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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:
Bring your friends, family and cycling curiosity to seven days of:
FREE KIDS RACES
A CEO RIDE WITH GREG LEMOND
SURLY BEER GARDENS
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.
Wednesday-Sunday, June 15-19, 2016
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.
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.
From the proceed raised this year at the 16th Annual TDA Ride, a portion of the proceeds were also shared with the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota (BikeMN) for education, Midtown Greenway and to Three Rivers Parks, for trail maintenance. Sponsored by D’ Amico & Sons Restaurants, the Annual 4th of July Ride for 2016 is again scheduled with three routes and an Italian picnic planned at the end.
About Special Olympics Minnesota
Special Olympics Minnesota is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with intellectual and physical disabilities.
The Hiawatha Bicycling Club is a recreational riding club. Every month during the season they provide about 60 rides that appeal to a wide variety of rider skills and desires. They offer slow, medium and fast rides, rides ranging from 15 to 100 miles in length, over many types of terrain. The Club is social in nature, with many rides built around casual riding, sight-seeing, meals, charitable activities, etc. You will find their rides throughout the 11-county Twin City metropolitan area, in other states and even in other countries. Check them out, they may have your kind of ride! Hiawatha Bicycling Club.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 goSpecial Olympics Minnesota. For event schedules visit www.northstarbicyclefestival.com.