Bonfires, Bikes, Open City Course...'Fan Van' Alleycat in MPLS

city bike race 10.jpg

A bike ride in the city, a swim to a floating dock, a stop overlooking a waterfall… these were among the objectives last night in the “Fan Van Alleycat,” an event GearJunkie organized with SmartWool in Minneapolis as a part of the company’s Fan Van Tour.

The Fan Van Tour is a two-week road trip where SmartWool employee Jeff Snow is piloting a sock-filled van around the U.S. in search of adventure and fun.

Snow, the GearJunkie staff, and around 60 racers met up at GearJunkie headquarters at 7pm. The pack took off together for a group ride to retailer Midwest Mountaineering and then the official race began.

city bike race 05.jpg

racers.jpg

Racers gather at the start/finish area (GearJunkie office patio)

The start included a sprint inside Midwest, where each racer needed to grab a pair of free SmartWool socks. They ran out the back door to find their bikes.

For two hours riders navigated the city in search of clues. They followed instructions on a manifest sheet and completed tasks ranging from a beach swim to the identification of hot sauce brands in a local restaurant.

city bike race 04.jpg

SmartWool van parked at GearJunkie headquarters in Minneapolis

The course was choose-your-own-adventure style. Racers pedaled for 20 or so miles to tag checkpoints and find clues. Giant baseball cards, “mysterious green bins,” a lifeguard chair, and other oddities were found along the course.

bikers .jpg

city bike race 03.jpg

The race ended at the GJ office, where our patio sits on Minneapolis’ famous Greenway bike path. A bon fire, beer, pizza, and prizes for the top finishers ensued. The party went on a few hours into the night… not a bad way to spend a Monday evening in July.

—Stephen Regenold

race city.jpg

riders on greenway.jpg

And they’re off!

clue in city.jpg

On the hunt for checkpoints in the city

fixie at the falls.jpg

Fixie at the falls

hot sauce.jpg

Hot sauce challenge!

dive in the water.jpg

Riders had to swim out and dive off a dock to complete one of the checkpoints on the course

kid gearjunkie.jpg

Youngest rider on the course. Love the GearJunkie/WEDALI team kit!

manifest2.jpg

The manifest/cluesheet for race

bags game.jpg

Diversion at the start area

start area.jpg

Panoramic view of GJ patio

city bike race 07.jpg

city bike race 08.jpg

city bike race 06.jpg

Winners! Gear prizes for top 5 finishers

city bike race 09.jpg

After party into the night!

—The Fan Van Tour continues west this week to adventures in Montana and beyond. Monitor SmartWool’s Facebook page for details on events coming to your area.

Comments