Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Babes in BikeLand III - Minneapolis

A Grown Man's Very Good Day!

So I’m in Minneapolis on business and decide to drop in on my friend Erik Noren of Peacock Groove Cycles. I figured I’d do an interview with him for the Fixed Gear Gallery website.

During the interview, (soon to come - see the bottom of this page for a sneak peek at this controversial frame-builder,) he mentions Babes in Bikeland III. This is a women’s only alley cat race around Minneapolis on Saturday evening. Did I say women only?! Who am I to turn down such an invitation.

Over 160 women lined up for the start of the race in between the old Pillsbury grain elevator and the old soap factory in the St. Anthony Falls section of north Minneapolis. What an incredible variety of bike enthusiasts! And truly, "enthusiasm" is the best word to describe what I saw.  This is Carrie, last year's winner of the Babes in Bikeland II.  She's standing with one of Erik's show bikes...this one a tribute to the Kill Bill movies.

Chelsea and Kayla were the race organizers, and did a great job. They even sold the beer cups at the after party.

Unlike most alley cats with men racing, it seemed that most of the 160+ women were sharing their ideas and plotting out their plans for the race together.  Sometime in pairs, sometimes in groups of three or four.  Here are a few shots of the gals planning their routes with the provided checkpoint maps.

I love this picture of one woman's route notes...on her arm.

And some helpful men standing around the start too!

Here's a short video of the start of the race.

The winner of the race, Jana, took about one hour and twenty minutes to complete the course and return with a correct manifest.  She smoked all the others.  She won a custom tig-welded frame from Erik Noren at Peacock Groove Cycles.  (Thanks to I Bike Mpls for the image link.)

The after-party in the alley behind One On One Bike Shop was incredible.  Hundreds of people celebrating, kegs of beer, silly bike antics, and Swag!

This was a great celebration of cycling in Minneapolis.  Next fall, when you're starting to feel sorry for yourself because of dwindling beach hours and that sudden drop in temps....saddle up and show up for the Babes in BikeLand Alley Cat.  Guaranteed a good time.  Thanks gals!

And for those of you who don't know Erik Noren of Peacock Groove Cycles, here's a sneak peak at some raw footage from my interview with him.  WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND PORTLAND BASHING!


Jana S said...

Nice post and great pics on the race! Lucky you, to happen to be in town.

It's Jana with one N, btw. Thanks to ibikempls for passing along the nerdiest picture of me of all time. :P

Anonymous said...

I painted some of Peacock Groove's frames and how true and right for Erik to say how it is.
Ride on!!