Best Bicycle Race (2009)

Stupor Bowl

Minneapolis has no equal when it comes to sub-zero bicycle insanity. The city's best and most furious don't let a little thing like minus-20-degree temperatures or frozen streets get in the way of pedaling year-round. And for this crew, the race among races is the Stupor Bowl, a quasi-illegal race known as an alley cat. Racers get a map of various checkpoints across the city, then bust to each one before cruising to the finish line. Each racer chooses his own route, so winning is a combination of planning and pedaling. The race is semi-secret and kicks off the Saturday before the big football game. It's one of the longest-running cat races in the country—going on 12 years—and also one of the drunkest. It's one of the only bike races to incorporate beer into the event. Drunks can pick a shorter race option that takes them from dive bar to dive bar, drinking a pint at each stop. Despite the alley cat's legal gray areas, cops usually leave the race alone, as some off-duty cops and government officials are regular participants. It's the greatest winter bicycle race in the United States. And that's not the beer talking.

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