The Growler’s 2020 Outdoor Guide: Biking Edition

Photo by Dan Murphy

There is something about the joy of pedaling a bike—legs pumping, wind in your face—that verges on transcendent. Even now, in the midst of incredible upheaval and uncertainty. In a strange and roundabout way, considering our current climate, there’s truly no time like the present for a guide to cycling the Twin Cities and beyond. If you’ve ever enjoyed coasting down a sloping hill—or if the idea of experiencing that sensation piques your interest—I invite you to read on. 

One of my favorite things is the small (but not insignificant!) satisfaction of traveling from point A to point B astride my Mom’s vintage Bridgestone road bike. That said, this guide is for everyone: seasoned cyclists and bright-eyed newbies alike. Afternoon jaunt to a brewery? We’ve got you. Interested in mountain biking? That’s covered too. If you’re feeling especially adventurous go ahead and tackle your first bike camping trip with our help. (Double-dog dare you…) 

I’ve found considerable solace in simple pleasures lately, and pedaling a bicycle is one of the purest of them all. Perhaps whirring along on two wheels can bring you some contentment, or even jubilance, this summer too.  

Ride safely and don’t forget to use your hand signals! 

Caroline Carlson

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Photo by Dan Murphy

The Beginner’s Guide to Bike Camping & Touring

When your long-distance rides just aren’t long enough, it might be time for you to tackle a multi-day bike camping tour. But be warned, there’s far more to touring than just crushing mileage. In fact, many cyclists, even extremely athletic ones, struggle with the transition. You’ll have to adjust your equipment, your riding style, and even your mind in order to conquer this challenge. Read more…

Gear Guide For Bike Camping and Touring

For those looking to up the ante in their biking, “bikepacking” takes road biking and backpacking to a whole new level. But in order to be successful, it’s essential that you’ve got all the right gear. Here, we’ve got everything you need from bikes to bags to shelters, plus a handy directory to all the best community bike shops to hit up before you head out. Read more…

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Photo by Dan Murphy

8 Destinations Worthy of an Afternoon Ride

Minneapolis (and St. Paul, if not by name then by dint of proximity and association) often comes out on top of lists of the most bike-friendly cities in America. Great bike lane and bike path infrastructure, relatively flat terrain, and a general ease of access to necessities by bicycle contribute to routinely high rankings in this regard.

Whether you’re a seasoned city cyclist or just buckling a new helmet for the first time, there’s an undeniable thrill to taking on a longer “errand” on a pleasant summer day. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of suburban spots that you can bike to and from in an afternoon. Pick your destination of choice and head out for a spin! Read more…

Explore Minnesota’s Mountain Biking Trails

Despite our unmistakable lack of actual mountains (sorry Eagle Mountain, you’re an overgrown hill), Minnesota has been home to a rich tradition of mountain biking dating back to the early ‘90s. Our state’s emphasis on conservation and the outdoors has created a robust network of trails that crisscross the state and metro area, while advocacy organizations like Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists (MORC) work to keep those trails well-maintained for riders. Whether you’re a trail-riding newbie or an experienced dirt ripper, our state has plenty to offer off-road. Read more…

Photo by Dan Murphy

Learn how to live the Growler Life in our other Growler Guides