The unofficial season opener for cycling, the Minnesota Ironman Bicycle Ride (MIBR), is just days away. On April 27, between 4,000 and 6,000 cyclists will take the course by storm, winding around the hills of Stillwater, Afton, Lake Elmo, Scandia, Marine on St. Croix and Oak Park Heights, Minn.
Through the years, the ride has traveled from Minneapolis to Buffalo to Lakeville and now to the St. Croix area. Riders from across the Twin Cities—including those here on the west side— are excited about these new sights.
“The terrain is similar to what we see out here, but different enough with the river valley around Stillwater that it provides an interesting and welcome change of pace,” says Wayzata resident and cyclist Michael Ile. “And it’s still close enough to home.”
Ile has been riding since 2002. “The Ironman is a well-supported race and a good one early in the year,” he says. “The best part is the support. The volunteers are amazing.”
Ryan McEnaney, public relations director for MIBR, agrees. “We have tons and tons of volunteers. They help us with registration, check-ins, water stops . . . it’s pretty incredible.”
The Minnesota Ironman offers short routes for new riders and families as well as the more traditional and challenging 100-mile option for the die-hard cyclists.