Plenty to experience during Twin Cities Bike Walk Week

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Last Saturday was the beginning of Bike Walk Week 2012, which runs until Sunday, June 10. The nine days of the event are packed with plenty of fun reasons to ditch the car and personally discover why the Twin Cities repeatedly are ranked near the top of best-biking cities in the United States. 

Saturday included the Twin Cities Tour de Cure, the Northeast Ride, the Bike Walk Move Jingle Contest Concert, a Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota Confident Cycling Course, a Bike Walk Parade & Kids Rodeo, and the Minnetonka Bike Expo. Sunday included the Grand Old Day Paradewhere it is much easier to park a bike than a car.

Monday includes Meet Your Trail Watch from 4-7pm along the Midtown Greenway, an opportunity to learn about the Midtown Greenway Coalition Trail Watch, and the Nice Ride Minnesota St. Paul Launch Event from 1:30 to 2:30pm starting at Landmark Plaza and ending at Harriet Island, which will include a ride with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and National Parks Superintendent Paul Labovitz.

Tuesday includes a Tiny Trips Tuesday at 5:45-7pm starting at the Macalester College Nice Ride Station, which will explore places to bike to in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood.

Wednesday is Women’s Wednesday. Meet at the Downtown Minneapolis YWCA at 5:30pm for a women-only ride exploring downtown.

Thursday is Bike Walk to Work Day. There will be celebrations in St. Paul (Rice Park 6:30-9am), Anoka (Anoka County Government Center 7:30-9:30pm), Minneapolis (Nicollet Mall outside Hennepin County Central Library 11am-1pm), and Bloomington (REI 4:30-6:30pm) for those who commute to work via bike or foot. The Minneapolis celebration will feature Mayor R.T. Rybak and the release of the USPS bicycling Forever Stamps.

Friday features The Bike Comics Show at Black Dog Café & Wine Bar featuring the comics of Ken Avidor, Roger Lootine, and Andy Singer. The reception is at 7 p.m., and the show will rune throughout June. Later, at dusk (about 9 p.m.), there will be a Bike-In Movie Night outside St. Paul Central Library. The film will be Quicksilverstarring Kevin Bacon.

Saturday has Yoga on the Greenway 9-11am at the park at Greenway and 12th Avenue. Another Confident Cycling Course will be offered 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at The Hub University Bike Center. Greenway Glow is an illuminated fundraising bike ride around the city, running from 9 p.m. to midnight and meeting at the Freewheel Midtown Bike Center. Northern Spark is an all-night art celebration (aka Nuit Blanche) throughout the Twin Cities including dozens of venues and hundreds of artists. The scope of this event is huge:  visit the website for schedules and details.

Sunday ends strong with an Open Streets Ciclovía 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Lyndale Avenue from 22nd Street to 42nd Street. Lyndale will be open to non-motorized traffic only and will feature many activities including live music, mechanics, street yoga, and children’s bike activities. The St. Paul Saints will have a “Slow Bike Race” with Nice Ride bikes during the Bike to the Saints Ballpark Day (game starts at 1 p.m.) Also, New Belgium Brewing will have its Urban Assault Ride, a “Bicycle Obstacle Event” in which you and a partner can compete in a race throughout the city involving diverse challenges at checkpoints. The Ride starts at 9 a.m. at Peace Coffee, but you must be registered by June 8 at 4 p.m.

Throughout the week, there will be the interactive, mobile, public art project Bicycling Counts. Each day, the location of the project will be hidden, and there will be clues as to its location on their Twitter feed and their Facebook page.

Bicycling in the Twin Cities is almost always a joy, but this week, the cycling community has come together to celebrate and enjoy cycling more than usual. Whether you are a solid all-year commuter or a curious observer with a bike with a flat tire in the garage, there’s plenty for you to enjoy during Bike Walk Week!