This past Sunday more than 60 riders took a tour of North and Northeast Minneapolis on the first ever Minneapolis Joy Ride, put together by the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. The ride aimed to bring together people from all walks of life, connected by the joy of bicycling. Minneapolis is one of the most diverse cycling cities in America, and the riders hope to build bridges between groups of bicyclists who don’t often interact, while highlighting their common interest in creating an even more inviting city for us all.
The route took riders past some of the new infrastructure in North Minneapolis such as the lanes on Emerson and Fremont N. The route also highlighted the work that still needed to be done along the way; from debris and parked cars in bike lanes to the complete bike lane removal on 18th Ave. Speakers highlighted the lack of bike facilities on Central Ave., and collected cards to local Councilmembers and Mn/DOT engineers asking for bike lanes to be installed.
Speakers along the route talked about the advocacy work the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and other groups engage in to make the city safer for people to ride, and to encourage people to get out on their bikes more. Janne Flisrand and Ethan Fawley from the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition thanked volunteers and talked about infrastructure issues. Louis Moore, President of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club talked about getting riders from North Minneapolis involved in advocacy work, and the group’s weekend rides. Joshua Houdek of the Sierra Club North Star Chapter talked about the ongoing work with Mn/DOT to make Central Ave. a Complete Street; taking into account the safety and usability of the street for all users, whether they are in a car, on foot, or on a bike. Finally, Robin Garwood from Councilmember Cam Gordon’s office talked about new bike infrastructure connecting the U of M to downtown and some of the funding issues involved.
Thank you to the supporters and sponsors of the Joy Ride, Major Taylor Bicycling Club, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, and Recovery Bike Shop.
Thanks Alex! Also be sure to check out Joe Reinemann’s recap of the ride over at his blog; Snak Shak.