Rolling into Minneapolis bike week

Updated: May 16, 2016 - 3:39 pm

Leave the car at home during Minneapolis Bike Week, returning this year May 16–22.

Minneapolis Bike Week challenges those who don’t normally ride a bicycle to give it a try, whether that means a two-wheeled commute to work or school, biking to the grocery store or a joy ride around the Chain of Lakes. And if that already sounds like an average week for you, then just let it roll.

Minneapolis is just one of many communities across the country celebrating bicycling during May, declared National Bike Month by the League of American Bicyclists. Local bike week activities are a coordinated effort between businesses, nonprofits, community groups and the city, with the non-profit Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition playing a leading role.

The week kicks off with “Fix It Day” on Monday, with bicycle repair events scheduled across the city to help riders get ready for the week. Then comes “Go By Bike Day,” “Nice Ride Day” (a celebration of the city’s bicycle-sharing service), “Women’s Day” and one of the week’s major events, “Bike to Work Day” on Friday.

Minneapolis Bicycle Week continues over the weekend. Bicyclists are encouraged to ride and shop at local businesses on Saturday’s “Small Business Day” and then enjoy some more time outdoors on Sunday, “Family Bike to Parks Day.”

Groups that are planning a Minneapolis Bike Week event can submit their ideas through the website mplsbikeweek.org. That’s also where bicyclists can find information about volunteering at bike week events.

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition is encouraging regular cyclists to register as a Bike Buddy and invite a friend, neighbor or coworker along for a ride during Minneapolis Bike Week. The more experienced “roll models” are eligible for prizes, and their new bicycling buddies get a bit of encouragement to keep riding in the form of a goodie package from restaurateur Kim Bartmann of Bryant-Lake Bowl, Red Stag, Tiny Diner and other local eateries.