Iowa State Fair Bound

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Okay, I lied, tomorrow for the Vaughter’s thing. I don’t have enough time and/or energy right now. I’m in Minneapolis, driving down to Des Moines to go to the Iowa State Fair this afternoon. I’m still feeling out of sorts. I might need to go to the doctor, as much as I can’t stand seeing doctors.

Yesterday I drove from Dennis’ to Minneapolis. I went out for a spin on the bike paths. The town is unbelievably bike friendly. I decided to ride over to Grand Performance, a bike shop owned by a friend I used to race against a long time ago, Dan Casebeer. It was late afternoon and I didn’t actually expect Dan to be around, but he was. I’d never been to the shop and it was super cool. It was exactly the opposite of the sanitized shopping mall bike shops that are common now. It was in a old building in a residential neighborhood. Old wool jerseys and cool stuff everywhere. It was nice catching up some with Dan.

Anyway, I was looking around when Pat Lemeiux, a buddy and Kenda Professional rider, walks up. Turns out he lives upstairs with his girlfriend, Gwen Jorgensen. They are dressed and are just heading out on MTB bikes for a lap of the city. Gwen had just stepped off the plane from the Olympic Games in London. She competes in triathlon. I guess she had pretty bad luck and flatted on the bike portion and got a shitty wheel change and finished in the 30’s. She has only been competing in the sport for 2 years and made the Olympic team. Pretty unreal, huh? I guess she was a swimmer, then a Division 1 runner in college before starting triathlon. And she has a VO2 max of 83. Again, unreal.

So, we did a lap of the city. It was good catching up with Pat. He’s been pretty much on the Kenda criterium hit squad all season. He had just put together a new MTB bike and was checking it out. Gwen is sponsored by Specialized and had a brand new Specialized MTB bike. She didn’t know how to shift it, which isn’t surprising one bit. Pat is racing Chequamegon next month. A couple year’s ago, both Pat and I flatted out of the front group about half way through at the very same time. It was frustrating.

Okay, you have to pay for internet at the hotel, so I have to find somewhere to post this and getting moving south. I love state fairs, especially in agricultural states such as Iowa, Wisconsin and such. I’m going to try to track down Michael Fatka in Ames. We usually go to the fair together, but sometimes he is elusive.

Dan holding his winner’s jersey from the KU criterium from 1976. Might have been the first time I raced with him.

Pat and Gwen after the ride. They live up above the shop.

Not that unusual of a sight on the bike paths of MSP.

14 thoughts on “Iowa State Fair Bound

  1. Todd Wilson

    Steve, Dan is a good friend of mine also. Grand Performance is a great shop. I met Pat this year here in Florida and now I’m moving back home to the TwinCities this month.

  2. Jeff

    At least by waiting a day you can add comments about Hamilton’s book that is going to be released on Armstrong’s birthday….

  3. Tanner Culbreath

    I feel like I was just looking at the Iowa State Fair photos that you posted last year……time really flies! Looking forward to more awesome fair folk photos!! Hope you get to feeling better.

  4. ted

    If memory serves, back in the early 80s, Dan set the US Hour Record. Nice guy, really good rider.

  5. Ron

    I was just there for the first time in 8 years last.
    Dan was on the street corner helping a little girl, presumably riding down the street w/ here mom, on her brakes or something. Made my day.

  6. chuck martel

    Pat’s been the money guy in the big races at the velodrome in Blaine this season, too.

  7. Joe S.

    I lived in Minneapolis in 1976-1977. The bike paths at that time were incredible. I can only imagine what they are like now…….

  8. bhall

    Grand Performance is a cool bike store. Just cool stuff and a great local spot in town. For a city with a short bike season the riding is some of the best anywere in the states.
    Have fun at the fair…watch out for cheese curds…they are butt plugs!

  9. Selvey

    Okay, how wide are those tires in that last picture? They look like they’re made for beach riding.


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