Brompton Urban Challenge Minneapolis
How many stops?
Gaah – that’s not even possible in the time limit! Ah, I see, that’s the point.
The Brompton Urban Challenge has gone out to cities all over the world this summer including NYC, Toronto, Budapest, Milan and London. For those who aren’t familiar with them, Bromptons are high-quality, folding bikes hand crafted in Britain that are great for city living and traveling.
Owners tend to feel very attached to their Bromptons and a whole counter culture has emerged over the years. Since the builders are Brits, they take great pride in their workmanship but also have a sense of humor about the somewhat clownish aspect of their compact bikes, sponsoring races that require wearing business clothes and competions for the fastest fold. The Stevlio event in Italy pits riders against one of the most challenging climbs in the Alps all as a fundraiser for Soccorso Clowns – that visit sick children in hospital.
Now, I tend to create my own scavenger hunts for things like public art so I was excited when travel schedules aligned. Two members of our Brompton gang from LA were going to be in Minneapolis for the local event! It was ON!
What a fun day. Chasing around town in teams scoring points at sites with extra credit available for mini-challenges. Competitors can ride any style of bike they choose but each team is required to have at least one Brompton rider. If you read my previous post on flying with my Brompton you know that I left my folding bike in Austin for the summer. Luckily, Francie was bringing her Brompton on the flight from Los Angeles.
Looking at the map – and the 48 possible stops – you can see that it would take some thoughtful strategies to maximize points in the time allotted. We chose a route not so much for points but for areas that we wanted to visit, rolling towards Minnehaha Falls along a route skirting Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet.
As non-residents we were at a disadvantage but I knew many of the trails and hidden gems on the map including the location of the Elf door to leave a note for Mr Little Guy, and where LBJ’s footprints were cast in concrete. (I did not happen to know his shoe size so we just had to make a guess on that…)
At some point we became too hungry to continue and took a break on the patio at Longfellow Grill alongside the Mississippi River. The sacrifice was worth it though!
Alas, our team did not win with our score of 19 points but we did have a great day exploring the city.
Enjoy some of our photos. Click anywhere on the gallery below to view it as a slideshow with full captions. You can also check out #BUCMPLS on instagram to see photos from all the teams.
If you happen to be near Paris, the last challenge of the summer is taking place on September 13th!