I had the opportunity to talk with Tom Zirbel about his recent Nationals Time Trials win in Chattanooga, TN, as well as his career in cycling, as he prepared for the St. Paul Criterium stage in his defense of his 2012 Nature Valley Grand Prix title.
The 2013 Nature Valley Grand Prix will span 5 days and kicks off Wednesday, June 12 in St. Paul. This year’s event will include a total of six stages.
Stage 1 – Wednesday, June 12 at 8:30AM St. Paul Riverfront Time Trial
Stage2 – Wednesday, June 12 at 4:00PM St. Paul Downtown Criterium
Stage 3 – Thursday, June 13 at 3:45PM Cannon Falls Road Race
Stage 4 – Friday, June 14 at 4:30PM Uptown Minneapolis Criterium
Stage 5 – Saturday, June 15 at 9:00AM Menomonie Road Race
Stage 6 – Sunday, June 16 at 10:30AM Stillwater Criterium
While there is talk that many other cycling events are causing conflicting schedules, there will still be plenty of excitement at this year’s Nature Valley Grand Prix. Tom Zirbel is back to defend his 2012 title after just winning his first National Time Trial in Chatanooga, TN a couple weeks ago. Don’t forget that there is lots of fun for the whole family at the Expo and other events, like the Shimano Kids Fun Races and the Bicycle Stunt Show that are also a big part of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival.
One of the awesome benefits of living in a bike-friendly state is that there are many perks for riders to take advantage of. Take Pedal Minnesota’s free bike tune-up stations. On Saturday, June 9, you can bring your bike to one of two different locations to have your tires aired up, your chain lubed, and get those minor adjustments tweaked by a professional bike mechanic – for free! This is perfect for growing kids who might need their seat height adjusted. Or, maybe your brake cables are a bit stretched and you just need help getting them tightened up.
You will find the free bike stations set up on Hennepin and Washington downtown, and Knox and Lagoon in Uptown. The free service stations are open from 9am until 2pm, on Saturday, June 9.
Summer doesn’t officially start until June 20th this year here in the northern hemisphere, but if you live in the Twin Cities you might argue that is actually starts June 2nd, which just happens to coincide with the beginning of Bike Walk Week Twin Cities 2012. There are a mess of events planned all week, but for now I will just name some highlights and the happenings for the weekend.
Sunday, of course, is Grand Old Day on Grand Ave. in Saint Paul.
I did discover a cool, interesting tidbit going on during Bike Walk Week. There will be a bike counter set up at different locations each day to count passing cyclists. The Center for Energy and Environment website states, “Bicycling Counts is a creative and engaging strategy to educate the Minneapolis community about the impact of individual action in our city and our environment.” The first bike counter will be placed at the West River Parkway bike path across from the Mill City Museum, located at 704 South 2nd Street in Minneapolis. You can find out more about the Bike Counts at The Center for Energy and Environment. To find the counter and track the results, clues will be posted on Twitter at @mncee_myhome using the #bicyclingcounts hashtag, as well as the Minnesota Energy Challenge Facebook page.
There are many events scheduled throughout the work week and another full slate of bike to-do’s next weekend, highlighted by Northern Spark, Greenway Glow, and Urban Assault Ride. BikeMinneapolis with be attending many events and will attempt to encapsulate all the fun shenanigans.
In the meantime, be sure to check out the Bike Walk Week Twin Cities 2012 site for all the scheduled events.
In case you haven’t heard by now, Nice Ride MN, the very popular and super successful bicycle ride-share program in Minneapolis, is expanding it’s reach into Saint Paul. Tentatively set to launch June 4th, during Bike Walk Week, the bike-share program will expand it’s current base of 116 bike-share stations by adding 30 more, mostly in the downtown Saint Paul area. The proposed locations for the stations are available on this map.
You can see the full press release here.
