Cool Bike Blog of the Week

The other day I received a twitter follow from one of those twitter id names that kinda makes you stop and think for a moment. I was curious as to what @Biking4Baseball was about, exactly, but I took a second or two to consider the different options. I took a peek at a few recent tweets of theirs to see if I could get a better idea. Nope, no help. So I looked at the bio and it read: 5 guys cycling 11,000+ miles across country to raise funds/awareness for youth mentoring programs. We’re going to all 30 MLB ballparks too. Give us a high-five!

Very Cool!

The more I researched their site Biking For Baseball and read the blog, the more I loved these guys. They are basically riding across the country this summer to all the major league baseball parks, using cycling and baseball to help create more awareness and raise funds to assist youth mentoring programs from all over the country. I read some of their blog, which was started on May 17, 2011–the day that Harmon Killebrew passed away. One of the five riders making this trek is Chase Higgins from Minneapolis. I won’t spoil the story that the blog tells, but I will say it’s well written and good reading for baseball fans and cycling enthusiasts, alike.

At any rate, the Biking For Bicycles cause is definitely something to get behind. Keep an eye out for news of their arrival in Minneapolis mid-July! BikeMinneapolis is hopeful to spend some time with the guys and will definitely do a write-up on the events and festivities.

In the meantime, check out the Biking For Baseball site and read the blog. You can follow their progress, make donations, and even buy some swell looking t-shirts. Lots of pics as they travel on their facebook page also!

Weekend Preview

Lots going on this weekend, not to mention all month long, as biking season is really taking shape.

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.

Tall Bikers May Day Parade



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!

Two Stops for Bike Advocacy

Thursday night I made a couple stops at two organizational meetings. It was finally time for BikeMinneapolis to get busy!

Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition – Franklin Ave Bike Lanes

First up, I stopped in to visit with the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition and volunteers who got together and organize their efforts to advocate for the implementation of bike lanes on Franklin Ave, from Hennepin Ave to Minnehaha Ave. A couple of the volunteers arrived after biking on Franklin Ave and were more than convinced that improvements needed to be made. The goal is to talk with bicyclists who use Franklin Ave and to have them sign a petition, supporting bike lanes on Franklin Ave. The MBC volunteers will be reaching out to local residents, as well as neighborhood and business associations to get their backing, also.

According to a recent study, there are more than 500 bicycles per day riding along Franklin Ave. It is a main corridor between Uptown and the U of M. There are also 8 Nice Ride stations located within a block of Franklin Ave.

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can still get involved. You can email for details on how you can help by talking with cyclists and residents, and gathering petition signatures. There will also be an online petition form that you may sign. This link is forthcoming, but will be provided also by inquiring via email.

Lastly, Transit for Livable Communities will be hosting a meeting at 7:30pm Monday, May 7 at Philips Community Center (2323 11th Avenue S.) to discuss future bike and pedestrian improvements on Franklin Avenue. Please come share your ideas and show your support to make Franklin Avenue more bike-friendly.

Midtown Greenway Coalition – Crime Prevention Task Force

After visiting with the MBC Crew, I rode over to the Midtown Greenway offices to sit in on the Crime Prevention Task Force being formed by the Midtown Greenway Coalition. In attendance were Midtown Greenway board members, volunteers, and two representatives from the 3rd and 5th Precincts of the Minneapolis Police.

Susan gave an informative report on Trail Watch, the Midtown Greenway’s own safety patrol, which is staffed by volunteers. Trail Watch riders make nightly rides watching for and reporting suspicious/criminal activity to 911, assist cyclists with break-downs and flats, and help to educate riders. They have even supplied lights to riders without lights. Find out more and learn how to volunteer for Trail Watch. Volunteers are eligible for discounts at Midtown Freewheel Bike!

The 3rd and 5th Precincts representatives from the MPD then made available to the Board and volunteers some crime-report data they had assembled from the last 3-5 months which illustrated just how safe the Midtown Greenway actually is, especially compared to other crime reports from street level. Even though this was good news, the Board was clear in stating it’s platform of crime prevention and improved safety measures for the Greenway. The steady growth in heavy trail usage has dictated that improvements and new measures need to be discussed and implemented to ensure continued safe use of the Greenway.

