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.
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.
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.
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.