FOREWORD: Back in May and into June, I had the pleasure of helping the crew at Angry Catfish for a couple of weeks as their summer season began to pick up. The following is a series of entries from a journal I kept during my time there. My hope is that through these vignettes you will get a glimpse of what it’s like to not only work at one of the most successful bike shops in the country, but be a bicycle salesperson and mechanic in the city of Minneappolis. Think of this as an extended shop visit, one where I get my hands dirty and experience the area and community the way those at Angry Catfish and other locals do. All photos are film, shot on 35mm and 120mm. Enjoy!
This past July I was lucky to attend a downhill day with the rad humans who put on the Midwest Dirt Legion. I had heard tales of their group from my partner and friends, so I was very stoked to finally meet them and see what they were up to. Time after time I hear from non cis male people that they feel there is a lack of places they feel comfortable riding and learning in the mountain bike world, which makes the work that Steph and Ash are doing that much more important. I caught up with them for a spin around the local bandit jumps and got a testimonial from their biggest fan, Chelli. If you are looking for amazing people to ride with in the midwest, check out the Midwest Dirt Legion! -Spencer
Midwest Dirt Legion is here to build a better mountain bike community for marginalized genders. Based in Minneapolis, the group was founded in February 2018 by Steph Aich (she/her) and Ash Murray (they/them) . Our focus is on bringing passionate people and organizations in the Twin Cities together to increase ridership for transgender, gender non-binary, and cis women riders.
If You Were Wondering, Frostbike’s Still the Best
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Especially for newcomers! It was really rad seeing Sean and Danny from Team Dream and the Cub House experience this unique event for the first time. It really got me thinking about a few of my first Frostbikes, and how a lot of my really good friends have actually spawned from this event. I’ve even seen other friendships flourish from introductions at Frostbike. Going to Minneapolis in the middle of winter as a cyclist probably seems like a bad idea, but when you actually think about it, it’s genius.
Success stories like this really resonate with the cycling community as a whole. Using mountain bikes to economically resuscitate an area is never a bad thing…
Edit note: It came to my attention quickly that the original wording of this article, in my attempt to be playful and transparent with the fact that this was a weekend with my partner whom I adore, I undermined the hard work that Brenda and other Minneapolis WTFs have put in for their community. I asked John to take down the article in that form. Brenda has rewritten the article to better respect their community and women in cycling at large. – Spencer
Cuyuna is everything I love about the Midwest packed into 300 acres. What we lack in elevation we make up for with flowy singletrack through aspens, pines, and descents towards crystal clear lakes. The trails are so immaculately maintained you would have never guessed this place was used for anything else except mountain biking.
Chris Kvale Minneapolis Studio Visit
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
Chris Kvale is a humble perfectionist, every stroke of his file and pass of his torch honed the last forty years. When I walked into Kvale’s studio, I couldn’t hold my focus, everywhere I looked there was something that snapped my attention away from what I was gazing at moments prior.
“A collaborative collective of businesses in Minneapolis, Minnesota go beyond retail and thrive in a community built by each other and those around them. In 2010 Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar(ACF) opened to accolades amongst its local patrons and followers across the country with a simple concept to provide the best bicycles, coffee, and environment to enjoy them possible. Not long after the launch of ACF Mend Provisions, a life style fly fishing, men’s apparel, and outdoor goods brand was created and opened around the corner from ACF. Mend was followed by Northern Frameworks the in house frame/bicycle company to Angry Catfish allowing a curated, tailor-made bicycle experience with in the brick and mortar retail establishment in South Minneapolis. Finally in 2017 Northern Coffeeworks took an already refined third wave coffee model offered and ACF and added locale sources food and beverage in a Minneapolis Downtown East setting. The teams of all four businesses not only work together, but also eat, drink, and play together and with their community at large. ”
These guys are the best. Smoochies, Josh!
BEHOLD: THE LOG JAM!
It’s the Midwest; trails here often ‘require’ neither suspension nor gears. Having been born and bred in an area where the White-Tails carved much of the early singletrack, the folks at All-City created a capable ripper, with tight angles, classic lines, and a few touches of modern flair.
I had the chance to first ride the Log Lady down in Los Angeles before All-City announced it to the masses, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. Having grown up on rigid 26″ single-speeds, the LL really appealed to me.
When the frameset first showed up, I had to make a couple changes to it to make it mine. First, the color had to go; no offense to the wonderful folks over at All-City, but the Red/Black/White fade was not my jam. After that, I jammed the biggest rubbers I could between the stays: Derby’s AM rims with a 35mm internal width and Panaracer’s FBN tire, which measures out roughly 2.7. And finally, I did what any good human should do these days and put dropper on it! Just a little frame modification and the Fox Transfer post was good to go.
Obviously, this setup is a far cry from All-City’s stock build, but it should help showcase what the bike is capable of, and how well one can make it their own.
11 years. 11 years we’ve been doing this.
Every Summer, for one glorious bike party weekend we own these streets, we own this fucking town. The All City Championships were the first major non messenger-organized alleycat in the city of MPLS. It proved that anyone with a little hardwork and determination could make a major impact on their community, do something good, give something back. It inspired others to start their own races, it helped inspire me to found a bicycle company, it brought old friends together and has facilitated making many new ones around the globe.
August 17th through the 20th brings about the 2016 All City Championships in Minneapolis. Check out all the information at Bike Jerks!
What is a “Log Lady?” and where can you see one? Next Wednesday All-City organized a series of release parties. Check out the details below.
Bike Jerks celebrates 10 years on the ‘net this year and to commemorate their decade online, they teamed up with Minneapolis cap maker Hammerbone on a small run of caps. There are only 25 available, so if you’re a fan, swoop asap. Head over to Bike Jerks for more.
Head over to Bike Jerks for the full scoop!
I didn’t know who Ben Weaver was before this video, but I’m glad I watched it! Check out his music at his web shop.
… and Hurl pretty much nailed it right off the bat. “We’re here to party and have a good time on our bikes.”
Track racing is one of the most unique forms of cycling because it requires a special venue and when said venue is threatened, the sport itself takes the hit. The NSC Velodrome is the only velodrome in Minneapolis and right now, it needs our help.
If you’re in the area, there’s a fundraiser this weekend but you don’t have to live in Minneapolis to help support track cycling. Donate at the NSC Velodrome’s Go Fund Me page and help re-pave this beautiful track. If you’d like to some some truly wonderful photos of this velodrome, check out Kyle’s photos at Tracko.
Hey Minneapolis, make sure you head over to the new Chrome space this weekend for the official opening party and give my girl Amanda a high-five!