Confessions of a Stupor Bowl Virgin (Part II)

When we started writing this post, it was intended to be one post, but there was just so much to say.  Check out Part I here.

While we waited at the Varsity Bike shop we checked the Twitter feed, people all over Uptown were reporting being mobbed by cyclists, something that we like to hear.  Then came this;

One on One Studio (@oneononebike)
2/5/11 3:05 PM
Some dick stole our tips.

Five minutes into the race and the biggest news of the day was that someone stole the tip jar from One on One Studio (the registration location), which we imagine had to have been a lot of money.  We don’t know if they ever found out who did it, but to that person remember; karma sucks, at some point your bike will be stolen.

For the first ten minutes at the Varsity, we saw the signs, but didn’t see any riders, and didn’t know what to expect.  Then slowly they started coming in ones and twos, running into the front door of the shop, then around to the back.  Soon they began to emerge from the alley, most with a rim around their shoulders.

The thing that first struck us, was the sheer diversity of riders and of bikes participating. Fixed gears were, of course, the most popular, but all different types of freewheel, single speed, geared and mountain bikes were being ridden.  When it came to the riders, all ages, races and abilities were represented.  What both encouraged and surprised us most about the composition of the group was the number of ladies that we saw riding.  It was surprising because normally, races of this nature are not exclusively the domain of men, but mostly.

After snapping a few pictures at the Varsity, we hopped on with a few riders headed to famous NorthEast Minneapolis watering hole, Grumpys.  From there the rest of our day turned into riding from stop to stop with riders that we had never met before but graciously allowed us to tag along, I have to thank Jeff and Aaron for their generosity in letting me talk with them and follow them through sections of the city that I wasn’t as familiar with.

Trendsmap MPLS (@TrendsMPLS)
2/5/11 4:28 PM
#stuporbowl is now trending in #Minneapolis

An hour and a half into the race, #stuporbowl was trending in Minneapolis, and we were struggling to keep our hands warm while riding and checking messages.

The scene at every check point was different.  Some were mobbed with people, some like a ghost town.  Riding up to a check point, sometimes it was obvious where to go, other times you had to wait and see where riders popped out at, usually from alleys and back doors, and then follow the trail.

It is difficult to pick a favorite check point, but we can narrow it down to our favorite two. For a while we sat at the Behind Bars Bicycle Shop stop, where riders were required to give the manifest stamper a kiss.  Seeing some of the cyclists reactions when it was explained that they had to pucker up for a stamp was pretty funny.

Want a stamp? Give up a kiss first.

As fun as this stop was, by far the most creative was the house beer stop on the first manifest.  The crowd on the street was huge and people seemed to genuinely enjoy walking up to the front windows of a house to get their beer.  Of course, those riding for speed and not for stupor (if you don’t know the difference just think about it for a little while) probably didn’t appreciate the hill in both directions going to and coming from that house.

Phil Velo (@cheffelipe)

Finished first 2 manifests at 23 miles! The final will be at least another 17.5, most ppl wont finish in time. #stuporbowl
2/5/11 5:48 PM

At 5:48 pm we learned from @cheffelipe that the first 2 manifests were 23 miles, and that the final manifest was in the range of another 17.5, logging 40 miles is an amazing feat for the day, doing it in the allotted time, unbelievable.

By this time we had been at the Trash Bag Headquarters stop long enough to know that most people weren’t going to finish the race.  People would race up four flights of stairs for their first or second time only to realize that the third manifest demanded stops as far away as the Angry Catfish in South Minneapolis and decide that they were done.  Some reports were that the AC only saw as many as 20 riders through their check point.

The main thing that we learned from observing this year’s Stupor is that if you want to set a goal for next year, just try to finish.

One on One Studio (@oneononebike)

2/5/11 7:18 PM
Like I said. Lots of bikes here…beards

Of course then there was the after party, but we are probably better off not posting a re-cap of that.

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