The MayDay Parade & Festival has been postponed until Sunday, May 13. Due to lot of standing water and just plain ‘ol cold and wet weather they have decided to postpone until the rain date, May 13. Parade will start at 1pm and everything else remains the same.
Saturday and Sunday is the Living Green Expo at the State Fair Grounds. Lots of fun stuff going on including a Bike Fashion Show and a Bike Rodeo. Check out the site for all the other great happenings at the Living Green Expo.
Saturday is the Arbor Day Tree Planing Event at the Midtown Greenway at 9am.
Last, but definitely not least, is the 38th Annual May Day Parade and Festival at Powdwerhorn Park. The parade starts at Cedar Field Park at E 26th Street and 18th Ave S, travels South on Bloomington Ave, turns West on E 34th Street, and concludes at Powderhorn Park, where the Festival will commence. Lots of food, crafts, music, performance, and oh yeah, puppets from the Heart of the Beast.
See you there!
A special demonstration event will take place Thursday, April 21st, from 12:15 to 1PM where bicyclists and general public are invited to get in the drivers seat of a bus or semi truck to see what a driver sees, or more importantly, DOES NOT see. This demonstration is taking place to help educate everyone on the blind spots of a large vehicle. As a bicyclist or pedestrian, understanding the way things look from the big rig driver’s vantage point is something that can increase safety for everyone… maybe even save your life.
The event is being put on by the University of Minnesota Bike Center and is open to the public. It will take place from 12:15 to 1PM at the street location of 6th St SE and SE 23rd Ave, on the NE side of TCF Bank Stadium on the U of M campus. See you there!
Saturday, Nov. 12th was the Green Fair, put on in the Whittier Neighborhood by Whittier Alliance to promote green ideas in our community. If you have been to the Green Expo at the Minnesota State Fair, you are already familiar with many of the organizations, and vendors that were on display. I was there as a volunteer with the Midtown Greenway Coalition. This was my first time volunteering with them and I am learning a lot. Things like the streetcar that is being proposed, and is in route to be installed to run along side of the greenway trail, as well as a streetcar that would run up Nicollet Ave.
At the fair, I met people like Kristy, who rides her bike to deliver honey for her business, Beez Kneez. I also met Julia with CERT, Clean Energy Resource Teams.
I also got to finally meet Margeret Shields with Gardening Matters who works with the planning of Community Gardens across Minnesota. Gardeningmatters.org The common thread that ran through that room, was the passion that people felt for what they were doing. It was really great to be a part of and feed off the energy and ideas that people are coming up with to live more sustainably and be better neighbors.
If you would like to get involved with the Greenway or would like more information, please go to Midtowngreenway.org
We’ve posted a couple upcoming events on our new events calendar here at BikeMinneapolis! I think you will dig it. I hope to be filling it with as much bike, Minneapolis, and art related happenings as possible. I’m not much of a stickler for always staying on topic, and I’m sure we will post cool, hip, and happenin’ gigs, events, and rides… so anything is pretty much cool, as long as they somewhat pertain to the culture and groove of Minneapolis and bicycles. So, if you have an event or ride or other goings-on that would be appropriate, please be sure to send us an email with the info and links.
Be sure to click on the above events link in the menu bar to see the calendar of events!
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 10am-2pm
213 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Join us for art, cupcakes, stickers, and hot toddies.
Art Attack is an annual open studio and gallery crawl at the Northrup King Building, in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. The weekend-long event features over 200 artists working in painting and drawing, sculpture, photography, architecture, custom furniture, fiber arts, metal, ceramics, glass, hand-crafted and custom jewelry, mixed media, mosaics, textiles, and more.
Art Attack is an exciting opportunity to gain admission to private studios and to buy original art direct from local, nationally and internationally known artists. Enjoy live music and live demonstrations.
Join us and register for a chance to win $500 in Art Bucks.
Friday, November 4, 2011 5:00-10:00 PM
Saturday, November 5, 2011 Noon – 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 6, 2011 Noon – 5:00 PM