The overnight rains stopped in time for the great lawn of The Commons to dry before the first morning cyclist arrived. It was a good start for the Celebrate Bike Week event as riders rolled into the downtown park sitting the shadow of US Bank Stadium.

Move Minneapolis, City of Minneapolis As You Go MPLS program and Hennepin County hosted Celebrate Bike Week on the morning of Thursday, May 16 – a celebration of bike commuting, recreational riders, and cyclists of all abilities. The goal of the event was to elevate active transportation, health and wellness, and community building for downtown residents, commuters, and those curious about city riding.

For many attendees the fun started with the morning journey to Commons Park. Ride-ins were offered from several locations in the Twin Cities: Northeast Minneapolis, St. Paul, South Minneapolis, and Southwest of downtown Minneapolis.

Ride-Ins From Around the Cities

The ride-in from South Minneapolis was organized and led by Move Minneapolis’ Catherine Windyk. Catherine was joined by riders from around the city, including new City of Minneapolis Public Works Director Tim Sexton and Deputy Director of Minneapolis Public Works Bryan Dodds. Mary Blitzer of Bike Anywhere graciously acted as sweep, and Andy Lageson of Cyclehoop generously provided tunes and safe crossings for all riders. Starting on the Sabo Bridge, the 2 mile route utilized the Hiawatha Light Rail trail, on-street bike lanes on 3rd Street, and the sidewalk level Portland Avenue bike lane.

Ride-in from the Sabo bridge in South Minneapolis and the crew from Northeast Minneapolis

Another ride from Northeast Minneapolis was led by year-round cyclist Chris Kulhanek, who works at Minneapolis College, and Hennepin County Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator Jordan Kocak. Their ride on the “secret” Great Northern Greenway path winds safely along 18th Ave NE to the river along the phenomenal public art at the Sheridan Memorial Park along with native plantings and an excellent kids play area. The route is a lovely car-free trail along the river that passes by a new green space called Graco Park.

“I chose the bike route, in consultation with ride co-organizer Jordan Kocak, because it highlights some of the favorite trails I’ve stumbled on in my quest to arrive at my lab in Minneapolis College calm and happy.”

-Chris Kulhanek

Two other rides joined in from the Walker Art Center, led by Move Minneapolis’ Karl Hedlund, and from Yellowbird Coffee Bar on Selby Avenue in St Paul, led by Move Minneapolis Commute Ambassador Patrick Schwinn.

The Event at Commons Park

At Commons Park, Slow Roll MSP provided free secure bike valet parking. For attendees who did not ride in on two wheels, Metro Transit provided free downloadable transit passes, taking advantage of the event’s proximity to Metro Blue/Green Line stations and many downtown bus routes.  Lime and VEO scooter/e-bike-share also offered discounted ride promos to take to Commons Park.

Highlighting bike resources, safe routes, and featuring free tune-ups by mechanics from Minneapolis College Bike Collective and the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, this educational event was a good primer for Bike To Work Day taking place the following day. For those interested in trying a new two-wheeled mode, Lime and VEO provided free scooter and e-bike test rides in the park. Other biking exhibitors included the University of Minnesota’s ZAP bike commuter program, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, Hennepin Healthcare’s Sustainability Committee , and bicycle instructors from Bike Anywhere.

Leaders Celebrate Biking in Minneapolis

Deputy Director of Public Works Bryan Dodd, Move Mpls Executive Dir. Tiffany Orth, Council Member Katie Cashman

Celebrate Bike Week also featured remarks about bicycling in Minneapolis by three active transportation champions: Tiffany Orth (Executive Director, Move Minneapolis), Bryan Dodd (City of Minneapolis, Deputy Director of Public Works), and Minneapolis Ward 7 representative Council Member Katie Cashman.

The Celebrate Bike Week event brought in a healthy mix of seasoned cyclists and people just starting to explore city biking. The beautiful downtown park setting was very accessible by bike, transit, or by walking for downtown residents or workers. It was an ideal space to test ride scooters and e-bikes, get a bike tuned-up, be inspired by community leaders, and grab a cup of coffee and mingle with biking fans. Celebrate Bike Week was one of many Bike Month events happing in our region during May with the ultimate goal of encouraging bicycling as a healthy, joyful, and environmentally friendly way to get around in your community.



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