Smile Politely

Anarchy in the MN

This is an excerpt from my full-on Bike!Bike! blogging extravaganza. Check it out for the full story.

Phil Graff and I traveled to Bike!Bike! in Minneapolis this past weekend. This is our story:

We left C-U after work on Wednesday. We started looking for a campground in southern Wisconsin at about 11 p.m. Little did we know, Wisconsin closes all their campgrounds at 11 p.m. and threatens you with big fines if you try to enter after that. So, we found a little gouge out of a cornfield near Lodi created to make room for a billboard and stealth-camped it. Phil woke up a little before daylight — as it started raining — with symptoms of food poisoning. Yay!

On the way to the conference, we stopped in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., for the Leinenkugel’s brewery tour. As it was 9:30 in the morning, there were only six of us on the tour. Did we see a big mural? Why yes we did, thanks for asking!

So, yeah, on to Minneapolis. The Bedlam Theatre is ground zero for Bike!Bike! We got there at about 1 p.m. It’s kind of like the IMC, except mainly for performing arts.

It’s in a cool neighborhood, which appears to be mostly populated by recent Somali immigrants. There’s a light rail and an off-street bike path that run right by the theater, which shares a building with the Grease Pit, the co-op shop that’s hosting. We’re just a few blocks from the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

We got to choose our loaner bikes from a bunch of bikes that they fixed up for the occasion and brought over in an intermodal trailer. Here are our sweet rides:

You’re damn right that’s a Huffy. Phil scored an old Schwinn, but the saddle left a little to be desired. He described it as “a Mike Tyson punch to the taint” on every bump.

Here’s Josh from Santa Cruz, Calif., who was admiring my 1997 digital camera (he was drinking keg beer from a coffee mug – nice!):

Phil was feeling better by Friday morning:

We went to Critical Mass at Loring Park, but the cops scared us off:

Minneapolis has bridges over their highways that are just for bikes:

After riding back into the city, we caught a Twins game at the soon-to-be-defunct Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. We got Joe Mauer’s head on a stick just for showing up:

Back at Bike!Bike!, there were tall bikes:

And bikes that needed to be set on fire:

There were many more sights to behold in the big city, but we needed to head for home. But the bikes weren’t done with us yet. We stopped in Madison for lunch on the way home, and they were having a bike festival, too. This was the type of bike festival that featured an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile, though:

Did this excerpt leave you thirsty for more Bike!Bike! goodness? Read the full blog here.

Next year Bike!Bike! will be in Toronto. You should come along!

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