Green digest // Bike and walk week

Bike and walk week is June 5–11

Leave the car in the garage and bus fare in your wallet: June 5–11 is Twin Cities Bike Walk Week.

Seven days of events meant to promote non-motorized transportation options kick off with the Twin Cities 2010 Start! Heart Walk through Downtown. The one- to three-mile walk leaves Target Field 11 a.m. June 5.

Target Field gates open at 8 a.m. that day, with events planned until 2 p.m. For more information on the walk go to twincitiesheartwalk.kintera.org.

More events were planned throughout the week, but the big day comes Thursday, June 10. That’s both this year’s Bike Walk to Work Day and the scheduled launch date for the city’s new public bike sharing program.

Nice Ride Minnesota, the nonprofit set up to operate the bike sharing system, plans to have 1,000 bikes available for short-term rental parked at 80 kiosks located Downtown, Uptown and around the University of Minnesota campus. About 65 kiosks will be operating on launch day, with the rest scheduled for installation later in the summer, Nice Ride reported on their website.

The program launches with a bike ride down Nicollet Mall from Minneapolis Central Library to Peavy Plaza at noon June 5. Visit niceridemn.com information on subscriptions or single-day use fees, as well a map of kiosk locations.

That same day, businesses around town will offer freebies and deals to Bike Walk to Work Day participants. Those include a free coffee and bagel from Common Roots Café, 2558 Lyndale Ave. S., available 7 a.m.–9 a.m.

Other bars, restaurants and bike shops will be offering deals during both the morning and evening commuting times, including afternoon happy hours. Visit bikewalkweek.org for a full list of Bike Walk to Work Day events and a schedule of all Bike Walk Week activities.

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Registration opens for bike tour

There’s a lot of summer between now and the Minneapolis Bike Tour, but it’s not too soon to start planning for the Sept. 19 ride.

Pre-registration for the fourth annual tour of the city’s Grand Rounds Scenic Byway system begins June 7 and runs through Sept. 15. Riders can pre-register on a redesigned tour website, minneapolisbiketour.com, that will go live June 1, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board reported.

This year, one lucky tour participant will win a custom bike paint job from Dominick Austin’s Boutique Bike Parlor. The “Tattoo My Ride” contest winner also gets a commemorative tour jersey and free entry into the 2011 ride.

That winner will be chosen from the entrants who submit a picture of their bike and one paragraph explaining why it deserves a makeover. The top 10 finalists will have their entries posted on the tour website, and a public vote will determine the winner.

Also returning for the fourth annual tour is the official tour T-shirt, this year designed by Minneapolis custom poster artist Miss Amy Jo (missamyjo.com).

The route begins and ends at Parade Field, 400 Kenwood Parkway, with a short course that takes riders around Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet, plus a longer option that adds in the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Creek parkways. An after-ride celebration sponsored by New Belgium Brewing was scheduled to feature music from 4 on the Floor.

In addition to the new website, tour organizers are boosting the ride’s online profile with a Facebook page and new Twitter account, @mpls_bike_tour.

Those looking to get more tour information the old-fashioned way will find copies of a new, more detailed route map at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Rd. It also will be posted on the tour website.

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Park Board reminds dog owners to scoop the poop

Where there are dogs there is dog poop.

In Minneapolis, where there are an estimated 100,000 dogs, there are literally tons of dog poop produced daily. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board estimates more than 20 tons of solid waste are deposited in yards and parks and along boulevards each day.

This spring the Park Board launched a new “Scoop the Poop” campaign to remind dog owners that not picking up after their pet can have a negative impact on area water quality. When it’s not bagged and tossed in the trash, dog waste can be washed into storm drains that empty into area lakes and waterways.

Look for Scoop the Poop campaign posters in area parks this summer. The six poster pooches were selected last summer during the Park Board’s Canines for Clean Water movie series.

Go to minneapolisparks.org/dogs for more information on dogs in parks, including applications for off-leash park permits.