I awoke (without the help of an alarm clock) at 5:30 AM and had to cool my jets until about 6:40 AM until it was time to leave for my designated meet-up spot. For the past couple of years, I’ve made a point of meeting a friend or two and sampling the offerings at the various Bike to Work venues. It’s a rolling party at 7:00 AM with polar fleece, water bottles and free food and/or coffee. What’s not to like about that?
The good news and the bad news was that the Bike-to-Work offerings this year were more diverse but geographically dispersed. That made planning a feeding frenzy on the way to work more challenging. Previously, we have hit up Freewheel Midtown, the Re-Use Center and Bedlam Theatre for breakfast offerings and coffer before charging in to the downtown MPLS event at the Government Center like the Horsemen of the Apocalypse for a crescendo of yet more coffee and bike swag to cap the morning.
This year, Freewheel had the usual fabulous WAFFLES (the best food for of the day in my book) plus fruit and coffee, but the Re-Use Center seems to have entirely sat this one out. Bedlam Theatre is gone entirely, or relocating, or relocated by now – I am not sure. At any rate, they were not publicizing an event at any rate. Birchwood Cafe and Common Roots had coffee and baked goods, but that would have added miles to our route, so we passed on those options and headed downtown instead.
I was a little disappointed to see the room to roam at the Government Center. Previously, this has been a pretty busy event, but this year, there were few people milling about the plaza, as evidenced by the first photo with this post. We chatted with the Nice Ride people, yucked it up with friends at that Calhoun Cycles booth, got a hug from MPLS Bike Coalition and nodded at One on One, but the crowd was noticeable lacking this year. Maybe it was the weather, maybe it was the lack of publicity, maybe it was the economy. Maybe it was all of the above.
All was not lost, however. We capped the day with a get-together of our own which more than made up for any sponsor-related disappointment. Velocipete was able to muster Brother Yam, Wheeldancer and the Old Bag, Low and Janne (plus me) for a Beers for Bloggers get together at Sea Salt after work. The fellowship was a welcome closing to Bike to Work day.
Thanks, Velocipete for organizing and everyone else for participating. That made it a special day nonetheless.