Considering we’ve had one of the warmest springs in recent local memory, it’s not as if we need another reason to get outdoors. Yet another reason arrives in the form of Bike Walk Week, the Twin Cities’ annual cavalcade of events and activities promoting bicycling and walking.
From June 2–10, nearly two dozen formal Bike Walk Week events promise to please everyone from staunch activity enthusiasts to couch potato graduates. The main point of Bike Walk Week is simply to encourage Twin Cities residents to bike or walk, rather than drive, for at least one trip during the event’s week.
In 2011, nearly 10,000 Twin Cities residents participated in Bike Walk Week, by bicycling or walking to work, school, for errands or fun. Given a significant increase in local bicycling and walking, Bike Walk Week organizers expect even greater turnout this year. A complete list of events is at bikewalkweek.org. There, you can also register to earn special Bike Walk Week prizes, including those awarded through Metro Transit’s Commuter Challenge.
Highlight events of 2012 Bike Walk Week include the following:
Saturday, June 2
Northeast Ride, 10 a.m., meet at the Northeast Armory, across from Beltrami Park. The Northeast Ride will take cyclists on a tour of Northeast Minneapolis, through the arts district, and past the great Northeast creative buildings and historical landmarks like the Casket Arts Building and the Grain Belt Brewery. The approximately 12-mile route also includes a stop at the Johnstock Festival, with over 50 arts/crafts vendors. Cost is $25, supporting the Northeast CDC and economic development in Northeast Minneapolis. For more information, visit northeastride.org.
Bike Walk Move Jingle Contest Concert, 6–8 p.m., Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. If you love music, and bicycling and walking, don’t miss the finals of the Bike Walk Move Jingle Contest, with performers playing their own songs promoting bicycling and walking. The winning song will be featured this summer on Cities 97! Free admission. For more information, go to bikewalkmove.org/contest.
Wednesday, June 6
Women’s Wednesday Bike Ride, 5:30–7:30 p.m., Downtown Minneapolis YWCA, 1130 Nicollet Mall. Bring your bike and helmet for a leisurely ride around downtown Minneapolis, off-street trails and on-street bikeways. Sponsored by the Minneapolis Bike Walk Ambassadors, the goal of this ride is to help women build their confidence when bicycling. The first 15 women who attend will receive a free bike tool or accessory. Note: there is also a “get ready” clinic on Wednesday, May 30th from 5:30 p.m.–7 p.m., at the Downtown Minneapolis YWCA, covering ‘Need to Know’ information for riding comfortably, basic bicycle maintenance and trip planning. Not required, but encouraged!
Thursday, June 7
Bike Walk to Work Day Celebrations: Minneapolis: Nicollet Mall in front of the Central Library, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The capstone event will be the national unveiling of the new “Forever” bicycling stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. In St. Paul, join St. Paul Smart Trips and its partners in a celebration that includes free breakfast snacks and coffee, and entertainment by the Twin Cities Unicycle Club. Celebration events also are happening in Anoka and Bloomington.
Saturday, June 9
Midtown Greenway Coalition’s Greenway Glow, 9 p.m. to midnight, Midtown Freewheel Bike Center – If you love the Midtown Greenway, art and things that glow in the dark, the Greenway Glow is for you! In this illuminated biking extravaganza, bicyclists will briefly tour Northern Spark art installations along the Greenway, enjoy food from Bryant Lake Bowl and beverages from New Belgium Brewing Co., and a post-ride party at Intermedia Arts. Registration is $30 per person. To learn more, go to midtowngreenway.org.
Sunday, June 10th
Open Streets Event, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lyndale Ave S from 22nd St to 42nd St. Back by popular demand, Open Streets — organized by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition — provides a traffic-free street for six hours along a 20-block stretch of Lyndale Ave.
Bike to the Ballpark Day, 1 p.m., St. Paul Saints, Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul. Bike to a St. Paul Saints game and earn a prize! For more information, go to saintsbaseball.com.
Hilary Reeves is communications director for Bike Walk Twin Cities.