Story of the Century: Hipster Cyclists vs. Suburban Cops in Pedal Pub Melee

On May 6, 2492, assuming we haven’t made any major changes, the eight planets of the solar system will align. Until then, we’ll have to entertain ourselves with lesser celestial events, like Halley’s Comet, or with what is possibly the most perfect news story to ever hit the Twin Cities.

By now, you will have heard of the weekend brawl featuring some number of cyclists shooting squirt guns and throwing water balloons at Pedal Pubs in Downtown Minneapolis. After allegedly (?) coordinating their attack on the “I hate the Pedal Pub” Facebook group, the dastardly alleged (?) assailants rendezvoused in Loring Park before carrying out their attack. After allegedly (?) hitting two pubs, the group managed to pick one carrying…six off-duty Burnsville police officers, and were…detained. Five were charged with misdemeanors yesterday. Here is the video! Warning: Language.

They really went for it! Lots going on with cops lately, though also, don’t squirt anyone in the face with anything without their consent, rude. There are over 700 comments on the initial Star Tribune article! Your uncle in Sauk Rapids probably had quite a bit to say on Facebook about it. If you are going to break any laws (don’t) I would recommend doing so further than tens of feet away from the 1st Precinct, which is what this intersection is.

This story has it all!

  • Booze
  • Bikes
  • Burnsville

Pedal Pubs are a great target for criticism and critical water balloons because they touch all sorts of different perceived and actual changes that are going on in the Twin Cities right now. Bill Lindeke wrote an excellent and extensive defense of Pedal Pubs on his personal blog just over two years ago; since then both core cities have continued to add tens of thousands of new residents, it has gotten harder to park in Downtown Minneapolis, and the Green Line has opened. Also, someone very strategically told everyone that there is a word, “gentrification,” that means “new thing that I do not like,” which is unfortunately not what that means, but it gives lots of people a pseudo-academic way to complain that the world is not preserved in amber.

As a city resident and occasional tool, I do not hate the Pedal Pub! I am agnostic on the Pedal Pub, though probably leaning slightly in favor, largely for the reasons Bill talked about in that post a couple of years ago. I have been on four Pedal Pubs, three in the salty haze not too long after and including my 21st birthday, and then one last summer. Though the one last summer felt different–blasting DMX while stopped at a stop light on a largely empty Nicollet Mall at 6:00 PM, surrounded by people waiting for the bus? Nah, not something I necessarily need to do again.

But, there are no shortage of drunk locals puking on tables at the Red Dragon and hollering at cars on Lyndale Avenue, away from the areas with all the new apartment buildings and $12 cocktails. On the 18 bus last week, I saw a woman, disembarking with a stroller, screaming miscellaneous profanity at another woman, currently pregnant. Today on the bus there was a tapioca pudding container sitting face down on a seat, pudding spread all about. Life is complicated! People do dumb things on the weekends everywhere, that’s the point.

If you really want to strike back, steer clear of those assault charges, take the Blue Line to the Red Line to the Apple Valley Red Robin, and hit up that Happy Hour.

Nick Magrino

About Nick Magrino

Nick Magrino grew up all over the place but has lived in the Loring Park neighborhood of Minneapolis longer than anywhere else. He has a new cat, Sweater, and does not use hashtags at @nickmagrino. He is probably on a bus right now.