With Spring in full bloom, I’m getting more and more excited about this summer’s group cycling rides. Metro Mag just released their “Best of” guide to communal bike rides happening in the Twin Cities over the next few months. What excites me most is the idea that many of these rides will serve as fun, welcoming experiences for folks new to the Twin Cities cycling scene.
My favorite upcoming ride is the Northeast Ride (and, in full disclosure, I’m helping to coordinate it so I’m a little biased! :p ).
Set for June 2, 2012, this is the first annual Northeast Ride. Cyclists will be taken on a creative tour of Northeast Minneapolis –with stops at one of each of the neighborhoods’ parks. The ride will also take participants through the arts district, touring past the great Northeast creative buildings and historical landmarks like the Casket Arts Building and the Grain Belt Brewery, while using some of the new bike trails and bikeways. At just under 12 miles, this is a family friendly ride and open to riders of all abilities. Each stop will have an interactive, creative activity such as creating a Northeast Minneapolis time capsule, a make your own spoke card station, lawn games, and more. Folks are encouraged to register ahead of time here.
The idea for the Northeast Ride came out of the Northeast Community Development Corporation’s ‘Northeast Futures’ conversations, and a desire to create an event to unite the neighborhoods of Northeast Minneapolis. In the conversations, Northeast residents identified the environment, arts & economic development, and cycling as key priorities for Northeast Minneapolis in the coming years. The Northeast Ride is about all of those things –but most importantly, the Ride is about developing a sense of community throughout Northeast.
And this is what I feel makes the Northeast Ride so genuinely awesome –it is from the community, for the community. We’ve already seen businesses as different as Productivity, Inc., Indeed Brewing, and the Army National Guard Northeast Armory come together to support the ride.
I’m excited to see how cycling events like the Northeast Ride can continue to build sense of community, support local businesses, and invigorate urban space.