This summer, it seemed like everyone was riding a bike. Whether people were commuting, running errands, or just cruising on a sunny day, Minneapolitans and St Paulites were putting the fun between their legs and going for a ride. It felt like The Twin Cities, Land of the Bicycle, where Thor cruises on his Schwinn World Tour.
We thought we’d help all you first-time bikers and prodigal cyclists who went out into the garage and dusted off that old bike that’s been rusting there because gas was expensive or you wanted to exercise more. Below is a series of videos we put together with help from Grant Armour of the Grand Performance Bike Shop in St Paul. We show you the basic bits of a bicycle, how to use those bike racks on Metro Transit buses, how to change a flat tire, how to turn your bike into a car, and what kinds of wear and tear you should look out for as you ride.
The music comes courtesy of three great local bands who deserve the world’s biggest shout-out for helping us with this project. Dance Band (myspace.com/mydanceband), a self-described purveyor of “geekfunk” let us use their song “Pedal Power” in “Bikes on a Bus!” and “Bike = Car.” The DitchLilies (myspace.com/ditchlilies), a fabulous country/folk group from Minneapolis and Madison, WI, gave us “Fan It” to use in “Wear and Tear and Bike Repair.” Finally, the famous Doomtree hip-hop collective (www.doomtree.net) let us use “Drumsticks” and “Dots and Dashes” off their new self-titled album for “Bike Basics” and “Tires Changing.” We only used snippets of these great songs, but if you like what you hear, the whole songs are available – to listen and to buy – on the artists’ websites.
Fixing a flat: Bike basics