Live downtown and own a car? Mary Witt says move it or lose it on the 4th. The Crit rules!

Mary Witt Criterium parking alert No parking after 5 am 2012 Race Flyer
If you live downtown and need your car tomorrow (4th of July), move it before you go to bed tonight because the barricades for the 13th annual 4th of July Criterium (bicycle races, for the clueless) start going up at 5 am on the 4th. 

One of Mary Witt’s sons, Ben Witt of Milltown Cycles, is the organizer of this event so she was out last night plastering flyers on the doors of all the downtown area residences. The flyer reads in part:

If you live within the course and will need the use of your car during the day of July 4th, you will need to move your car outside of the course prior to the event. Exceptions will not be made and cars will not be permitted under any circumstances during the duration of the day.


  1. victor summa said:

    Ms Witt – thanks for your noticing the various tenants who live DT.

    To my knowledge this is the first time this had been posted. I’ve always felt the Police Department – Streets Department – someone should officially sanction this event.

    I know of no discussion at the Council level – nor do not recall notice in the N News … today or in the past

    I don’t see a good alternative other than closing the alleys and cross street that intercept the cycling course … but these alleys provide tenant access to the street – Telling them to move their cars can be seen as heavy handed.

    But, your notice is welcome – still I must say I’ve wondered for years how this event came to be with no public disclosure. I am a property owner on Division Street – and my property includes the only driveway that provides auto access for at least a dozen DT apartment dwellers. If it were not the Fourth of July, we might assume retailers were open for business .. would there been no thought of the impact this event has on their business effort?

    Well anyway – thanx again and good luck – it’s going to be hot out there. Take care.

    July 3, 2012
  2. Bonnie Pangburn said:

    This is the first year I haven’t had to endure the aggravation of an event that gives absolutely zero consideration to the downtown area year(s)round residents-let alone on a holiday many spend with family. Two years ago I was ecstatic to be spending a day with my children only to nearly come to blows with the barricade patrols who had the audacity to tell us we would need to plan our get-together on a different holiday from now on!! With grandbaby in tow, we were verbally assaulted as we tried to proceed to Econofoods for a festive watermelon. I, too, have long wondered how this event can be held with little regard for the downtown residents. Last year, there were two different notices distributed. One was actually placed on doors in addition to cars that carried an undeniable ‘tone’, the other was a much more professional, informative notice I suspect was provided to the city official folk. I can certainly appreciate the dedication these cyclists have for this event but the heart of downtown Northfield on a holiday seems a very, very poor fit for it.

    July 18, 2012
  3. kiffi summa said:

    Thank you for your comment , ms. Pangburn.

    As a DT building owner it has been difficult to explain to tenants the inconvenience of this event, and how it came to tie up transportation on an important family holiday.
    I don’t recall hearing the city council ever discuss the problems that come with this event, or the take-over of the downtown by a fast moving group of individuals on bikes rather than outlaw ponies.

    I also think it is the kind of event that should gain support, and is appropriate in Northfield… a town that encourages biking … but it needs to find a different location than the downtown.
    It does not seem to draw a large number of watchers, and as you say it is virtually impossible to move around in the downtown district for all the hours it’s whizzing by.

    If Norman Butler closed his back passageway for a music event to be going on concurrently with the ride, none of the buildings along that side of the river would have any access in case of emergency.

    Maybe DT residents and building owners should ask the Park Board (?) to discuss another location, and bring that to the Council for discussion before next 4th of July’s scheduling.

    July 19, 2012
  4. bonnie pangburn said:

    Thank you kiffi. It is my blog ‘debut’. I read often but don’t feel I have nearly the depth that many of you have to actually respond. However, on this topic, I know firsthand the frustrations and wholly agree with you. You make a very interesting point in regard to emergency access. I can tell you too that even though I now reside on the ‘outskirts’ of woodley street, I heard the disgruntlement of neighbors who attempted to navigate to downtown and suffered reprimand for doing so. I’ll watch to see if this issue is taken further, count me in.

