and Stillwater, MN and Menomonie,WI. In Minneapolis, Greg will lead Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids, a new addition to the Uptown Criterium.

For maps and event schedules visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

Greg LeMond CEO Ride for Kids

Three-time Tours de France winner Greg LeMond now designs bikes - photo Travis Anderson

Three-time Tours de France winner Greg LeMond now designs bikes – photo Travis Anderson

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.

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.

Amateur Omnium

2014 North Star Criterium in Uptown Minneapolis.

2014 North Star Criterium in Uptown Minneapolis.

There will be increased opportunities for amateur racing in 2015. An Amateur Criterium Omnium (point-based, multiple short circuit races) will be held for elite men and women at the Saint Paul, Minneapolis, Menomonie and Stillwater stages. There will also be increased opportunities for all levels of amateurs to compete in Menomonie and Stillwater over the weekend. The Amateur Omnium will fill the time slots vacated by the pro women’s race, which has been cancelled due to low registration numbers.

Life Time Fitness Hillfest

2014 North Star Criterium win in Uptown Minneapolis.

2014 North Star Criterium win in Uptown Minneapolis.

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.

Saint Paul Criterium Returns to Lowertown

2014 North Star Criterium St. Paul. photo Stephanie Williams

2014 North Star Criterium St. Paul. photo Stephanie Williams

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, but it was never the same. Crowds were thinner and energy was lower during the Rice Park years. 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.

The Park Dental Tour de Kids p/b Shimano Youth Series

A free Kids Fun Race for children 12 and under, will be held at all North Star Grand Prix locations with the exception of  time trial. The popularity of this event has exploded in recent years and drew 500 children to the Uptown Minneapolis site in 2014. Registration is available at the Park Dental Booth at each stage.

About the North Star Bicycle Festival

Now in its 17 th 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 www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

With New Sponsors Bike Festival Gears Up

from the North Star Bicycle Festival and Grand Prix website

North Memorial and PreferredOne saves the North Star Bicycle Festival and Grand Prix, scheduled  for mid-June, in four Minnesota and one Wisconsin Cities.  Now moving forward, the 17th Annual North Star Bicycle Festival will take place June 13-21. The future of the festival looked bleak until these two new major sponsors stepped forward. The event will include the Life Time Fitness Hillfest, June 13 and the North Star Grand Prix pro stage bike race June 17-21 in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis and Stillwater, Minnesota and in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

At the 2014 starting line  in Stillwater - photo© Caroline Yang

At the 2014 starting line, in Stillwater – photo© Caroline Yang

For maps, event schedules and information visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com. Other new sponsors include RBC Wealth Management, K’ul Chocolate, Luther Westside Volkswagen and Voler. In 2015 the festival will also benefit a new charity, Special Olympics of Minnesota.

“We are so grateful to North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne for stepping up to the plate and saving this important cycling event,” said Festival Director David LaPorte. “The festival has been a crucial part of the Midwest cycling community and USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar for 17 years and it would be a real shame to lose it. Thanks to the generosity of these two companies, fans will be able to enjoy the North Star Bicycle Festival again in 2015.”

A congratulatory pat after a heated North Star Race  in 2014. photo© Caroline Yang

A congratulatory pat after a heated North Star Race in 2014. photo© Caroline Yang

“North Memorial Health Care is thrilled to partner with PreferredOne to support this popular festival in Minnesota, where we are known for our enthusiasm for biking and trails,” says J. Kevin Croston, MD, North Memorial Health Care Chief Executive Officer. “North Memorial is committed to the health and wellness of our communities and there is a natural synergy with this event that showcases the benefits of biking for all ages.”

“PreferredOne is excited to support the North Star Bike Festival and Special Olympics,” says Paul Geiwitz, Interim President and CEO of Preferred One. “The Festival fits well with our mission of encouraging PreferredOne members and the community to be active and live a healthy lifestyle. We hope residents can attend one of the many free Festival bike events around the metro and surrounding area.”

The North Star Grand Prix, the most prestigious event on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, opens June 17 in Saint Paul with a morning time trial along East River Parkway. The action moves to Downtown Saint Paul’s Lowertown area that evening with a criterium (short circuit race). The Lowertown arts district has been rejuvenated with the new St. Paul Saints ballpark and the renovation of the Union Depot, which serves as the terminus of the Green Line light rail, connecting downtown Saint Paul to Minneapolis.

On Thursday, the race moves south to Cannon Falls for a rural road race showcasing the wide open spaces of Minnesota’s heartland, dotted with family farms, boutique wineries and the famed Cannon Valley Trail. The race finishes with multiple laps at high speeds through the quaint downtown. On Friday, it’s back up to Minneapolis for an evening criterium in the city’s dynamic Uptown area, a neighborhood of trendy shops, bars and restaurants located just south of downtown near the chain of Minneapolis lakes. The Uptown edition of the FREE Park Dental Tour de Kids fun race is always a highlight with hundreds of kids 12 and under riding the crit route, cheered on by thousands of spectators. Each child gets a free medal.

The weekend presents an opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful terrain in the Midwest for the Menomonie and Stillwater stages. Cheer for the pros in the North Star Grand Prix as well as locals competing in the amateur races. In Menomonie the road race tests the cyclists’ endurance as they traverse 95 miles of rolling farmland in the heart of Wisconsin’s dairy country, finishing with multiple laps of an in-town circuit. Menomonie will host amateur races in town and events introducing visitors to the arts, historic sites and friendly, family-owned shops and restaurants.

Stillwater, Minn. is host to Sunday’s grand finale June 21. The Stillwater Criterium is legendary for weeding out the field, which features a 24 degree climb up Chilikoot Hill – the steepest in North American racing. This picturesque town is built on the bluffs of the St. Croix River and the route features a series of high speed, downhill 90 degree turns throughout the city’s historic neighborhoods and charming Main Street area. Make plans for a Father’s Day brunch at a riverfront restaurant or grab a treat at one of the town’s plentiful ice cream shops or candy stores along the way.

Fan Zones set up at each stage include food vendors, live music, bike and fitness expos and The FREE Park Dental Tour de Kids fun race open to children age 12 and under.

About the Bicycle Festival presented by North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne

Now in its 17th year, the North Star Bicycle Festival p/b North Memorial Health Care and PreferredOne is a celebration of bicycling that includes amateur and professional racing and community events. The North Star Grand Prix has become the most prestigious event on the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar, attracting top American racing teams and nearly 300 top riders from around the world. It is the only professional sporting event in Minnesota open to the public, for which no admission ticket is required. Proceeds from the festival are donated to Special Olympics of Minnesota. For a detailed schedule of events visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.

About the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar

Entering its 19th season in 2015, the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) is an in-road road cycling series sanctioned by USA Cycling. It is designed to provide a ranking system for all elite-level cyclists, both amateur and professional, through participation in the nation’s premier cycling events.