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RACE # 2 - Bluff Riders Charge May 31st

RACE CANCELED Due to Covid 19

WE will back NEXT YEAR!

Race Description


A longtime series favorite race, the Bluff Rider's Charge (Race #2 in the 2020 MNMBS) will be held on Sunday, May 31st. Mount Kato boasts 7+ miles of wooded singletrack, and your beloved trails will be prepped and ready to shred, courtesy of the Mankato Area Mountain Bikers Trail Crew!

MNMBS and the Mankato High School Cycling Team are joining forces to re-energize the iconic Bluff Rider's Charge.  All proceeds from the race will benefit More Families on Bikes, a Mankato-based organization that cultivates the family cycling culture as an independent activity provider.

New for 2020: Raffle-Palooza!

Raffle tickets available for purchase at Nicollet Bike & Ski and at Bluff Rider's Charge on both pre-ride Saturday and race day Sunday. Prizes include gift certificates from Nicollet Bike & Ski, and this limited edition New Belgium Brewing bicycle grand prize donated by Cub Foods (need not be present to win).

Limited Edition 2017 New Belgium Bicycle by Detroit Bikes ...

Online Registration

On line registration ends at 8:00 PM  on Thursday, May 28th.

 (stay tuned for the updated 2020 registration link!)

On-Site Registration

On-site registration will open at Mount Kato Sunday, May 31st at 8:00AM

Race Courses & Pre-Ride-a-Palooza (stay tuned for updated 2020 information!)

The trails at Mount Kato run in a clockwise direction only--use the link to the map below with the course descriptions:

*Specific course elements are subject to change based on course conditions on race day and discretion of the race director and property owner.

Pre-Ride-a-Palooza: all courses will be prepped and marked  for pre-ride by 10:00 am on Saturday, May 30th.

The Mankato High School Cycling Team will provide complimentary grilled hot-dogs, hydration, and on-the-bike trail guides for pre-riders!

Start Times, Distances, Fees (stay tuned for updated 2020 information with expanded Women's field options!)

Class Start Time Distance # of Laps Pre - Registration Day of Registration
Kids Comp 9:00 AM 3.5 miles 1 $13 $18
Citizen 9:30 AM 7 miles 2 $24 $34
Marathon Open 10:50 AM 4hrs $33 $44
Sport 11:00 AM 13.5 miles 3 $29 $40
Kids Comp, Citizen Awards 11:15 AM
Kids Fun Race** 12:45 PM Free** Free**
Expert & Pro Men 1:10 PM 22.5 miles 5 $33 $44
Expert & Pro Women 1:12 PM 18 miles 4 $33 $44
Comp SS Open/Fatbike Open 1:15 PM 18 miles 4 $29 $40
Comp Age Groups 1:18 PM 18 miles 4 $29 $40
All riders 18 and under - - - $18 $24
Sport Awards 1:45 PM
Marathon/Comp/SS/Fatbike & Elite Group Awards 3:45 PM

The Registration "RACE # 2 - Bluff Riders Charge May 31st" is not currently available.

Minnesota Series Kids Fun Race

The Minnesota Series Kids Fun Race is designed to give our youngest riders an opportunity to compete like their parents in a positive and fun environment. The Race is free to children ages 3 to 12.  Parent cyclists ride and race with the kids, providing motivational and physical support.
** Must Register
Race starts at 12:45 PM! Helmets are required. Register on-site only by 12:30pm. 


Medal & award presentation ceremonies will immediately follow the completion of each event. 
Medals will be awarded 3 places deep in each age group for all race classes. Cash payout, up to 15 places deep to Expert Male and Female Overall. See the MNMBS Guidelines for payout details.


Mt. Kato area maps

Mount Kato Ski Area
20461 Hwy 66 | Mankato, MN 56001

Driving Directions from Minneapolis/St. Paul and points north:

Take US Hwy 169 South from the Twin Cities to Mankato/North Mankato. Exit right onto Riverfront Dr. and go about 8 blocks--turn left onto Sibley (under the overpass) and continue six blocks to right turn onto Blue Earth Street. Left at the stop sign onto Hwy 1 (old Hwy 66), follow for 1.5 miles to Mount Kato on your left.

Driving Directions from points south:

Take US Hwy 169 North/60 East. Turn left onto Hawthorn Road/Hwy 90 and go about 2.5 miles. Turn left onto Hawthorn Road/Hwy 90 and go about 2.5 miles. Turn left on Hwy 66 (south of Mt Kato) and less than a mile from there Mt. Kato will be on the right.


Other Information

Camping is available at two locations near Mt. Kato:

Land of Memories

382 Hawley Street
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 387-8649

Minneopa State Park

54497 Gadwall Road
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-5464

Lodging is available at:

Hilton Garden Inn

20 Civic Center Plaza
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 344-1111

AmericInn Hotel & Conference Center

240 Stadium Road
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 345-8011


Mount Kato Bluff Rider's Charge 2015: Finally a Kato Race Under 100 degrees!

More than 400 racers turned out for great racing and great day in Mankato.‚Äč

By Troy Melhus

There are many reasons Mount Kato always ranks among my favorite mountain bike trails in Minnesota.

I spent nearly a decade covering the Minnesota Vikings — and their summer training camp practices — after which, each night, I'd ride over to Mount Kato for multiple laps.

I met my wife at Mount Kato. (True story: We met while checking the results posted on the side of the chalet at a Mount Kato race, nearly 10 years ago).

And now I have memories of our 4-year-old helping with handups and racing for her own medal in the series' kids race.

But my affection for Mount Kato goes beyond sentimental. The truth is Mount Kato is one of the best overall singletrack courses in Minnesota, from its lung-busting opening climb to the flowing singletrack on the backsides of this popular winter ski area. With its wooded terrain, quick switchback climbs, and rolling hills, a day at Kato for me is a day of pure joy.

Clearly I'm not alone. More than 400 racers rolled onto Mount Kato on Sun., May 31 to experience this annual rite of joy with me. The day could not have been better.

"These are the best conditions I've ever raced at Mount Kato," said Matt Kirk, a racer for the Bicycle Sports bike shop of Rochester. "First time it hasn't been 100 degrees."

Despite rain the previous day, the weather — and course — were in ideal shape.

"All the riders have been saying the course is great," said Matt Anderson, the Minnesota Series referee. "The riders have been really happy — it's been clean racing all day."

"It was tough but a lot of fun," said Hub Cycling racer Mary Gonzalez. "It's just very nice to have people cheering you on the whole way and have that support."

Troy Melhus is a former expert racer for the Peace Coffee Bicycle Racing Team and former reporter and editor for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He still occasionally throws his helmet into the ring as a Comp single-speeder. You can reach him at


Mike Busch

Event Director

Phone: (507) 351-0781