Like I said when I mentioned how we got lost *leaving* Minneapolis – when you’re biking in a big city, get yourself a detailed map. Our map for the way in was Bjorn. And Bjorn is an example of why Twitter is not as useless as I thought it was going to be when I signed up.

Minneapolis was the first city we were coming across since Portland. There are buildings there over 10 stories tall! A bunch of ’em! And there’s a metropolitan area of the Twin Cities that takes up a huge chunk of the state. According to our host, Katie Behrens (an ex-courier from Philadelphia), Minnesota is a traditionally democratic state in the middle of red country. They even voted for Mondale back in 1984, when no one voted for Mondale. I tweeted a plea for someone to ride us into this metropolis. Within an hour, Rick Reinhart called me up (always lookin’ out, Rick) and said he knew someone who could guide us in by motorcycle but not until 6pm. A bit too late for us. Within the next few hours, I got calls from some Minneapolis Bike Polo heads who hooked us up with Bjorn, who gave us directions and met us in the fancy suburb of Wayzata. Getting there was some of our first extended times on dedicated bike trails, and Minnesota & Wisconsin are full of ’em. The rail system here was sprawling at one point, and with the advent of other methods of freight, a lot of these tracks were left abandoned. Many of them have been converted to a web of bike trails.

Our rest day in the city took root at Katie’s place. Bjorn from Portland (a completely different Bjorn) was in town for a wedding, so we all met up, barhopped, and ended up at a place called “Dusty’s Dagos”. It took me a minute to get comfortable saying that. Turns out a “Dago” is a delicious sandwich that we’d be remiss if we didn’t try. Unfortunately, Andy and I had *just * had burgers before we were told this. Fortunately, we can eat just about whatever we want, so we ordered Dagos. And you know what? They were amazing. Molten explosions of sausage patty with greasy sauteed veggies and greasy grease bomb. Good thing we work all this horrible food off within a day.

We got a few more examples of “Minnesota Nice” when we were there. The owner of Grumpy’s, our first bar hop, approached our table and pointed out the buffet he’d cooked up a few tables over. Our insatiable appetites must’ve been slightly satiated by the pot pie Katie had just cooked for us though, and we ignored the buffet until all that was left was banana chips and mango salsa. Still delicious. Then on Sunday morning as we were caffienating ourselves & trying to figure out how to get out of town, a stranger came up with some suggestions. After his advice, he said “would you be terribly offended if I gave you guys $20 for a decent breakfast?” We kinda stared blankly…not offended, but not entirely comfortable taking handouts like that. “Tell you what. I’ll just leave the $20 on the table, and if you want to do something else with it, feel free.” I asked the baristas who that guy was, and as far as they knew, he was just a regular.

It’s important to note that we went bowling again.

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Andy must’ve been thinking about his form since South Dakota, because he was throwing rocks out there. But not as many as the boy on the teenage date in the next lane. He started his game with 5 strikes in a row! He had a 143 in the 6th frame! And his date wasn’t too bad either. She may have been showing a bit too much skin through her torn black jeans than her mother would’ve approved of, but she probably left the house with a tank top on underneath. Katie could’ve sworn she saw the same boy a few days ago on his bmx, riding down the street with the same girl on the pegs in the back, drinking a huge Slurpee.

Before we left, we made sure to watch Revenge of the Nerds and have a pizza party. Words cannot describe this.

Oh, I also played polo. Minneapolis’s court was huge! I played on my touring bike until I started knocking things loose, then realized that was a horrible idea. Sven loaned me his bike (too big, freewheel) for a few matches. It was good to know I’ve still got the polo legs, since it’s only a few short days until the COG tournament in Milwaukee.

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