Big props to all getting to registration early enough for it all to take place before 8:00 am. A quick staging and many forgotten things to say was the way to start the day. We hope all enjoyed the snowmobile route at the start to mix it up and get you all wondering what you got yourself into. Well done to all making it through the first 4 miles with no cue sheets. The force was strong in the group!
The first half of the ride went north and a bit west so with a strong wind out of the west/northwest, folks had to get to work. The beast, Almanzo Hundo was the first to reach the checkpoint with a manic group hot on his heals. The first arrivals were out of there with the quickness...some food and refills done fast and they were gone. Steady arrivals followed with folks taking a bit more time enjoying the day as the time progressed.
The second half of the race started with going a bit more north and then a haul west...much of it on the Luce Line trail which hypnotized many with it's tree canopy until a turn and a fallen tree. Southbound after that for some time and then a welcome to the easterly ride. Let that wind bring you in until a welcomed downhill before the end.
Much respect to all who started, logged miles and big ups for those who finished. Out of the 111 starters, 96 finished. Including a unicyclist!! Awesome! There was a bit of road rash but fortunately, nothing broken and nobody hurt. There were a few derailers that did more than bite the dust...they got dusted. Nothing that a chain tool can't fix. Welcome to the simplicity of a single speed. A few chains also got the chain tool treatment. Gravel is no joke to a bike. Heard of a few flats. Much kudos to Jim Thill from Hiawatha Cyclery who helped one participant who was struggling for an hour trying to get a tight tire on a wheel that refused to accept that tire.
We have a bunch of pictures
I think I see you in a few of them. There are pictures of the category winners and many good ones from various points of the race. We'll post more if there are more to be had.
A hearty thanks to all of the businesses who donated to Westside Dirty Benjamin!!! All the great folks at the businesses below are local or pretty dang close to local but all businesses are an integral part of the outstanding atmosphere here in the number one biking city. Word!!
- HED donated a wheelset that went to the winner. What can I say...they rock. Their rep couldn't make the race because he was prepping to go to France for support of Team Radioshack and Columbia to just name two. They will be riding HED through le Tour...the cobblestones will likely keep him busy.
- Kings Wine Bar really came through with post race nourishment. What a feast! The sliders really hit the spot and all were eaten. Molly kicked ass in the race and kicked ass with the hook up so when you got a hankering for some good food and wine in South Minneapolis, head over to 4555 Grand Ave. S. and show some love. Heck, if you are missing the taste of the Dirty Benjamin, git over there and order up some pork sliders.
- Planet Bike sent over a grip of pumps, lights and fenders. A real class act over there in Madison, WI. They were on board from the start and we appreciate it. We were fortunate that they didn't send over any of them LaLonde bros. It would have been a clinic.
- Banjo Brothers not only showed up on many rider's bikes but they threw down a mass of seat bags, a set of panniers, a messenger bag and a backpack. Check them out and if you do not have a cue sheet holder, they are the place to go to get one for the next gravel century you find yourself on. I got one word for you about their wares...Quality.
- Twin Six set you up with many t-shirts, jerseys, and water bottles. They got the design skills and are not afraid to use them. Got much repect for cyclists doing what they do best...for cycling. They are green and they are stylin.
- Behind Bars bike shop in northeast Minneapolis with the first on the support wagon. Much thanks for the helmet and shirts. If you in the neighborhood, stop on in and give Chuck a shout out.
- RIOT Minneapolis not only has some of the coolest shirts like the Merckx Trucking, Merckx fan in the house, but dang them shirts are so comfortable that you could sleep in them and get the best nights sleep you evah had. Looking good, mon! Feeling good, mon!
- Hollywood Cycles not only showed up and represented in the race but they threw down some shirts and gift certificates. I think that they will be back fo' shizzle! You in south Bloomington, you stop in, aw-ight?
- Peace Coffee is about the best business on Earth. Bike delivery of their delicious coffee throughout MPLS and St Paul, coffee farmer friendly, organic, super great staff!! and damn good coffe to boot. Brazil roast...Woot!!
- Cars-R-Coffins coffee shop and bike shop located in uptown. You got a jones for a delicious americano, a peanut butter cookie, a grip of bike magazines to look at and a comfortable table to sit at, it be the place. You want to see a local celebrity, git on over there and check out the Duke of Hurl.
- Bike Jerks got the most active blog out there. Bikes, BMX, skateboards, etc...all that stuff I've been into at some point in the life. Jeff had to be in NYC so he missed out on the race but he printed up a few shirts so much love.
- The Bicycle Chain provided you with some gift certificates so big ups! They are a bike shop located in Roseville so if you want to rent a bike, bike box, get some new, quality gear, take a class, or check out some used bikes, head out there and show some love.
- Magnetic is coming out with some high quality wheels soon so check them out. Steve was down for the long haul and spent the day volunteering so much love and thanks!!