Get Out There: January

5 Reasons To Ride Off Your Winter Slumber

What’s that you say?! It’s Mars surface–cold out and there aren’t any happenings worth biking to in January? Cold it is, but you’re incorrect on that second bit, old chum. Before it gets too deep into this most frigid of months, let’s dig into all the cool stuff going on around town. 

We’ll give you a reason to get out — 5 reasons to be exact!

Photo from F1Rst Wrestling

Photo from F1Rst Wrestling

Wrestlepalooza XI
Saturday, January 6, 7 p.m., First Avenue

If you haven't seen professional wrestling live, you owe it to yourself to check it out at least once, and F1Rst Wrestling has your back. This Minnesota-based wrestling company gives its fans the best possible show each and every night, with athletic, outlandish, literally in-your-face performers who'll have you pounding on the mat, hissing at heels (wrestling nomenclature for villains), and non-ironically shouting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

Unfortunately, Saturday's event is sold out, but it's worth standing around outside First Avenue and hoping someone has a ticket to sell. Even in double-digit negatives!

RIDER NOTES: Because of bar traffic, 1st Avenue N is a nightmare ride on a Saturday night. We recommend taking the back way into the Warehouse District by exiting Cedar Lake Trail at Lee's Liquor Lounge and going around Target Field. 

Photo from Midwest Mountaineering

Photo from Midwest Mountaineering

Equity & Inclusion in Green Spaces
Tuesday, January 9, 6:30 p.m., Midwest Mountaineering

Why are POC (people of color) under-represented in green spaces? How can we work together to change that? At this workshop, you'll meet educator, activist and mother Jessica Ostrov, a Member of the Outreach and Inclusion Committee at the YMCA Camp Du Nord who's been a key contributor to initiatives connecting families from under-represented communities to the beauties of wild spaces.

The discussion will tackle key questions like why it's critical to engage all people in the great outdoors — for real, they're so great — what factors have contributed to current statistics, and how outdoorsy folks who're already comfy and confident in nature can become agents of change.

RIDER NOTES: Cedar Riverside, the neighborhood that Midwest Mountaineering calls home, is right off the Hiawatha LRT Trail

Photo from the Joyful Riders Club

Photo from the Joyful Riders Club

Joyful Riders Club: Winter Smiles
Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m., Surly Brewing Company

Full disclosure & somewhat shameful self-plug: This writer (Patrick Stephenson) co-organizes this event with fellow JoyRide Magazine contributor Mario Macaruso.

That said, I'm supremely confident in guaranteeing its good times! At this deliberately welcoming, friendly, always positive social ride, we pedal at whistle pace (7–10 mph) and leave no one behind. It's the perfect way to get out on your bike, ride side-by-side with someone you've just met, and tip a Fiery Hell back with a new friend or 20.

After we goof around town on bikes, we venture back to the brewery where everyone gets a free beer (or N-A beverage) courtesy of the lovelies at Surly Brewing. We want to ensure people aren't scared off by a surprise flat tire, too, so every Joyful Riders Club is supported with mechanical gusto by the locally owned Farmstead Bike Shop

RIDER NOTES: Located in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, Surly's destination brewery is a quick skip off the bike- and bus-only U of M Transitway.

Photo and graphic from Freewheel Bike

Photo and graphic from Freewheel Bike

Good Eats Ride to Tiny Diner
Saturday, January 13, 5 p.m., Freewheel Midtown Bike Center

Nothing's better after a long, cold bike ride than eating delicious food (and drinking a beer or two) with good people. That's why, to celebrate the New Year, the fine folks at Freewheel Bike are introducing a new event series: the Good Eats Ride! Once every month, on second Saturdays, Good Eats riders will gather for a slow-paced, everyone-welcome bike stroll to an awesome eatery around town.

Freewheel's first destination is Tiny Diner, a one-time gas station the owners have refurbished and remodeled into an impressive retro-chic Minneapolis diner (Instagram-ready for the selfie-inclined). Dishes at Tiny Diner feature locally sourced ingredients, including goodies grown in the restaurant's very own urban farm, and they're five-star fantastic. Every time we visit, our taste buds are blown away.

RIDER NOTES: The Midtown Bike Center, where this ride is meeting up, is as bike-friendly as can be, located right on the world-famous Midtown Greenway next to 10th Avenue.

Photo from Red Bull

Photo from Red Bull

Red Bull Crashed Ice Saint Paul
Friday, January 19 + Saturday, January 20, 8 p.m., Cathedral of Saint Paul

Ever wanted to see fragile human bodies — shoulder-to-shoulder in groups of four — rocket down a treacherous hill of pure ice that begins at Saint Paul's Cathedral? Crashed Ice is your bag, baby. For the seventh year in a row, gigantic crowds will gather around Saint Paul's gorgeously lit-up landmark as world-class, tough-as-hell athletes shoot down huge drops, around hairpin turns, and over crazy gaps at almost 50 mph. Ice cross downhill is literally the world's fastest sport on skates.

Saint Paul's two-night Crashed Ice event is the first in a four-chapter world series where 64 men and 16 women compete to become 2018 Ice Cross Downhill Champion. Crashed Ice also includes a Junior World Championship and Freestyle Show. The event is free to attend, unless you want premium seats, and of course there's an afterparty at Palace Theatre.

RIDER NOTES: From the Macalester Groveland neighborhood of Saint Paul, you can take Summit Avenue all the way to the Cathedral! This event draws a gigantic crowd, so biking is definitely the best way to get there and escape bad traffic.

Got an event you recommend? Email or tell us on Twitter @joyridemn.


Patrick Stephenson