I headed out to Minneapolis on Thursday to see the showing of four short films about bicycles called Reels X Wheels. I grabbed a seat on some comfortable, plush sofas and watched people ride bikes, make bikes, and create art about bikes. The film that got the most recognition via applause and cheering was the film documenting the Almanzo 100 and its creator, Chris Skogen.
Royal Antler did a great job bringing together three important aspects of the Almanzo 100 into a short 6 minute clip. These included the director Chris and his passion for bringing community together, the individual bicyclist, and the physical and mental challenge of riding 100 miles. The film can be viewed on the Royal Antler website here.
The “Almanzo Crew,” which is comprised of Chris, has worked hard for the past 7 or more years to design something which enables and encourages people via bicycle to converge and interact within a community with strong Minnesota roots. He deserves to be recognized for all the work and sacrifices he made to bring so many people together to benefit not only ourselves and the bicycle community, but also all Minnesota communities.
Free gravel bicycle racing has spread throughout Minnesota due to Chris’ incredible work ethic, and it has potentially gone beyond the sport of bicycling to running. This is not a (direct) attempt to accrue more runners to join the free gravel racing scene, although it would be nice, rather it is an attempt to display the humility with which Chris operates. He was willing to allow another group, another person, to essentially jump into his own creation with the potential to “pollute the waters”.
The Wilder Crew thanks you, Chris ( Annie, Jack, & Liv) for all your hard work and we look forward to another year of CRUSHING GRAVEL.