These clips are from a much longer article in Bicycling Magazine on bicycling in Minneapolis. Link The first I like because at one time in my life jousting with two x fours on tall bikes would have seemed like a really good idea. The second because I enjoy both Kvale and Noren. Chris is calm, quiet and intellectual. Across the hall is Erik. Even after being warned about Erik, nobody is ever prepared for that degree of intensity. If Chris is classical, Erik is rock n roll - loud, excited, fast and foul-mouthed. I like the fact that they are soooooo different and yet they are friends and respect each other.
"What makes Minneapolis a great bike town, Hurl answers, are the bike couriers and road racers; the BMX racers; the velodrome in nearby Blaine; the small but growing bike-polo community; the Stupor Bowl (the largest alley cat race in the country and, presumably, the free world, says Hurl, held every winter on Super Bowl weekend); and even the local branch of the Black Flag bike gang—its members fuse kids' bikes together, one on top of another, then ride toward one another and smash each other with two by fours."
"The guys want to ride to a large warehouse right next to the Greenway, to introduce me to a couple of frame builders. The first is Chris Kvale, and he is lean, and white-haired and blue-eyed. The surfaces of his shop sparkle. Classical music hangs softly in the air. He has been making frames for 35 years—only steel, "only classic road frames." He is a former racer, and at age 65 still rides 2.5 miles a day to work. When one of the guys makes an old-man joke about his preference for tubular tires, Kvale says, "I'm a minimalist, and they're the simplest expression of the cyclist. Tubular tires demand something of the cyclist. They demand an involvement with your bike. And that's what I demand."
Across the hall is a man whom Kvale's friends call The Anti-Chris. His name is Erik Noren and he starts cursing when we open the door, and continues doing so for the 30 minutes or so that we stay.
"Fuck Portland!" he opines upon learning I am trying to discover why Minneapolis deserves top status over what would seem the logical choice. "All I ever hear is about how cool Portland is. Who rides through the shit we do? We ride more by accident than they do on purpose."