    July 19, 2012
  5. Ben Witt said:

    I would like to first like to thank the residents of Northfield proper, and specifically downtown Northfield, for their cooperation this year, and in year’s past on this event. As with any event held in public spaces, there are always conflicts, and invariably some people are not entirely pleased. We do what we can to mitigate these incidents.

    As the organizer of this event I would like to comment on the above complaints.

    Let me state that the title of this post can put what my mother, and all of our other volunteers and organizers, were doing in a negative light. It misrepresents her as an authoritative figure commanding people to do what she tells them to. It suggests that we are a groups of bullies doing whatever we wish, even to the point of maliciously affecting people’s daily lives. Those of you who know my mother, or any of us personally, know this to be entirely contrary to who we are.

    What she was helping us to do, in two separate forms of written communication, was to try and inform downtown residents and workers of the events to follow, and how to have those events minimally impact their day. I know of no other downtown event that makes any attempt whatsoever to provide downtown residents with any information like this. These events include Jesse James Days, Taste of Northfield, Crazy Days, and the like.

    Both of these fliers where written by myself. The City of Northfield has nothing to do with the running of this event, nor do they have anything to do with the informing of residents. City police officers do post the no parking signs, but that is the extent of their involvement. The city decides on a yearly basis whether we will be allowed to hold the event. City workers in the form of street crews and police officers are involved leading up to, during, and following this event. Apart from a very small in kind grant, we pay for these city services. The dollar cost to the City for this event is absurdly low, especially compared to two of the most expensive events in town, Crazy Days and The Defeat of Jesse James days.

    The City of Northfield DOES sanction this event. Every year this event is held under permit of the City of Northfield. Any complaints about this event can be filed with Deb Little at the City of Northfield. As far as I know, event permits in the City of Northfield are not debated by the city council. It is up to the standard city government to issue and mandate permits. I have never been asked to defend this event to the city council, but I gladly will if that is asked of me.

    This event is also sanctioned and permitted by the USA Cycling Federation, and the Minnesota Cycling Federation. Event permits are held by USA Cycling, and complaints can be filed with them. USA Cycling is also responsible for insuring this event in the case of injury of accident. USA Cycling is also responsible for the RUNNING of this race and event. We are in charge of all preparation, and conclusions of things pertaining to the race. Once the race is started all race functions are handled by professional, paid USA Cycling staff officials.

    Responding to the “no emergency access” comment, it is simply ludicrous to suppose that we would hamper the access of emergency personal. The reason for having volunteers at every intersection along the course is to allow for eventualities such as this. At any point our race could be stopped to allow for access anywhere along our route, or to provide access across the route. This would be similar to how we handle semi truck drivers who invariably need to deliver goods to downtown. It happens every year, and they are accommodated with minimal delay.

    I will make no attempt to say that this event doesn’t affect people who reside in downtown, or those who live in Northfield proper. I would make the argument that our event does a lot to bring people into downtown, as well as to put Northfield in a positive light. Every year we have participants in the race come from Wisconsin, Iowa, and greater Minnesota. A few racers from as far away as California have come for many years. Without fail, these racers thank us, and the City of Northfield, for allowing the race to take place. Many of those local racers return to Northfield with friends and family to shop, entertain, and eat at local establishments.

    We do everything I can think of to minimize the effect this race has on downtown residents, short of not holding the race. As to the comment stating this event should be supported, and improved, just moved somewhere else, I would ask the question of where an event of this size could be moved? There is nowhere that this could be moved that would provide any benefit to the City of Northfield that would also not effect any residents. This event is beneficially for the City precisely BECAUSE it is located in downtown.

    Any negative business impact on the downtown community day of the race is minimal. Being the 4th of July, most businesses are closed, and would be closed regardless of the race occurring. As I said above, I know for a fact that many of the participants of the race return to Northfield throughout the year. I believe our event positively markets Northfield to these people, and that it has a net positive effect on business.

