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Stupor Bowl, Continued

We hustle to one stop after another, and before long I’ve got more stamps on my manifest than I ever expected. I had rather fancied the notion of hitting three or four cool stops, downing my weight in coffee and beer, and being the first in line for the after-party. Hurl, however, is determined to show us as much of the city as possible in a few short hours. Each time my toes start to thaw at a beer-stop I’m snapped back into action by Hurl the Taskmaster. By the time we reach Hurl’s CRC Coffee Bar I’m lagging behind. The moment I pull out my manifest I hear Hurl barking, “Let’s go, we gotta move!”

I look over and Topher’s beard is completely frosted over. For a moment I wonder where The Polish Hammer has disappeared to, and how Malice is enjoying the sub-zero afternoon temperatures. The last stretch of riding takes us along a shady bike path and we freeze mercilessly as we tick off the miles heading back towards the center of town.

At long last we gain entrance to the after-party. The velvet ropes are no joke, and I get the sense we have no business being in such a club. Still, the

venue’s got a stage and a dance floor big enough to hold 280 alleycat racers. After a few overpriced drinks and a couple slices of pizza, Hurl’s better half leads us to a much better bar around the corner. I’m glad to be out of the menacing gaze of the Club Fancypants bouncers, and Topher proves to be a hit with the ladies in the decidedly less highbrow establishment. Meanwhile, the rest of us fill our pie holes with bar-food and beer.

Come closing time, Hammer and I have managed to lose our gloves at the bar, yet neither one of us notices the cold as we pedal back to Hurl’s. (We later learn that the overnight temperature plummeted to -12° F, and I thank my lucky stars I didn’t get a flat that night.) The last thing I remember is Hurl performing a spirited rendition of House of Pain’s “Jump Around” in his living room, which is definitely a sight to see. To the City of Minneapolis—thank you for a hell of a time. I can’t wait to visit again. I’ll just make sure it’s in the summer next time.

Dress For Success

Layer Up, Buttercup
The key to staying warm is trapping air around your skin. Multiple layers do this better than one thick one. Remember, you can always take clothing off, but you can’t put on what you don’t have with you.

Once layered properly, you need to finish with a shell to keep the elements at bay. Even if it’s not raining, a waterproof jacket will block the wind better than an ordinary windbreaker. While you’re at it, cover as much of your head and neck as possible. A balaclava (thin ski mask) is ideal, but even a bandana will help.

Technical Wear? Bahhh...
Sure, expensive technical wear is nice, but old-fashioned wool works incredibly well. It stays warm when wet and resists odor naturally. And you can find some great bargains out there.

Some of the best gloves I’ve ever used were acombination of wool liners from the Army surplus store and cheap pleather work gloves. Warm, water-resistant and tough, I got several winters out of my $10 investment. Wool socks and sweaters can be found at yard sales and thrift stores, and wool riding britches can be made out of old wool dress pants. Fleece is another great insulator, but it’s almost worthless without wind protection.

Visit for way more information than you need (seeing as how the race is over) or check out and for slightly more coherent accounts of Stupor Bowl X.