For Immediate Release


I am writing today to inform the cycling public that I am taking back the reigns of Almanzo. 


For those that aren’t familiar, the Almanzo is a collection of free-to-enter gravel road cycling events that take place annually in Spring Valley, Minnesota, on the first weekend after Mother’s Day. The events began in 2007 when 12 folks gathered their bicycles together in a park near downtown Rochester, Minnesota to ride their steeds 100 miles west to Mankato, Minnesota. In the years that followed, the event grew exponentially and eventually moved to the city of Spring Valley, where it has remained ever since. 


In 2014, I stepped away from the event and handed it over to the Tourism Committee (Kathy Simpson) in Spring Valley. With help from Penn Cycle (an organization that I currently oversee), Kathy continued to produce events that brought people from all over the country.


After the event this year (2018), Kathy and Penn had some difficult conversations about the time and the stress that producing these events creates. Both parties declared that the strain was too much to continue. For disclaimer purposes (and to anyone familiar with producing large cycling events), the amount of work required to make them happen is incredible. I have known this all along and I am incredibly grateful to Kathy and Penn for their efforts over the last four years, as they have kept the spirit of Almanzo alive and have gone to amazing lengths to preserve what was originally my vision. 

That said, Kathy has decided to take a step back this year. In her absence, I cannot see another person more capable of taking control of these events than myself. I am rested and I am ready to make Almanzo more accessible and more amazing than ever before. 


From day one the purpose of this event was to get people on bicycles and encourage them to push themselves beyond what they previously thought they were capable of. That has never changed and never will. Here we go.

Always my best,

Chris Skogen

Christopher Skogen