It was decided that Susan would implement a campaign to sign-up more Trail Watch Volunteers. Gabriel will collect data of lighting conditions throughout the Greenway and report back next month to determine what improvements could be addressed in terms of better lighting. It was agreed upon that any needs for new and improved signage, cameras, and the question of using private security patrols would be discussed at the next scheduled Crime Prevention Task Force meeting on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 6pm.


It was a fun and productive night, and it was great getting to know some of the passionate cyclists we have working in our community for bicycle advocacy. The next time you are riding down Franklin Ave or the Midtown Greenway, please remember that there are many hard working people giving time and resources to make cycling even better in the Twin Cities. Please consider getting involved. It’s easy to become a member or volunteer… Almost as easy as riding a bike!

A More Bike Friendly Franklin Ave?

The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition recently posted on their blog their desire to gain support from the community to help make Franklin Ave between Hennepin Ave and Minnehaha Ave more bike friendly and safe for bicyclists. There is currently about 500 commuters per day using Franklin to commute by bike, despite the fact that this roadway lacks any bike lanes or amenities that we are accustomed to seeing popping up all over the Twin Cities.

You can see the full article here, where you can find more info on how to get involved and help spread awareness in the neighborhoods along Franklin Ave.

The MBC will host an informational session on Thursday, May 3rd at The Nicollet to register and inform volunteers how to educate and increase awareness among cyclists and the community.

Transit for Livable Communities and Bike Walk Twin Cities is hosting a meeting on Monday, May 7, 7:30pm, at Philips Community Center (2323 11th Avenue S.) to discuss future bike and pedestrian improvements on Franklin Avenue.

You can find these meeting dates, and others, along with events, rides, and other bike-alicious stuff on the BikeMinneapolis Calendar.

Behind the Big Wheel

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!

Cool Bike Blog of the Week

Okay, we are going to start things up again with the Cool Bike Blog of the Week. Every week I will post a bike blog/website that I have come across which I feel deserves some attention. It might be any old blog where someone is posting their daily rides, a site promoting advocacy, or some zany event or video. It could be anything. But, I will always attempt to have it be relevant and important to some aspect of bicycling which makes a statement about the blogs particular motivation. Something that will be helpful, educational, or entertaining for BikeMinneapolis readers.

Doug from MnBicycleCommuterThis week I have selected Doug’s MnBicycleCommuter blog. Doug is from Duluth, MN and rides everyday, commuting to work, on errands, and weekend pleasure rides. He isĀ also a winter cyclist. Currently, he is preparing for a summer trip on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail.

I really have enjoyed reading Doug’s blog and actually feel like I know this guy. His passion for biking is definitely in his words. You know this guy pretty much lives to ride, whether on his Pugsley during a winter trek, touring/camping on his LHT, or cruising town on the Ellis… No real surprise there. But, I’d say he puts an equally passionate effort into his writing and blogging as he does riding. He is quite articulate and shares his experience from a realistic perspective. He posts a lot of photos, shares his opinions and ideas, and truly shares his experience in a way that others can relate and learn from. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been riding with him! Someday, I hope I can.

As I mentioned, Doug is preparing for the trip of a lifetime, crossing the US on the TransAmerica Bike Trail. He is training methodically to build his everyday endurance. He is sharing everything that he is dong to prepare–from meals, camping, mapping, mail drops, safety, maintenance–and anything else you can think of. I remember following along with Russ and Laura from The Path Less Pedaled, as they made their first journeys into bike touring, and that was so much fun! I only hope that Doug will be able to share his travels as well as he does as preparing for them. I will be definitely checking in on him. You should too! MnBicycleCommuter

If you have a suggestion for Cool Bike Blog of the week, send me an email with the link to the site and why you think it’s cool.

Three Rivers Seeks Public Comments About Intercity Regional Trail Master Plan

The Intercity Regional Trail’s draft master plan has been approved and Three Rivers Park Board is seeking public feedback.

The Intercity Regional Trail will travel north-south from Lake Nokomis Parkway in Minneapolis through Richfield and to the Minnesota River in Bloomington. This is an important new trail as there is limited off-road pedestrian and biking access in this area.

If you haven’t had a chance to peruse all the particulars, you can do so at Either follow the links, or type “Intercity” in the search parameters field on the site. You can submit feedback and comments about the draft master plan until May 1, 2012 at