Biking to breakfast


by Mary Turck, 5/14/08 • A vegan tofu scramble, pancakes, vegan caramel rolls, scrambled eggs and tortillas, and more—the breakfast spread at the Green Institute was more like a bounteous buffet than the continental breakfast promised on the Bike/Walk to Work Week Web site. And I was ready for it, after biking over from St. Paul, passing the Daily Planet office on my way to the celebration.

When I arrived, they had just run out of plates, but the supply was quickly replenished. Almost 120 people biked to the Green Institute breakfast, and four walked. This was one of a dozen locations across the Twin Cities offering free breakfast for people who biked or walked to work.
breakfast on the roof

Breakfast was served on the roof, where we enjoyed a view of downtown Minneapolis, the new bike/pedestrian bridge over Hiawatha Avenue, and the LRT line. Rooftop gardens surrounded the large, round table, and rows of solar panels stretched southward.

Breakfast on the roof

I arrived too late to have breakfast with the mayor (who also biked to Bedlam’s breakfast), but two young women from South High School were there. South expected more than 200 biking students, and had extra bike racks ready in the athletic field. Two other breakfast guests were on their way to the University of Minnesota.

Roof garden at Green Institute

Even if you missed the Great Commuter Challenge on Monday and the breakfast on Wednesday, you still have a chance to catch several Bike/Walk events.

Rooftop solar panel array

The Freewheel Midtown Bike Center Grand Opening is Thursday morning at 7 a.m. in Minneapolis, on the Midtown Greenway between Chicago Ave. and 10th Ave. S. The bike center will offer a place along the Midtown Greenway where cyclists can get repairs, rentals, bathrooms, showers and more.

Walkers get their turn over the weekend, as the Minnesota Historical Society offers walking tours of Summit Avenue, focusing on the architecture, social history and current preservation issues of the historic neighborhood.

Sunday brings the renaming of the Midtown Greenway Bridge, which stretches across Hiawatha Ave. and the light-rail transit line. The bridge is being renamed in honor of former U.S. Rep. Martin Olav Sabo.

For more information on these and other events, go to the Bike/Walk Week Web site.

I’m sure that high gas prices and a long-delayed end to winter gave an extra boost to this year’s Bike/Walk Week. If you haven’t yet tried biking to work (or to the grocery store, or the library, or to run errands), give it a whirl. You’ll be glad you did.