    My personal contact information, as well as that of my co-organizer was written on fliers about this event. All of our volunteers also had my phone number and could have provided this information to anyone day of the race who asked for it. I can be reached at if anyone would like to talk about this race or any issues arising from it.

    July 20, 2012
  6. kiffi summa said:

    Ben: Thank you for your extensive reply…and as Victor said in the initial comment, we absolutely appreciate the flyers that were put out alerting DT apartment residents. That was very helpful, and was sincerely appreciated.

    My only response would be that the apartment dwellers sometimes feel they are treated like ‘second-class citizens’ as more and more events come along that inhibit their freedom to use their space, move their cars, etc. .. and I do not think an event like this would be tolerated in most residential neighborhoods .. and there’s the conflict: DT residents feel like it’s their ‘neighborhood’.

    All in all, you did more than the ‘city’ does to inform the DT residents, and THANK YOU for that.

    Let’s raise money for a velodrome! We should propose that to the Park Board, although the city keeps them on a very tight $$ leash; that would really bring a crowd, and eliminate any traffic problems.

    P.S. a little more training for the monitors might be helpful; there have been some surly ones, and that’s unfortunate.

    Thanks again for all the work you do to organize this event, and especially your Mom’s flyers.

    July 20, 2012
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Ben, thanks much for the substantive comment. I’ll be sure to link to it and excerpt from it next year as the Crit approaches.

    My choice of wording for the blog post was in keeping with many of my promotional type blog posts here on LoGro where I use the person’s name to state what they want to have happen, and if I can spin it in a bit of an irreverent way, then so much the better.

    I see now that my choice of words in this case may have contributed to a negative impression about the Crit and your mom. So let me repeat what you wrote:

    Let me state that the title of this post can put what my mother, and all of our other volunteers and organizers, were doing in a negative light. It misrepresents her as an authoritative figure commanding people to do what she tells them to. It suggests that we are a groups of bullies doing whatever we wish, even to the point of maliciously affecting people’s daily lives. Those of you who know my mother, or any of us personally, know this to be entirely contrary to who we are.

    Indeed! My apologies to you and Mary for the unintended misrepresentation.

    July 23, 2012
  8. bonnie pangburn said:

    Hi Ben. That’s your mom! Well, let me tell you that it was she who apologized to us for the way we were spoken to and she was also incredibly helpful in allowing our family holiday to happen by assisting us to safely pass at the barricades. I am most grateful. Thank you, too, for thanking the downtown residents and for taking the time to share your response.

    Ben, I suspect this event might be as dear to your heart as 4th of July family tradition is to mine. Can we find a way for us both to enjoy the holiday?? You’ve made a few statements that I think require a little more reflection…you mention Crazy Days, Taste of Northfield and DJJD as events for comparison. To me, the significant difference is that these events ‘encourage’ folk to the downtown area. You’re correct, none of these events hand out fliers but they are very well published and posted. I think any downtown resident will tell you that they quickly learn to be tenacious and strategic parkers of their vehicles during these times. But, none of these events prohibits passage to and from their residence.

    I lived (and one of my kids still does)on Washington, between 3rd and 4th streets. I parked, by permit, in the adjacent city lot. You say in your response that ‘we do what we can to mitigate incidents’ and yet also admit that you authored the words “Exceptions will not be made and cars will not be permitted under any circumstances during the duration of the day”.

