The second day of BRAIN's Twin Cities Dealer Tour started with a 16-mile ride from Minneapolis to the suburb of Long Lake, home to Gear West Bike & Triathlon, the preeminent tri shop in the state and for much of the Midwest. The scenic route quickly turned to country roads, which wound past Lake Minnetonka and the million dollar homes on its shores (the locals pointed out a home that once belonged to NBA star Kevin Garnett when he played for the Timberwolves).
The team from Gear West met us in downtown Minneapolis and led us out to Long Lake for a look at the shop. They may look harmless, but the hearty crew managed to drop half of us in no time. They're doing something right out here in Minnesota!
A curiously positioned mannequin sits on the rafters in Gear West's basement.
Ergon's Eddie O'Dea and Michelin's Monica Davis contemplate life on an old chairlift outside Tonka Cycle and Ski. Shop owner Steve Phyle picked up the chairlift, and another that sits inside his store, at a salvation sale several years back.
A pile of old tires and tubes and beater bikes sit in back of Tonka Cycle and Ski. Shop owner Steve Phyle is storing the rubber in hopes of finding a recycling program willing to take the entire heap. QBP offers a recycling program to local dealers, but currently sets the limit at 10 per trip. Patrons are welcome to scour the old bikes for spare parts they can use to fix up their own rides.
Wesley the dog greets customers at Tonka Cycle and Ski.
Toasting over a much needed Fat Tire at the Tin Fish, on the shores of Lake Calhoun, after racking up 40 miles on the second day