Dust off that bicycle!

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April 22, 2014
By: Hilary Reeves
Hilary Reeves

Either ride it or give it away! Minneapolis and Saint Paul Bike Weeks are coming up, May 4–11, offering lots of encouragement to dust off your bicycle and get places.

And, if you’re not going to use your bicycle, donate it so someone else can. SPOKES Bike Walk Connect in the Seward Neighborhood is hosting a used bike drive, May 4–May 10. The bikes will be rebuilt as part of the “earn-a-bike” or community bike library programs. Or, the parts will be used to fix other bikes.

The 2014 celebration of Minneapolis Bike Week offers more than 50 events, brought to you by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and more than 75 partners and sponsors. Bike to Work Day, Thursday, May 8, again will be a big day, with a morning celebration at the Hennepin County Government Center and the opportunity to ride into downtown with members of the Minneapolis City Council.

According to Nick Ray Olson, coordinator from the Minneapolis Bike Coalition, this year’s bike week celebrates all types of bicycling. “With eight themed days we highlight a different aspect of riding. We hope to reach a much wider audience by taking this new approach.”

For those out for the first time this spring, there will be Commuter Pit Stops during the morning and evening commutes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 17 around the city. Staffed by local bike shops and volunteers, the pit stops offer free bicycle repair, maps, and information.

Here’s a preliminary day-by-day roster of Bike Week events. Check the website for full details — www.mplsbikeweek.org. 

Sunday, May 4: Bike to Parks Day

(10 a.m.–7 p.m.) May Day Parade and Festival at Powderhorn Park. Stop by the Minneapolis Bike Week’s Bike Corral on the festival grounds for easy bike parking, free bike repair, lights and other giveaways. 

Monday, May 5: Cinco de Mayo 

(7 a.m.–9 a.m.) Bike Week and Tamales y Bicicletas present a Cinco de Mayo Bicycle Celebration. Swing by the corner of Bloomington and East Lake Street on your way to work for bicycling resources, free bike repair, bike lights, tamales and other giveaways.

Commuter Pit Stops for the morning and evening commute at 17 locations around the city.

Tuesday, May 6: Nice Ride

(7 a.m.–6 p.m.) Try out Nice Ride at locations all over town (see map on website). Nice Ride will also be at the 19th Annual American Indian Wellness Fair from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

(5:30 p.m.–7 p.m.) SPOKES Adult Learn to Ride Class, East of the Matthews Community Center (see map on website). 

Wednesday, May 7: Bike or Walk to School Day

Kids from K-8 and high schools across the city will be getting there on two feet or two wheels, with a range of ways to celebrate, from “I Biked” or “I Walked” stickers to music, banners, and bike tune ups. Check the web site to see if your school is participating. Some schools have set meet-up locations so parents, kids, and staff can walk or bike together.

Commuter Pit Stops for the morning and evening commute at 17 locations around the city. 

Thursday, May 8: 2014 Bike to Work Day

Meet your City Council Member and see how easy it is get downtown on a bicycle. Ride in from North Minneapolis with Blong Yang. Join Kevin Reich and Jacob Frey from Northeast. If you live on the east side of downtown, connect with Abdi Warsame and the folks at SPOKES. John Quincy is leading a ride from southwest Minneapolis and Andrew Johnson from south Minneapolis. Check the web site for additional rides and information about where to meet.

(7:15 a.m.–9 a.m.) A celebration featuring food, music, free bike repair and a bicycle resource fair. Hennepin County Government Center Plaza North, 300 S. 6th St., downtown Minneapolis. Mayor Hodges, County Commissioners, and Minneapolis City Council Members will speak about bicycling’s integral role in our healthy, successful communities. 

Friday, May 9: Bike and Ride Day 

(Noon–1:30 p.m.) Work downtown? Spend your lunch at Bike Law 101 with the Hennepin County Bar Association (600 Nicollet Mall, STE 390, in City Center).  Hear how changes to Minnesota Chapter 169.222 could make your cycling experience a more lawful one.

Commuter Pit Stops for the morning and evening commute at 17 locations around the city. 

Saturday, May 10: Bike to Local Businesses Day

(11 a.m.–4 p.m.) Join Recovery Bike Shop for a Northeast block party (near Lowry & Central) featuring food, music, bike repair, and family fun. 

Sunday, May 11: Family Bike Day

If you somehow missed opportunities earlier in the week, Minneapolis has a wonderful system of off-road trails and on-street routes, including family-friendly bicycle boulevards. Get out and enjoy! 

Hilary Reeves is communications director for Transit for Livable Communities.