    Assuming you live in a house, imagine yourself preparing for a race day and loading your cycle, gear, food and necessities from your home into/onto your vehicle…3 blocks away. Throw in a barricade patrol who is shouting at you and waving your flier while doing so. A little rattled? Now, darnit…you’re 1/2 mile down the road and realize you forgot the wheels for the cycle, UGH!! Intentional?? Of course, not. Annoying? Likely, far more for you than the patrol. How might you feel when that same patrol says, well you’ll have to plan to partake in races other than this one that has the convenience of being on a holiday. You’re likely a seasoned cyclist, so you adjust and proceed with your race, you come home fulfilled and also exhausted and…cannot approach your home!! Nope. You’ll have to do the same unload in reverse or leave your cycle/gear unattended until the barricades are opened. Ben, my ‘cargo’ was not a cycle but rather a child, who can’t be left unattended and whose ‘gear’ is essential.

    This is why I wonder if there might be a place for the race where families don’t have to sacrifice their holiday. Perhaps, the Carleton athletic campus or the Middle School field. Or…as Kiffi mentioned, some personnel training to, much like your mom did, assist in safe passage. Or, how about a half-day race. I don’t know what the solution is Ben. I do know that there will be another grandchild next year, that she will be residing in the heart of the bike race field and that this grandma will have time with her on our family holiday. I welcome your suggestions so that we may all enjoy our 4th of July traditions. Thank you.

    July 23, 2012
  9. Todd Amunrud said:

    In terms of location, one of the great attractions for this event is the course layout. My understanding is this course is well-liked by crit riders due to its unique qualities (short, punchy climb by the library, long straightaway down Division, etc).

    Many people do head down for this specific event on the fourth. This year, my family of four and two other families frequented Blue Monday and Hogan bros. We appreciated Tom’s hospitality at Fit-to-be-Tri’d for some A/C and Tour de France coverage on the big screen. Between us, we probably spent well over $100 in food, coffee, and snacks for the day. Most downtown communities usually shutdown on the fourth, as many other Northfield businesses were closed that day. My kids also participated in the kids race.

    This continues to be a wonderful event for Northfield (11th year, I believe), and hope any details can be worked out to accomidate downtown residents.

    July 25, 2012
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    Bonnie, I asked Ben to comment but I assured him he wouldn’t have to commit to ongoing participation.

    While I agree with you that the Crit imposes more restrictions on downtown residents than Taste or DJJD, I think the principle is the same, ie, inconvenience for a few to the benefit of many. Some downtown retailers experience a significant DECREASE in business during DJJD, for example.

    The Crit works so well now in its current form (heart of downtown, all day long) that I don’t think it’s reasonable to ask that that be changed.

    July 26, 2012
  11. Kathie Galotti said:

    As a non-cyclist (and someone who primarily goes out of her way to avoid the Crit, Crazy Daze, and DJJD), it would seem to me that some reasonable compromise ought to be possible that does not require the race to be moved from the course that is working BUT gives a little more consideration to residents. Maybe a one-hour mid-day break in the race to allow residents access to their cars?

    I think Bonnie is making reasonable requests here.

    It doesn’t sound like residents were ever consultes or involved when this event was planned–maybe it’s time to right that wrong?

    July 26, 2012
  12. Ben Witt said:

    In order for us to be able to hold this race under USA Cycling mandate, (and therefore be able to covered under USA Cycling event insurance as well as City of Northfield permit,) the course that the race runs must remain closed to cars from the start to the finish of the day. This protects us as an organization and organizers, residents and spectators, as well as the City of Northfield.

    We have worked out exceptions to this to allow businesses and residents to leave downtown through the day at the 5th and Washington intersection, and the third and Washington intersection. This is as much of a compromise as we are legally allowed to offer, and it took a lot of work on our part for the USA Cycling officials to allow. This is of course different in cases of emergency.

    There is no way for us to legally allow residents to leave directly from their driveways to leave the course. The same holds true in regards to letting people back in to their driveways from outside of the course. If you live anywhere in or around the course there are places you can park your car within 1 block of where you live day of the race, while still being able to drive from the course itself.

    July 26, 2012
  13. bonnie pangburn said:

    Thank you Kathie for your comment. Ben, your reply was SO informative, I truly appreciate it. May I suggest that you use this information in your future fliers. It explains why this event is more restrictive, it recognizes that residents might wish to leave to participate in other plans, it offers them and the businessfolk the options to do so appropriately and carries a tone of consideration rather than condescension. Couple this with a barricade crew that can lookout for the safety of all participants, hospitably, and I would say, that through this exchange, we’ve made great forward strides. This, though, is from my ‘upper east’ perspective… Victor/Kiffi-care to add in?

    July 26, 2012
  14. bonnie pangburn said:

    And, thank you too Griff. Sorry,I think midway in this conversation I incorrectly placed my response into ‘your zone’. Rookies, sigh.

    July 26, 2012
  15. Griff Wigley said:

    Bonnie, no worries about the comment placement. I still goof it up occasionally.

    Thanks so much for your willingness to chime in.

    July 27, 2012
  16. victor summa said:

    As one whose comments are monitored (likely the longest term, thus only an occasional LG commenter) my response, Bonnie, to your question: if (Kiffi or Victor) might add in … here’s my minimal add on. We’ll see how long it takes to get posted – or, indeed if it will ever see the light of day.

    Guess there’s a parallel lesson here [sic] If your in charge of the race course or the discourse, you may limit input. Griff?

    I too thought that Ben’s initial and subsequent comments were overly strong in defending the event he organizes. His mom’s posting the notice is a “first” as far as I know. Because of the inconvenience, I don’t come DT on the fourth … that is,unless, because it as not well noticed, I am unaware of its being run, again. Oh Well?

    While your comments, Ben, make sense from the race promoter’s POV, they do not take into consideration any of the process used to determine the event’s impact (good or bad) on the DT residents.

    Bonnie, you have added very adequately how the event has some negative impact on others who might want to navigate the DT.

    Additionally, Ben, I recall you expressed allowances for commercial deliveries into the race zone. Really? I’m not aware of any of these on Fourth of July days.

    Regardless, it has been my experience, Ben, that some of your race course monitors are less than understanding in their responses to disgruntled citizens. This makes for bad relationships being ramped up into worse relationships.

    I am not a race course designer – and have little if any comments on how the course might be otherwise laid out, while still providing the needed characteristics that you, Ben, cite as mandated by the overarching event sponsor (is it that, a sponsor?) Regardless, Ben, while you make a case, that case is devoid of any sense of consideration for the DT residents or the DT visitors. Additionally, (and I may have said this earlier) there is little if any of Official’s public discussion weighing the pros or cons of this event. Getting a permit from the otherwise not involved city departments does not provide any relief for the citizens.

    Saying all that, I do not see an easy fix – and do believe that events like this race are potentially a value to Northfield – especially in supporting and building tourism.. One has to wonder how the Tour De France or Grand Prix were first received by the citizens of France. One might compare those events to Baseball in America and ask then, why isn’t BB played across America in Bridge Square like locations? Then of course, there is stick ball in NYC.

    Finally, I’m privileged to add … this discourse, here on LG is the most in-depth discussion of this event … I can recall. In fact, I don’t recall any notice or discussion ever … other than, Puzzled comments like, What’s this all about?

    Yet, we still have not heard from the City Council.

    I fear there no change in the offing. That substantive and workable changes are illusive and that we’ll likely grow with the event. Maybe that’s what is meant by “growing pains”.

    July 27, 2012
  17. Jerry Bilek said:

    Victor-what is your beef with the race? You said you don’t come downtown on the 4th. your retail tenants would benefit from the additional foot traffic if they were open. the apt residents could drive their cars in and out of your parking slots via the alley that runs behind the building to 2nd st.

    I happen to think all of the events that take place downtown enhance the vibrancy of our downtown. Any event like this takes a great deal of time and work. nobody is getting rich. I’m thankful that people like Ben are willing to organize these events.

    July 28, 2012
  18. kiffi summa said:

    Jerry: My major problem is that there are more and more ‘events’ which render the DT apartment dwellers frustrated…
    As I said, they consider it their ‘neighborhood’ and the potential for getting your car immobilized is high; that is not an alley from our parking lot to 2nd street; it is the back of Norman’s private property … and if he wanted to close it for a music event on his stage on the 4th… which is a likely possibility …then there is no exit.

    For as long as I’ve lived here, it has been a major mis-conception that the property between the buildings on the west side of Division and west to the river is public property; it is not. It is all privately owned, and maintained solely by those owners, and the owners could close it all to public use any time they wanted to do so, which obviously would be a great inconvenience, so they do not … but they could.

    There is no “beef’ with the race; there are questions about how to make it better for everyone, and less inconvenient for some.

    July 28, 2012
  19. Jerry Bilek said:


    Did the Contented Cow have a music event on the 4th? was access blocked? if not, it was a non-issue.

    is it really a likely possibility? how many times in the history of this race has the Contented Cow had a music event?

    July 28, 2012
  20. kiffi summa said:

    Jerry: I must not have been clear because you missed my point entirely.

    The race is a fine event.
    It takes place in a confined space which presents problems for some of the people who live, or have to function there.

    Is there a way to mitigate some of those problems?
    or do we just say “TS” ?

    July 29, 2012
  21. victor summa said:

    Jerry – I don’t have too much of a beef with the event’s purpose. But, I do believe that it is defended by it’s proponents in a very closed minded manner. And, if there is a beef it is that it has never been vetted properly – never have citizen’s voices been heard or their opinions asked for. And to my knowledge, the same is true for the businesses along the race course and the residents in the more residential neighborhoods. Additionally, I have heard complaints from residents who do not live along the course, but find it hard to navigate from point A to point B because of the race course.

    Yes, you’re right, I do not come downtown. Too inconvenient — well that’s sort of a misstatement on my part, because when I do venture DT I encounter the difficulties and the attitudes. Too unpleasant.

    FACT and it has already been stated – Ben’s mother circulated flyers for the first time – or at least I do not recall EVER seeing one posted to my apartment tenant entry in the past. FACT. These flyers do not address the inconvenience of other citizens such as Bonnie. FACT I think I have been reasonable with my comments. IMHO, they were not as strong as Ben’s in support of his event.

    I also think the event has provided very little measurable positive impact on the DT. But … who knows, maybe on July 5 each year there’s hundred of visitors shopping DT because they visited the day before to view the races.

    SUMMARY The race course is not conveniently laid out for the mere citizen’s use of the DT. Is there a better way? Don’t know.

    It has (I believe) a 13 year history. Never adequately pre-announced or discussed and for the most part the only visitors seemed to be the racers and there families.

    So jerry, if you were open, would you find it an advantage? Could the foot traffic intrigue you to blow off the holiday and open up the shop? In fact, if it’s an advantage … why not stay open?

    As to ingress and egress on my parking lot – you mention the tunnel and the passage through Norman Butler’s Cow Pasture. Not always open, and it shouldn’t be! To my private lot, the only appropriate access is up my drive out on to Division Street.

    These are facts, not beefs.

    I have a question for Ben – hi Ben . I’m curious, have you been involved at the level you are now with the race program for all of its history? I ask this because clearly this year with your mother’s effort and your responses, we have better communication than in the past. Granted. all post the event, but it is welcome at any time. You seem to have an essential role and can answer questions.
    And, that’s fine … not meant to be critical with the question … Maybe we can credit or blame LG for the expanded dialogue.

    Incidentally. I support the DJJD Arts Festival with the gift of my parking space and the cooperation of my tenants in not parking there for that weekend.

    I support Nick Sinclairs Auto show – in the same manner.

    And I certainly do not protest Taste of Northfield, or Crazy Daze.

    Finally I’d venture to say, in my 20 year history with the DT, the most spectacular event ever was River City Books (my tenant) staging the viewing of the Harry Potter movie – waiting for midnight sale of the new book.

    See you DT

    July 30, 2012
  22. bonnie pangburn said:

    Hi folks. Hi Jerry – I see you’ve directed your response and questions to Victor and Kiffi, I hope you’ll accept mine as well even though I’m hesitant to do so as it feels this has become a bit hostile.

    I have been a resident of Northfield for 28+ years now. Moving here remains one of my best decisions. I love Northfield, especially Downtown Northfield. I also love time with my family and friends. I work in the food/beverage/hospitality business so much, I suspect, like you am at work nearly every weekend. Christmas, Easter, etc are shared with in-laws, extended family and somehow through the years, the 4th of July became MYday. It used to mean inviting someone or some few to share it with. We would breakfast at The Tavern, walk the streets and shop and end up chatting at Blue Monday til it was picnic/family time. Our favorite stops were the Ames Park Flea Market, Present Perfect and Monkey Read!

    A couple years ago after our traditional trek, it rained. I came home to get my car to gather my guests and their newly purchased goods, it seemed the “hostess-y” thing to do, but in doing so we were lambasted to such an unthinkable degree by the Crit barricade folk that I have given up. I no longer invite anyone to downtown Nfld. on the 4th and I personally take great measure to avoid downtown during the Crit/the entire day. I now gather my necessities at Target and Cub because the simple fact is The Crit is not pedestrian friendly, resident friendly, and the bulk of the people who monitor it are not friendly!

    I am only one party, no business is being hurt by my choice but there are questions/situations that this event presents that people have a right to wonder. I let Ben’s claim that -everyone has parking access within 1 block- go by because I hope that they will take the time in coming years to ensure that will indeed be the case. But, the truth is that isn’t even close to being accurate. For me personally Jerry, my mom isn’t able anymore to navigate well. She greatly misses the tradition but I can’t get her close enough to do the level walking that she can handle.

    At the risk of being redundant…it’s a holiday and alot of the downtown area is blocked for the whole damn day…not for a town or business or patriotic holiday celebration BUT for a sporting event, a sporting event that feels kinda ‘private’. How did it come to be? is a completely valid question. Ben has chosen not to enlighten us, his choice.

    But it doesn’t seem likely that another sporting event would be able to accomplish what The Crit has without some advance public awareness and input. Sporting events aren’t typically held in open downtown areas so it seems legitimate to wonder about this specific, established event. The act of wondering doesn’t automatically make me or anyone else “anti” or “opposed”, I think many have expressed their support actually. It does seem, to me, like there should and could be some compromise reached and that no one should be spoken/blogged meanly to for inquiring.

    July 30, 2012
  23. Ben Witt said:

    This event was started by a different man in 1999. He went to city hall, filed an event permit, and was granted permission by city officials and the city council to hold the event. We have followed this same process for the last 8 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

    We have improved how we run this race every year. This includes better communication with residents, relationships with city workers and officials, and the actual running of the race. We will continue to try and improve in all of these areas in the future. Your comments will certainly help us in this effort.

    In past years there used to be much more of an event atmosphere downtown on the fourth. Food vendors, live music, and other civic events used to be held right alongside our race. We have attended downtown business group meetings and have had talks with the Chamber of Commerce and city officials about this as well. I have always said that I hope this could eventually be a Fourth of July event that happens to have a bike race. I would welcome collaboration with interested parties to make that happen.

    As I have said above, I can be reached at, or on the phone at 507-331-2636 to address specific concerns or questions. I will not be commenting further on this event here.

    August 1, 2012
  24. bonnie pangburn said:

    Thank you Ben for your reply. It is a nice finish to this feed.

    August 3, 2012
  25. Griff Wigley said:

    Bonnie and Ben, thanks for a fruitful ending to the discussion.

    August 6, 2012

Leave a Reply